When I reviewed the original HiFiMAN HE1000 Planar Magnetic Headphones about two years ago, I was pretty much bowled over by their performance, looks and sound quality. They were, at the time, the best pair of headphones that I had ever heard and still remain amongst a handful of reference headphones that I would consider as my all-time favorites. Ever the busy little bees that they are, the engineers at HiFiMAN have not seen fit to leave well-enough alone and recently released the HE1000 V2. The updated model is said to incorporate several modifications gleaned from customer feedback along with HiFiMAN’s general desire to keep refining their designs.
Over the Ear
With their modern design and crisp, clean sound, the NAD Viso HP50 headphones and PSB M4 U4 IEMs aim to be the go-to choices for today’s audiophile road warriors.
Jumping off the success of their top line HE1000, HiFiMAN brings us the Edition X. The X takes much of the goodness of its bigger brother and puts it in a more affordable and easier to drive package.
Touting a number of advancements in both magnet and driver design; the HE1000s are the best sounding headphones that I have ever had the pleasure of listening to. They are the closest I have ever experienced to that "alive" feeling of music reproduction that I look for in speakers, from a headphone product.
OPPO, known for their very high quality universal players, including the latest OPPO BDP 105 Blu-ray player, has now ventured into another arena: headphones. Their first model, just released, is the OPPO PM-1, which is an over-the-ear design, using planar magnetic drivers. At a time when everyone seems to be offering headphones and/or earbuds as part of their product portfolio, only a handful really stand out as top notch performers. The PM-1 is destined to join that group. NOTE: INFO ON THE NEW OPPO PM-2 HEADPHONES IS POSTED AT THE END OF THIS REVIEW - APRIL 29, 2014.
Audeze has been a rising star in the headphone arena for several years, making their name with extremely high quality planar magnetic over-the-ear designs. Their latest model is the LCD-X, which touts a thinner diaphragm for improved transients.