I went to my local headphone shop this morning and gave the Hifiman Susvara a try. I thought I would share some impressions of my Audition as they are a pretty interesting headphone.
Lets get this out of the way first. These headphones cost $6000USD, or here in Canada, $8000CAD. Its insane. I’m never going to own these headphones, but I thought I would give them a listen anyhow.
Gear Used: DAC: Aune S6 Amp: iFi Pro iCAN (in SS mode) Hifiman Susvara, AB-1266 Phi
First thing I took a look at was the build quality, as this is something to take note of given the Susvara is a Hifiman product. The build quality is good, but not great. It is better than the HE1000V1, and about on par with the HE1000V2, maybe a tiny bit better. The gimbals are tight and the cups don’t flap around like they did with the HE1000V1. Its like they are missing that last 5% of build quality and materials that would really make them an $8000 headphone. Its a shame, as they could really be elevated to that “next level” which is something I would expect at the asking price. The cables suck, and I would definitely replace them if I bought a pair of Susvara. They are just kind of, cheap and nasty feeling?
The weight is totally ok, and they are a VERY comfortable headphone. Definitely one of the more comfortable flagship headphones available currently. It beats out my LCD-4 and Abyss Phi handily. I think they look great, though maybe a bit uninventive as it is basically just a rounder HE1000.
Lets talk about how they sound. In a word. Great! $8000CAD great? No, but still my second favourite headphone I have heard. I prefer the Abyss Phi.
The best way I can describe these is that they are like an HE1000 on steroids with a bit more punch and a more forward nature. This might not make sense, but think of it like If the HE1000 is slumped over in a chair, the Susvara is sitting up straight.
The bass isn’t as hard hitting as the Abyss Phi, but it is very present and detailed. Maybe a tiny bit more bass than the HE1000, but less than the Abyss Phi. Listening to fast complicated bass passages in electronica came across very well and didn’t get all muddled up. It has good clarity, no complaints here.
The mids are less warm than say an Audeze LCD-3, and about on par with the LCD-4. Not overly warm, but the Susvara don’t sound cold and clinical. I didn’t really notice any super hard core spikes or dips that bothered me.
The treble was a bit more laid back than the Abyss Phi. I found the Phi to have better clarity and definition in this area. The Susvara was better than the LCD-4 in terms of treble according to my preferences, but I think it would really depend on the type of sound you enjoy. You can definitely pick out all the little details and there are no hardcore spikes drilling into your ears.
Soundstage and imaging are very, very good. Is the soundstage as big as the HD800 and Abyss Phi? No, but it is open sounding, and very deep. It is bigger sounding than the LCD-4. Very precise sounding in terms of where instruments are.
All in all, these are kick ass headphones that could be a little bit better in the materials and build quality department, and a WHOLE lot less in the price department.
An Update: I bought the Susvara. They are awesome.