RMAF 2015: HiFiMAN and the dynamic duo


rmaf-2015-200x200Have you heard? HiFiMAN has a brand new headphone — the HE-1000, a $3,000 planar magnetic headphone that features a nano-scale membrane ….

Wait, are you snoring?

Fine, the HE-1000 isn’t exactly new. It isn’t even new-to-me — I got to spend a month with one while very recently (and a review is forthcoming). But it is remarkable. Well-built. Stylish. Comfortable. And it is responsible for some of the very best all-around experiences in headphone listening that I’ve had recently.

But it isn’t new.

But the Edition X is. Ha! Take that, you easily bored turkey!

What’s new for Edition X? Well, essentially it’s the HE-1000. That is, the membrane and associated basic sound-making substructure will be lifted directly from that headphone, if tuned a bit differently. It will feature an 8Hz-50kHz frequency response (8Hz-65kHz on the HE-1000), an impedance rating of about 25Ω (±3Ω, specs are still being finalized; about 10Ω lower than the HE-1000) and a weight of 14oz (about 3oz lighter than it’s sibling). Fit and finish is very nice, if not quite on a par with the HE-1000 — there’s no carbon-fiber head-band, for example, and no wood on the ear cups. Given that the Edition X will be about 2/3 the price (estimated) of the HE-1000, that’s not surprising. What is? The sensitivity. The HE-1000 is a 90dB headphone, and while not exactly “a pig”, it really does love the juice — and feeding it an all-you-can-eat-buffet of watts is when that headphone really opens up.

The Edition X, by contrast, is 108dB. You can drive the snot out of it with even the smallest amp. Like what’s on your phone. That is different.

Sonically, the two headphones seemed more alike than not, which is a very good thing. I’ll reserve judgement for the final product, but I’ll offer that this is a very exciting new can. We should be seeing this one by the First Quarter of 2016, and possibly much earlier. Stay tuned.

But that’s not all. Also taking an early bow, the Edition S. A dynamic headphone (as opposed to a planar), the sub-$200 (estimated) portable-friendly can will feature a 15Hz-22kHz frequency response, an impedance at ~32Ω and a weight at just over 1/2 pound. More details will be forthcoming — apparently, the inclusion of this headphone here was … something of a surprise. Whoops! Hello!

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About Scot Hull 1063 Articles
Scot started all this back in 2009. He is currently the Publisher here at PTA, the Publisher at The Occasional Magazine, and the Executive Producer at The Occasional Podcast. There are way too many words about him over on the Contributors page.


    • I came through on Friday, and it wasn’t there. I saw it on Sunday, but didn’t have time to play.

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