HIFIMAN SUNDARA review
HIFIMAN Sundara this is a logical extension of the already classic model among audiophiles HE400i. Many features have been improved in Sundara, as well as several new technologies have been applied. Sundara provides fast response with enhanced audio detail. Headphone membranes (NsD) have a size of 70mm and a thickness of 1-2 microns, which is 80% thinner than in HE-400 series.
HIFIMAN claim that new manufacturing processes can hold down the price, making Sundara very competitive with more expensive headphones. Looking at today’s price, it seems true. At the moment, Sundara can be purchased on Amazon or aliexpress about 350$ (with a starting price of 500$), given their sound features this offer extremely attractive. Looking ahead, Sundara is a really highest class, now you can buy at price of entry-level headphones, HIFIMAN were always able to make a tempting offer.
Standard box for all HIFIMAN production from a quality dense cardboard with satin fabric inside.
Package include: Headphones, 3.5mm cable, 3.5 to 6.35 adapter, instructions and warranty card.
HIFIMAN Sundara look strict and very sophisticated despite the metal grilles that give a certain authenticity and its unique charm. Materials are pleasant to touch, everything is at the proper level, starting from metal arms and ending with inserts made of leatherette, which imitates real leather very well.
The course of arms is very tight, but adjusting length is a one-time procedure, so it does not matter much for personal use. On the inside, ear pads are fabric, which positively affects the tenacity of landing.
One of the obvious advantages of the new design is the increased strength of gimbals. In previous HEXXX models, it was made of plastic, which could often fail (as we wrote earlier, HIFIMAN announced an update popular HE400i model where visual changes just touched headband and gimbals, which people sometimes complained about).
As we can see in Sundara, there was more metal in design, but weight did not rise too much. Sundara weighs 372g compared to 370g for HE400i.
Surprisingly, Sundara design was simplified compared to HE400i, swivel plastic mechanisms to allow the bowls to rotate horizontally were removed, but this did not affect overall usability, while reliability increased greatly. We like the design of Sundara, it is really simple and high-quality feels and looks.
Entire frequency range of Sundara is quite linear as it should be for high class headphones, this is how you can position sound of a model despite its average budget price. Often manufacturers in this price range like to make accents on certain frequencies, but Sundara from a completely different class and it is not quite correct to compare it with competitors in the area of 300-500$. Sundara immediately takes the highest level of sound quality that can be compared with models already in upper initial range.
This is something that does not stand out at first and does not particularly attract your attention when you first listen, they are rather in their place and seem to stretch in the background, adding a reserved amount of sound level and kick. They begin to stand out when you hear something fast, it is amazing how they keep up with each beat of bass drum, they have a really good transition effect. LF are very dense, and the impact is supported by a roar, but they are not increased, and effect is not too strong, all in the best traditions of high quality planars. LF never become the center of attention, but provide a good level of push, along with a good flat extension up to the area of ultra-low frequencies where there are no parasitic sounds, as is often the case in headphones of this price range. Probably, these are the reference low frequencies not only for this price, but also much higher.
A great example of balance and smoothness of link between high and low spectrum. The overall range feed is neutral, with high resolution and speed in detail. This is especially noticeable on wind instruments, for example the live concert “Chris Botti – Live: With Orchestra and Special Guests” – here you can feel the entire volume of mid-range air that you can get in this spectrum ever, if we talk about the average level of headphones at all. The recording contains Sting’s vocals and several female vocal parts (Jill Scott, Reneé Olstead, Paula Cole and Gladys Knight) that allows you to evaluate how Sundara harmonizes and easily copes with separation and presentation detail in one concert. In the track’s introduction “What Are You Doing the Rest of Your Life?” Chris Botti just a fast shoots airflow from his trumpet, while headphones begin to tremble reacting to each note, a rare case when music moves into another physical dimensionon on your head, incredible speed and responsiveness. Sundara so separates and positions instruments on the stage that it deserves special attention. Magic life in the middle – this what you feel when you pay attention to this range, and you want to breathe here.
Without a doubt, this is what continues to surprise. Crystal and transparent, clean and bright – whether it drums cymbals or percussion, an acoustic guitar with metal strings (rattle on fret here is a separate type of fetish). Sundara resolution gives incredible quality and contrast in detail, as well as analyticity you would like to enjoy, it is a pleasure from the real sound of a live instrument, honest and bewitching. Just listen to hi-hat on recording by Miles Davis “Shhh / Peaceful” (In a Silent Way). Yes, Sundara is equally good with imperfect old recordings, making it possible to understand what the sound engineer wanted to convey to the listener, or to feel the effect of presence with an almost ideal recording level like that of Chris Botti.
Soundstage of Sundara has a huge range and reserve, no dynamic headphones will be able to oppose anything here. Sound that lives and makes it possible to live the record together with the author.
Honest neutral sound in its best sense. They look stunning, are sublimely comfortable and deliver a spacious, upfront sound. Sundara is definitely aimed at those who really understand what the sound quality is, for audiophiles with experience. Someone may not have enough low frequencies, but many fans of low frequencies after some time listening to Sundara completely change their minds about this range. You can see exactly how the sound picture should sound and be created. HIFIMAN once again proved that a good sound can be available to many for really acceptable money (especially considering today’s price about 350$).
We recommend this model for audiophiles who are looking universal headphones for every day, also for inexperienced beginners who want to understand what the right sound is, the correct presentation and what the sound should actually be.
- Driver Type: Planar
- Design: Over-Ear (Circumaural)
- Earcup Style: Open-Back
- Sensitivity: 94 dB
- Impedance: 37 Ohms
- Audio Connector: 1/8″ / 3.5 mm Straight
- Connector to Earpiece: 2 x 1/8″ / 3.5 mm
- Detachable Cable: Yes
- Weight: 13.12 oz / 372 g
Official site: https://hifiman.com
Buy: Official Hifiman store, Amazon, AliExpress.