Reviewed on Aug 11, 2016

HiFiMan Edition X HEADPHONES REVIEW

Usage Ratings - Version 1.3.1
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
1.6
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.

Test Results
Design 6.3
Isolation 0.5
Microphone 0
Active Features 0
Connectivity 3.8
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

6.3

Design

The HifiMan Edition X stand out with their unusual design. They're incredibly comfortable headphones with a sturdy build quality. The ear cups, especially, feel durable and make use of premium materials. However, these are one of the biggest headphones we've tested so far. The ear cups easily cover a large area of your face, particularly on smaller heads. They're unstable, cumbersome and do not have any audio controls. Simply put, they're not made to use outdoors.

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 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 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 Canceling Control : N/A
Talk-Through
:
N/A
Additional Buttons : N/A
6.1 Breathability
Avg.Temp.Difference : 6.6 C
5.1 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 Case
Type : No case
L : N/A
W : N/A
H : N/A
Volume : N/A
7.5 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 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.

Headshots 1
Headshots 2
Top

Sound

They have an excellent, well-balanced and relatively extended bass (better than the Sundara), especially for an open-back design. Their Mid Range is also very good and they have a nearly flawless Treble. Additionally, they perform quite consistently across multiple users and have an open and spacious Soundstage. On the down side, they lack a bit of sub-bass and their low-mid is on the muddy side.

Sound Profile
Bass Amount
:
-3.33 db
Treble Amount
:
-1.44 db
7.9 Frequency Response Consistency
Avg. Std. Deviation
:
0.41 dB
8.8 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 Mid Accuracy
Std. Err.
:
1.96 dB
Low-Mid
:
2.04 dB
Mid-Mid
:
1.91 dB
High-Mid
:
-0.26 dB
8.8 Treble Accuracy
Std. Err.
:
2.51 dB
Low-Treble
:
1.23 dB
Mid-Treble
:
-1.15 dB
High-Treble
:
-1.58 dB
8.3 Peaks/Dips
Peaks
:
1.0 db
Dips
:
1.26 db
8.8 Imaging
Weighted Group Delay
:
0.2
Weighted Amplitude Mismatch
:
0.18
Weighted Frequency Mismatch
:
1.86
Weighted Phase Mismatch
:
5.45
9.1 Soundstage
PRTF Accuracy (Std. Dev.)
:
2.85 dB
PRTF Size (Avg.)
:
6.11 dB
PRTF Distance
:
17.95 dB
Openness
:
9.7
Acoustic Space Excitation
:
9.9
8.7 Weighted Harmonic Distortion
WHD @ 90
:
0.079
WHD @ 100
:
0.092
0.5

Isolation

The Edition X are open-back headphones and are not designed to isolate listeners. Openness is one of the key components of their superb sound quality, but this also makes them unusable in everyday settings. They will distract anyone near you even at low-to-moderate volumes and also don't block any noise from your surroundings.  They won't fare well in loud environments and are best used to enjoy high-res audio in private.

0.7 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 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.

0

Microphone

Integrated
:
N/A
In-line
:
N/A
Boom
:
N/A
Detachable Boom
:
N/A
0 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 Noise Handling
Speech + Pink Noise : N/A
Speech + Subway Noise : N/A
SpNR
:
N/A
0

Active Features

No active features.

N/A 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 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.

3.8

Connectivity

0 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 Non-Bluetooth Wireless
Non-BT Line of Sight Range
:
N/A
Non-BT Latency
:
N/A
9.5 Wired
Analog Audio
:
Yes
USB Audio
:
No
Detachable : Yes
Length : 10 ft
Connection : 1/8" TRS
Wired Latency
:
0 ms
PC / PS4 Compatibility
PC / PS4 Analog
:
Audio Only
PC / PS4 Wired USB
:
No
PC / PS4 Non-BT Wireless
:
No
Xbox One Compatibility
Xbox One Analog
:
Audio Only
Xbox One Wired USB
:
No
Xbox One Wireless
:
No
0 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

In the box

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

Compared to other Headphones

HiFiMan Ananda
SEE PRICE
Amazon.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
Amazon.com

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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