In this review we look at the Hifiman Audivina headphone. It is selling for $1,999 USD at this moment.
Disclaimer: Hifiman directly sent us the Audivina for this review in exchange for our honest opinion.
It is simply impossible that you have not heard of Hifiman. They are China-based personal audio company led by Dr. Fang Bian and they have been around for easily 15 years.
If you’re into personal audio, then you probably have some knowledge about the Hifiman brand. It was founded in 2007 by Dr Fang in New York to produce high-end personal audio products. Hifiman was the first brand to release a high-end portable audio player, the HM-801, which was like a catalyst for Reference Audio Players that we know today.
One of the many points that make Hifiman stand out is that they are a very innovative company, and they are constantly chasing the better, in every price range. They create different flavoured headphones, warm, neutral, and balanced, for every kind of audiophile out there. We’ve reviewed many Hifiman gear in the past at Headfonia, and each time we get excited as if it’s the first time. Just type Hifiman in our search box.
For those of you who’d like to know more about Hifiman and their founder, there’s always this interview we did with him: https://headfonia.com/q-n-a-saturday-hifiman/
In this new Hifiman review, we’re looking at their Audivina, it’s their latest high-end closed-back full -sized headphone. The previous Hifiman headphone we reviewed was the HE1000 Stealth headphone. You can find that review here. Hifiman recently launched a number of new products: the Arya Organic, the Ananda Nano, the Svanar Wireless and the EF600.You can find all of Hifiman’s reviews here.
Let’s get started with the Audivina!
Hifiman labels the Audivina as Studio headphones, and as we’re used to from Hifiman the driver type is Planar Magnetic. The Audivina name comes from the combination of the words Audi (meaning listening) and Vina (Sanskrit meaning sitar).
The three main features of the Hifiman Audivina are the NEO “Supernano” Diaphragm, the acoustically invisible Stealth Magnet Design and the Curved Resonance Chamber. Especially the latter one is interesting here as we’re all already familiar with Hifiman’s excellent driver technology (Check out our previous Hifiman reviews to know more about these technologies).
According to Hifiman, the resonance chamber design was inspired by the highly respected acoustic architecture of the Bayreuth Festival Theater in Germany. You can find out all about this infrastructure in this report, including pictures, measurements and well, everything you ever wanted to know about this place. In short: The multi-stage attenuation contributes to the listener’s experience of hearing a wide, detailed soundstage in a small, enclosed space. Sound takes a circuitous route through the chamber, creating a wide soundstage.
When you first listen to the Audivina your ears will have to get used to this unique, typical presentation of sound. It’s not like the typical classic sound, but it really all is about soundstage, spaciousness, and immersiveness. More on this later in this article. As said, the Audivina is marketed as a studio headphone with a soundstage of an open-back headphone. To achieve this Hifiman’s full range output eliminates resonance and introverted sound, making it the ideal replacement for a large speaker when mixing and mastering. For more info on how they do this exactly, check out the Audivina online page on Hifiman’s website.
Price, Accessories, Box, Specifications
Where the previous Hifiman headphones came in a very nice box, the Audivina comes in Hifiman’s new, simple shipping box. It’s a very basic box really and for the asking price of this headphone, the box is not up to level at all. For a $2K headphone, I do expect more but at the same time it do is very ecofriendly.
Accessory-wise, you do get three sets of cables (3.5mm SE, XLR balanced, 6.35mm SE) and a semi hard carrying case, but I really have mixed feelings about the package as a whole. Yes getting 3 types of cables is nice, but I do expect ;ore at this price level.
FR : 5Hz-55kHz
Sensitivity : 97dB
Impedance : 20Ohm
Weight : 470g
Build Quality & Design
I can’t say anything bad about the build quality of the headphone itself. It’s nicely finished and the ear cups, pads, connectors, headband, labels and cables are all perfect. I love the new cables Hifiman is sending out with their latest headphones, and I am glad they are no longer using those white hospital type ones. The connector type are a 3.5mm TRRS ones, so you can easily swap cables with aftermarket cables.
For me personally, the silky leatherette brown pads aren’t the prettiest but they do match the headband’s colors. They actually deliver excellent comfort and isolation, even if they warm up your ears rather fast when it’s hot inside. The perforated pads are removable (Velcro) and replaceable, and that’s always a plus.
Design-wise, apart from the two-piece cup design and resonance chamber, there really isn’t anything new. We’re already familiar with the ear pads, headband, etc. The cup design and headband do make the Audivina look big, and it is just that.
“The metal structure is created via CNC milling and hand polishing. To meet the critical standard set out by Hifiman, the surface finishing is handled and refined by meticulous craftmanship”
When Hifiman launched their HE-R10P and R10D headphones, I was really impressed with the quality of the wooden earcups, and that’s no different now even if the wood looks a bit orangy in my sample. I really dig the shiny chrome like Hifiman logo on the center of the ear cup. According to Hifiman, the cavity constructed of hardwood is exquisitely lacquered and feels like jade to the touch. Through the surface of varnish, naturally formed pores are visible to the naked eye. It’s a nice way to describe the cup finish, and in reality they really do look nice and high-end.
The Hifiman Audivina of course still is a large headphone in size but as it’s built for desktop and studio use, that’s nothing to worry about. That said, it – while it does look stylish and high-end – does draw a lot of attention to it when you’re in a videocall. Non headphone people aren’t used to seeing the high-raised headband system, but it does wors wonderfully as we all know already.
All-in-all the build quality and design get my stamp of approval.
Comfort, Usability & Isolation
Comfort-wise we already know that the Audivina with this headband system and earpads is very comfortable. The system with its many “clicks” allows you to set the height of the ear cups just right, and the headband perfectly spreads the weight of the headphone evenly over the top of your head. With a headphone of this weight (470g), this is very important.
The side pressure aka clamping force of the Audivina sits just right for me: light enough to stay comfortable, tight enough to keep it in place at all times. I can use the Audivina for very long sessions without any discomfort at all. When it’s really warm outside, my ears do get sweaty quickly but that’s the case with almost all closed-back headphones.
“Ergonomic and comfortable headband system with greater reliability and durability.”
With the closed cups, the Audivina in theory is a headphone you can use in all circumstances, even on-the-go if you’re crazy enough to do that. At home or at the office you won’t bother anyone too much as there is only a small amount of sound leaking out of the ear cups. The Audivina does let some noise is, so you still have to use it in a more quiet environment. What I do like about the Audivina is that you can use it for many different things. I use it both for listening to music to as well as watching tv, and the be honest more so the latter.
The Audivina is fairly easy to drive (Impedance 20Ω & Sensitivity 97dB) and though it performs best with an amplifier, you really can plug it in to anything and enjoy it. It’s not one of those high-end setup, music only kind of headphones that require a high end source and/or amp.
The part on sound starts on the next page. Click here or use the jumps below.
Page 1: Hifiman, Audivina, Price, Accessories, Box, Specifications, Build quality, Design, Comfort, Usability, Isolation
Page 2: Sound Intro, Sound General, Sound Classics, Comparisons, Conclusion, Summary