Hifiman Sundara

The Sundara came out last year as a replacement for both HE400i and HE560. Originally priced at $500, retail price was reduced to $350, which is quite competitive for a planar.

The build quality appears to be good and an improvement over previous low/mid range Hifiman headphones, with a metal construction.

Unfortunately, there are many drivers failures reports and the cups have no swivel adjustement, 2 big flaws. Other than that, the Sundara is comfortable and not very hard to power.

○ Release : 2018
○ Current status : In production
○ Type : Over-ear / Open-back
○ Measured weight : 388g
○ Impedance : 37 Ohms
○ Sensitivity : ~90-94 dB/mW
○ Average used price : $250-290

Sound Impression
The Sundara has an overall balanced tonality, leaning a bit on the bright / light side.

Bass is well extended but starts to roll-off around 30-35 Hz, based on my listening impressions, sine sweep tests and measurements. The bass is very clean but lacks slam. Midrange always sounds a bit distant to me – the typical recession around 2-3 kHz is definitely audible on this Sundara. Probably not the best candidate for mid-centric genres.

Treble is actually good and clean for a planar. It sounds elevated around 8-9 kHz, a tad too much for my tastes. The Sundara is a bit sibilant, but nowhere as annoying as a Beyer or HD800. It just has a small metallic timbre because of the treble, which is quite refined and extended past 10 kHz.

The Sundara is well resolving for $350. Clean presentation with good amount of details. Dynamic range is not the best I’ve heard, but it’s a positive evolution from the HE400i / HE560 as they sounded compressed. Staging is decently wide, imaging is precise.

I can recommend the Sundara for the price, it’s definitely one of the better planar you can buy -new- for $350 or less. It’s not my favorite planar under $500 as I’m not the biggest fan of the slightly V-shape tone and elevated treble. I prefer the HE500 and Verum warmer tonalities.


Measurements & Resources

Not the deepest bass notes below 30 Hz. Upper-midrange recession around 2-3 kHz. Treble is overall not too elevated but still a bit peaky from 5 to 10 kHz. I mostly hear a peak around 5-6 kHz and another one at 9 kHz. Though measurements are quite inaccurate past 10 kHz, i hear solid treble extension.

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