Hifiman Edition XS Review

Today we review the Hifiman Edition XS planar headphone, which goes for $499 USD.

 

Disclaimer: The Hifiman Edition XS was sent to us, directly by Hifiman.

About Hifiman

If you’re into personal audio, then you probably have some knowledge about the Hifiman brand. It was founded in 2007 by Dr Fang in New York to produce high-end personal audio products. Hifiman was the first brand to release a high-end portable audio player, the HM-801, which was like a catalyst for Reference Audio Players that we know today.

One of the many points that make Hifiman stand out is that they are a very innovative company and they are constantly chasing the better, in every price range. They create different flavoured headphones, warm, neutral, and balanced, for every kind of audiophile out there. We’ve reviewed many Hifiman gear in the past at Headfonia, and each time we get excited as if it’s the first time. Just type Hifiman in our search box.

For instance, the ancestor of this Edition XS headphone was the first-ever Edition X. Lieven reviewed that one back in 2016. Now in 2022, we have the latest version of this “Edition” range, the Edition XS.

Review: Hifiman Edition-X – Game, set and match

About Edition XS

Since the release of the Edition line 6 years ago, Hifiman has managed to drop the price quite substantially over the years. When the Edition X was first launched around December 2015, its price was $1799. The new Edition X V2 was announced in August 2016 and sold for $1299. Then came the Ananda in 2018, and the price again was cut down to $999. And now we’re looking at a headphone that is priced at $499. You can even get an open box version on Hifiman Store, for $449.

Hifiman, of course, filled that “premium” gap with the new Arya model, (Arya Stealth to be exact) which is a terrific headphone. Just for your pleasure, you can find its review below:

Hifiman Arya Stealth Review

Back to the Edition XS now. Not only a cheaper headphone, but the new Edition XS is also a more advanced headphone with the Stealth Magnet and NEO Supernano Diaphragm technologies.

The “Stealth Magnet” is supposed to reduce wave diffraction turbulence which degrades the integrity of soundwaves. It – according to Hifiman – also reduces distortion to barely audible levels, yielding a purer, more harmonious sound.

The new Supernano Diaphragm is %75 thinner than the previous versions, resulting in better PRaT. The headphone also has the newest Hifiman headband, claimed to be lighter and more comfortable.

Design & Build Quality

The design of the Edition XS is identical to the previous Edition and Ananda models. The new headband provides a nice comfortable experience. It’s also quite durable to twists and turns, so you can depend on it in the long run. To me, the headphone looks very stylish and serious at the same time. The headphone weighs 405 gr., compared to the 399 gr. of the wired Ananda, a tiny difference there.

The build quality is quite nice. I didn’t feel any difference from the Ananda wired, which was already built very well. The earpads have a premium feel, the headband and yokes feel very good, and the grills look sexy as ever. This feels like a premium headphone top to bottom.

Page 2: Comfort, Sound Quality
Page 3: Treble, Technical Performance, Comparisons, Conclusion
4.1/5 - (136 votes)

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A keen audiophile and hobby photographer, Berkhan is after absolute perfection. Whether it is a full-frame camera or a custom in-ear, his standpoint persists the same. He tries to keep his photography enthusiasm at the same level as audio. Sometimes photography wins, sometimes his love for music takes over and he puts that camera aside. Simplistic expressions of sound in his reviews are the way to go for him. He enjoys a fine single malt along with his favorite Jazz recordings.

4 Comments

  • Reply May 29, 2022

    Philippe Sandmeier

    Berkhan, how would you compare the Edition XS to the Ananda or the Arya, understanding that both are priced higher?

    • Reply June 1, 2022

      Berkhan

      I would’t recommend the Ananda since the Edition XS gives a similar performance with a better value. The Arya has better mids and treble, and its imaging is stronger.

  • Reply June 2, 2022

    Steve

    Berkhan, how does the Edition XS compare to the HE-R9, each paired with say the Topping DX5?

  • Reply June 20, 2022

    Vamp898

    > Hifiman has managed to drop the price quite substantially over the years

    This makes it sound like if its a big archivement putting a lower pricetag on a product. Its not like they lowered the production cost or anything. They just sell it for less.

    They just typed different numbers in their ERP system… that not that big of an archivement 😀

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