The treble section is nicely extended and articulated with good level of detail and transparency. It’s not like the best treble you can have amongst planar headphones of course, but once again very impressive for a Bluetooth sound.
I found the extension not the best in particular, though this is understandable. It’s by far the best treble I’ve heard from a wireless headphone, and it’s still better than some wired models as well. However you can get a little more clarity and extension with the wired Ananda and the Arya.
Apart from the extension, I didn’t find any weakness in this part. The treble is slightly forgiving and a little thicker than some planar and electrostatic headphones, but that can be either good or bad depending on your preferences. I liked its unaggressive approach in treble which allows it to be very pleasing with most genres.
The sound stage of the Ananda BT is not very wide, which brings a sense of intimacy especially with vocals and instruments. The depth is pretty good, although not being too long. So don’t expect a huge sound stage magnitude, but do expect enough width and depth.
The instrumental separation is very good and you have great positioning which I found very correct and realistic. I just wanted a little bigger sound stage with this headphone but I think that’s also one of its characteristic features. Because I don’t think the mids and the vocals in particular would’ve been that impressive and lively with a distant approach.
What I found very successful with the Ananda BT is its great tonality performance. It just plays so natural, “real” and correct. For a Bluetooth can, this presentation is quite extraordinary. I also want to highlight its cohesiveness and bass control with good subbass/midbass level. The headphone sounds very consistent with its all-round presentation. It also plays very transparent in the mid range, and I don’t think anyone can easily differentiate it from a wired planar headphone in a blind test.
As I remarked, this new Bluetooth protocol can be activated through Hifiman’s own mobile application to listen to 24/96 resolution. For the sound, I found the treble to be a bit more clear and transparent with good extension. Overall dynamism in the sound is a bit improved as well, and the warmth is presented a little more intensely.
So yes, the application does give you a bit better sound. However I did not find it very useful since it has some stuttering issues with some songs when I used Tidal streaming. If you have a phone which directly supports HWA, then you’re luckier because you don’t have to use the application and still enjoy the Hi-Res sound.
To be honest with you, I was never a fan of Bluetooth earphones/headphones. This Hifiman Ananda BT however, changed my perception about wireless sound. This easily is the best wireless headphone I’ve ever listened to and it’s not even close. Together with the sound, the general user experience is very pleasing and simple.
That’s why it’s now in our Best Headphone Recommendations page already. Maybe the direct competitors of Hifiman will release these types of headphones in the future. But for now, the Ananda BT is the star of the wireless show.