Hifiman Ananda Nano Review – Headfonia Reviews

In this two-page article, we review the $599 USD Hifiman Ananda Nano open-back planar headphones.

 

Disclaimer: Hifimansent us the Ananda Nano for this review, free of charge. This article reflects my unbiased opinion about the product.

HIFIMAN

It’s virtually impossible not to have heard of Hifiman. This bold audio company, led by Dr. Fang Bian, was established in 2005. Over the years, I’ve had the pleasure of using many of the company’s remarkable products, such as the HM801, HM901s, HE-560, and HE-6. These devices were all legendary in their own right, setting gold standards in their respective eras. I still vividly recall the first time I heard the liquid, sweet sound of the HM801, which evoked a flood of memories. Time truly does fly.

Today, Hifiman continues to redefine industry standards, particularly with its full-sized headphones. One of the many factors that distinguish Hifiman is their innovative spirit, constantly striving for improvement across all price ranges they cater to. They create headphones with different sound signatures – warm, neutral, and balanced – to attract the majority of the audiophile. We’ve reviewed numerous Hifiman products at Headfonia, and each time we’re as excited as if it were our first encounter. Today, we’ll be reviewing one of Hifiman’s latest offerings, the Ananda Nano. Essentially a supercharged Ananda, it’s equipped with the new Nanometer Thickness Diaphragm and is set to defend the company’s position in the $500-$1000 price bracket.

You can take a look at our Hifiman reviews by clicking here and you can always read our interview with Dr. Fang Bian from here.

HIFIMAN ANANDA NANO

The Ananda Nano is the latest member of the famous ANANDA headphone line. This third iteration features the Nanometer Thickness Diaphragm, which is based on the reference SUSVARA open-back headphone. This diaphragm features ultra-low distortion, lightning-fast transient response, and noticeable improvements in dynamics and overall details compared to the original Ananda

Dr. Fang Bian, Founder and CEO of HIFIMAN, notes that the Ananda has been one of their most popular headphones since its introduction in 2018. The development of the Nanometer Thickness Diaphragm has allowed them to enhance its performance while maintaining the wide soundstage and pleasing musicality that made the original model a favorite among audiophiles.

The Hifiman Ananda Nano also incorporates the Stealth Magnet design from the SUSVARA, which allows soundwaves to pass through the magnets without interference. This advanced magnet design is acoustically transparent, reducing turbulence that can degrade the integrity of the soundwaves.

The Ananda Nano is now available for ordering at an MSRP of $599.

Specifications

Driver: Nanometer Thickness Diaphragm Planar with Stealth Magnet Design

Headband: Adjustable Hybrid Headband with Suspension Strap

Frequency Response: 5Hz-55kHz

Sensitivity: 94dB

Impedance: 14Ω

Weight: 419g

Packaging & Accessories

The new Ananda Nano is with me since mid-June and since the sample I received was without an official box, I can’t photograph the packaging as usual. However, the headphone comes with a good-looking hardshell carrying case, an 3.5mm to 6.35mm adapter, and the same rubber-coated dual 3.5mm to single 3.5mm headphone cable that we experienced with the Edition XS.

Hifiman recently moved to a more ”cardboardy” packaging design with nearly all their headphone line-up. They also replaced the inner shiny fabric with a foam compartment, which can also double as a headphone stand.

Design & Comfort

The Ananda Nano continues Hifiman’s tradition of egg-shaped earcup design. It bears a striking resemblance to the Ananda Stealth Magnets Edition, but the Nano introduces a reworked headband to ensure a superior seal around the ears. The earcups of the Ananda Nano are a hybrid of plastic and metal. The grille, a crucial component for sound quality, is crafted from metal, while the surrounding frame is constructed from sturdy plastic.

The grille’s design is not merely aesthetic; it serves a significant acoustic purpose. If I recall correctly, Hifiman first introduced this grille design, known as the “Window Shade Grill,” with the HE1000. The company needed a design solution that would offer effective driver protection while optimizing the open-back design for the best possible sound quality. The grille’s openness prevents sound waves from undergoing secondary refraction, thereby avoiding unwanted vibration and distortion.

Meanwhile, the redesigned headband offers slightly more clamping force and a wider range of compatibility for different head shapes and sizes. This is good news for audiophiles with both large and small heads. For me, it’s an extra big plus because I had my share of fit issues with the Edition XS. The Ananda Nano eliminates that problem entirely and offers a very comfortable fit for my head.

The ear pads, which are user-replaceable, attach to the headphones via small clips. They are made from polyester and pleather, filled with medium-density foam. The portion that comes into contact with your skin is perforated polyester, effectively mitigating any sweat-related discomfort. The ear pads are large-sized and asymmetrically shaped to completely envelop your ears. This design ensures that your ears don’t touch the inside of the pads, enhancing overall comfort during extended listening sessions

The Ananda Nano’s color scheme is a tasteful combination of silver and black. In my opinion, this duo of colors is a fitting choice for a headphone of this caliber, as it conveys a modern and also professional aesthetic.

The optimized clamping force, supportive pleather headband, and improved skeleton significantly enhance the comfort level compared to the Edition XS, which I’ve been using daily for over a year. The headphones are incredibly comfortable, and I applaud Hifiman for achieving this improvement without adding any extra weight. 

Overall, Hifiman has hit the mark with the Ananda Nano in terms of comfort, fit, and design. I would love to see them transition from plastic to aluminum alloy chassis in the future, but it seems that this will remain a potential improvement for another day.

Hifiman Ananda Nano – Sound

Testing Equipment: FiiO K9 PRO ESS, Topping E70V & L70, Chord Mojo 2, Topping G5, Lavricables Master Line, DHC Peptide Extreme 

Hifiman has consistently impressed me with its offerings, and the Ananda Nano is no exception. I’ve always held Hifiman’s planar headphones in high regard, considering them the last stop before the electrostatics. Having used the Edition XS daily for a year, I’ve had ample opportunity to experience a variety of equipment alongside it. Before delving into the Nano’s sound, I’d like to elaborate on this point. Planar headphones indeed have a unique sound, distinct from dynamic driver headphones. The sensation I first experienced with the HE-6 was replicated when I switched from a dynamic driver headphone to a Hifiman with planar drivers.

Planar magnetic drivers, unlike the conical moving coil speakers found in most consumer headphones, are flat planes traced with conductive filaments, suspended between rows of powerful magnets. This design results in low distortion levels, a crisp presentation, and impressive clarity. They provide a sense of spaciousness and great clarity, which I’ve consistently observed in Hifiman’s offerings. Regardless of your audiophile preferences – whether you’re a basshead, a treblehead, or a reference lover – Hifiman’s headphones are bound to impress from the first listen. This unique blend of technicality and clarity is what drew me to planar headphones, not just for music, but also for movie watching.

The Ananda Nano’s incredibly thin diaphragm allows the drivers to move extremely quickly and stop just as fast, resulting in improved details and texture in the sound. The use of Stealth Magnets further enhances the design by reducing sound wave diffraction and improving clarity and dynamic range.

While marketing claims and reality often diverge, my month-long testing of the Ananda Nano has left my ears thoroughly pleased. The presentation is clean and dynamic, with a neutral overall signature. The tonal balance is quite good, and the timbre of the instruments feels very lifelike. Additionally, the stage width, depth, and imaging are excellent. As someone who appreciates technical capability, I find the Ananda Nano’s agile signature to be one of the most impressive in its price bracket. In terms of Pace, Rhythm, and Timing (PRaT), it may be one of the fastest headphones I’ve ever listened to, which is no small feat. Consider this a teaser as we delve deeper into the details.

 

The review continues on Page Two, after the click HERE or by using the jump below.

Page 1: Hifiman, Ananda Nano, Packaging & Accessories, Design, Build & Comfort, Sound Intro

Page 2: Low, Mid, High, Technical Capability, Comparisons, Last Words

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