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HiFiMan Edition X Headphones Review

Tested using Methodology v1.3.1
Reviewed Aug 11, 2016 at 12:41 pm
HiFiMan Edition X Picture
Test Methodology v1.3.1
5.5
Mixed Usage
8.7
Neutral Sound
4.5
Commute/Travel
5.3
Sports/Fitness
5.0
Office
5.0
Wireless Gaming
6.8
Wired Gaming
1.7
Phone Call
Type Over-ear
Enclosure Open-Back
Wireless No
Noise Cancelling No
Mic No
Transducer Planar Magnetic

The HifiMan Edition X deliver a comfortable listening experience with a balanced and open sound. Their build quality feels premium and looks unique, but the headband is a little weak. Also, they're not intended for casual use, and will perform poorly outside of a quiet, stable environment.

Our Verdict

5.5 Mixed Usage

These headphones are intended for the specific use of critical listening and will not be versatile enough for other use cases.

8.7 Neutral Sound

The HifiMan Edition X are ideal for neutral listening. They're designed to deliver a spacious soundstage thanks to their large open earcups. They also have a balanced and crisp sound quality. Plugged into a good amp, in a quiet room, their audio reproduction will not disappoint.

See our Neutral Sound recommendations
4.5 Commute/Travel

Unideal for commutes. The open ear cups let all the ambient noise seep into your audio. They're also cumbersome and not practical to use outside.

See our Commute/Travel recommendations
5.3 Sports/Fitness

Not made for sports. They're too bulky and unstable. They will quickly fall off your head if used while doing any physical activity.

See our Sports/Fitness recommendations
5.0 Office

Not good for the office. These headphones are built to leak, so everyone will hear what you're listening to. They also won't block any office chatter.

See our Office recommendations
6.8 Wired Gaming
1.7 Phone Call
  • 5.5 Mixed Usage
  • 8.7 Neutral Sound
  • 4.5 Commute/Travel
  • 5.3 Sports/Fitness
  • 5.0 Office
  • 5.0 Wireless Gaming
  • 6.8 Wired Gaming
  • 1.7 Phone Call
Pros
  • Comfortable.
  • Durable ear cup design.
  • Excellent and open audio reproduction.
Cons
  • High leakage by design, can be distracting to others.
  • Bulky and heavy headphones.
  • Sensitive to ambient noise, by design.
  1. Update 11/21/2019: Converted to Test Bench 1.3.1.
  2. Update 11/6/2019: Converted to Test Bench 1.3.
  3. Update 2/16/2018: Converted to Test Bench 1.2.
  4. Update 8/10/2017: Converted to Test Bench 1.1. Learn more about our new versioned test bench system here.

Check Price

Test Results

Design
Design
Style

HifiMan Edition X are uniquely designed headphones. They have a retro style headband and very large, flat and open ear cups. They look and feel premium and are superbly well-padded with a suede-like cushioned fabric. However, the sheer size of these headphones makes them awkward to wear in public. The headband also feels a little cheaply built compared to the level of care put into the ear cup design.

8.0
Design
Comfort
Weight 0.88 lbs
Clamping Force
1.16 lbs

The HifiMan Edition X deliver a comfortable listening experience. They're exceedingly well padded, with a suede-like material, that's soft and pleasant on the skin. The headband, although a little stiff is not too tight on your head. However, the size of these headphones could be bothersome for some listeners, and they're a little heavy even if the weight is well distributed.

0
Design
Controls
OS Compatibility
Not OS specific
Ease Of Use N/A
Feedback N/A
Call/Music Control No
Volume Control No
Microphone Control N/A
Channel Mixing
N/A
Noise Cancelling Control N/A
Talk-Through
N/A
Additional Buttons N/A
6.2
Design
Breathability
Avg.Temp.Difference 6.6 C
5.1
Design
Portability
L 9.45 "
W 7.09 "
H 3.94 "
Volume 263.5 Cu. Inches
Transmitter Required N/A

The Edition X are not headphones you carry around often. They're very big and bulky and don't fold into a more compact format. The ear cups lay flat, but don't save much space. They will fit into a backpack, but sadly, they will be too cumbersome for most smaller bags or handbags.

0
Design
Case
Type No case
L N/A
W N/A
H N/A
Volume N/A
7.5
Design
Build Quality

The Edition X have an above average build quality. The open ear cups are dense, and the open-back design is reinforced with a sturdy metallic grid. The headband also has a relatively simple design with a metal frame, that's a little thin, but feels sturdy enough not to break under a fair amount of physical stress. Sadly, the joints that connect the frame to the ear cups is a little plasticky doesn't feel as durable as the rest of the design. This feels out of place on a headphone of this caliber. The cable on the other hand is thick and coated in a braided fabric that's durable.

5.5
Design
Stability

These are not sports-oriented headphones. They're big and bulky, and although comfortable, they're not stable enough on your head to use while doing any physical activity. The large and heavy earcups will sway and slip off your ears if used while running or exercising. On the upside, the cable is detachable in case it gets hooked on something.

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

  •  HiFiMan Edition X Headphones
  • 1/8" to 1/4" adapter
  • Audio cables (x2)
  • Manual

Sound
Sound
Sound Profile
Bass Amount
-3.33 db
Treble Amount
-1.44 db
7.9
Sound
Frequency Response Consistency
Avg. Std. Deviation
0.41 dB
Sound
Raw Frequency Response
8.8
Sound
Bass Accuracy
Std. Err.
1.59 dB
Low-Frequency Extension
33.15 Hz
Low-Bass
-2.52 dB
Mid-Bass
-0.36 dB
High-Bass
1.74 dB
8.5
Sound
Mid Accuracy
Std. Err.
1.96 dB
Low-Mid
2.04 dB
Mid-Mid
1.91 dB
High-Mid
-0.26 dB
8.8
Sound
Treble Accuracy
Std. Err.
2.51 dB
Low-Treble
1.23 dB
Mid-Treble
-1.15 dB
High-Treble
-1.58 dB
8.3
Sound
Peaks/Dips
Peaks
1.0 db
Dips
1.26 db
8.8
Sound
Imaging
Weighted Group Delay
0.2
Weighted Amplitude Mismatch
0.18
Weighted Frequency Mismatch
1.86
Weighted Phase Mismatch
5.45
9.1
Sound
Soundstage
PRTF Accuracy (Std. Dev.)
2.85 dB
PRTF Size (Avg.)
6.11 dB
PRTF Distance
17.95 dB
Openness
9.8
Acoustic Space Excitation
9.9
8.7
Sound
Weighted Harmonic Distortion
WHD @ 90
0.079
WHD @ 100
0.092
Isolation
0.7
Isolation
Noise Isolation
Isolation Audio
Overall Attenuation
-1.16 dB
Bass
0.0 dB
Mid
0.66 dB
Treble
-4.0 dB

Poor isolation. The drivers of the Edition X are huge and have an open-back design, therefore, they block very little noise. They provide no isolation in Bass and Mid ranges, and provide only 5dB of isolation in the Treble, which is negligible.

0.1
Isolation
Leakage
Leakage Audio
Overall Leakage @ 1ft
69.45 dB

Poor leakage. These are the loudest and leakiest headphones we have measured so far. Not only the level of the leakage is extremely high, the profile is extremely broad too. Most headphones either level off at higher frequencies, or roll-off. But the Edition X keeps getting louder as the frequency rises.

Microphone
Microphone
Microphone Style
Integrated
N/A
In-line
N/A
Boom
N/A
Detachable Boom
N/A
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
N/A
Active Features
Battery
Battery Type
N/A
Continuous Battery Life
N/A
Additional Charges
N/A
Total Battery Life
N/A
Charge Time
N/A
Power Saving Feature
N/A
Audio While Charging
N/A
Passive Playback
N/A
Charging Port N/A
0
Active Features
App Support
App Name N/A
iOS N/A
Android N/A
macOS N/A
Windows N/A
Equalizer
N/A
ANC Control
N/A
Mic Control N/A
Room effects
N/A
Playback Control
N/A
Button Mapping N/A
Surround Sound N/A

No compatible app.

Connectivity
0
Connectivity
Bluetooth
Bluetooth Version
N/A
Multi-Device Pairing
N/A
NFC Pairing
N/A
Line of Sight Range
N/A
Default Latency
N/A
aptX Latency
N/A
aptX(LL) 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 10 ft
Connection 1/8" TRS
Wired Latency
0 ms
Connectivity
PC / PS4 Compatibility
PC / PS4 Analog
Audio Only
PC / PS4 Wired USB
No
PC / PS4 Non-BT Wireless
No
Connectivity
Xbox One Compatibility
Xbox One Analog
Audio Only
Xbox One Wired USB
No
Xbox One Wireless
No
0
Connectivity
Base/Dock
Type
N/A
USB Input
N/A
Line In
N/A
Line Out
N/A
Optical Input
N/A
RCA Input
N/A
Dock Charging
N/A
Power Supply
N/A

Compared to other headphones

HiFiMan Ananda
SEE PRICE
Newegg.com

The HiFiMan Ananda are slightly better critical listening headphones than the HiFiMan Edition X, although they sound practically the same for most listeners. The Ananda benefit from the new HiFiMan headband design, so they have stronger metal yokes that should be more durable. They also have a slightly better-measured performance in bass, mid, and harmonic distortion, although it's not very distinguishable even for trained ears. On the other hand, the Edition X have a slightly better treble response, but it's above 20KHz and won't be audible to most. The Edition X are also slightly more comfortable for some since they have swiveling hinges but since the ear cups and pads are practically the same on the Ananda, there isn't much difference in the overall comfort level.

Sennheiser HD 820
SEE PRICE
B&H

The HiFiMan Edition X are a better critical listening headphone overall when compared to the Sennheiser HD 820. The Edition X are better balanced throughout their entire response and cater well to instruments and vocals, sound clear, and have enough bass for most tracks. However, the Sennheiser HD 820 have a closed back design, which means they isolate more and leak less. They have slightly more bass and a much more premium and durable build quality than the HiFiMan. They're also slightly more comfortable and come with more accessories and cables.

HiFiMan Edition X Price

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