HiFiMAN is known for producing some very good bang-for-the-buck planar magnetics, and the Sundara is just that. It basically picks up where the HE-400is left off. The Sundara is the continuation of the older HE-400/500 headphones, but only in spirit as both the mechanics and the drivers have been completely overhauled. The massive changes in design should primarily lead to both better acoustics and ergonomics, improvements that many adopters of the HE-400i have been wanting for a while.
Sundara’s more rugged all-black design is a clear departure from the older, smoother look HiFiMAN designs used to feature. The more rugged look is a welcome addition, as are stabler 3.5 mm jack connectors in the ear cups and a stabler, more comfortable headband.
Sundara features a NEO “super nano” diaphragm (NsD)
The Sundara is built around a new and improved Neo “super nano” Diaphragm (NsD) that is 80% thinner than the older HE400 series and offers a faster and more detailed response plus an improved frequency range.
At a glance, the Sundara appears to have a minimalist utilitarian design. The majority of the components are matte black metal except for the plastic enclosures that surround the adjustment sliders.
A lightweight spring steel headband forms the backbone of the headphones, and unlike some other headphones with this feature, the headband does not vibrate or ring when moved or bumped. There is a wide faux leather strap attached to the plastic adjustment slider enclosures.
The headphones’ yokes are lightweight but feel reassuringly strong. Their matte black finish perfectly matches the outer band of the earcups, which are made from the same material. A lattice wire grill forms the framework for the open backs of the earcups.
The Sundara’s angled earpads are a hybrid design that features a faux leather band around the diameter and a porous fabric material on the side that rests against your ears. The headphones weigh just 372g and do not emit any squeaks or rattles when handled. Overall, the build quality feels outstanding and, at the same time, very cleverly designed to maximize the user experience.
Porous Fabric on the Inner Side for Optimum Comfort
The Sundara’s are rated at 37 Ohm, which means that they are not hard to drive. But like all planar headphones, this comes to life if you pair it with a good amplifier. Running this beast off a phone or the 3.5mm port of your PC will mean that you are seriously underutilizing it.
Unlike some of Hifiman’s other headphones, Sundara’s earpads do not swivel from side to side. This does not seem to have any negative effect on comfort and actually makes the headphones feel more robust and stable.
The wide headband does a fantastic job of evenly distributing any pressure on the top of the head. The clamping force is supposed to be strong enough to hold the headphones in place without exerting any excessive pressure on the head. Thus, they are extremely comfortable, even during long listening sessions.
With the porous fabric on the inner side of the earpads and open backs, Additionally, the pads are thick enough to prevent the ears from resting against the hard driver enclosure.
Last words about this product
The all-new beautiful and innovative headband design provides for an accurate fit and increased comfort. Additionally, SUNDARA utilizes all-aluminum ear enclosures and has a 94dB sensitivity, which makes it very easy to drive with any DAP or Smartphone.
6Hz-75kHz frequency response
37 ohms in impedance
372g in weight
If you want to get the most out of your over-ears, you should consider better cables – and even more the option of having a balanced cable (especially when you have a high-end audio player from Astell & Kern etc.). At the headphone.shop, you get a great discount on selected upgrade cables when bundled with high-class headphones. Find upgrade cables here.