Jon Iverson  |  Jan 15, 2018

HiFiMan had two new products on display this year: one for the budget-minded, and one not.

First, for the entry level, is the new Sundara planar headphone which will retail for $499. Josselin Marvie from HiFiMan explains that “We spent some time designing this headphone to be more reliable and comfortable, so we have a new headband design which is more lightweight as well. We also have new cups, and everything has been redesigned to make the headphone last longer.”

Inside is also a new diaphragm that is 80% thinner than the older versions, “which results in a wider frequency response from 6Hz to 76kHz at 37 ohms and 94dB sensitivity.” These indeed fit very nicely on my head and first impressions were very positive (I’d need to spend more time with these to properly evaluate). Available now.

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In the next room were the big boys: the $50,000 Shangri-La, and now the newest addition, the Shangri-La Jr. at $8,000. These should be available around the beginning of April. “This is the little brother of the Shangri-La,” notes Marvie, “with all the technologies of its big brother but we made it lighter, more compact, and of course cheaper.”

Keep in mind the price includes both the headphone and matching tube amplifier which are beautifully designed and built. I spent a bit more time with this set than the Sundara (why not!) and first impressions were very positive. Plenty of dynamic bass, with good detail, even tonality, and the imaging was laid out in a pleasing manner.