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.
These headphones are intended for the specific use of critical listening and will not be versatile enough for other use cases.
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.
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.
Not made for sports. They're too bulky and unstable. They will quickly fall off your head if used while doing any physical activity.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
No compatible app.
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.
The HiFiMan Edition XS are the upgraded variant of the HiFiMan Edition X, but both are excellent picks for neutral sound. Both headphones have a neutral sound profile with a wide and immersive passive soundstage. Unlike their predecessor, the Edition XS have a more typical headband design, which may not be as comfortable for some users as the headphones are quite large and may not fit small heads well. Still, due to their design, they can reproduce audio more consistently. They also have a thinner diaphragm, which helps the reproduction of details in your audio, and their mid-range is more even.
The HiFiMan Edition X are a better critical listening headphone overall when compared to the Sennheiser HD 820. The HifiMan 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 have a closed back design, which means they isolate more and leak less. The Sennheiser 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.
The HiFiMan Edition X are better headphones for neutral sound than the HiFiMan ANANDA-BT Wireless. The Edition X have a more neutral, better-balanced audio reproduction and a better peaks and dips performance. Their soundstage is also larger and more open than the Ananda-BT. That being said, the Ananda-BT are more versatile headphones. They can be used wirelessly via Bluetooth, they have a detachable microphone, and they come with a carrying case. The Ananda-BT also have a more stable fit on your head.