HiFiMan ANANDA-BT Wireless Headphones Review

Tested using Methodology v1.4
Reviewed Sep 03, 2020 at 10:04 am
HiFiMan ANANDA-BT Wireless Picture
6.3
Mixed Usage
8.0
Neutral Sound
5.6
Commute/Travel
6.6
Sports/Fitness
5.9
Office
5.7
Wireless Gaming
7.0
Wired Gaming
5.3
Phone Calls
Type Over-ear
Enclosure Open-Back
Wireless Yes
Noise Cancelling No
Mic Yes
Transducer Planar Magnetic

The HiFiMan ANANDA-BT are the Bluetooth version of the HiFiMan Ananda and they support aptX SBC as well as aptX HD, which is designed for high-quality audio. Their open-back design lets sound interact with your environment to create a more immersive listening experience and a more open and spacious soundstage. Unlike their wired counterpart, they also have a detachable boom microphone, though it doesn't have the best performance. These headphones aren't very versatile, as they're geared towards audiophiles and aren't intended for casual use. That said, these headphones have a very well-balanced, neutral audio reproduction that's ideal for audiophiles.

Our Verdict

6.3 Mixed Usage

The HiFiMan ANANDA-BT are mediocre for mixed usage. They have an impressively neutral audio reproduction that makes them ideal for audiophiles, but they aren't very versatile. These open-back headphones are designed to allow background noise to enter the ear cups to help make audio sound more immersive, but unfortunately, it also means they have poor noise isolation and leakage performance. They aren't very portable or stable, and their bulky design isn't very suitable for use while you're on the go.

Pros
  • Detachable boom microphone.
  • Very comfortable.
  • Neutral, well-balanced sound profile.
Cons
  • Terrible noise isolation performance.
  • Not stable enough for light exercise.
  • Leaks a lot of noise.
8.0 Neutral Sound

The HiFiMan ANANDA-BT are impressive for neutral sound. These open-back headphones have an open and spacious soundstage that provides an immersive listening experience. Overall, they have a neutral and well-balanced audio reproduction that's suitable for most music genres. Like most open-back headphones, they lack a touch of sub-bass. Their treble range can also be a bit bright with certain tracks.

Pros
  • Open and spacious soundstage.
  • Neutral, well-balanced sound profile.
  • Consistent performance across users.
Cons
  • Lacks a bit of sub-bass.
5.6 Commute/Travel

The HiFiMan ANANDA-BT are disappointing for commute and travel. They aren't designed for outdoor use, as their open-back design means they don't isolate any background noise and they leak a lot of sound. Also, their bulky design isn't very portable, so they may not fit easily into smaller bags and purses. On the upside, these headphones are very comfortable, and their 11-hour continuous battery life should be enough for when you're on the go.

Pros
  • Very comfortable.
Cons
  • Terrible noise isolation performance.
  • Leaks a lot of noise.
  • Not very portable.
6.6 Sports/Fitness

The HiFiMan ANANDA-BT are okay for sports and fitness. Though they have a comfortable fit, their large, bulky design isn't suited for use while working out, and it also means that these headphones aren't very portable. They're fairly stable and can stay on your head while you're listening to music, but they'll likely fall off your ears during even light physical activity.

Pros
  • Very comfortable.
Cons
  • Not stable enough for light exercise.
5.9 Office

The HiFiMan ANANDA-BT are poor for office use. While these comfortable headphones can be worn throughout your workday without a lot of fatigue, their open-back design isn't ideal for office use. They have an awful noise isolation performance, and they also leak a lot of noise, which may be distracting for your coworkers. On the upside, their over 11-hour continuous battery life should last you throughout your workday.

Pros
  • Very comfortable.
Cons
  • Terrible noise isolation performance.
  • Leaks a lot of noise.
5.7 Wireless Gaming

The HiFiMan ANANDA-BT can only be used via Bluetooth or wired to a computer with the USB-C cable. They can't be used wirelessly with PS4 or Xbox One. While they can be used with Bluetooth-enabled PCs, their high latency makes them inadequate for wireless gaming.

7.0 Wired Gaming

The HiFiMan ANANDA-BT are decent for wired gaming. They have a very comfortable fit, so you can wear them for long gaming sessions without a lot of fatigue. You can wire these headphones to your PC, but they aren't compatible with Xbox One or PS4. Like most open-back headphones, they lack a touch of sub-bass, so they don't reproduce the thump and rumble from explosions and action-packed scenes. They also have a detachable boom microphone for communicating with your teammates, but it can make your voice sound thin, distorted, or unnatural.

Pros
  • Detachable boom microphone.
  • Very comfortable.
Cons
  • Poor microphone recording quality.
  • Lacks a bit of sub-bass.
  • Not compatible with PS4 or Xbox One.
5.3 Phone Calls

The HiFiMan ANANDA-BT are disappointing for phone calls. Their boom microphone can make your voice sound a bit thin, and it struggles to separate your voice from background noise in even moderately noisy environments. Also, because of their open-back design, these headphones don't block out a lot of background noise, which can be distracting.

Pros
  • Detachable boom microphone.
Cons
  • Poor microphone recording quality.
  • Terrible noise isolation performance.
  • 6.3 Mixed Usage
  • 8.0 Neutral Sound
  • 5.6 Commute/Travel
  • 6.6 Sports/Fitness
  • 5.9 Office
  • 5.7 Wireless Gaming
  • 7.0 Wired Gaming
  • 5.3 Phone Calls
  1. Update 9/11/2020: Verified that there isn't Virtual Surround on the app.

Test Results

perceptual testing image
Design
Design
Style

The HiFiMan ANANDA-BT have a similar look and feel to the HiFiMan Ananda. These headphones have distinctive metal yokes on the outside of the ear cups. There's also a suspension strap to help distribute the weight of the headphones evenly across your head, and adjustable sliders to help you find the best possible fit. There's also a boom microphone, which you can remove for a more casual look.

8.0
Design
Comfort
Weight 1.0 lbs
Clamping Force
1.5 lbs

The HiFiMan ANANDA-BT are very comfortable headphones. They have a bit more clamping force than the HiFiMan Ananda, but the big surface area on the pads helps to evenly distribute the force, so they don't feel tight. On the downside, they're still fairly heavy and bulky headphones, so they may not be ideal for all listeners.

5.1
Design
Controls
OS Compatibility
Not OS specific
Ease Of Use Decent
Feedback Decent
Call/Music Control Yes
Volume Control No
Microphone Control No
Channel Mixing
No
Noise Cancelling Control No
Talk-Through
No
Additional Controls Charge button

The headphones have a poor control scheme. There are two, simple-to-use buttons. The multifunction button controls power on/off, play/pause, and lets you answer or end phone calls. The charge button activates charging mode when connected to a USB port. They only provide audible feedback when turning on and off. They also have an LED light that turns different colors when you make some commands but it's not immediately clear what the colors mean so you'll have to check the manual. You also can't adjust the volume, which is disappointing.

5.2
Design
Portability
L 9.4 "
W 6.2 "
H 4.3 "
Volume 251 Cu. Inches
Transmitter Required No

The HiFiMan ANANDA-BT aren't very portable headphones. Like most open-back over-ears, they aren't designed to be used outdoors, so they're very bulky. They come with a carrying case, but it won't comfortably fit into smaller bags.

8.0
Design
Case
Type Hard case
L 9.5 "
W 8.3 "
H 4.4 "
Volume 347 Cu. Inches

Unlike the HiFiMan Ananda, the HiFiMan ANANDA-BT come with a hard carrying case. It's a bit bulky, but the materials feel high-end and durable. You can even attach the accessory pouch to the inside of the case using Velcro so you don't lose it.

8.0
Design
Build Quality

The HiFiMan ANANDA-BT's build quality is impressive. They're made of premium materials and look very high-end. The headband and the cup hooks are made of solid metal, and the leather headband and thick padding on the ear cups help to create a comfortable fit. A metal grille on each ear cup allows for an open-back design. The wires going up through the headband are a potential weak link, as they're a bit thin and might get caught on something, but overall, these headphones feel very durable.

6.0
Design
Stability

Like most open-back headphones, these headphones aren't designed to be stable enough for use during physical activity. They stay on your head during casual listening sessions, but they aren't suitable for sports or light physical activity.

Design
Headshots 1
Design
Headshots 2
Design
Top
Design
In The Box

  • HiFiMan ANANDA-BT headphones
  • Carrying case
  • Accessory pouch
  • Detachable boom microphone
  • Braided USB-C to USB-C cable
  • Braided USB-C to USB-A cable (for charging and USB audio on PC)
  • Manual

Sound
Sound
Sound Profile
Bass Amount
-2.82 db
Treble Amount
-0.68 db

The HiFiMan ANANDA-BT have a neutral, well-balanced audio reproduction. Like many open-back headphones, they lack a bit of low-bass, and their treble range can sound bright. That said, their neutral sound profile is ideal for audiophiles.

8.8
Sound
Frequency Response Consistency
Avg. Std. Deviation
0.24 dB

The frequency response consistency is amazing. You should get a consistent listening experience every time you wear them.

Sound
Raw Frequency Response
7.8
Sound
Bass Accuracy
Std. Err.
2.91 dB
Low-Frequency Extension
50.4 Hz
Low-Bass
-5.89 dB
Mid-Bass
-1.3 dB
High-Bass
0.91 dB

The HiFiMan ANANDA-BT have a good bass accuracy. Like most open-back headphones, they lack a bit of low-bass, so you won't feel the deep thump from bass-heavy tracks. The rest of the bass range is well-balanced, so it can reproduce the boom and punch from your favorite songs accurately.

7.9
Sound
Mid Accuracy
Std. Err.
2.78 dB
Low-Mid
0.01 dB
Mid-Mid
-0.19 dB
High-Mid
-3.88 dB

The HiFiMan ANANDA-BT's mid accuracy is good. It's flat and balanced across the range, so vocals and lead instruments are present in the mix. However, there's an underemphasis in the high-mid that could make vocals less clear and intense on certain tracks.

7.7
Sound
Treble Accuracy
Std. Err.
3.11 dB
Low-Treble
-0.42 dB
Mid-Treble
1.88 dB
High-Treble
-7.28 dB

These headphones have good treble accuracy. The low and mid-treble ranges are balanced, resulting in a bright, present, and detailed mix.

7.2
Sound
Peaks/Dips
Peaks
1.82 db
Dips
1.39 db

These headphones have satisfactory peaks and dips performance. Most of the frequency response is flat and balanced. However, there's a dip in the high-mids that makes vocals and lead instruments sound veiled and weakened, followed by a peak in the low-treble that can make the upper harmonics of these same vocals and lead instruments harsh and painful.

8.4
Sound
Imaging
Weighted Group Delay
0.23
Weighted Amplitude Mismatch
0.19
Weighted Frequency Mismatch
1.93
Weighted Phase Mismatch
12.48

The HiFiMan ANANDA-BT have an impressive imaging performance. Their weighted group delay falls entirely below the audibility threshold, ensuring a tight bass and transparent treble. The L/R drivers are well-matched in amplitude, frequency, and phase response, so objects are accurately positioned in the stereo image. This helps create a more immersive listening experience. However, these results are only valid for our test unit, and yours may perform differently.

7.9
Sound
Passive Soundstage
PRTF Accuracy (Std. Dev.)
2.53 dB
PRTF Size (Avg.)
4.48 dB
PRTF Distance
11.49 dB
Openness
9.6
Acoustic Space Excitation
7.1

The HiFiMan ANANDA-BT have a very good passive soundstage performance. These open-back headphones are designed to let ambient noise into the ear cups to create an open and spacious soundstage that makes audio sound like it's coming from all around you instead of from within your head. Their over-ear design allows them to interact with the pinna, or outer ear, which also helps make the soundstage sound wide and natural.

0
Sound
Virtual Soundstage
Head Modeling
No
Speaker Modeling
No
Room Ambience
No
Head Tracking
No
Virtual Surround
No

Update 09/11/2020: In our initial tests, we didn't find the companion app for these headphones. While we fixed the rest of the text upon its discovery, we forgot to update the Virtual Surround from 'No App' to 'No'.

These headphones don't have any virtual soundstage features.

8.0
Sound
Weighted Harmonic Distortion
WHD @ 90
0.219
WHD @ 100
0.102

These headphones have a great weighted harmonic distribution performance. There aren't any significant spikes across the range, so audio reproduction is clean and pure.

Sound
Test Settings
Firmware
200507
Power
On
Connection
Bluetooth 5.0
Codec
aptX HD, 24-bit, 48kHz
EQ
No EQ
ANC
No ANC
Tip/Pad
Default
Microphone
Boom

These are the settings we used to these headphones. The test results are only valid for these settings.

Isolation
1.1
Isolation
Noise Isolation
Isolation Audio
Overall Attenuation
-2.04 dB
Bass
-0.06 dB
Mid
1.01 dB
Treble
-6.83 dB

The HiFiMan ANANDA-BT have a terrible noise isolation performance. These open-back headphones allow sound to escape and enter to create a more immersive listening experience, so they don't provide much isolation. You can still hear voices, engines, and sharp sounds like AC units.

3.9
Isolation
Leakage
Leakage Audio
Overall Leakage @ 1ft
54.6 dB

The HiFiMan ANANDA-BT have a poor leakage performance, but this is expected from open-back headphones. People around you can hear what you're listening to.

Microphone
Microphone
Microphone Style
Integrated
No
In-Line
No
Boom
Yes
Detachable Boom
Yes

The HiFiMan ANANDA-BT have a detachable boom microphone.

4.5
Microphone
Recording Quality
Recorded Speech
LFE
201.59 Hz
FR Std. Dev.
11.96 dB
HFE
22988.02 Hz
Weighted THD
1795.359
Gain
-4.14 dB

The HiFiMan ANANDA-BT's microphone has a poor recording quality. People on the other end of the line should understand you, but your voice may sound unnatural, and there's a lot of distortion.

7.2
Microphone
Noise Handling
Speech + Pink Noise
Speech + Subway Noise
SpNR
21.63 dB

The microphone on these headphones has a decent noise handling performance. However, people on the other end of the line may have trouble understanding you if you're calling from a noisy environment like a busy street.

Active Features
6.6
Active Features
Battery
Battery Type
Rechargable
Continuous Battery Life
11.2 hrs
Additional Charges
N/A
Total Battery Life
11.2 hrs
Charge Time
2.5 hrs
Power-Saving Feature
No
Audio While Charging
Yes
Passive Playback
No
Charging Port USB-C

The HiFiMan ANANDA-BT have an adequate battery performance. They perform a bit better than their advertised continuous battery life of 10 hours. Overall, these headphones should last through long listening sessions, and you can still listen to audio while they're charging, which is convenient. On the downside, they don't have a power-saving feature, so you have to remember to turn them off manually to avoid draining the battery while they aren't in use.

3.5
Active Features
App Support
App Name HIFIMAN
iOS Yes
Android Yes
macOS No
Windows No
Equalizer
No
ANC Control
No
Mic Control No
Room Effects
No
Playback Control
Yes
Button Mapping No
Surround Support
No

The HiFiMan ANANDA-BT are compatible with the HIFIMAN app. This barebones app has a poor overall selection of features. It lets you play songs using the Bluetooth LHDC protocol, access playlists, and play TIDAL and Spotify through the app, though we didn't test for this. There isn't a battery indication or an EQ available, which is disappointing.

Connectivity
6.8
Connectivity
Bluetooth
Bluetooth Version
5.0
Multi-Device Pairing
No
NFC Pairing
No
Line Of Sight Range
155 ft
PC Latency (SBC)
174 ms
PC Latency (aptX)
155 ms
PC Latency (aptX HD)
195 ms
PC Latency (aptX-LL)
N/A
iOS Latency
113 ms
Android Latency
107 ms

These headphones have a fair Bluetooth performance. They support Bluetooth 5.0 and aptX HD, but they don't have multi-device or NFC pairing. There's a lot of lag with PC, iOS, and Android. However, some apps compensate for lag so your experience may vary.

0
Connectivity
Non-Bluetooth Wireless
Non-BT Line Of Sight Range
N/A
Non-BT Latency
N/A

These headphones can only be used wirelessly via Bluetooth.

7.0
Connectivity
Wired
Analog Audio
No
USB Audio
Yes
Detachable Yes
Length 6.5 ft
Connection USB-C
Analog/USB Audio Latency
98 ms

The HiFiMan ANANDA-BT come with a USB-C to USB-A charging cable and a USB-C to USB-C cable that can be used to attach the headphones to your PC or your phone.

Connectivity
PC / PS4 Compatibility
PC/PS4 Analog
No
PC/PS4 Wired USB
Audio + Microphone (PC Only)
PC/PS4 Non-BT Wireless
No

These headphones can be connected to a PC using a wired connection or via Bluetooth. To use audio and microphone on a PC, you'll have to use the USB-C to USB-C cable, since the USB-A to USB-C only provides audio. Surprisingly, the USB-A to USB-C cable doesn't seem to work on PS4 and the headset isn't recognized by the console when using this cable.

Connectivity
Xbox One Compatibility
Xbox One Analog
No
Xbox One Wired USB
No
Xbox One Non-BT Wireless
No

These headphones aren't compatible with Xbox One.

0
Connectivity
Base/Dock
Type
No Base/Dock
USB Input
No
Line In
No
Line Out
No
Optical Input
No
RCA Input
No
Dock Charging
No
Power Supply
No Base/Dock

These headphones don't have a base station or dock.

Compared to other headphones

The HiFiMan ANANDA-BT are premium open-back headphones released in 2019. Unlike most open-back over-ears, these well-built headphones can be used wirelessly via Bluetooth or with a USB-C cable, and they come with a detachable boom microphone. Their well-balanced and neutral audio reproduction is ideal for audiophiles, and their open-back design helps create an open and spacious soundstage, though they aren't as immersive as the wired HiFiMan Ananda. On the downside, these bulky headphones aren't very versatile, so they're more suitable for critical listening at home. If you're looking for other headphones, see our recommendations for the best open-back headphones, the best headphones for audiophiles, and the best headphones.

HiFiMan Ananda

The HiFiMan Ananda are better headphones for neutral sound than the HiFiMan ANANDA-BT Wireless. The wired Ananda have a more neutral sound profile out-of-the-box and a better peaks and dips performance. Their soundstage is more elevated, too, and so audio sounds more like it's coming from all around you instead of inside your head. That said, the wireless Ananda-BT are more versatile headphones. They're Bluetooth 5.0-compatible, they have a detachable boom mic, and they have on-ear controls and a carrying case, unlike the wired Ananda.

Beyerdynamic Amiron Wireless

The HiFiMan ANANDA-BT Wireless for neutral sound than the Beyerdynamic Amiron Wireless. The HiFiMan have a more consistent audio delivery, and their open-back design helps create a more open and spacious soundstage. That said, the Beyerdynamic have longer battery life, and their closed-back design allows them to isolate more noise and leak less sound.

Sennheiser HD 800 S

The Sennheiser HD 800 S are better headphones for neutral sound than the HiFiMan ANANDA-BT Wireless. The Sennheiser have a better-balanced, more neutral audio reproduction, and better peaks and dips performance. The Sennheisers' soundstage is also more open and spacious, creating a more immersive listening experience. That being said, the HiFiMan are more versatile headphones. Unlike the Sennheiser, they can be used wirelessly. The HiFiMan also come with a detachable boom mic and a hard carrying case.

Bose QuietComfort 35 II/QC35 II Wireless 2018

The Bose QuietComfort 35 II/QC35 II Wireless 2018 are more versatile headphones than the HiFiMan ANANDA-BT Wireless. Thanks to their closed-back design and ANC feature, the Bose are much better at noise isolation, and they leak less noise. The Bose also have longer battery life and a more comfortable, stable fit. However, the HiFiMan's open-back design gives them a more open, spacious soundstage than the Bose, which may be preferred by audiophiles. 

Audio-Technica ATH-M50xBT

The Audio-Technica ATH-M50xBT and the HiFiMan ANANDA-BT Wireless are both Bluetooth headphones, and depending on your listening habits, you may prefer one over the other. The HiFiMan are better-built, more comfortable, open-back headphones that offer a more open and spacious soundstage and a more neutral sound profile. The HiFiMan also perform more consistently across different users. However, the Audio-Technica's closed-back design allows them to have better noise isolation and leakage performance, so they're more versatile than the HiFiMan. The Audio-Technica also have longer continuous battery life and their microphone has a better recording quality.

HiFiMan Edition X

The HiFiMan Edition X are better headphones for neutral sound than the HiFiMan ANANDA-BT Wireless. The Edition X have a more neutral, better-balanced audio reproduction and a better peaks and dips performance. Their soundstage is also larger and more open than the Ananda-BT. That being said, the Ananda-BT are more versatile headphones. They can be used wirelessly via Bluetooth, they have a detachable microphone, and they come with a carrying case. The Ananda-BT also have a more stable fit on your head.

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