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.
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.
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:
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.