Compendium updated January 21st, 2021.
At the time of this post, the HiFiMAN Ananda is fourteen months old--an interesting time in the lifespan of a headphone. At this point, it’s made its way around the review circuit and has been price-dropped by a whopping $300. That isn’t to suggest that the reviews were so bad they forced HiFiMAN’s hand--quite the opposite. The reviews are incandescent, and after reading them you may decide that there’s never been a better time to buy.
We’ve compiled reviews from across the web for your reference. What you’ll find here are the TLDR versions of the full reviews (which you can access with the provided links). We’ll continue updating this compendium as reviews come in.
From Headphones.com’s review of the HiFiMAN Ananda, originally published on April 29th, 2020:
“And so just like my previous evaluation, it's my pleasure to thoroughly recommend the HiFiMAN Ananda. It was great at $1000 and it's just as good on sale now at $700. In my mind, the Ananda is so good that I consider it a bit of a benchmark headphone at this sale price - if indeed it stays there.”
From Headphonics’ review of the HiFiMAN Ananda, originally published on December 30th, 2018:
“With the Ananda, slow but surely the new Hifiman house sound is beginning to take shape. With a little of the previous Edition X V2 musicality shaved off in favor of a more balanced and dare I say it, slightly more reference type sound the Ananda represents possibly one of the companies most mature offerings to date.
“The enhanced build quality also seems to suggest that this new form factor will be here for some time also in a lot fo the newer Hifiman headphones. Possibly not all given the Arya has the old headband edition but a substantial majority at least. You do lose a little in terms of absolute fit but the large cups seem to negate any battles nicely for a sweet spot on your head.
"And yes. $999 is a welcome price drop, very welcome indeed. Sub-$1000 has become a much more competitive territory these days for planar designers with just about everyone trying to reclaim it in the last 18 months or so. The Ananda may very well be one of the best sounding ones yet and well worth a demo if you are shopping on that budget.”
From PCMAG’s review of the HiFiMAN Ananda, originally published on July 2nd, 2018:
“It isn't often we award five stars to a product. The last pair of headphones to earn this distinction were the Grado GS1000 in 2007. Before you get too excited about the rating at the top of the page, however, keep in mind the HiFiMan Ananda headphones reviewed here cost $999. That's no typo—three 9s. Their planar magnetic drivers and open design provide a superb sense of space and detail throughout the frequency range. In my testing, it felt like I was hearing some tracks I've listened to for years for the very first time. Simply put, the headphones sound astonishingly good, and join an elite five-star club—and obviously earn our Editors' choice award, as well.”
From Headfonia’s review of the HiFiMAN Andana, originally published on June 12th, 2018:
“The Ananda is great and looking purely at sound quality and the level of technicalities it is the best headphone of the Edition X series. Forget about it being a successor of the HE-560 cause it is not. Comfort wise I somewhat feel the Edition X V2 is the better one, so I personally for my head, would love to see the Ananda drivers on the HE-1000 headband. (DIY anyone?)
“Driveability wise the Ananda is as promised: easy. The Ananda will sound different with every amplifier or source you try it with, but that doesn’t mean a simple DAP can’t drive it. What you do get from the bigger amps is the special sense of power and control and the better sound stage/spaciousness/ separation.
“The Ananda is very easy to like and I’m sure most of you will love its smooth delivery, musical mids and engaging bass. For $999 you get a lot in return and if the Edition X V2 at $1299 got an award then you just know how special the Ananda at $999 is.
“The Ananda is an incredibly nice headphone with an excellent price-quality ratio and it’s certainly one of the headphones you should listen to if you’re on the market for a set in the $1K price range. Hifiman, you did well!”
From Joshua Valour’s review of the HiFiMan Andana, originally published on August 16th, 2019:
“If you like the HiFiMAN Sundara and you want something a little bit better, a little bit wider, and an overall upgrade, this is the clearest path forward.”
“For sound quality, this is an overall very good headphone.”
“The first thing you’re going to notice...is the open and spacious nature of the sound….It has a very open sound signature.”
“Treble is very crisp and very forward. It’s not going to be as forward as something as a Beyerdynamic, like the DT1990, but there’s some decent activity up there.”
“The bass has a very gradual slope downward starting at about 100Hz. It’s a slow downward slope. The bass response is very clean. Can you hear 20-30Hz on this? Yeah. It has enough bass to leave most people satisfied….This provides a very clean, very sweet sound. [Bass] doesn’t muddy it up.”
From The Headphone Show’s review of the HiFiMan Ananda, originally published on April 28th, 2020:
“In conclusion, do I recommend the HiFiMAN Ananda? For $700...the Ananda is a fantastic headphone.
“Based on my weighted rating scale, the HiFiMan Ananda is going to get an 8.6/10.
“At around $700, I don’t think that there’s anything better than the HiFiMan Ananda.”
From Max Settings’ review of the HiFiMan Ananda, originally published on April 2nd, 2019:
“Overall, these have that great HiFiMAN sound...definitely recommended.”
Editor’s note: Emphases ours.