Hifiman Edition X V2

Hifiman Edition X V2

The Edition X V2 is a revised version of the original Edition X, released in 2015 alongside the original Hifiman HE-1000. It shares the same oval “eggshape” structure as the bigger brother, with tall cups and suspension headband. It is meant as an easier to drive, portable version of the HE-1000.

The Edition X v2 is fairly light, and very comfortable. The huge ear pads have plenty of room for the ears, and the headstrap is very soft. The fit can be a bit awkward with the oval cups though. The build quality is decent, with a mix of plastic and metal. It comes with 2 cables (short and long) in a kind of rubber material, but they are not great.

The Edition X V2 can be driven from portable source, although it is not as easy to drive as I expected. It’s a bit less demanding than a pair of Sennheiser HD600, but not by a lot. Measurements on Innerfidelity indicate 0.80mW for 90 dB SPL, which translates into ~90.6 dB/mW. Despite the low impedance, this is a bit insensitive.

○ Release : 2016
○ Current status : Discontinued
○ Type : Over-ear / Open-back
○ Measured weight : 401g
○ Impedance : 25 Ohms
○ Sensitivity : ~91 dB/mW
○ Average used price : $600-800

The Edition X V2 is generally a very laid-back and relaxing headphone. More than most Hifiman cans I have heard to date. The tonal balance is warm.

The bass has great extension but does not sound super tight. It has a bloomy or “wooly” character as the impact is not very taut, but still good. This headphone can deliver great sub-bass. I tend to prefer good tight bass but the bass here is overall still satisfying. The midrange is slightly thick sounding, with a smooth upper-mids response. 1-4 khz region is a bit recessed, with the biggest dip around 2 khz, which is common with Hifiman headphones and some other planars.

The treble is the smoothest I have heard in any Hifiman headphone. Older Hifiman models used to be agressive and quite bright, but even post-2015 models still have one or two peaks between 5-10 khz. The Edition X V2 does not have any forward peak in the treble. It just sounds smooth … maybe a bit too much. Decent amount of air.

The laid-back character comes from the tonality as well as the presentation / technicalities. Transients are quite soft and this headphone is not very forward or punchy sounding. Very different compared to a Focal or older Hifimans. Some people may not like it. I prefer dynamic sounding headphones but I can find myself enjoying soft sounding ones in the evenings.

The Edition X V2 has this very tall and spacious stage found on the HE-1000 and the Arya, although with slightly less separation and layering capabilities. Detail retrieval is pretty good, but the lack of attack can often indirectly mask the resolution it can deliver. I still think something like a Focal Clear is a good bit more resolving, so is the Arya. 

The Edition X V2 is a good sounding headphone, very easy to listen. Definitely not worth at its original MSRP price ($1700). Probably a fair value used, although the Ananda might be a better choice if it comes with warranty. I haven’t heard the Ananda, but based on measurements, it should be between the Edition X V2 and the Arya in terms of tonal balance. 

Measurements & Resources


  • Conrad

    I own these and agree with your impressions – they are definitely somewhat light on the dynamics and particularly light in the treble regions – I think in part the treble smoothness may give an impression that the level of the treble is lower than it actually is but they are certainly less bright than my Sundara 2020 revision and in extension the Ananda and Arya. I find these to be a headphone I put on and am a little bothered by the lack of impact and excitement I get from the sound, but as I give them a little more time during the listening session I forget about their lack of apparent impact and appreciate them more – I have a very similar reaction to my Audeze LCD2 even though the two headphones are markedly different. I guess you could call the Edition X V2 the anti-thesis to the HE6 in terms of overall character.

    I’ve been reading your blog and have found your posts to be really informative and practical, I like your writing style.

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