Besides the pretty box the accessories are pretty limited. You get two sets of cables where one measures 1.5m and is terminated with a 3.5mm plug. This is supposed to be the portable cable. The second cables measures 3m and is terminated with a 6.3mm plug for use at home with a desktop source. The original V1 also came with two cables and the exact same termination. Next to that you get a standard yet nice ¼ headphone adapter and that’s about it. While the X’s are built to also perform out of sources you normally use on-the-go, there is no carrying pouch or anything in the package to transport it. In that regard it is a use at home headphone and the accessories are basic.
For your ears
I know this is a controversial topic but Hifiman recommends 150 hours burn in. They insist the sound signature will change during this period. I also want to state (again) that even after the update the Edition X is no HE-1000 (V2), but it do is better to me than the original version and that says a lot.
Back when I reviewed the original I already liked it a lot and said the X was a really good headphone. Now Hifiman with the changes described above has even managed to improve how it sounds and they managed to cut $500 of the price, it’s incredible. When coming from the V1 you will hear that a lot of things are the same, yet there are some important differences as well. The first things you would probably notice is the slightly improved sound stage and the more forward and richer sounding mids giving the headphone a more energetic and dynamic sound. The modifications might not seem a lot but the result is positively impressive.
The Edition X V2 still has its softer, more laid back character and it has pleasant warmth creating a very enjoyable, fun, yet qualitative sound signature. No matter what type of music you throw at it (from classical to rap to country to techno), the Edition-X with its soft treble, smooth rich mids and entertaining bass plays everything effortless. Its sound is easy to love and that combined with its easy drivability and great comfort make it an easy to use and even more addictive headphone than the really great HE-560 and the HE-1000. The Edition x V2 doesn’t sound intimate, overly airy or spacious, it’s overall level is good although the TOTL headphones score even better in this category.
The sound signature still is fairly neutral but like said it’s tilting more to the warmer side with its smooth and lush presentation. Like all planar magnetic headphones the Edition-X V2 has a very black background, good separation and the typical orthodynamic clear/clean sound. The Edition-X V2 has a good balance but the focus is mostly on midrange and bass and treble are reasonably easygoing. Compared to the old version there is even more focus on the mids which are more forward and even richer sounding with better layering and depth. You could say the new V2 is a mid-centric headphone but an extremely good one for that.
Depending on the source and the amplifier used the Edition-X V2’s bass changes somewhat body wise. Bass body when using the Cayin HA-1A mkII in example, is bigger compared to bass on the Hugo. It to me seems the V2 has a little more weight than the V1 but again it’s not like the HE1000. Bass always has good/sufficient body though and its amount is never exaggerated to my ears. Bass has a good level of detail and layering but the HE-1000 goes deeper with better layering. Edition-X V2’s bass is punchy most of the time, pretty fast and goes deep when needed.
The bass perfectly flows in to the full bodied, very detailed and layered more upfront mid-section of the Edition-X V2, now even better than on the V1. Delivery of the mids is smooth with a great level of layering and depth. Mid bass seems a little more elevated to before. Voices sound realistic and precise and the mids are musical. The mids are to die for. Treble maybe is a little more extended and it because of the fuller mids now sounds more balanced overall. Listening to this headphone for longer periods is no problem as the sound signature is relaxed and unfatiguing yet detailed, energetic and qualitative.
The Family (Comparisons)
All of the differences with the Edition X V1 have already been described in the part on sound. In short the most important things to remember are: richer mids, better balance, more energy, better comfort.
The HE-1000 V2’s clamping force on the side of your head is a lot bigger than that of the Edition X V2, making it less comfortable than the new X V2. Sound wise the Edition X V2 is closer to the original HE-1000 V1 than it is to the update of that headphone. The New HE-1000 V2 is leaner sounding. The Edition X V2 (compared to the new HE-1000 V2) has bigger bodied mids and has more body overall. The HE-1000 sounds more airy and has better micro detailing and layering. It also seems to deliver the sound in a more effortless and clean way. Voices in the HE-1000 V2 are more natural and relaxed and they make the voices in the X V2 sound less natural and more forced. They’re still good though, the HE-1000 simply is a level up and that’s no shame.
Once you’re used to the Edition X’s ear cups, going back to the Hifiman HE-560 is less comfortable. The 560 is light but your ears simply touch the pads and get pressure. The HE 560’s sound is lighter, more clear and more neutral with a lighter presentation. The HE- 560 is very detailed and has a good sound stage width and depth, it’s a great headphone with a different tuning that for most might be less easy on the ears for longer listening periods. For almost half the price of the Edition X you get a sublime headphone ($689) but it isn’t as rich and natural sounding as the X V2. Still a very strong contender in its price class though.
More comparisons, Sources and amplifier pairings on the next page, after the JUMP