HIFIMAN DEVA review

HIFIMAN DEVA a new full-sized open back planar magnetic headphone, with the ability to connect Bluetooth dongle. DEVA is a new generation Advanced Active Headphones (AAH) product that provides high fidelity audio reproduction in personal audio devices through the use of high end components. Novelty was a continuation of Ananda BT (first company’s Bluetooth capable full-sized open planar headphone, with amazing performance and not for everyone affordable price 750$) popular last year, that also means DEVA uses company’s super nano diaphragm. And now, truly high quality bluetooth sound has become much more accessible to everyone, DEVA costs more than twice cheaper.

Bluetooth an important and basic addition (support LDAC and aptX HD codecs, up to 4 hours of wireless playback on a single charge, the adapter also supports USB-С wired and is capable of working in USB DAC mode), but this is just an addition to really high quality planar headphones, that you can use with your favorite wired DAC, and get really impressive sound quality even in that case. It’s hard to believe, but the manufacturer was able to offer all this for 299$, it’s really surprising.


Packaging, Features, Controls

Come in a box made of soft quality cardboard. At the back are summarized specifications and contact details. Packaging as a whole leaves a good impression. On the side of the box you can see sticker with a QR-code for authentication. The package is modest but everything you need is always present in HIFIMAN kits.

Package includes: Hifiman Deva, Bluemini module, 3.5mm-3.5mm balanced nylon-sheathed cable, USB-A to USB-C cable for charging Bluemini module and digital audio connections, 1/4” adapter, warranty card and user’s manual.


Bluetooth Dongle (Model: Bluemini)

Bluetooth Dongle is a removable module with DAC and amplifier. It is connected via 3.5mm TRRS connector and turns DEVA into a completely independent wireless device. To turn on Dongle, hold power button for a few seconds, after which indicator will flashlight, on your mobile device you can find “HIFIMAN-DEVA” device. For the test, we used Huawei P30 PRO to which DEVA instantly connected with LDAC codec.

Dongle control: first larger button is a multi-function for pairing and power on. Smaller button close to USB-C for control charging. Note, Dongle will not charge when connected unless you press the smaller button for a few seconds.

Bluetooth Dongle uses a Qualcomm CSR8675 chip which is responsible for transmitting (bluetooth 4.2) and decoding signals to LDAC 24BIT/96kHz level. The device also supports aptX, aptX-HD, up to AAC and SBC, where possible. But to activate HWA-LHDC codec, you need to install HIFIMAN own application in Play Store.

During testing, we did not have any complaints about the quality and reliability of Bluetooth connection. Headphones were quite confident to stay in touch even through a couple of not very thick walls in the apartment. Most Bluetooth headphones in such conditions have already started to “stutter”. Quality of connection really at a high level.

The dongle is very compact and quite ergonomic, it does not interfere with convenience and does not violate the overall design philosophy of DEVA.

Package contents:

  • Hifiman Deva
  • Bluetooth dongle
  • 3.5mm nylon-sheathed cable
  • Type-C USB nylon-sheathed cable
  • 1/4” adapter
  • User manual (English).
  • Guarantee card.

Design

Color scheme of new DEVA immediately attracts attention with its style and premium looks. Materials and color are reminiscent of the interior of an expensive super car, pleasant silver metal and brown leather. There are plastic inserts, but they feel monolithic and fit well into the overall design concept. Obviously, this is a good start for HIFIMAN to use such color schemes, considering all previous models as a whole made in the same aesthetics, this is the first experience that certainly was a success.

DEVA uses a single headband, as in the original HE5 model – many people still consider this a more successful version of the headband. It is obvious that in DEVA this is a hint of its portability. Headphones are wireless, and it is much more convenient and aesthetically correct to use such a headband design on the street, from the point of view of design it is absolutely the right move. Of course, comfort is one of the main indicators of DEVA, for several hours of listening we did not feel any discomfort at all. Excellent ergonomics.

Build quality, materials and overall impression of DEVA when you pick them up feels is much higher than its price of 299$, at the same time high-quality Bluetooth module with support for top wireless standards simply does not leave a chance for competitors. To give users a great design and quality plus wireless skills for such money, this is a real gift from HIFIMAN.

Design feature: when connecting a cable, you only use one speaker with a standard 3.5mm to 3.5mm cable, not 3.5 mm to 3.5×3.5 as implemented in other wired models. Second speaker is connected by a wire that is not visible, it passes in the mounting groove bowl mounts (it’s hard to guess how reliable this decision, but HIFIMAN had never failed in this case before).


Sound

Deva sounds is very pleasing has a slightly warm sweeter tone to it with very well controlled and smooth high frequency. Sound picture is for the most part similar to cheaper HE400i, but there are still differences. The scene builds better wider, plays the high-frequency range more correctly and copes well with female vocals. Sound also is neutral, but with slight accents, slightly raised edges of the range, upper and lower frequencies.

Low frequencies

Linear, very detailed and fast, just something incredible. This setting of bass range allows you to enjoy music with an abundance of live instruments. The bass feels exactly linear, it does not bulge and at the same time is not pushed back. Here the mid bass makes itself felt, while deep bass is slightly undercut. In instrumental music like rock/jazz and etc, bass guitar do not creep into the midrange, staying in its place. In General, LF is slightly dry, not everyone will have enough depth and punch. At the same time, we will note excellent separation of tools and good legibility. If we go back to comparison with HE400i, then the bass is expressed a little stronger, there is a tiny accent.

It is amazing what responsiveness bass guitar of Jaco Pastorius acquires in his solo passages, the elasticity of the middle range of low spectrum and the crunch of metal string braid on his fretless neck acquires a new facet of magic. Strange, but this is first headphones where we can hear the rattling of his strings on some notes on the neck (Jaco Pastorius – Portrait of Tracy), this is not a micro-detail, but rather an honest and full-fledged presentation of the sound picture. However, these are matters of a different spectrum.

Mid frequencies

The same level and neutral picture with a good resolution as in LF. Convey various small nuances well, and they do a great job with high-speed or heavy tracks. Yes, you can listen to heavy genres with an abundance of electric guitars and cymbals. Scene of MF is natural, wide, but not the deepest. The sound is so light and airy. The range is especially revealed in classical works by Bach or Schubert with orchestra. This amount of air in the overall picture of this range, considering price, we have not heard for a long time in this category of headphones. This is really much more expensive than manufacturer asks for a DEVA.

High frequency

This is the strong side of DEVA, definitely. High frequencies have been worked on properly. What is their special feature? They are very airy, detailed and extended. At the same time, developers managed to make them soft, in contrast to budget models, in which HF were too Intrusive and prickly. Due to softening, such a more natural feed is obtained, you can listen to any recordings and not worry about the quality.


Conclusions

It is clear that no one wireless codec today can’t give quality of wire. However, when it comes LDAC or Aptx HD in combination with high-tech DEVA planars, it looks extremely amazing. At the same time, you have a great wired open planar with sound from a completely different weight category.

Сonclusions here are simple and obvious: HIFIMAN able to create a difficult balance between premium quality materials, highest sound quality, top wireless technologies and price. Really nice price of 299$ for all of this. HIFIMAN DEVA is our new favorite bluetooth headphone, we totally truly enjoy it.

★ Our choice.


Specification DEVA:

  • Frequency Response: 20-20,000Hz
  • Impedance: 18ohms
  • Sensitivity: 93.5dB
  • Weight: 360g
  • Socket: TTRS 3.5mm

Bluetooth dongle:

  • Frequency Response: 20-20,000Hz
  • Codecs: aptX, aptX HD, LDAC, HWA (LDHC), AAC, SBC
  • Battery Life: 7-10 hours
  • Amp Output: 230mW
  • THD: <0.1% @ 1W/1KHz
  • Weight: 25g

Official site: https://hifiman.com
Buy: Official Hifiman storeAmazon, AliExpress.