HiFiMAN Arya Stealth Magnets Headphone Review
HiFiMAN Arya Stealth Magnets Headphone Review
HiFiMAN was founded by Dr. Fang in New York – USA and is one of the most well-known personal audio companies in the audiophile word that offers a wide variety of Hi-Fi Reference and Premium class products like Portable Audio Players, Planar Magnetic & Dynamic Driver Headphones, Desktop Amplifiers, Earphones, IEM’s and TWS Headphones & Monitors.
The Arya-Stealth Magnets Version (aka Arya V3) is a full sized Open-Back headphone and the successor of the original Arya that was released back in 2018. It features a Planar Magnetic Driver with a Nanometer Thickness Diaphragm and Submicron Thickness Conductor. But that what makes the new Arya different than the original one are the Stealth Magnet Design with a special shape enables the waves to pass through the magnets without generating interference.
I would like to thank HiFiMAN for providing the Arya-Stealth Magnets Headphone as review sample. I am not affiliated with HiFiMAN beyond this review and all these words are reflecting my true and unaltered opinions about the product.
Price & Availability:
The actual price of HiFiMAN Arya-Stealth Magnets Version is $1599.00 USD. More information’s about the availability can be found under the link bellow;
Package & Accessories:
The HiFiMAN Arya Stealth Magnets Version came inside cardboard box that has a smooth surface, which is in black color. On the top of the box is the illustration of the Arya Stealth Magnets Version and a nice textured background. Here are also some product related brandings and the “Stealth Magnets Design” sticker that has a nice iridescent effect.
Inside the box are the following items;
- 1 x HiFiMAN Arya Stealth Magnets Headphone
- 1 x Detachable cable with 3.5mm plugs and 6.35mm headphone jack (150cm long)
- 1 x User Manual
- 1 x Print Material (Warranty Card, Product Advertising, etc.)
The Arya Stealth Magnets headphone comes with a 150cm long headphone cable that features a 6.35mm headphone plug. The cable is made of High Purity Crystalline Copper wires and features a woven exterior finish in black color.
It has two sockets with 3.5mm male terminations.
What I would expect from such a premium headphone would be a protective hard case and an additional cable 3.5mm TRS or even 4.4mm Pentaconn (TRRRS) balanced plug to use with a portable device.
Design, Build Quality, Comfort:
I really like the design of HiFiMAN headphones especially the series with oval (egg) shaped ear cups same like the Arya and other headphones such like the HE1000 and Ananda. The Arya Stealth Magnets Version (aka Arya V3) is made metal and high grade plastic material parts, which makes it sturdy and also lightweight at the same time.
The frame of the ear cups is made of this high grade (according to HiFiMAN) plastic material with a black finish that shows a nice bluish shimmering effect that is visible under direct sunlight.
The Arya Stealth Magnets is a headphone with an open back design that comes with HiFiMAN’s patented “Window Shade” System that has been designed to protect the very thin planar magnetic driver system and to optimize the needs of the open-back design.
The grill has a surface finish in black color and reflects the design philosophy of HiFiMAN’s latest planar headphones.
The asymmetric ear pads do follow the natural shape of the human ear. They are replaceable and do have a nice fabric surface in black color, while the exterior coating surface is made of pleather (synthetic polyurethane leather) material in black color.
The ear pads are thinner on the front and thicker at the rear side that helps to increase the wearing comfort.
The padding of the ear pads is pretty comfortable and looks quite similar to those of the HiFiMAN Ananda that I have reviewed before. Right behind the grills and inside the ear cups are thin layers of fabric material on both sides in order to protect the ultra thin planar magnetic diaphragms from dust and other small particles.
At the bottom of each ear cup are 3.5mm TRRRS female connectors that do fit fairly tight to the sockets on the detachable cable.
The headband of the HiFiMAN Arya Stealth Magnets continues the same design of the original Arya, which is based on the HE1000’s suspension-strap headband system.
The headband system is made from a combination of spring steel, metal, high grade of plastic and pleather/polyester (synthetic leather) material that looks and feels pretty sturdy.
The pleather (top) and polyester (bottom) part of the headband has a perforated surface.
It is pretty comfortable and the offers enough clamping force to keep it firmly on my average sized head, without to become uncomfortable, even after longer listening periods.
The adjustable headband mechanism is a bit tight, but looks and feels otherwise quite sturdy.
The outer surface of the headband adjustment mechanism on both sides sports the HiFiMAN band logo.
At the bottom of the headband system is a metal part, which combines the ear cup holders with the headband of the HiFiMAN Arya Stealth Magnets. This is part of the rotating mechanism that can be rotated up to 360°.
The left surface of this mechanism features the HiFiMAN and the right surface has the Arya branding.
The inner surface of this part sports the left and right markings and two fixing screws on each side.
The overall build quality is pretty fine but not class leading when compared to products such like an Audeze LCD-X or Focal Clear.
Drivability & Pairing:
The HiFiMAN Arya Stealth Magnets headphone has a fairly low impedance of 32ohm and shows sensitivity of about 94dB that makes it to more efficient planar headphone compared to the original Arya that was released in 2018. My transportable DAP the iBasso DX220 MAX (paired with the iBasso CB17 4.4mm balanced cable) was able to drive the Arya Stealth Magnets headphone over the 4.4mm Balanced output pretty well. It sounded pretty darn good, even with the Portable iBasso DX300.
However, to hear the true potential of the Arya Stealth Magnets headphone I do recommend the use of a Desktop Amplifier or DAC/AMP. For example, the xDuoo MT-604 Hybrid Amplifier shows a quite good synergy with the Arya Stealth Magnets headphone.
- Driver Type : Planar Magnetic Driver with Nanometer Thickness Diaphragm
- Impedance : 32Ω
- Sensitivity : 94dB
- Frequency Response : 8 Hz – 65kHz
- Weight : 404grams without cable / 430g with cable
- Cable Material : High Purity Crystalline Copper Wire
List of All Features:
- Nanometer Thickness Diaphragm
- Acoustically Invisible Stealth Magnet
- Patented “Window Shade” System
- Asymmetrical Ear Cups
- Metal and High-Grade Plastic Construction
- High Purity Crystalline Copper Wire
Equipment’s used for this review:
- Headphones : HiFiMAN Arya Stealth Magnets, HiFiMAN Ananda
- DAP’s : iBasso DX220 MAX, iBasso DX300
- DAC/AMP & Amplifier : xDuoo MT-604, xDuoo XA-10, xDuoo XD05 Plus, FiiO Q5S
Albums & tracks used for this review:
- Adele – My Little Love (Spotify)
- Randy Crawford – On Day I Will Fly Away (Flac 16bit/44.1kHz)
- Hayley Westenra – Odyssey Album (Dezzer HiFi)
- Dionne Warwick – Walk On By (Flac 16bit/44.1kHz)
- Sarah McLachlan – Angel (Flac 24bit/48kHz)
- Sertap Erener – Aşk (Flac 16bit/44.1kHz)
- Edith Piaf – Non Je Ne Regrette Rien (Flac 16bit/44.1kHz)
- Diana Krall – So Wonderful (DSF)
- Aretha Franklin – I Say A Little Payer (Flac 24bit/96kHz)
- David Bowie – Heroes (Flac 24bit/192kHz)
- Elton John – Rocket Man ((Flac 24bit/96kHz)
- Barry White – Just The Way You Are (Flac 24bit/48kHz)
- Isaac Hayes – Walk On By (Flac 16bit/44.1kHz)
- Sting – Englishman in New York – (Flac 24bit/48kHz)
- Eric Clapton – Wonderful Tonight (Flac 24bit/96kHz)
- B.B. King – Riding With The King (Tidal Hi-Fi)
- Dave Gahan – Kingdom (Tidal Hi-Fi)
- U2 – Sunday Bloody Sunday (Flac 16bit/44.1kHz)
- Bro Safari, UFO! – Drama (Deezer HiFi)
- Armin Van Buuren – Vini Vici (Flac 16bit/44.1kHz)
- Really Slow Motion – Deadwood (Deezer HiFi)
- Jo Blankenburg – Meraki (Spotify)
- Lorde – Royal (Flac 24bit/48kHz)
- Toutant – Rebirth (Deezer HiFi)
- Gogo Penguin – Raven (Flac 24bit/192kHz)
- Portishead – It Could Be Sweet (Spotify)
- Charly Antolini – Duwadjuwandadu (Flac 24bit/192kHz)
- Michael Jackson – Billie Jean (Flac 24bit/192kHz)
- Ferit Odman – Look, Stop & Listen (Flac 24bit/192kHz)
- Chopin – Nocturn No. 20 In C-Sharp Minor (Flac 16bit/44.1kHz)
- Fazıl Say – Nazım Oratoryosu (Live) (Flac 16bit/44.1kHz)
- Vivaldi – Le QuarttroStagioni “The Four Season” (Deezer HiFi)
- Otto Liebert& Luna Negra – The River (Flac 24bit/192kHz)
- Lunatic Soul – The Passage (Flac 16bit/44.1kHz)
- Deftones – My Own Summer (Shove it) (Flac 16bit/44.1kHz)
- Photek – The Hiden Camera (Spotify)
- Muse – Hysteria (Flac 24bit/48kHz)
- Metallica – Sad but True (Flac 24bit/96kHz)
- Opeth – Windowpane (Flac 16bit/44.1kHz)
- Megadeth – Sweating Bullets (Tidal Hi-Fi)
- Rush – YYZ (Flac 16bit/44.1kHz)
- Rush – Leave That Thing Alone (Flac 16bit/44.1kHz)
- Slayer – Angel of Death (Spotify)s
- Liquid Tension Experiment 2 – Acid Rain (Spotify)
- Yosi Horikawa – Bubbles (Spotify)
The HiFiMAN Arya Stealth Magnets Headphone features the latest Planar Magnetic Driver technology with a Nanometer Thickness Diaphragm and Submicron Thickness Conductor that is equipped with a special Stealth Magnet Design, which enables the “sound waves” to pass through the magnets without generating interference.
I didn’t listen to the original HiFiMAN Arya, but what I can immediate say for the Stealth Magnets version is that it is a very special sounding open back headphone with a impressive sense of realism. The Arya Stealth Magnets is also a pretty genre friendly open-back headphone that sounds decent, whatever you listen, if metal or classical music, pop or jazz music everything is reproduced in a highly realistic and pretty musical manner.
The HiFiMAN Arya Stealth Magnets headphone shows a mildly warm tonality and has a pretty natural timbre that is especially breathtaking when I do songs with real instruments such like Charly Antolini’s “Knock Out 2020” album or to Fazıl Say’s “Nazım Oratoryosu”, etc.
So, when it comes to the frequency analyses, I can say that Arya Stealth Magnets headphone is able to produce a very fast and controlled bass response with surprisingly good amount of impact besides the decent level of depth. The midrange is pretty forward, has a mildly warm tonality and sounds very realistic, whatever instruments and vocals. When it comes to the treble range, I can say that it is shows a decent level of resolution, along with a good sense of extension and airiness. However, it needs some burn-in (about 120 – 150 hours) so that you can reduce some sharpness that was in some tracks with treble intensive instruments and soprano vocals audible.
The review below has been written after a burn-in period of about 140 – 150 hours that has shown an audible positive effect to especially to the bass response (depth and impact) and upper midrange/treble rendering (sibilance, sharpness).
My sound impressions below are mainly based to my pairings of the HiFiMAN Arya Stealth Magnets headphone with the stock cable to the XD05 Plus (6.35mm output) and with the iBasso DX220MAX and DX300 (via 6.35mm to 3.5mm headphone plug converter/adaptor).
The planar magnetic driver of the HiFiMAN Arya Stealth Magnets headphone that is equipped with the latest Nanometer Thickness Diaphragm with a special Stealth Magnet Design is able to produce an impressive lower frequency performance that can handle complex bass passages such like Gogo Penguin’s “Raven” or Photek’s”The Hiden Camera”.
The Arya Stealth Magnets headphone offers a top of the line subbass depth and is also capable to produce a surprisingly high amount of rumble for an open-back planar headphone, if you feed it with the right source. Yes, you may don’t get the sort of rumble that you can hear and feel from a closed back dynamic driver headphone, but what it is able to show still very enjoyable. The Arya Stealth Magnets Version did show a decent subbass depth and extension when paired with the iBasso DX220 MAX or the xDuoo XD05 Plus that do have plenty of horsepower under the hood.
The subbass rumble in tracks such as, Lorde’s “Royals”, Massive Attack’s “Angle” and Armin Van Buuren’s “Vini Vici” was very exciting.
The midbass region on the other hand sounds pretty strong, tight and shows a moderate level of impact that can be improved with the bass switch of the xDuoo XD05 Plus, which shows again how capable the planar driver of the Arya is. Instruments like cross drums and trumpets are quite accented and do show a warmish and soft tonality, without to lose the impressive sense of clarity and resolution in this area.
The general midbass response from percussion instruments to drums and guitars are lightning fast and the fact that the bass is so fast, tight and controlled makes the HiFiMAN Arya Stealth Magnets highly enjoyable with a wide variety of genres from metal music and jazz to classic, pop and rock music.
The HiFiMAN Arya Stealth Magnet Version has mildly warm midrange tonality and shows a very natural timbre in this area, which fulfils my expectation from an open-back headphone at this price range. Both vocals and all sorts of instruments are reproduced with an extremely high sense of resolution and realism that is simply breathtaking.
Both male and female voices are presented in a detailed and intimate manner, while the level of transparency and airiness are top notch.
The HiFiMAN Arya Stealth Magnet Version offers a very realistic and effortless female vocal presentation. The level of detailed retrieval and realism is simply amazing when I do listen to voices such like Aretha Franklin or Sertap Erener. Emotions such like sadness or excitement are reflected by the Arya Stealth Magnet Version with an impressive sense of naturalness and realism when I do listen to Sarah McLachlan or Randy Crawford, which is simply breathtaking.
The lower midrange of the HiFiMAN Arya Stealth Magnet Version has a moderate level of depth and intensity that is sufficient to show a good sense of warmth and fullness, which is a must have while listen to male romantic male vocals such like Barry White and Isaac Hayes. Other male voices such like Elton John, Sting and David Bowie do sound pretty natural, emotional and with an impressive sense of clarity and resolution.
The HiFiMAN Arya Stealth Magnet Version really impressed me with its highly accurate instrument placement and separation. Instruments are in general well placed on the stage and there are no negative situations like muddiness or mixings, since this open-back headphone offers a decent sense of transparency and airiness in this area.
Instruments such like acoustic guitars or violas are reproduced with a nice sense of body and fullness. Pianos and violins on the other hand are represented with a gorgeous level of extension and resolution, which tended at the very beginning to sibilance and sharpness, which for the most part disappeared after some intensive burn-in, especially after the first 100 hours.
Upper Midrange & Treble:
I really like tonality and the energetic upper midrange tuning of the HiFiMAN Arya Stealth Magnet Version, which offers also an outstanding level of extension and detail retrieval from female vocals up to instruments like violins, mandolins, cymbals or flutes.
The transitions from the upper midrange towards the treble region did show some sibilance and sharpness when I had listen to instruments such like cymbals and electro guitars in songs like Metallica’s “Sad but True”, Megadeth’s “Sweating Bullets” and Muse’s “Hysteria”. However, this negative situation disappeared for the most part after some intensive burn-in of about 100 hours.
The HiFiMAN Arya Stealth Magnet Version has a very lively, pretty energetic and highly detailed treble tuning that fulfills my expectations from a headphone at this price level. The lower treble region is able to produce an excellent sense of clarity and resolution, while the level of extension that has shown in this area when I do listen to organs, organs or guitars is in one word outstanding.
The upper treble region of the Arya Stealth Magnet Version is emphasized and a bit sharp at the beginning that sounds much more controlled after the first 50 hours. This area shows in general a decent of level of energy and extension when I do listen to instruments like cymbals and snare drums for example in both metal and jazz music. What I also really like about this open-pack headphone is the sense of openness and crispiness that is created in this region that I very enjoyed.
The HiFiMAN Arya Stealth Magnet Version is a highly capable open-back headphone that is able to produce a solid sense of clarity and a high level of detail retrieval, from woodwinds to string instruments from brass to percussion instruments everything sounds lively and energetic without to sound dry or unnaturalness, which will satisfy many listeners that want an audible upgrade from an HiFiMAN Ananda, SIVGA P-II or Senneheiser HD660S.
Soundstage & Imaging:
I did not have the chance to listen to the original Arya (V2) that is very praised in the audiophile community for its huge soundstage and excellent imaging capabilities, but what I can share for the Arya Stealth Magnet Version is that is shows an impressive soundstage atmosphere with decent sense of depth, height and wideness. The level of neutral air between the instruments and the realism that is reproduced of this open-back headphone is simply amazing. What really fascinated me was the synergy of the Arya Stealth Magnet Version in combination with the iBasso DX220 MAX that offers a very black, clean and noise-free background that helps to unveil the solid micro-detail retrieval capabilities of this top of the line headphone.
HiFiMAN Arya Stealth Magnet Version versus HiFiMAN Ananda:
First of all, I know it seems not like a fair comparison since the Ananda does have a price of $600USD, while the Arya Stealth Magnet Version comes for $1600USD. However, this comparison should give an idea what you get when you upgrade to the Arya Stealth Magnet Version.
Both the Ananda and the Arya Stealth Magnet Version are open-back headphones with a fairly similar appearance. Arya Stealth Magnet Version comes with the latest planar magnetic driver technology that is equipped with the brand Stealth Magnets.
When it comes to the look and build quality I can say that the Arya Stealth Magnet Version has the classier look with it all-black finish and headband system. The Ananda with its silver/grey part such like the grills and headband plastic part do look a bit cheaper.
The Arya Stealth Magnet Version has also the upper hand in terms of comfort, which sets it apart from the Ananda, especially after longer listening periods since the headband system is softer on the top and makes slightly less camping force to your head.
Now, the most important part has come “The Sound Performance”. One of the most notable differences is the sense of realism that the Arya Stealth Magnet Version offers. Yes, the Ananda is a decent product for its price when it comes to the naturalness and realism of the presentation, especially when I do listen to acoustic or symphonic music, but the Arya Stealth Magnet Version stands with its picturing of the smallest micro detail.
Both the Ananda and the Arya Stealth Magnet Version do offer a good sense of subbass depth and rumble, while the Arya Stealth Magnet Version is ahead in terms of decay and authority that was audible in complex bass passages. The midbass of the Arya Stealth Magnet Version is tighter and has also the upper hand when it comes to the control and resolution in this area.
The midrange of both headphones does have a mildly warm and somewhat mesmerizing tonality and timbre. The Ananda has a slightly more intimate/upfront vocal presentation compared to the Arya Stealth Magnet Version, which has a slightly more distant tuning. The Arya Stealth Magnet Version offers better sense of transparency and detail retrieval when I do focus on instruments especially those that play more in the background.
The upper midrange and treble region of the Arya Stealth Magnet Version is a bit less energetic and shiny compared to the Ananda. However, the Arya Stealth Magnet Version is superior when it comes to the extension, separation and refinement in this area.
Both Headphones do offer a decent performance in terms placement and separation of instruments and the vocals. However, the Arya Stealth Magnet Version is again ahead when it comes to the sense of airiness, depth and wideness of the stage.
The HiFiMAN Arya Stealth Magnets Version is a Top of the Line open-back planar headphone that will make you want to rediscover your entire music library with its insane overall sound performance. It offers a very realistic and spacious soundstage atmosphere, where instruments do have a natural timbre and vocals are reproduced in pretty musical and intimate manner, which will satisfy many audiophile that are in search of a decent headphone upgrade.
Pros & Cons:
- + Impressive Level of Resolution
- + Bass Speed, Decay and Control
- + Transparent, Natural & Detailed Midrange Tuning
- + Natural/Realistic Vocal & Instrument Presentation
- + Immense Soundstage Atmosphere
- + Design/Look (Subjective) & Comfort (Padding & Headband)
- – Upper Midrange & Treble needs some intensive Burn-In (120 – 150 Hours) to tame sibilance & sharpness
- – Only one cable (comes with 6.35mm instead of 3.5mm plug, No Balanced Cable)
- – You will pay $1600 USD but won’t get any protective hard case
Thank you for te Read!