Hifiman has been implementing its “Stealth Magnets” technology into every single new model released in the last few months. The only models that haven’t got this significant update have been the mighty popular Ananda and Sundara.
While the newly released Edition XS isn’t exactly an updated Ananda, it surely shares many similarities to its older sibling.
在过去的几个月里，HIFIMAN已经将其 "隐形磁体 "技术应用于每一个新发布的型号。唯一没有得到这一重大更新的型号是很受市场欢迎的Sundara和Ananda。
The implementation of Stealth Magnets in all the new releases is a great thing about Hifiman in recent years. They surely are all about improving what’s already great, and considering the fact that the prices stay the same (or even they are significantly lower), it is simply hard not to appreciate what they’re doing. The technology itself is a magnificent show of technology to ensure the highest possible audio quality, and I’ll be covering more of it in the “Tech” paragraph.Back to the hero of today’s review, the Edition XS. While it might look like the Ananda with a different headband, it’s really more of an upgraded Edition X, which Hifiman has released back in 2016. With its price set at $499, it sits right in the middle between the Sundara and Ananda, entering a new market segment for an open-back, planar magnetic headphone by Hifiman. Considering the fact that both the Sundara and the Ananda have been hugely successful in the past few years, it should come as not a surprise, that the Edition XS has a lot to prove to threaten its older rivals.
在所有新发布的产品中应用隐形磁体是HIFIMAN近年来的一个伟大之处。他们精益求精地改进已经很好的产品，并且价格保持不变（甚至是大大降低），很难不欣赏他们的做法。耳机上的新技术本身就是一个宏大的技术展示，以确保尽可能高的音频质量。我将在 "技术 "段落中介绍更多内容。回到今天评论的主角Edition XS。虽然它可能看起来像换了头梁的Ananda，但它实际上更像是HIFIMAN早在2016年发布的Edition X的升级版。它的价格定在499美元，正好位于Sundara和Ananda之间，让HIFIMAN的开放式平板耳机进入了一个新的细分市场。考虑到Sundara和Ananda在过去几年中取得了巨大的成功，Edition XS必须非常能打才能撼动它的老哥们。
The headphone comes packed in a basic box with good-looking graphics. Inside the packaging, the only two things that you’ll find is the headphone itself and the included cable. Nothing more, nothing less. Hifiman has been pushing the value to the extreme lately, so you’re getting no accessories, as they would have simply raised the price of the final product. Would you really like it in exchange for some fancy accessories that you’ll probably never (or rarely) use? I definitely would not.Having that in mind, you simply can’t criticize the kind of approach that Hifiman took with their modern lineup. You’re paying for the performance, not the experience, and considering the retail price, you surely want just that.
Design, Build and Comfort
Same story. The Edition XS is basically the Ananda with HE400i 2020 type of headband. The overall build quality is flawless, I have absolutely nothing to criticize. Yes, I know, the cups are plastic, and it might feel a little flimsy in hand. However, here comes the comfort, where the Edition XS completely destroys many headphones on the market, including the TOTL ones.
You see, I’ve been playing with the Abyss Diana Phi lately, and while its materials and the overall build are absolutely astonishing, the design of this headphone is just unacceptable. A pair of $4000 headphones that you MUST mod to be able to use properly just sounds questionable. Why did I bring that topic to this review? Well, the Build Quality (in terms of materials, finish and design) of the Diana Phi is miles ahead of that of the Edition XS, yet it is becoming totally irrelevant the moment you put them on. This is not a well-designed headphone, it’s literally broken.
On the other hand, the Edition XS (or almost every headphone by Hifiman) is not really impressive in terms of the materials used and overall finishing, but it’s just a masterpiece when it comes to the design. A headphone must be comfortable and convenient to use, and every single Hifiman headphone is just that. Audio equipment can be a piece of jewelry, but it has to be paired with a proper, comfortable, and convenient design (Meze Empyrean/Elite is the best example of that). Hifiman doesn’t design audio jewelry, but they do design headphones that are a joy to use and which you’ll be able to use the whole day, every day. That’s the winner in my book, and it should be in yours.
Edition XS看起来基本上是换了HE400i 2020型头梁的Ananda。整体的制造质量是完美无缺的，我完全没有什么可批评的。虽然外壳是塑料的，拿在手里可能会觉得有点不够结实，然而在舒适度方面，Edition XS完全打败了市场上的许多耳机，包括一些顶级机型。
我最近一直在玩Abyss Diana Phi，虽然它的材料和整体质量绝对杠杠的，但这款耳机的设计实在令人无法接受。一副售价4000美元的耳机，你必须魔改才能正常使用，这听起来就很有问题。我为什么要把这个话题带到这个测评中？因为Diana Phi的制造质量（在材料、表面处理和外形设计方面）比Edition XS领先很多，然而在你戴上它们的那一刻，这个所谓的质量却变得完全不重要了。你会发现它不是一个精心设计的耳机，它简直是设计没完工。
另一方面，Edition XS（或几乎所有HIFIMAN的其他耳机）在使用的材料和整体外观方面并不真正令人印象深刻，但在设计方面，它们都是杰作。耳机必须是舒适和方便使用的，而每一款HIFIMAN耳机都是如此。音频设备可以漂亮得像是一件珠宝，但它必须搭配适当的、舒适的、方便的设计（Meze Empyrean/Elite是最好的例子）。HIFIMAN不设计音频“珠宝”，但他们设计的耳机使用起来很方便，你可以一整天都戴着。这对于我来说特别靠谱，对你来说应该也是。
Let’s dive into the comfort a little bit more. While I’m a huge fan of suspension-style headbands, the solid one found on the Edition XS is a great choice. It’s plushy enough to allow you to use them for many hours without any discomfort (been there, done that), and is simply pleasant to the touch. The only other thing worth mentioning is the clamping force, or rather lack of it. It might be a hit or miss for some people, as the XS sits on your head rather loosely, and I know some people are not really into that type of design. However, it further improves the comfort, creating a feeling of a soft pillow sitting around your ears, rather than having two earcups clamping your head like the Sennheiser HD650 for example. I don’t really mind a loose fit with my open-back headphones, so I’d definitely call it a great feature.Lastly, the cable is one of the best cables that Hifiman has included with their headphones ever. Fair, it is a plain black cable, far away from anything fancy, but at the same time it’s very comfortable and it doesn’t tangle at all, creating a very comfortable and stress-free performance. Way to go Hifiman.
Let’s cover the elephant in the room…again, the Stealth Magnets. Once again I can’t stress enough how good of a technology this is, so I’d simply paste our description from the Arya SE review: Stealth Magnets are what sets the tone for the current generation of HiFiMan cans. They came up with a new shape, that makes it easier for sound to pass through it. Conventional, rectangular in cross-section magnets create a resonance between them. That resonance will color the sound in an unwanted manner. Having the edges trimmed at a 45-degree angle strongly reduces the resonance, allowing air (and sound) to move freely. Being all technical it goes like this: moving air changes its volume as it encounters the flared magnets. The changing volume also changes the speed. Less speed means a flatter Q of the resonance. How it’s possible that nobody else does it if it’s so simple? Well, it’s not easy to make magnets in that shape that are repeatable and have very good parameters suitable for planar headphones. So you either pay a ton of money for them, or you order a train of those at a bit less outrageous price. Then you put them in every product you have.
It is wonderful to see that great idea coming at such well-priced products nowadays and having that in mind, the Edition XS should be a brilliant value in the headphone market around $500. Let’s see if it’s true.
让我们来谈谈一个特别明显的事儿——隐形磁体。我要再一次强调这是个多好的技术，所以我直接把我们在Arya 隐形磁体测评中的描述粘贴出来。隐形磁体为当前一代的 HIFIMAN 耳机定下了基调。他们设计出了一种新的磁铁形状，使声音更容易“穿过”它。传统的矩形横截面磁铁会让音波在它们之间产生共振。这种共振会对声音带来不同程度的染色和失真。以 45 度角削去磁铁边缘可大大减少共振，让空气（和音波）自由出入。如果要讲得更技术化一些，可以这么说：移动的空气在遇到喇叭形磁铁时会改变它的体积，改变体积的同时也会改变速度。较低的速度意味着谐振的 Q 值更平坦。如果原理这么简单，怎么可能没别人这么做呢？因为要制造出那种可以批量生产且具有非常适合平板耳机的参数的磁铁并不容易。因此，厂家要么花大价钱少量订购这种磁铁，要么以稍低价格大量批发，然后你把它们装进每一个产品中。
Hifiman has its own “house sound” that they are sticking with for years now. It is all about the speed, clarity, and sublime technicalities at the prices that only a couple of years ago would have been called a steal of the century. The Edition XS continues this kind of approach, focusing mainly on neutral tuning with an amazing detail retrieval. Let’s dive into it.
The bass is fast, extended, and has a great texture to it. It’s a planar driver, so the dynamic slam and attack are both somewhat limited, but nothing too extreme. While the Edition XS is definitely not the hardest-hitting headphone you’ll hear, they do create that sensation of seeing the actual shape of the bass notes.
Low frequencies are extended all the way down to the deepest parts of the subbass, creating a thick and natural bass presentation, with a slight hint of relaxation. This is a kind of bass that makes you dig into it and analyze different textures and timbre, not hit you in the face and take you dancing, definitely. The double bass playing in the “Abraham” by Miles Mosley is a great example here. While it might sound a little relaxed, the amount of reverberation and its texture is just so natural and high-quality sounding that it’s very pleasant to listen to. Every natural instrument that does bass sounds just about perfect when it comes to timbre accuracy and the amount of details. Electronic music enthusiasts should look into some dynamic rivals (Focal for example) to get that physical kick and the feeling of energy on the low-end. While the Edition XS might lack in these two departments, they’ll surely pay you off with detail and texture. Did I just describe a rather standard planar-magnetic type of bass response? Yes, but it is just that…a great planar bass with brilliant technicalities, especially considering the $499 asking price.
The midrange is once again – a Hifiman type of midrange. A lot of details, great resolution, forward and neutral sounding. However, the XS also has a slight touch of warmth to it, resulting in somewhat warmer and fuller sounding voices than the Ananda for example. It is a great marriage of technicality and musicality, offering a midrange that is both enjoyable and tonally accurate. Male vocalists sound really good, the likes of Mariusz Duda, SYML, or Ozzy Osbourne are represented in a natural and enjoyable way, without hiding any little details that are present in the mix. While there’s a hint of warmth throughout the lower midrange, the upper mids around 3kHz might sound a bit too hot from time to time. Listening to some poorly mastered albums gave me an occasional sibilance, so I definitely wouldn’t call the Edition XS a forgiving pair of headphones, as it requires a careful pairing with the rest of the system. While most Hifiman headphones pair well with just about everything, especially those great, modern SS amplifiers from Topping or SMSL, the Edition XS might be better off with something more tamed and less clinical sounding, like the Little Dot MK III SE, with its full Class-A, hybrid construction.
While the Ananda comes with a more focus around 3kHz-4kHz, its lesser boost of the upper treble gives it a slightly more neutral sound signature.
中频也是HIFIMAN味的中频——很多细节，很好的分辨率，靠前和中性的声音。然而，XS也有一丝温暖的感觉，比Ananda的声音更温暖、更饱满。它是技术性和音乐性的完美结合，提供了一个既令人愉快又音色准确的中频。男歌手的声音真的很好，像Mariusz Duda、SYML或Ozzy Osbourne的声音都以一种自然和令人愉快的方式表现出来，没有掩盖录音中存在的任何小细节。虽然整个中低频有一丝温暖，但3kHz左右的中高频可能不时听起来有点太突出。听一些制作较差的专辑时，偶尔会出现齿音，所以我绝对不会把Edition XS称为一副宽容的耳机，因为它需要与听音系统的其他部分进行仔细配对。虽然大多数HIFIMAN耳机与几乎所有的设备都搭配得很好，特别是那些来自Topping或SMSL的伟大的现代晶体管放大器，但Edition XS可能更适合与一些更温和、不那么冷的前端，比如小不点 MK III SE，它具有全甲类混合结构。
The treble is full of details, very extended and forward sounding, but it has that slight boost to the upper-treble that I mentioned in the midrange paragraph. Because of that, the treble of the Edition XS could be a hit or miss, depending on your preferences. If you’ll be okay with that occasional hot-sounding upper-treble, you’ll be rewarded with the amount of detail and resolution never found in this price bracket. This is the type of performance that lets you rediscover your favorite tracks in search of sounds that you’ve never heard before. If you’ll ever listen to the Edition XS, play the song called “Evil Dub” by Trentemoller and you’ll be amazed by the amount of micro-details throughout the whole track. That kind of crispy, hyper-detailed sound performance really does wonders for this kind of music, so if you’re a fan of artists like that, this is definitely the headphone for you.
Other than that, the rest of the treble performance is very solid, with a very neutral 7kHz to 10kHz spectrum, which gives you that detailed and insightful type of experience.At the end of the day, it is an open-back, planar-magnetic Hifiman, so you should definitely expect it to be neutral and vibrant sounding, instead of a dark or muffled type of sound signature.
高频充满了细节，非常延伸，听起来很靠前，但它有我在刚才那段提到的对极高频的轻微提升。正因为如此，Edition XS的高音可以说是未必是所有人的菜，这取决于你的喜好。如果你能接受偶尔听起来很闹的高音，你会得到在这个价位上从未见过的大量细节和清晰度的回报。这是一种让你重新去听最喜欢的曲目，寻找你以前从未听到过的声音的性能。如果你用Edition XS去听Trentemoller的 "Evil Dub "这首歌，你会对整首歌的细节量感到惊奇。这种清脆的、超细节的声音表现对这种音乐真的很有帮助，所以如果你是这样的艺术家的粉丝，这绝对是适合你的耳机。
The soundstage is pretty standard for the latest Hifiman releases. It is big, but not artificially too big. Both width and depth are presented in a natural and impressive way, giving you an absolute “out of your head” type of experience. The imaging is flawless as well and paired with that fantastic detail retrieval, you can use the XS as an audio microscope, getting inside music and pinpointing the smallest details with ease. The album “Hell Freezes Over” by the Eagles is a brilliant example of a record that has a great soundstage. It is a live performance after all, with a lot of musicians on the stage, and the Edition XS does a great job showing each of them with perfect accuracy. There’s really nothing more to it, the Edition XS is a great staging pair of headphones with a lot of air, accurate imaging, and realistic size. Hifiman got to the point where I don’t really know how they could improve their headphones staging capabilities, it’s just that good.
声场对于HIFIMAN来说是相当标准的。它够大，但不是一味追求大。宽度和深度都以一种自然和令人印象深刻的方式呈现，给你一个绝对的 "出神入化 "的体验。结像也是无懈可击的，再加上奇妙的细节再现，你可以把XS当作音频显微镜，轻松地进入音乐内部，准确地找出最小的细节。老鹰乐队的专辑 "Hell Freezes Over "是一张拥有巨大声场的出色唱片的例子。这毕竟是一场现场表演，舞台上有很多音乐家，Edition XS很好地展现了他们每个人的风采，而且非常准确。Edition XS是一副拥有很好的声场的耳机，空气感很强，结像准确，结像尺寸逼真。HIFIMAN已经达到了声场让我不知道如何才能做得更好的程度，就是这么牛。
HIFIMAN Deva Pro
If we remove the Bluemini R2R from the equation, the Edition XS would be about two times more expensive than the Deva Pro. This comparison is actually quite interesting, as I find the tuning of both headphones to be fairly similar, with the Edition XS being a little more pronounced in the upper-mid to the lower-treble region as well as in the upper treble frequencies, maybe a little too much. Because of that, the XS comes as a less relaxed and more extreme sounding of the two, with the Deva Pro being more musical and romantic sounding. It is not only about the tuning though, as the Edition XS is an upgrade to our awarded Deva Pro in terms of raw technical performance. The detail is slightly better, it has a better sense of dynamics and its soundstage is wider. If you don’t care about the Bluetooth functionality, simply treat the Edition XS as a more unforgiving, more detailed successor to the Deva Pro. Something to please different types of people.
如果我们把Bluemini R2R除去不算，Edition XS将比Deva Pro的价格高出大约两倍。这种比较实际上很有趣，因为我发现这两款耳机的调音相当相似，Edition XS在中高频到低频区域以及高频方面更突出一些，也许有点过头了。正因为如此，XS在两者中显得不那么轻松，听起来更极端，而Deva Pro听起来更有音乐性、更浪漫。不过，这不仅仅是调音的问题，因为Edition XS在基本技术性能方面比我们喜爱的Deva Pro有所提升。它的细节稍好，动态感更好，声场更宽。如果你不关心蓝牙功能，只需把Edition XS当作Deva Pro的一个更冷酷、更细致的继承者，是另一种口味的东西。
The Edition XS is cheaper, as well as more intense, and warmer sounding than the Ananda. In terms of its raw technical performance, I would say these are quite similar, so it’s really a matter of preference. The Edition XS has a thicker note throughout the bass to the midrange and a slightly shoutier upper treble. They both stage just about the same, with only the imaging being even so slightly more accurate on the Edition XS (Stealth Magnets!). While I definitely won’t be calling the XS as the Ananda V2, nor the Ananda SE, it is significantly less expensive, offering basically the same technical level. While the Ananda is a touch more aggressive in the upper-midrange frequencies, the XS is tilted more towards the upper treble region, which results in a slightly more aggressive and less forgiving performance.
Speaking about the bass, these two perform very similarly, with the Edition XS being very slightly more pronounced in the sub-bass region. This gives the new model a touch more vigorous and dynamic low frequencies that will be a better choice in most modern music releases.
Having all that in mind, I’d call the Edition XS as a better value than the Ananda, even though it is NOT a better headphone, which many of you would have expected, considering the technical improvement. For half the price though, it is simply a better buy, and you can invest the rest in a better system.
Edition XS更便宜，也更严肃，而且比Ananda的声音更温暖。就其基本技术性能而言，我认为两者水平很相似，所以这真的是一个个人偏好的问题。Edition XS的低频和中频都比较厚实，而高频部分则略显尖锐。它们的声场是一样的，只是Edition XS的结像稍微准确一些（隐形磁体！）。虽然我肯定不会把XS称为Ananda V2，也不会称为Ananda SE；它的价格明显较低，提供的技术水平基本相同。虽然Ananda在中频高处更有侵略性，但XS更突出上层的高频区域，这导致了一个略带侵略性和不太宽容的表现。
These two have a vastly different approach to their technology, yet they do sound significantly similar in terms of their tonality. Both are fast, detailed, and slightly hot sounding in the upper regions. It is in the technicalities though, where the Edition XS arises as a clear winner. It has more detail, its resolution and accuracy are better and it stages more naturally as well. The Gyfu is a more boutique type of experience, with a far superior unboxing experience and more luxurious materials used, yet it falls short in terms of ergonomics to the wonderfully comfortable Edition XS. If you’re all about the sound quality and comfort, and you don’t really care about the presentation and craftsmanship, the Edition XS is a rather easy choice here.
这两款产品在技术上有很大的不同，但它们在音质上确实有明显的相似性。两者都是快速、细致，并且在高频段听起来略微有点吵闹。但在技术方面，Edition XS是明显的赢家。它有更多的细节，它的分辨率和准确性更好，它的声场也更自然。GYFU是一个更加精品式的体验，开箱体验要好得多，使用的材料也更豪华，但它在人体工程学方面却比舒适的Edition XS要差。如果你只关注音质和舒适度，而不太在意外观和工艺，Edition XS是一个相当明显优越的选择。
Hifiman just doesn’t disappoint. Their new Edition XS is a wonderful addition to the current market of +/- $500 open-back planar headphones. With its fantastic technical capabilities, great comfort and neutral sound signature with a touch of spiciness on the top it will surely become one of the best selling headphones in their current lineup. While this might get repetitive, they simply deliver great audio quality at prices that are constantly lower and lower. You can’t get bored of that.
Final D8000 Pro
Audeze LCD-X 2021,
Little Dot GYFU
HIFIMAN Arya SE
Topping D90se + A90
JDSLabs Atom DAC+/AMP+
Pro-Ject Debut Carbon PRO + iFi Zen Phono, xDuoo TA-26
XI Audio Broadway S