Usually we can depend on audiophile companies to release new gear on some kind of schedule — it gives us time to keep up. Not so with Hifiman, apparently — we’ve received a veritable storm of press releases about new and refreshed headphones They’ve been busy.
First up is the Jade II, electrostatic headphone featuring ultra-thin “nanotech” drivers and aluminum construction. Many regard electrostats as the best headphones in the world, and we’ve had enough time with Hifiman’s $50,000 Shangri-La to believe it — we’re excited to hear this one. The Jade II will be sold alone ($1,500) and as part of a system with a dedicated amplifier ($2,500).
Next is the Arya, a full-size planar magnetic headphone with a similar form factor to the Ananda we reviewed last month. Priced at $1,599, the Arya uses driver similar in material and thickness to Hifiman’s top-end planar, the HE1000V2, at a lower price. Is it named after the Game Of Thrones character? We don’t know, but we hope so.
Last but not least, Hifiman is releasing refreshed versions of the headphones that put it the company on the map — the HE6SE ($1,799), HE5SE ($699), and the HE1000SE ($3,499). None of these are cheap by any means, but that’s not exactly the point. The original versions of these headphones were each legendary in their own right, but also flawed. The updated versions each feature tweaks to address those original flaws, like updated headbands and yokes, more user-friendly cable connectors, updated cables, higher sensitivity, and new finishes. For fans of the original, this will be like being able to buy a classic car with modern amenities. As far as we’ve heard, however, not everything has changed — the HE6SE is apparently just as hungry as the original HE6 that people connect to speaker amplifiers!
We’ll have full reviews for some of these coming up soon. Until then, one thing is clear — we shouldn’t take our eyes off Hifiman for a second.