As we listen to our music outside the house, and also want high end sound in the privacy of our homes without disturbing others, headphones are an increasingly attractive option.
There have never been more headphones to buy at a variety of price ranges, and in my formal survey of what’s available, the sound has never been better as competition forces prices down.
An excellent example of these trends is the HiFiMan Andana headphones. Though priced at just under $1000, it can seriously compete with headphones that cost much more.
I also notice that headphone comfort has increased over the years. New designs, like the Ananda headphones don’t directly touch your ears, but rather they surround them. Prior headphone designs put some pressure on your ears and head, making long sessions uncomfortable. Recent headphones I’ve reviewed have really increased their comfort level, and the Ananda headphones are the most comfortable headphones I’ve experienced.
So is a $1000 headphone worth the money? In the case of the Ananda, I think the case is compelling, There are obvious aural differences between the Ananda and some of the lesser priced headphones from HiFiMan, and they are strikingly better than the mid priced headphones I’ve listened to. Having said that, even a mid-priced headphone can have excellent sound, and small increments of improvement can cost a lot of money. It’s only when you directly compare that the subtle differences come alive.
In my upcoming review I go into detail with my listening tests, my thoughts on comfort, and if HiFiMan has earned a look from customers looking for high end sound at a reasonable price considering the competition.