HiFiMan Arya Headphones Review

Tested using Methodology v1.4
Reviewed Mar 08, 2021 at 09:03 am
HiFiMan Arya Picture
5.2
Mixed Usage
8.6
Neutral Sound
3.8
Commute/Travel
5.3
Sports/Fitness
4.5
Office
4.8
Wireless Gaming
6.8
Wired Gaming
1.5
Phone Calls
Type Over-ear
Enclosure Open-Back
Wireless No
Noise Cancelling No
Mic No
Transducer Planar Magnetic

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.

Our Verdict

5.2 Mixed Usage

The HiFiMan Arya are disappointing for mixed use. They're designed for neutral audio reproduction and have a well-balanced sound profile and spacious soundstage. However, due to their open-back design, they leak a lot of audio and aren't able to block out almost any background noise, so they aren't suitable for commuting or office use. They're also not stable enough for physical exercise and they lack a mic.

Pros
  • Comfortable and well-built.
  • Very neutral sound profile.
Cons
  • Leak a lot of audio at high volumes.
  • Don't isolate you from background noise.
  • No controls.
8.6 Neutral Sound

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.

Pros
  • Comfortable and well-built.
  • Very neutral sound profile.
  • Open and spacious passive soundstage.
Cons
  • No controls.
3.8 Commute/Travel

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.

Pros
  • Comfortable and well-built.
Cons
  • Leak a lot of audio at high volumes.
  • Don't isolate you from background noise.
  • No controls.
5.3 Sports/Fitness

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.

Pros
  • Comfortable and well-built.
Cons
  • Don't have a very stable fit and trap in heat.
  • No controls.
4.5 Office

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.

Pros
  • Comfortable and well-built.
Cons
  • Leak a lot of audio at high volumes.
  • Don't isolate you from background noise.
  • No controls.
4.8 Wireless Gaming

The HiFiMan Arya are wired headphones and can't be used wirelessly.

6.8 Wired Gaming

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.

Pros
  • Comfortable and well-built.
  • Very neutral sound profile.
Cons
  • Don't isolate you from background noise.
  • No controls.
1.5 Phone Calls

The HiFiMan Arya use a TRS audio cable that doesn't have microphone support.

  • 5.2 Mixed Usage
  • 8.6 Neutral Sound
  • 3.8 Commute/Travel
  • 5.3 Sports/Fitness
  • 4.5 Office
  • 4.8 Wireless Gaming
  • 6.8 Wired Gaming
  • 1.5 Phone Calls

Test Results

perceptual testing image
Design
Design
Style

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.

8.0
Design
Comfort
Weight 0.9 lbs
Clamping Force
1.1 lbs

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.

0
Design
Controls
OS Compatibility
No Controls
Ease Of Use No Controls
Feedback No Controls
Call/Music Control No
Volume Control No
Microphone Control No
Channel Mixing
No
Noise Cancelling Control No
Talk-Through
No
Additional Controls No
6.3
Design
Breathability
Avg.Temp.Difference 6.3 C

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.

5.5
Design
Portability
L 8 "
W 6.5 "
H 3.5 "
Volume 182 Cu. Inches
Transmitter Required No

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.

0
Design
Case
Type No case
L N/A
W N/A
H N/A
Volume N/A
8.0
Design
Build Quality

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.

6.0
Design
Stability

The HiFiMan Arya have just acceptable stability. They're not designed for physical activity and they can move around your head, even with light head movement. That said, they should maintain their positioning during casual listening sessions.

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

  • HiFiMan Arya headphones
  • 1/4" to 1/8" detchable TRS cable
  • Manual

Sound
Sound
Sound Profile
Bass Amount
-1.87 db
Treble Amount
-0.3 db

The HiFiMan Arya have a very neutral sound profile with a touch of extra brightness. While their open-back design makes them lose a bit of low-bass, the rest of their sound profile is well-balanced, which makes them suitable for a variety of audio content.

9.2
Sound
Frequency Response Consistency
Avg. Std. Deviation
0.16 dB

The frequency response consistency is outstanding. As long as you take the time to adjust them, you should get consistent bass and treble delivery each time you use them.

Sound
Raw Frequency Response
8.5
Sound
Bass Accuracy
Std. Err.
1.96 dB
Low-Frequency Extension
36.68 Hz
Low-Bass
-3.52 dB
Mid-Bass
-0.67 dB
High-Bass
1.61 dB

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.

8.7
Sound
Mid Accuracy
Std. Err.
1.7 dB
Low-Mid
1.05 dB
Mid-Mid
0.28 dB
High-Mid
-1.95 dB

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. There's a small dip in the high-mids, which could weaken vocals and instruments a bit.

7.7
Sound
Treble Accuracy
Std. Err.
3.07 dB
Low-Treble
0.86 dB
Mid-Treble
2.68 dB
High-Treble
-4.95 dB

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.

7.6
Sound
Peaks/Dips
Peaks
1.58 db
Dips
0.99 db

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.

8.7
Sound
Imaging
Weighted Group Delay
0.1
Weighted Amplitude Mismatch
0.08
Weighted Frequency Mismatch
1.77
Weighted Phase Mismatch
11.27

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.

9.0
Sound
Passive Soundstage
PRTF Accuracy (Std. Dev.)
3.16 dB
PRTF Size (Avg.)
6.56 dB
PRTF Distance
15.53 dB
Openness
9.7
Acoustic Space Excitation
10

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.

0
Sound
Virtual Soundstage
Head Modeling
No
Speaker Modeling
No
Room Ambience
No
Head Tracking
No
Virtual Surround
No App
8.3
Sound
Weighted Harmonic Distortion
WHD @ 90
0.190
WHD @ 100
0.063

The weighted harmonic distortion performance is great. All frequencies fall under acceptable limits, resulting in clean and pure audio reproduction.

Sound
Test Settings
Firmware
No Firmware
Power
Passive
Connection
Wired
Codec
PCM, 24-bit, 48kHz
EQ
No EQ
ANC
No ANC
Tip/Pad
Default
Microphone
No Microphone

These are the settings used to test the HiFiMan Arya, and our results are only valid when used in this configuration.

Isolation
0.7
Isolation
Noise Isolation
Isolation Audio
Overall Attenuation
-1.04 dB
Bass
0.2 dB
Mid
0.54 dB
Treble
-3.74 dB

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.

0
Isolation
Leakage
Leakage Audio
Overall Leakage @ 1ft
72.13 dB

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.

Microphone
Microphone
Microphone Style
Integrated
No
In-Line
No
Boom
No
Detachable Boom
No
0
Microphone
Recording Quality
Recorded Speech
N/A
LFE
N/A
FR Std. Dev.
N/A
HFE
N/A
Weighted THD
N/A
Gain
N/A
0
Microphone
Noise Handling
Speech + Pink Noise N/A
Speech + Subway Noise N/A
SpNR
N/A
Active Features
0
Active Features
Battery
Battery Type
No Battery
Continuous Battery Life
N/A
Additional Charges
N/A
Total Battery Life
N/A
Charge Time
N/A
Power-Saving Feature
No
Audio While Charging
No
Passive Playback
Passive Headphone
Charging Port None
0
Active Features
App Support
App Name No App
iOS No
Android No
macOS No
Windows No
Equalizer
No
ANC Control
No
Mic Control No
Room Effects
No
Playback Control
No
Button Mapping No
Surround Support
No
Connectivity
0
Connectivity
Bluetooth
Bluetooth Version
No Bluetooth
Multi-Device Pairing
No
NFC Pairing
No
Line Of Sight Range
N/A
PC Latency (SBC)
N/A
PC Latency (aptX)
N/A
PC Latency (aptX HD)
N/A
PC Latency (aptX-LL)
N/A
iOS Latency
N/A
Android Latency
N/A
0
Connectivity
Non-Bluetooth Wireless
Non-BT Line Of Sight Range
N/A
Non-BT Latency
N/A
9.5
Connectivity
Wired
Analog Audio
Yes
USB Audio
No
Detachable Yes
Length 5 ft
Connection 1/4" TRS
Analog/USB Audio Latency
0 ms

The HiFiMan Arya come with a TRS cable that has two 1/8" connections for the ear cups and a 1/4" connector. They don't have a microphone, though, so you can only receive audio.

Connectivity
PC / PS4 Compatibility
PC/PS4 Analog
No
PC/PS4 Wired USB
No
PC/PS4 Non-BT Wireless
No

These headphones can be used wired on PC and PS4, 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.

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

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.

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

Differences Between Sizes And Variants

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.

Compared To Other Headphones

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. 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.

HiFiMan Ananda

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.

HiFiMan Sundara

The HiFiMan Arya are somewhat better headphones for neutral sound than the HiFiMan Sundara. 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 have a more stable fit and come with a 1/4" TRS adapter.

Sennheiser HD 800 S

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.

Focal Elear

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.

Beats Solo Pro Wireless

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.

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