We know that Hifiman knows to make good sounding headphones. They also proved that they can also make great wireless headphones with the Ananda BT. Although their first TWS attempt, -the TWS600– hasn’t impressed people too much, we always expect the best from the brand when it comes to headphones.
The Hifiman Deva is indeed a very good sounding headphone. Wired or wireless, you get a very coherent and audiophile-grade sound which is mid forward. Other then the forward mids, the presentation is mostly flat and neutral with good resolution and transparency. The headphone has a very like-able and easy going sound signature, which I’m sure will please many people who look for this kind of an all in one solution.
The Deva doesn’t have a big impactful bass response and that is the area that it doesn’t match with the Ananda BT model. Although the bass has good quality, the quantity is not too much and the bass doesn’t have the best texture in it. I would go as far as to say that this is a bass-shy headphone with its Bluemini module. However, don’t take this comment as a lifeless kind of bass.
To me the bass quantity is just right for many genres, particularly Jazz. But, you may want more for Electronic and Pop music. If you’re OK with a flat response, than this simply is not a concern. Other than that, the bass doesn’t go as deep as the Ananda BT, and when compared directly, the Deva’s bass feels a bit shallow. However, keep in mind that the Ananda BT costs 999 $.
The texture and impact improves a bit with wired connection, probably because it allows the source’s abilities to mix up things. That of course depends on the particular source. The Bluemini module itself to me is a nicely tuned source for the headphone though. The overall bass presentation is very controlled and cohesive with it. But if you want better bass, go wired. Yet, even with wired connection, don’t expect an incredible bass response.
This is the area that the Deva shines and shows its excellent tonality and transparency. The mid-forward presentation should make a lot of mid lovers happy. The timbre in particular is exquisite with the Deva, and I think it presents the mids almost the same way as the Ananda BT (presentation-wise). Especially the female vocals sound very impressive.
Overall tonality is very nice and sweet to listen to, which is reference-like and very realistic. The amount of energy in the mid-range makes them very lively and dynamic. The instruments are just a step back when compared to vocals, but they’re also nicely textured and positioned in a close stage. The mids are somewhat in your face but they don’t feel too aggressive. If you want to focus on the instruments, you can smoothly do so, but bear in mind that if there’s vocal, it takes the spotlight.
Mids have great detail, resolution and separation as well. This particular point is better with the Ananda BT with more space and air, but the Deva puts up a great performance when you think about its price.
Treble is generous with the Deva with plenty of detail and extension. Articulation is also very well done. Micro detail reproduction is awesome and the treble has good space and air. Again, the Ananda BT is better in that regard with more room for treble with bigger space. But the Deva’s treble response to me is wonderful for the price.
Deva overall sounds true to the recording and the treble is no exception. It doesn’t over-saturate the treble, it just gives it as the way it is. As a result the treble sounds effortless, detailed and resolving. It doesn’t have the best extension against the Ananda but that is understandable for the money. Highs are not aggressive and they’re very controlled. At the same time, there’s good amount of air and resolution, which is very pleasing to listen to.
The sound stage of the Deva is a bit narrow, which brings a sense of intimacy, more so than the Ananda BT. Especially with vocals and instruments being forward, the stage dimension in width is not big. The depth is OK, although not being long. So don’t expect a big sound stage magnitude, but do expect a fair amount of width and depth.
The layering of the headphone is not great as a result. 3D feeling is not too present to the listener, but that of course depends on the recording quality. On the other hand, the separation is very good and this allows the headphone to have a very nice imaging performance. Sure, the staging performance is not the best, but it makes up for it with the separation quality.
The positioning is also strong, which I found realistic and it’s easy to spot the elements of a song. There are headphones that give better layering, hence better pinpoint imaging overall but they cost much more.
The highlight of the Deva, as it was with the Ananda BT, is its excellent tonal accuracy. The instruments just sound marvelous and you let yourself enjoy the music. I also liked its coherency over the whole spectrum.
The review continues on Page Two, after the click HERE or by using the jump below.