Today we review the Hifiman Sundara Closed-Back headphone, which goes for USD 399.
Disclaimer: The Hifiman Sundara Closed-Back 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.
Hifiman Sundara Closed-Back
We all remember the Sundara headphone. It was released in 2018. Since around that date, Hifiman has been a great option for audiophiles who look for the best possible solution for the money. Hifiman has managed to drop the prices quite substantially over the years. When the Sundara was first launched, its price was $499. Right now you can have it for $299.
The Sundara has been a favourite mid-fi headphone among enthusiasts already, and Hifiman just decided to create a closed-back version. You can get the new Sundara Closed-Back from the Hifiman Store.
The new Sundara Closed-Back of course has 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.
To compare, the original Sundara didn’t have the Stealth Magnet design.
There’s not much to say about the unboxing experience of the new Sundara Closed-Back. You have the cable, a 6.3mm adapter and the headphone. It’s presented on a foam that can also be used as a headphone stand, though I doubt it would be that useful.
Design & Build Quality
The design of the Sundara Closed-Back is identical to the original open version except for the ear cups. The headband design is the same, the yokes are the same and the earpads are the same.
The earcups however are from wood, and the colour is a bit polarizing ever since it was released. I liked the light brown/orange colour and I think it looks quite nice combined with the black on the rest of the headphones. I think it looks like a better headphone to me than the HE-R9.
For build quality, I would again say that it’s better than the R9. Especially the wooden earcups are high quality for the price. I can’t say I felt the same quality feeling when I touched the R9. The headband is also quite durable for twists and turns, so you can depend on it in the long run. To me, the headphone looks very stylish.
The earpads have a premium feel, the headband and yokes feel very good, and the cups look premium.