Hifiman Edition XS

jsl20

Active Member
It looks like Hifiman recently released an update to their Edition X headphone - the Edition XS.

There are a few reviews kicking around, including one very good one from Cheapaudioman. The usual headphone review suspects on YouTube don't seem to have played with a pair yet bit I'm intrigued. Has anyone been able to demo a pair of these yet?
 

ChorltonWheelie

Active Member
You might want a quick look in the 'Show us your cans' thread😉
 

jsl20

Active Member
Ah amazing! Very keen to hear your thoughts when you've had enough time to listen to them. Also very impressed you didn't get hit with any duties.
 

ChorltonWheelie

Active Member
Ok, they have a very crisp and precise typically Planer sound with a bit of welcome warmth in the tuning. 'U' shaped I'd say, the middle isn't recessed in any way but isn't pushed forward...all the jazz instrumentation and voices were beautifully presented in the middles....just different to, say, the sennheiser's.

I started with the second side of Miles's Milestones and was immediately stuck with the presence of the band, everything in its place and dealt with a hell of a lot of speed all the way through. These things are fast. I put on Mingus Ah Um and it just got better. Brilliant separation, lovely timbre to each part, every shout, grunt and exhortation clearly definable. I was sat in a holographic and musical centre.

The bass wasn't overwhelming me so I thought I'd see how far it dug and put on Hypersonic Dance-Tones (1990 techno bleep with a scratched run out message to "watch your speakers"). Oh man! Just pure, smooth sub bass. If there is bass on the recording these cans will give it to you.

Next I threw on some jangly 80's indie in the shape of the Wedding Present's George Best. This gave the XS a chance to sparkle in the upper registers and they did just that. The cascading guitars where bright, pinpoint and loads of fun...Gedge's often mumbling heartbroken lyrics were opened up and plainly understandable in the midst of it all. Great stuff, I've owned this record for years and know it inside out yet these revealed things I hadn't grasped before. A cliche I know but there you are.

Sunn 0))) tectonic wall off heavy feedback now. Oh yeah, yeah. Not just a wall of fuzz but I could hear the skeleton that holds up the behemoth. To bring out the musicality and frequency reach of music like this outside of a live hearing is some feat.

Some thoughts. I have a big head...always get the biggest hat size and they're often still tight but these fitted perfectly without me extending the arms. They are whoppers and the clamping force isn't tight. The supplied cable is adequate but a bit short, I sit right by my amp and managed to pull out the connecter a couple of times. They are nice and light, I found the pads comfy with no sweatyness and the headband disappeared. The build quality is sound. All the stitching, connections and pads are put together well. My Cyrus Amp delivers 2 x 1W and needed to be turned up two thirds-ish, despite being 18 ohms they like a big slug of power. I haven't tried them with a mobile device yet.

I can't wait to finish work later and get stuck in again. They seemed to improve over a few hours use (the Hifiman manual states they need 150 hours of burn in to properly shine! Argue away, I thought they were great out of the box but my ears definitely 'told' me it got better).

I can't compare them with a slew of other models because, frankly, I'm not made of money. However the job I wanted from them was to be able to approach the sound from my big B&W speaker and BK sub woofer when my long suffering partner and neighbours are in bed. And dear reader...they do.
 

ChorltonWheelie

Active Member
Just a quick update...these things open up like mad after extended use.
I've seen all the "headphone burn in is bull" vs the "three weeks of pink noise" arguments so don't bore me with them below.
Just let me tell you these planers get a wider stage, better timbre and the bass begins to slam giving their whole character a more musical bent. I'm very impressed.
 

camcroft

Well-known Member
Just a quick update...these things open up like mad after extended use.
I've seen all the "headphone burn in is bull" vs the "three weeks of pink noise" arguments so don't bore me with them below.
Just let me tell you these planers get a wider stage, better timbre and the bass begins to slam giving their whole character a more musical bent. I'm very impressed.
I believe you about burn in. I know some of the others are sceptical. Enjoy
fire-headphones-d-illustration-hot-flaming-music-concept-174290378.jpg
 

Steven

Senior Moderator
Human perception is individual. Whether it is equipment burn in, or brain burn in, or both, the enjoyment is for the listener and that is what counts 😎
 

WhiteHartMart

Distinguished Member
Will have to look these up and check on importing - had the Sundara's a while back but fancy trying these as the next step up?
 

jsl20

Active Member
I didn't get on with the Sundara - I found the treble very "splashy" sounding. If you don't want to risk an import from China there are UK-based resellers though they're charging £479 so you're paying ~£120 for the privilege compared to Ali Express.
 

ChorltonWheelie

Active Member
The reviews are beginning to trickle in nicely now. I agree wholly with Christopher Coke's assessment. It's worth searching out.

I gave them their first orchestral work out last night. Beethovens No 3 (Eroica) the 60's Karajan/Berlin version. Just sublime, honestly.
Really happy I early adopted, you probably know how wrong that can go, so got them for just over £300 on import...I think they'll hold their own even with plague island tax at sub £500 though. Definitely punching above their weight.
 

Hawklord

Well-known Member
My Aliexpress order has been shipped. Hopefully will be here in the next couple of weeks.

Will my IFI Zen DAC be an OK match for these or will I have to fork out for a better DAC/Amp?
 

camcroft

Well-known Member

ChorltonWheelie

Active Member
I couldn't find the new Edition XS on that calculator...it's a different beast to the X and X V2.

For a guide my amp outputs 2 x 1W (1000mW) max and I need to turn it pretty high...don't let the nominal impedance fool you. 18ohm at 92dB wants a surprisingly wide pipe of power.
 

camcroft

Well-known Member
I couldn't find the new Edition XS on that calculator...it's a different beast to the X and X V2.

For a guide my amp outputs 2 x 1W (1000mW) max and I need to turn it pretty high...don't let the nominal impedance fool you. 18ohm at 92dB wants a surprisingly wide pipe of power.
I would think that they are not aimed at the UK market. I couldn't find them anywhere
thats why Aliexpress sell them. Only specialist dealers here sell them the ones on ebay are a seller in America Amazon is US too. Its strange nobody on your "show us your cans" has commented on them
 
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reecie

Well-known Member
The reviews are beginning to trickle in nicely now. I agree wholly with Christopher Coke's assessment. It's worth searching out.

I gave them their first orchestral work out last night. Beethovens No 3 (Eroica) the 60's Karajan/Berlin version. Just sublime, honestly.
Really happy I early adopted, you probably know how wrong that can go, so got them for just over £300 on import...I think they'll hold their own even with plague island tax at sub £500 though. Definitely punching above their weight.
Who did you use to buy them on Aliexpress?
 

camcroft

Well-known Member
electricxiaomi
What is their returns policy. I would be a bit concerned spending all that money and then having to pay to send them back if something was wrong. Just a thought.
 

ChorltonWheelie

Active Member
It's dodgy AF.
It's £479 from uk retailers if you want peace of mind.
 

ChorltonWheelie

Active Member
@

ChorltonWheelie now taht you've had the XS's a while anything further to add after running them in? Mine should be here this week so eager to hear your thoughts.​

Not a lot to add to the above that isn't just gushing on about how great they are.
I've just been away and took my Sony WH 1000xm's with me for the plane. I always liked their warm thumpy sound. However, they now sound awful and veiled to me...like listening to music next door. The planar's have ruined them for me.
 

JohanEkelof

Standard Member
So, Edition XS vs Ananda ? Which is the better headphone? :)
 

reecie

Well-known Member
So punt taken mine arrived from Aliexpress (electricxiaomi) today - ordered 23rd Feb. No duty and cost £311 with some vouchers applied. Perfectly fine experience, got updates on various stages of the delivery and knew when they were in this country. Packing was good even if the box had a very slight dent. So happy with all that side of it. First impressions of the XS - they are massive I thought I had a largish head but only need a slight extension on the headband. Comparing to my existing Sennheiser 598SE are that the 598s seem flimsy and featherweight in comparison. Overall sound is better balanced I think as the 598s now seem very voice forward. Details in background instruments that were slight are now revealed as distinct things in their own right. There is just a lot more detail revealed, wider soundstage and it feels an overall more balanced presentation compared to what I was used to. They sound better with my Topping A30pro in high gain than medium so probably they do need a bit more juice. Overall very pleased and relieved they work fine :)
 

jsl20

Active Member
I grabbed a pair too! I'm still probably under 10 hours of usage but immediate reaction is that they're very good. Soundstage is wide, bass and sub-bass is very good and I see what people mean about the bump in the high end. In terms of build the quality is OK (no gaps in components, no creaks or groans) but I would say the materials do feel a bit cheap for a $500 headphone with a lot of plastic, not much difference between them and my HD58X which are less than half the price.

What headphone amps are other XS owners using? I'm using a Vali 2, interesting to know any thoughts of solid state users.

EDIT: after a bit of a comparison between the Vali 2 and a Dragonfly Red the tube amp definitely takes a lot away from the Edition XS so it's on the shelf. Might be time for a new headphone amp.
 
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Grogu

Active Member
@iFi audio which of your products would you recommend with the Edition XS please? I have a Creative G6 so looking for something that's a nice step up from that, but also a great match for the XS please. I also have some Beyer DT900 Pro X and X2 HR I would use on the stack I get.

Would people say the XS is an appreciable step up in quality from a wireless Penrose headset please? Taking first steps into £300+ arena

I may add Audeze LCD GX soon too
 

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