The HiFiMan Edition XS are open-back planar-magnetic headphones and are the next generation of the HiFiMan Edition X. Unlike their predecessor, they have a more conventional headband and use a thinner diaphragm to help the reproduction of details in tracks while keeping distortion low. They also have the manufacturer's 'Stealth Magnets' design to improve their sound quality. The result is a fairly neutral sound profile with present, bright vocals and lead instruments, making them versatile enough for most audio content. Their passive soundstage also feels wide, natural, and spacious. However, the headphones themselves are large and may not fit your head comfortably if you have a small head.
The HiFiMan Edition XS are excellent for neutral sound. They have a very neutral sound profile that's suitable for a variety of audio content. Thanks to their open-back design, they have an outstanding passive soundstage performance that seems immersive, wide, and natural. They also reproduce sound very consistently and have a comfortable fit suitable for long listening sessions.
The HiFiMan Edition XS are poor for commute and travel. They're open-back audiophile headphones that don't block out any background noise and leak audio, which can bother other commuters around you. They're also bulky and don't come with a carrying case to help protect them when you're on the go. That said, they have a comfortable and well-built design.
The HiFiMan Edition XS are disappointing for sports and fitness as they're not designed for this. They can fall off your head with moderate movement, and their audio cable can snag on something and pull them off your head. That said, they have a comfortable fit and feel well-built.
The HiFiMan Edition XS are poor for office use. They have an open-back design, meaning they won't block out any ambient chatter or AC noise around you. That said, they have a comfortable design.
The HiFiMan Edition XS are wired headphones, and you can't use them wirelessly.
The HiFiMan Edition XS are alright for wired gaming if you don't need mic support. These headphones have a neutral sound profile that ensures that dialogue and lead instruments are clear and natural, and their open-back design ensures an immersive passive soundstage performance. They also have a comfortable fit suitable for long gaming sessions.
The HiFiMan XS don't have a mic, and you can't use them to take phone calls.
The HiFiMan XS come in one color variation: 'Black' and you can see our model's label here. If you come across another variant of these headphones, please let us know in the discussions, and we'll update our review.
The HiFiMan Edition XS are the successor of the HiFiMan Edition X. Unlike their predecessor, they have a more typical headband design that feels a bit heavier than the manufacturer's ski band headband design. However, their frame is quite large, so if you have a small head, the bottom of the ear cups may reach your jaw. They have a very similarly neutral sound profile to the HiFiMan Ananda, making them suitable for a variety of audio content. Their fantastic passive soundstage performance also helps immerse you in your favorite audio.
Check out our recommendations for the best audiophile headphones, the best open-back headphones, and the best headphones for music.
The HiFiMan Edition XS and the HiFiMan Ananda are both great headphones for neutral sound and depending on your preferences, you may enjoy either one. The Edition XS have a typical headband design, are able to reproduce sound more consistently, and have a more neutral sound profile as they deliver a bit more bass. Their treble response is also slightly brighter, which you may prefer if you want to focus on details in your tracks. However, the Ananda are better built and have a ski-band headband design that's more comfortable. Their passive soundstage creates a more out-of-head audio experience too.
The HiFiMan Edition XS are better audiophile headphones than the HiFiMan Sundara 2020. The Edition XS reproduce audio more consistently, have a more neutral sound profile, and their passive soundstage seems more immersive. However, the Sundara 2020 have a ski-band headband design that's more comfortable.
The HiFiMan Edition XS and the HiFiMan Arya are both excellent audiophile headphones with slight differences. Both headphones have a similarly neutral sound profile but the Arya have a ski-band headband design, are more comfortable, and feel better-built. On the other hand, the Edition XS have a more standard headband, which some people may prefer.
The Sennheiser HD 800 S and the HiFiMan Edition XS are both excellent audiophile headphones with slight differences. The Sennheiser headphones have dynamic transducers, are more comfortable and well-built. They also have a slightly better mid accuracy, which ensures that vocals and lead instruments sound clear, accurate, and natural, while their passive soundstage creates a more out-of-head audio experience. In comparison, the HiFiMan are planar magnetic headphones. Thanks to their design, they're able to reproduce bass more accurately. They also deliver audio even more consistently than the Sennheiser.
The HiFiMan Edition XS are better audiophile headphones than the Philips Fidelio X2HR. The HiFiMan have much more consistent audio delivery, they can reproduce bass more accurately, and their passive soundstage is wider and more immersive. However, the Philips are more comfortable.
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 XS are better audiophile headphones than the Sennheiser HD 660S2. The HiFiMan are planar magnetic headphones that can reproduce more low-bass. Overall, they have a significantly more neutral sound profile, which some users may prefer, and are more comfortable. They have a superior passive soundstage performance and are very immersive. However, the Sennheiser are dynamic headphones and come with a dustbag to help protect them when storing them.
The HiFiMan Edition XS look a bit different from other headphones in the manufacturer's lineup. They have a typical headband rather than a ski-band headband design. That said, the headphones are large, and we have to put foam underneath our unit's headband so that it better fits our dummy head's ears. There have silver grilles with an elongated ear cup design that rests around your jaw. That said, they come in only one color: 'Black'.
These headphones have a comfortable fit. They're well-padded, and the headband material feels nice. However, the headband feels heavier than other headphones in this manufacturer's lineup, like the HiFiMan Edition X and HiFiMan Arya. The headphones are also quite large and can be too big if you have a small head.
These headphones have sub-par portability. They're big, bulky, and can't fold into a more compact form to help save space. While they can fit into a large bag, they don't come with a carrying case to protect them when you're on the go.
The HiFiMan Edition XS have a fairly neutral sound profile, suitable for a variety of audio content. They lack low-bass, which is normal from open-back headphones, but they can still deliver more thump and rumble than the HiFiMan Ananda. Vocals and lead instruments also sound clear and present, making them a solid choice for genres like classical or folk.
Note: The headphones are quite large, even when compared to other HiFiMan products like the HiFiMan Arya. We had to put foam under our unit's headband in order for them to fit on our dummy head. That said, there isn't much of a difference in frequency response with or without the foam in place.
The HiFiMan Edition XS' bass accuracy is excellent. Compared to dynamic headphones like the Sennheiser HD 660S2, they can reproduce more low-bass, and overall, they have adequate punch and warmth that shouldn't overwhelm or muddy the rest of your tracks. If you're a fan of thumpy, rumbly genres like EDM and hip-hop, you may find their sound a little lacking though.
These over-ears have amazing mid accuracy. The response is fairly flat, so vocals and lead instruments like Lionel Richie's voice in the chorus of Hello sound clear and present. A dip in the high-mid slightly weakens these sounds, though.
The HiFiMan Edition XS have excellent treble accuracy. Just over midway into the song Static by Godspeed You! Black Emperor, strings, and guitars are clear and detailed but not harsh. Sibilants like cymbals are also bright without being too piercing.
The HiFiMan XS' peaks and dips performance is great. There's a small peak in the high-bass, which adds a little extra warmth to audio, while a dip in the high-mids weakens vocals and lead instruments while a peak in the low-treble makes them a bit harsh. Another peak in the mid-treble turns sibilants like S and T sounds piercing.
The HiFiMan Edition XS have an amazing imaging performance. The group delay falls below the audibility threshold, resulting in tight bass and transparent treble reproduction. The L/R drivers are also well-matched in phase, amplitude, and frequency response, which results in the accurate placement and localization of objects like footsteps in the stereo image. That said, imaging can vary between units and can indicate a manufacturer's quality control and ergonomics.
The HiFiMan Edition XS' passive soundstage performance is outstanding. The soundstage seems fairly natural, wide, and as if sound is coming from speakers placed in the room around you rather than from inside your head. The soundstage also seems open and spacious.
The weighted harmonic distortion performance is good. There's some distortion present in the high-mid, which is more present in the right driver at high volumes. However, this can be hard to hear with real-life content. Most frequencies are within good levels, resulting in fairly clean and pure audio reproduction.
These are the settings used to test the HiFiMan Edition XS. Our results are only valid when used in this configuration.
The HiFiMan XS can only receive audio when connected to your PC via an analog connection.
These headphones can connect to PS4 and PS5 consoles by plugging their analog cable into your controller. However, you can only receive audio as they don't have a mic.
These headphones can only receive audio when connected to your Xbox console's controller via analog.