The HiFiMan Arya are open-back, planar magnetic headphones designed with fans of neutral sound in mind. They have a very neutral, though slightly bright sound profile and thanks to their open-back design, their soundstage is perceived as wide and spacious. They're also very comfortable and have a great build quality. That said, they won't be the best choice if you're looking for a pair of versatile headphones, since they leak a lot of audio and don't block out ambient noise. However, they excel in neutral audio reproduction, which should please audiophiles.
The HiFiMan Arya are excellent for neutral sound. They have a very neutral sound profile with a touch of brightness. Although they slightly lack thump and rumble, this is likely due to their open-back design. This design also helps create a wide and spacious soundstage that can really help immerse you in your audio. They have consistent audio reproduction, so you don't have to constantly adjust them to ensure you hear the same sound each time you use them.
The HiFiMan Arya are bad for commute and travel. While they're comfortable and well-built, they're bulky, which makes them not very portable. They also don't isolate you from almost any noise like bus or plane engines, and they leak a lot of audio, which may bother others around you.
The HiFiMan Arya are disappointing for sports and fitness. They're not the most stable choice for physical exercise, they trap in heat, and there's a chance you could snag their cable on something, which could pull them off your head. They also don't have an IP rating for water resistance, although we don't currently test for this. On the upside, they have a comfortable fit and they're well-built.
The HiFiMan Arya are poor for office use. They're comfortable, well-built, and lack a battery, so you don't have to worry about pausing to recharge them throughout the day. However, their open-back design means they leak a lot of audio, and they also won't block out noise like ambient chatter.
The HiFiMan Arya are wired headphones and can't be used wirelessly.
The HiFiMan Arya are alright for wired gaming. You can only receive audio using their cable, and you need to purchase a 1/4" to 1/8" adapter separately if you want to use them via an AUX port. That said, they're comfortable, have a neutral sound profile, and are well-built.
The HiFiMan Arya use a TRS audio cable that doesn't have microphone support.
The HiFiMan Arya come in one color variant: 'Black'. If you come across another variant, please let us know in the discussions and we'll update our review.
The HiFiMan Arya are planar magnetic headphones with an open-back design. They have a very neutral sound profile, a wide and spacious soundstage, and more consistent audio reproduction compared to the HiFiMan Ananda. Although their sound still lacks some thump and rumble, they're still able to reproduce a bit more low-bass than other audiophile headphones like the Meze Empyrean, which have a hybrid planar magnetic transducer. That said, while they should easily please audiophiles, they're not very versatile, and are only meant for use in a quiet space like a studio as they leak a lot of audio and don't block out almost any ambient noise.
Check out our recommendations for the best audiophile headphones, the best headphones for music, and the best studio headphones.
The HiFiMan Edition XS and the HiFiMan Arya are both excellent audiophile headphones with slight differences. Both headphones have a similarly neutral sound profile but the Arya have a ski-band headband design, are more comfortable, and feel better-built. On the other hand, the Edition XS have a more standard headband, which some people may prefer.
The HiFiMan Arya are better planar magnetic headphones for neutral sound than the HiFiMan Ananda. While both headphones have a similarly great build and feel comfortable, the Arya are a bit more neutral-sounding and deliver bass and treble more consistently. However, the Ananda are still a great pair of headphones for neutral sound.
The HiFiMan Arya are slightly better headphones for neutral sound than the Sennheiser HD 800 S, but you may like one over the other, depending on your preferences. The HiFiMan have a planar magnetic transducer, which some users may prefer, can deliver bass and treble more consistently, and can reproduce a bit more low-bass. However, the Sennheiser are still well-suited for neutral sound. They feel better-built and come with a carrying pouch as well as an extra audio cable and a 1/4" to 1/8" adapter.
The HiFiMan Arya are better for most purposes than the HiFiMan Sundara 2020. Both models have an open-back design and very neutral sound profiles, but the Arya do a better job reproducing low-bass, giving them a more thumpy, rumbly sound that some listeners may prefer. They also have more consistent audio delivery and a much better build quality, with faux-leather padding and a different hinge design. On the other hand, the Sundara come with a 1/8" TRS cable, while the Arya come with a 1/4" TRS cable, so you need an adapter to use them on devices like smartphones or consoles.
The HiFiMan Arya are better headphones for neutral sound than the Focal Clear Mg. The HiFiMan have a more neutral sound profile and a wider soundstage. However, the Focal feel better-built.
The HiFiMan Arya are better headphones for neutral sound than the Meze Empyrean. While both headphones are very comfortable, the HiFiMan have better frequency response consistency, a more neutral sound profile with better treble accuracy, and a wider, more immersive passive soundstage. However, the Meze have better build quality and come with a very sleek carrying case.
The HiFiMan Arya are somewhat better headphones for neutral sound than the HiFiMan Sundara 2018. While both headphones are comfortable, the Arya are better-built and have a more neutral sound profile. They also deliver audio more consistently. However, the Sundara 2018 have a more stable fit and come with a 1/4" TRS adapter.
The HiFiMan Arya are better headphones for neutral sound than the Focal Elear. The HiFiMan have a planar magnetic transducer, unlike the Focal's Dynamic transducer. Some users may prefer the planar magnetic design as it can generally reproduce bass better and produce a wider, more spacious passive soundstage, which can give you a better representation of the stereo image. The HiFiMan also have a more neutral sound profile and can reproduce audio more consistently. However, the Focal are significantly better-built.
The HiFiMan Arya are better headphones than the Drop + Sennheiser HD 8XX. The HiFiMan are planar magnetic headphones that can reproduce a more extended low-bass and have a more neutral sound profile, which some users may prefer. They also have a more immersive passive soundstage. However, the build quality of the Drop + Sennheiser is better.
The HiFiMan Arya are better headphones for neutral sound, but the Beats Solo Pro Wireless are more versatile. The HiFiMan are more comfortable, have more consistent audio reproduction, and their passive soundstage is wider and more immersive. However, the Beats have a more stable fit, a great ANC which helps to cut down noise around you, and an integrated mic so that you can take calls on-the-go. They also have a wireless design, which some users may prefer.
The HiFiMan Arya have a similar look to the HiFiMan Ananda with large, spacious oblong-shaped ear cups and a ski band headband design. That said, they have an all-black finish, especially on the ear cups' grilles, which makes them look very sleek and premium. Their metal headband is also quite square and stands far apart from your head.
The HiFiMan Arya are comfortable headphones. They don't clamp too tightly on your head and the ear cups are spacious. The ear cups are well-padded, while the faux-leather headband distributes their weight well. You shouldn't feel too much fatigue wearing them during long listening sessions.
The HiFiMan Arya are passably breathable. Compared to other over-ear headphones, their open-back design helps improves their airflow circulation somewhat. However, they still have large planar magnetic drivers that can trap heat over time. While you shouldn't sweat too much if you're listening to audio at your desk, they can make your ears warm during physical exercise.
These headphones aren't very portable. Just like the HiFiMan Ananda, they're not meant to fold flat or fold into a more compact format. They also don't come with a carrying case to help protect them when you're on-the-go.
These headphones have a great build quality. Their headband and body are covered in metal, which gives them a premium and durable look and feel. While they don't have the same hinge design as the HiFiMan Ananda or HiFiMan Sundara, they still seem sturdy. Their faux leather padding also feels nice against the skin. They feel sturdy enough to survive an accidental fall without taking too much damage. If you're looking for even better-built headphones, consider the Focal Clear Mg.
The HiFiMan Arya's bass accuracy is excellent. Although the low-bass is underemphasized, resulting in a bit less thump and rumble, the rest of the response is very flat and even. Your mix should sound warm and have adequate punch.
The HiFiMan Arya have amazing mid accuracy. The range is well-balanced and flat across the range, so vocals and lead instruments sound present, detailed, and accurate. Like the HiFiMan Edition XS, there's a small dip in the high-mids, which could weaken vocals and instruments a bit.
The treble accuracy is good. The low-treble is slightly overemphasized, which helps make vocals and lead instruments sound more detailed and articulated. However, the excess in the mid-treble makes sibilants like S and T sounds a bit harsh and piercing.
The peaks and dips performance is good. There's a dip in the high-mids, which slightly weakens vocals and lead instruments. The following peaks in the low and mid-treble add detail and clarity to the upper harmonics of these instruments while sibilants are bright and piercing.
The HiFiMan Arya's imaging is excellent. The entire group delay response is below the audibility threshold, ensuring tight bass and transparent treble reproduction. Also, the L/R drivers of our test unit are very well-matched in frequency, amplitude, and phase response, ensuring accurate placement and localization of objects (voices, instruments, and video game effects) in the stereo image. However, these results are only valid for our unit and yours may perform differently.
Update 07/14/2021: Due to user feedback, we decided to subjectively compare the HiFiMan Arya and HiFiMan Ananda's passive soundstage. Our objective test uses an HMS (or Head Measurement System) and an extra dummy ear with the pinna removed to measure the headphones' PRTF (pinna-related transfer function). For more information on our Passive Soundstage test, you can check out our test article here. During our subjective listening, we found both headphones to perform closely to one another, although the Arya felt a bit more open and spacious than the Ananda. However, it's hard to qualify the difference between the headphones as they don't have the same impedance or sensitivity, so it's more challenging to volume-match them. Individuals can have personal preferences which are informed by their unique head and ear shape, as well as their nasal and oral cavity. As a result, the scoring of this box hasn't changed.
The HiFiMan Arya have a remarkable passive soundstage. Their soundstage is perceived as wide, spacious, and as if your audio is coming from speakers placed around you rather than from inside your head.
These are the settings used to test the HiFiMan Arya, and our results are only valid when used in this configuration.
These headphones have bad noise isolation, which is to be expected from open-back headphones. They don't provide any isolation from bass-range noise like bus engine rumbles or mid-range sound like ambient chatter. They also barely block out higher-pitched noise like the hum of an AC unit.
The leakage performance is bad, which is also common for open-back headphones. Just like the HiFiMan Ananda, they leak a lot of audio, which is by design. If you're listening to music at a high volume at the office, people around you can easily hear it.
These headphones can be used wired on Xbox, provided that you use a 1/4" to 1/8" adapter for their cable. However, this adapter isn't included in-the-box, and you can only receive audio.