Are the second gen improvements really that significant?
HiFiMan has just upgraded two of the staple pieces in their reference collection of headphones. The HE1000 V2 & Edition X V2 are finally here and delivering some unexpected changes. While both of these headphones have received several accolades for their impeccable delivery of high quality sound. Hifiman decided to further impress their audiophile clientele by upgrading to already amazing sets of headphones.
The Edition X Vs. Edition X V2
When changing the Edition X, HiFiMan listened carefully to critiques that their highly vetted headphone received. One issue that they heard about was the fit. HiFiMAN decided to change the up the headband and created a wider range of adjustments to cater to larger and smaller heads. Additionally, HiFiMAN decided to take the opportunity to change the earpands to provide a better, more comforting fit. They made the earpads on this model thicker and increased the asymmetrical angle that the Edition X had. The purpose of this was to provide an a more secure fit that better followed the natural curvature of the human ear
The biggest change made to these headphones come in the upgraded materials sourced to make them. The yoke on the Edition X was made of plastic, now the Edition X V2 has an aluminum yoke which provides a more stable listening experience and increases the durability of the headphone.
The earpads have changed a bit as well. While the exterior of the pads is still made of the soft leathette, the surface of the earpads have been upgraded from velour to a high grade polyester. This change helps create a more accurate, crisper, clearer sound representation.
The HE1000 was one of the most sought out headphones on the market. Being the recipient of many prestigious awards in the audiophile community, HiFiMAN didn’t have much room for improvements. Somehow they managed to pull off some upgrades that have impressed the already impressed.
Like the Edition X, HiFiMAN decided to make the fit of these headphones a bit better for consumers, by adding more adjustments to the headband and changing the shape of the ear pads. The surface of the earpads has also been upgraded from velour to the same high grade polyester that the Edition X V2 has received. But, there are some more noticeable changes.
The earcups on these headphones have been slimmed down form 14mm to 11mm, to create lighter lower profile look. Previously weighing in a 480 grams, now the HE1000 V2 are 420 grams.
The most noticeable difference in this upgrade is the new diaphragm. The HE1000 V2 is actually has the thinnest headphone diaphragm on the market, and the World’s first diaphragm in nanometer thickness. This, according to HiFiMAN, has significantly impacted the already amazing sound quality. In addition to this, the HE1000 V2 sports New and improved cables made of Crystalline Copper and Crystalline Silver, designed to enhance the low and and reduce signal loss.
So are these upgrades worth it?
Well, the Edition X and HE1000 were already amazing headphones to start off with. The new expansions in the HE1000 V2 & Edition X V2, have vastly improved the original incarnations, but the old versions are still amazing. If you were trying to decipher which of the models to buy with either pair of headphones, I would say pick version 2. Both of the V2 models are worth the extra money that you will spend. This especially applies to the HE1000, which now boasts improved signal quality and a deeper low end. However, If you already own either model, I don’t see the upgrades to be significant enough to warrant repurchasing them in an upgraded version. While these are amazing improvements, the original versions are still considered to be excellent high quality audiophile headphones.