Hifiman Sundara Closed-Back Review


Comfort-wise the Sundara Closed-Back distributes the weight nicely on the head. That allows the user to listen to the headphone for long periods of time with a good comfort level. However, in long listening sessions, I’ve had a bit too much clamping force. This should get easier over time and can vary depending on your head size.

Of course, the clamping force is not at extreme levels and also it helps to keep the headphone securely in place. It’s also good for the headband pressure since the earcups take some of the weight with that certain clamping force. Other than that, I haven’t had any comfort issues with the Sundara Closed-Back. The material used for the pads is leather and velvet, and they feel soft and very comfy. My ears don’t touch the inside part of the earcups, which is also good.

One more thing is the weight. Despite being a planar model, the Sundara Closed-Back is not that heavy, so that is a plus for a comfortable experience. Yet, since there are no swivelling ear cups with this headband design, it’s a bit too stiff on the head so be aware of that.


Hifiman headphones in general sound very good, and resolving and they’re technically strong. Let’s see if the Sundara Closed-Back is an exception or not.

The Hifiman Sundara Closed Back-Back is a typical Hifiman headphone. It sounds very clear, focused, detailed and natural with a good sense of warmth and body. There’s a certain brightness and openness in the tuning, just like lots of Hifiman models, so the new Sundara Closed-Back is not a shocker. It doesn’t take a radical route or anything like that.

There’s good resolution and proper texture with good transparency. Sundara Closed-Back provides a pretty neutral sound overall with energetic mids and bright treble, together with bass warmth. However, one can say that this closed iteration sounds pretty intimate and kind of “in your face”.


I think lows are the best part about the new Sundara Closed-Back, giving great slam, kick, rumble and also recovery. I’m not sure if it’s because of the closed-back design or the driver technology, but in terms of bass performance, this is one of the best headphones I’ve heard for the price. The punch and speed are certainly impressive, with great pace and decay. It also doesn’t affect the other parts of the spectrum.

For quantity, it’s not extreme like the R9, especially in terms of sub-bass. I think Hifiman has done a good job of giving an adequate level of bass for many genres. The bass overall is quite warm though, and it’s joyful to listen to bassy recordings. The texture of the bass is pretty good as well.

The headphone can reach quite deep with the sub-bass but also gives good midbass to present the base notes of the instruments nicely. Although you don’t have that amazing rumble that dynamic drivers give, you surely have a very impressive and high-quality bass with the Sundara Closed-Back.


The mid-range sounds very crisp and bright and clear. The upper mid area is quite energetic too, whilst the whole mid-area has a very lifelike feeling. They’re also transparent and the headphone is quite resolving and detailed in the mid-range. There’s not much colouration here, though the timbre is a bit off sometimes with vocals and instruments.

That might be because of the cramped feeling of the headphone, or the overall brightness of the lower-treble area. When the treble is in the spotlight, the mid-range can be overshadowed and I think that’s what happens here. There’s not too much air or spaciousness in the mid-range, since that is all taken away with the treble tuning.

When you focus on the mids only, the transparency, resolution and detail are all impressive. But when you focus on the totality of the sound, the mid-range feels like it’s trapped inside a certain box and it can’t quite break that barrier. So overall, in technical performance, the mid-range is highly detailed and resolving with good definition, but the timbre is a bit thick compared to the thin and bright treble performance.

The positive side here is the detail retrieval and resolution.

Page 1: About Hifiman & Sundara Closed-Back, Design and Build
Page 3: Treble, Technical Performance, Comparisons, Conclusion
4.1/5 - (183 votes)

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. 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 favourite Jazz recordings.


  • Reply October 20, 2022


    Gorgeously designed. If I was rich I would love to go around cities with these on all day !

  • Reply October 28, 2022


    As far as I know the closed Sundara isn’t the same driver structure as the open version. The open-back Sundara is a single sided magnet where as the closed is a double sided one which makes me think it’s the Deva driver and not the original Sundara. I’m pretty sure it’s the Deva driver which is used so it should be called the Deva closed and not Sundara. I might be wrong but you can clearly see it on their site that it has double magnets and the original does not.

  • Reply November 17, 2023

    Shane D

    Nice review!

    With the Great pricing right now, I would be curious to compare these with the HE-R10D.

  • Reply January 20, 2024


    Hello Berkhan,

    How would you compare the hifiman closed Sundara with the Beyer DT 700 pro X in the sound department ?
    Is one better than the other ? are they completely different ?

    I’m actually hesitating between these 2 headphones

    Thanks a lot


  • Reply January 21, 2024


    Hi Berkhan,

    Could you tell me what you think of the closed Sundara in comparison with the Beyerdynamic DT 700 pro x ? I’m hesitating between these two sets …

    Is one better than the other or they are just different ?

    I use Topping D30 pro / A30 pro dac/amp, I listen mainly to classic rock, and classical music

    Thanks a lot !


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