Ah, another HiFiMan review! As much as I’ve been reviewing headphones from this brand, I’d think I’d be sick of them by now, but that’s the way she goes, boys: just when you think you’re out, they give you another great headphone and reel you back in. And in no case is this more true than with the Edition X, which may be my favorite headphone yet – even when stacked up against the pricier HE-1000. The big question, though, is this: is it the perfect headphone for you?
HiFiMan Edition X Review
The HiFiMan Edition X is an absolute beauty to behold. My first impression was that of an anorexic HE1000 – thinner, and lighter than the original, but with a high-quality feel helped along by the leather-and-velvet earpads. Compared to other HiFiMan models, it does seem the lightest and slimmest and simply putting the thing on your head feels like sinking into a large, fluffy pillow of sonic joy.
There are two cables – a five foot cable with a 3.5mm stereo plug and 1/4” adapter and a ten foot cable with a fixed 1/4” stereo plug. Both are sheathed in a nylon material, so points for that.
The headphones sport a wide frequency range of 8-50000 hertz, and a nominal impedance of around 25 ohms (give or take 3 ohms).
Being so efficient, they don’t really benefit from an amp: simple AB testing didn’t leave me with an impression of improvement between one or the other. What will matter is source material – avoid the crappy recordings you got off of iTunes and splurge on some FLAC or WAV files, ’cause hot damn, the sound.
The sound of the Edition X is amazing. First, it’s airy. Everything just sort of floats into my ears and makes me euphoric. Lows are present, with that distinct level of detail you only get with planar magnetic ‘phones. Mids are still rich and detailed, without being overpowered or too overshadowed by the bass. Highs might seem the slightest bit piercing, but I will update this article to see if they improve after burn-in.
The level of clarity and separation is phenomenal with these, and you can really pick apart the individual nuances in even the most intricately-engineered music. While at first particularly astonished with the way it handled classical pieces (including simple, minimalist compositions, as well as more intricate stuff), I was also impressed with the way rock music benefits from the Edition X.
Most people will normally recommend HiFiMan as a brand to anyone looking for a more detailed bass, and this is a perfect headphone not just for rock music (where such a sound would be of obvious benefit), but damn-near perfect for just about anything. Just putting it through the places, I jumped between classical and rock, to bluegrass and hip-hop, to jazz and funk – and not once was I anything short of stunned.
Such is the clarity, separation, and detail of the Edition X headphone.
Is it for you, though? If you’re looking for that next great headphone, with some clean sound and well-detailed bass, look no further. For the love of God, look no further!
If the price doesn’t deter you (and at $1799 it might), buy it. Sure you could compare it to other headphones in the same price bracket – the Sennheiser HD800, the Grado PS1000e, and even the AKG K812 – but none of those turkeys will give you this kind of separation AND a warm, mellow bass.
If your game is a clean sound sans bass, sure, opt for any of those other models. But at least give these things a listen before you do.
Want more? Check out our comparison review of the Edition X.