I had teased in my first HIFIMAN product review that more were on the way. After all, that may have been a unique set of TWS earphones featuring a high impedance voice coil paired with an external amplifier, but it's still not what made the brand famous. Nay, it is headphones HIFIMAN owes its popularity to, with a product line that now spans from $100 to $6000. The company has been around for over a decade, with an emphasis on improving sound quality and planar driver engineering as much as possible, and one such effort has led to the development of what it calls stealth magnets. I have three HIFIMAN headphones with stealth magnets all awaiting reviews, and I figured it best to begin with the most recently announced of the trio—the HIFIMAN Arya. Thanks again to HIFIMAN for providing TechPowerUp a review sample!
As for the naming, Arya generally means noble or exalted, although it usually refers to something honorable if used as a name. I still find it funny that multiple HIFIMAN products take inspiration from ancient Indian languages, but it's still more fitting a name than, say, "Arya v3" or "Arya Stealth Magnets Version." You see, HIFIMAN in its quest for continuous upgrades has had about three versions of the Arya headphones in as many years since launch. The first revision, colloquially referred to as Arya v2, brought about the patented window shade feature from higher-end headphones in the HIFIMAN lineup. The most recent one, from September 2021, was so major with driver updates that it merited a whole other SKU. HIFIMAN does not call it the Arya SE, perhaps because it doesn't flow off the tongue as easily, so I am taking the liberty of referring to it as the Arya (2021 Stealth Magnets) or just Arya (2021) during the course of this review, which begins with a look at the product specifications in the table below. I am also pairing these headphones with an optional cable—the Apos Flow seen above in red Apos Audio kindly provided for coverage.
|HIFIMAN Arya (2021 Stealth Magnets) Headphones|
|Ear Cups:||ABS plastic in black|
|Transducer Size:||65 x 100 mm|
|Transducer Principle:||Open, planar magnetic|
|Frequency Response:||8 Hz–65 kHz|
|Cable:||Dual 3.5 mm TRS from headphones to 6.35 mm (1/4") TRS connector to source|
|Weight (without cable):||430 g|
|Warranty:||One year standard + three additional months upon product registration|