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HiFiMan Arya Stealth Magnet Version Headphones Review

Tested using Methodology v1.5
Reviewed Aug 31, 2023 at 12:02 pm
Latest change: Writing modified Aug 31, 2023 at 12:02 pm
HiFiMan Arya Stealth Magnet Version Picture
8.4
Neutral Sound
3.7
Commute/Travel
5.2
Sports/Fitness
4.3
Office
4.7
Wireless Gaming
6.8
Wired Gaming
1.5
Phone Calls

The HiFiMan Arya Stealth Magnet Version are version three (also known as Arya V3) of the HiFiMan Arya, high-end planar magnetic headphones intended for audiophiles. This updated model differs from its predecessors due to its namesake stealth magnet design, which the manufacturer advertises improves their sound quality by reducing distortion and increasing transparency. However, their overall design hasn't changed, so they have the same look and feel as their predecessors.

Our Verdict

8.4 Neutral Sound

The HiFiMan Arya V3 are great for neutral sound. They have a neutral sound profile that delivers natural-sounding vocals and instruments with adequate warmth. You won't get as much thumpy low-bass from these over-ears as their closed-back counterparts, though some users will still prefer this recessed bass response. The headphones deliver audio consistently, too, so you'll receive consistent bass and treble each time you use them.

Pros
  • Open, spacious soundstage.
  • Very comfortable fit.
  • Deliver bass and treble consistently.
Cons
  • 1/4" to 1/8" adapter not included.
3.7 Commute/Travel

The HiFiMan Arya V3 aren't intended for commuting and travel. They're big, bulky, and have an open-back design, so they don't block out any of the low rumble of bus and plane engines. They also leak audio, which people around you can hear. They don't come with a case either, which can make it easier to damage the headphones when you're on the go. On the upside, they're comfortable and well-built.

Pros
  • Very comfortable fit.
Cons
  • Not meant to be portable.
  • Aren't intended to block out background noise.
  • Leak a lot of sound, by design.
5.2 Sports/Fitness

The HiFiMan Arya V3 are a very bad choice for sports and fitness, especially since they aren't designed for this purpose. They're bulky and can easily fall off your head with moderate movement. They also lack an IP rating for water resistance, though that's normal for audiophile headphones.

Pros
  • Very comfortable fit.
Cons
  • Not meant to be portable.
  • Not stable enough to stay in place during moderate movement.
4.3 Office

The HiFiMan Arya V3 are poor for office use. Unless you use these headphones in a private office, you'll annoy coworkers around you since the headphones are designed to leak audio. They also won't block out any background noise, making it more difficult to focus on your audio. That said, they have a comfortable fit suitable for long listening sessions.

Pros
  • Very comfortable fit.
Cons
  • Aren't intended to block out background noise.
  • Leak a lot of sound, by design.
4.7 Wireless Gaming

You can't use the HiFiMan Arya V3 wirelessly.

6.8 Wired Gaming

The HiFiMan Arya V3 are fair for wired gaming if you don't need mic support. They only have a 1/4" plug, so if you want to use them on your PC or console, you'll need an adapter. That said, they have a comfortable fit suitable for long listening sessions, and their open-back design helps create a spacious and immersive soundstage for your gameplay.

Pros
  • Open, spacious soundstage.
  • Very comfortable fit.
Cons
  • Aren't intended to block out background noise.
  • 1/4" to 1/8" adapter not included.
1.5 Phone Calls

The HiFiMan Arya V3 don't have mic support by default. That said, if you've got a standalone mic and want to use these headphones for calls, you won't get the best phone call experience. They leak audio by design, so if you're talking to someone, escaping audio can be picked up by the mic.

  • 8.4 Neutral Sound
  • 3.7 Commute/Travel
  • 5.2 Sports/Fitness
  • 4.3 Office
  • 4.7 Wireless Gaming
  • 6.8 Wired Gaming
  • 1.5 Phone Calls
  1. Updated Aug 31, 2023: Review published.
  2. Updated Aug 25, 2023: Early access published.
  3. Updated Aug 23, 2023: Our testers have started testing this product.
  4. Updated Aug 17, 2023: The product has arrived in our lab, and our testers will start evaluating it soon.
  5. Updated Jul 31, 2023: We've purchased the product and are waiting for it to arrive in our lab.
  6. Updated Jul 26, 2023: The product has won our suggestion poll, so weโ€™ll buy and test it soon.

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Black Arya Stealth Magnet Version
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Black Arya Stealth Magnet Version
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Differences Between Sizes And Variants

These headphones are the third generation of the HiFiMan Arya. They come in one color variant: 'Black'; you can see our model's label here. What sets them apart from other Aryas are their stealth magnet design, which the manufacturer advertises improves their sound quality. However, they otherwise retain the same look and feel.

If you encounter another variant of these headphones, please let us know in the forums, and we'll update our review. 

Compared To Other Headphones

The HiFiMan Arya V3 are planar magnetic headphones and are the next generation of the HiFiMan Arya. What sets them apart from their predecessor are their stealth magnets, which are supposed to improve sound quality. However, there isn't a significant difference in performance between the two headphones, and the V3 model have a slightly worse distortion performance, though it's still quite good overall. That said, you may enjoy these headphones if you're looking for audiophile headphones that can produce a bit more low-bass than other open-back headphones like the Sennheiser HD 800 S.

If you're looking for more audio-centric headphones, check out our picks for the best audiophile headphones, the best open-back headphones, and the best headphones for music.

HiFiMan Edition XS

The HiFiMan Edition XS and the HiFiMan Arya Stealth Magnet Version are both high-end planar magnetics. While both headphones have similarly immersive soundstages, the Edition XS follow our target curve more closely, which some users may prefer, especially if you like a little more bass in your audio. They also come with a 1/4" adapter and have a lower impedance of 18 ohms with a sensitivity of 92 dB, so they're easier to drive. That said, the Arya are more comfortable and feel better built.

HiFiMan Arya

the HiFiMan Arya Stealth Magnet Version are an updated model of the HiFiMan Arya. The Stealth Magnet Version have their namesake used in their driver design. The manufacturer advertises that these Stealth Magnets help sound reproduction and lower distortion. That said, there otherwise isn't a difference in design, so you can expect the same levels of comfort and build quality. The differences in sound quality are also somewhat minor, as they have largely similar sound profiles and soundstages. However, the Stealth Magnet Version have some distortion present in the left driver at high volumes.

Sennheiser HD 800 S

The Sennheiser HD 800 S are better open-backs than the HiFiMan Arya Stealth Magnet Version. While both headphones are very comfortable, the Sennheiser are better-built, have a more neutral mid range, and have an even more immersive soundstage performance. That said, they're harder to drive than the HiFiMan since they have an impedance of 300 ohms with a sensitivity of 102 dB. Conversely, you may still prefer the HiFiMan if you want your open-backs to pack more bass.

HiFiMan Sundara 2020

The HiFiMan Sundara 2020 and the HiFiMan Arya Stealth Magnet Version are both open-back planar magnetics from the same manufacturer. The Arya Stealth Magnet Version can reproduce more low-bass, which some users may prefer. They also have a more immersive soundstage. That said, the Sundara 2020 follow our target curve more closely in the mid range, which ensures the detail and naturalness of vocals and instruments.

Test Results

perceptual testing image
Design
Design
Style
Type Over-ear
Enclosure Open-Back
Wireless No
Transducer Planar Magnetic

These headphones look similar to the HiFiMan Arya (also known as the Arya V2). They still have oblong ear cups with dark silver grilles to protect their drivers. They also have a ski-band headband design and a tall metal headband to hold the headphones together. What makes these headphones different from the V2 model is a change to their driver design. They're still planar magnetic but use stealth magnet technology. The manufacturer is vague on what this means other than claiming that it improves acoustic transparency and reduces distortion. They also appear shaped and positioned to create as little interference as possible. They only come in one color variant: 'Black'.

8.0
Design
Comfort
Weight 0.95 lbs
Clamping Force
1.1 lbs

They're comfortable headphones. Even though they're pretty bulky, their headband helps distribute the headphones' weight, so you can wear them for long listening sessions without feeling fatigued. Their spacious ear cups also ensure a solid seal, even if you have large ears, and the padding feels plush without putting too much pressure on your head.

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
5.5
Design
Portability
L 9.1" (23.1 cm)
W 6.4" (16.2 cm)
H 3.1" (7.9 cm)
Volume 180.41 inยณ (2,956.34 cmยณ)
Transmitter Required No

These headphones aren't designed with portability in mind. While the ear cups can swivel to lay flat, they can't fold into a more compact shape. They also lack a carrying case to help protect them from damage 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

The HiFiMan Arya V3 have a good build quality. They're made of a mix of metal and plastic, which helps them feel sturdy and well-built. They also have faux leather padding. They're basically the same in frame as the HiFiMan Arya.

6.0
Design
Stability

These headphones are stable enough for listening to your favorite tunes at your desk or on the couch. However, if you're into headbanging while jamming out, they can move around your head or even fall off it with more intense movement.

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

  • HiFiMan Arya V3 headphones
  • 1/4" to 1/8" detachable TRS cable

Sound
Sound
Sound Profile
Bass Amount
-1.49 dB
Treble Amount
0.21 dB

The HiFiMan Arya V3 have a very neutral sound profile. They can reproduce natural-sounding vocals and instruments, making them well-suited for a variety of audio content. While these sounds are a little weak compared to the rest of the mix, it's somewhat minor in scope. However, sibilants like cymbals are bright, and if you're sensitive to treble sounds, you may find them a bit piercing. They also lack a thumpy low-bass, but that's normal from open-back headphones.

9.3
Sound
Frequency Response Consistency
Avg. Std. Deviation
0.14 dB

These over-ears have outstanding frequency response consistency. Once you've taken the time to adjust their fit, you'll get consistent bass and treble delivery each time you use them.

Sound
Raw Frequency Response
8.1
Sound
Bass Accuracy
Std. Err.
2.38 dB
Low-Frequency Extension
58.23 Hz
Low-Bass
-4.5 dB
Mid-Bass
-1.75 dB
High-Bass
0.48 dB

The bass accuracy of these headphones is great. They lack a thumpy low-bass, though that's not surprising from open-backs. However, they have enough warmth to help balance the bass without drowning out vocals and instruments.

8.5
Sound
Mid Accuracy
Std. Err.
1.99 dB
Low-Mid
0.02 dB
Mid-Mid
-1.32 dB
High-Mid
-2.71 dB

Their mid accuracy is excellent. The response is slightly tilted; vocals and instruments like the piano in Claude Debussy's Arabesque No. 1 sound natural, though slightly weakened and lacking a bit of depth. If you're looking for HiFiMan headphones with a more flat mid-range, try the HiFiMan Sundara 2020 instead.

8.2
Sound
Treble Accuracy
Std. Err.
2.78 dB
Low-Treble
-0.92 dB
Mid-Treble
1.57 dB
High-Treble
-2.57 dB

The treble accuracy of these headphones is great. The low-treble is a little underemphasized, slightly veiling vocals and instruments. Conversely, the mid-treble is overemphasized, so sibilants like cymbals are bright, though they may be piercing if you're already sensitive to this range.

8.0
Sound
Peaks/Dips
Peaks
1.29 dB
Dips
0.94 dB

The peaks and dips performance is great. Overall, there aren't many deviations in the sound profile, which indicates that the headphones can control their sound profile quite well. A small bump in the high-bass adds warmth to the audio, while a dip in the high-mid weakens vocals and instruments a touch. The mid-treble is uneven, so sibilants like S and T sounds are alternatingly dull and piercing.

9.1
Sound
Imaging
Weighted Group Delay
0.1
Weighted Phase Mismatch
1.41
Weighted Amplitude Mismatch
0.78
Weighted Frequency Mismatch
1.04

HiFiMan has had quality control issues in the past, and users have reported build issues from other products in their lineup. The unit we've reviewed is also our second pair, and we had to replace our previous pair as there were issues with the right driver. However, planar magnetics are more susceptible to damage due to their design since their diaphragms are more fragile. It's also more difficult to ensure that the L/R drivers match as the planar magnetic drivers are more complex to reproduce. However, imaging indicates a manufacturer's quality control and ergonomics. Imaging also varies across units, so you may receive one unit that performs poorly and another that performs as intended.

Our second unit has outstanding imaging. Their L/R drivers are well-matched in group delay and phase, amplitude, and frequency response, ensuring that sound objects like voices are accurately localized in the stereo image.

8.9
Sound
Passive Soundstage
PRTF Accuracy (Std. Dev.)
2.21 dB
PRTF Size (Avg.)
4.57 dB
PRTF Distance
11.6 dB
Openness
9.7
Acoustic Space Excitation
10

Their passive soundstage is excellent. Thanks to their open-back design, which allows audio to escape from the ear cups and interact with your environment, they have a natural, spacious, and open soundstage similar to their predecessor, the HiFiMan Arya. Audio also feels like it's coming from speakers placed in the room around you rather than from inside your head, creating a more immersive listening experience.

0
Sound
Virtual Soundstage
Head Modeling
No
Speaker Modeling
No
Room Ambience
No
Head Tracking
No
Virtual Surround
No App
7.7
Sound
Weighted Harmonic Distortion
WHD @ 90
0.169
WHD @ 100
0.164

The weighted harmonic distortion performance is good. There's a peak in the left driver's high-mid at high volumes. However, it's unlikely that you'll be listening to audio at such a high volume, and distortion is hard to hear unless you're a discerning audiophile. The rest of the ranges fall within good levels, producing 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 V3. Our results are only valid when used this way.

Isolation
0.8
Isolation
Noise Isolation
Isolation Audio
Overall Attenuation
-1.25 dB
Noise Cancelling No
Bass
0.17 dB
Mid
0.69 dB
Treble
-4.46 dB

These headphones aren't designed to block background noise since they have an open-back design that lets sound it. If you want to use them anywhere that's not a quiet, isolated room, you'll hear everything around you.

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

These headphones are meant to leak audio by design. That means if you're listening to audio, even at moderate volumes, others around you can hear it.

Microphone
Microphone
Microphone Style
Integrated
No
In-Line
No
Boom
No
Detachable Boom
No
Mic 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
SpNR
N/A
Noise Gate
No
Speech + Pink Noise Handling
N/A
Speech + Pink Noise Audio Sample N/A
Speech + Subway Noise Handling
N/A
Speech + Subway Noise Audio Sample 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 4.99 ft (1.52 m)
Connection
1/4" TRS
Analog/USB Audio Latency
0 ms

These headphones come with a TRS cable with two 1/8" connectors for the drivers and a 1/4" connector for your device. There are specific connectors for the left and right drivers, so be sure not to mix them up. They lack an 1/4" to 1/8" adapter though.

Connectivity
PC Compatibility
Analog
Audio Only (Adapter not included)
Wired USB
No
Non-BT Wireless
No

These headphones are only directly compatible with your PC if you have a 1/4" to 1/8" TRS adapter, and you'll only receive audio.

Connectivity
PlayStation Compatibility
PS4 Analog
Audio Only (Adapter not included)
PS4 Wired USB
No
PS4 Non-BT Wireless
No
PS5 Analog
Audio Only (Adapter not included)
PS5 Wired USB
No
PS5 Non-BT Wireless
No

You can only receive audio via analog on PlayStation consoles if you have a 1/4" to 1/8" TRS adapter.

Connectivity
Xbox Compatibility
Xbox One Analog
Audio Only (Adapter not included)
Xbox One Wired USB
No
Xbox One Non-BT Wireless
No
Xbox Series X|S Analog
Audio Only (Adapter not included)
Xbox Series X|S Wired USB
No
Xbox Series X|S Non-BT Wireless
No

You can only receive audio when you use their analog connection. However, you'll still need a 1/4" to 1/8" TRS adapter to use them on this console.

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