The HiFiMAN Arya is one of the most highly rated planar magnetic headphones and has garnered plenty of accolades throughout the years, thanks to its exceptional sonic performance. The Stealth Magnet version is the latest iteration of the Arya model and has been splitting headphone enthusiasts’ opinions on whether it is a worthy successor of its predecessors.
The latest version of the HiFiMAN Arya seems to have most of the original sonic traits that many audiophiles have fallen in love with intact and we will be finding out if this is truly so. With a better understanding of these high-end HiFiMAN planar magnetic headphones, we can then find the right amp to match them.
Sound Characteristics of HiFiMAN Arya
Even though it weighs 430g and looks bulky, the HiFiMAN Arya is in fact very comfortable to wear. This is a well-built planar magnetic headphone with the weight and clamping force nicely distributed which enables us to wear them for hours without feeling discomfort. Some listeners may feel a bit warm at times, we suggest listening to the Arya inside a quiet and cool room. Another reason why you should use the HiFiMAN Arya inside a quiet environment is due to the open-back design. It has low noise isolation capabilities and will let in unwanted noises from the environment thus intruding on your listening experience. There are sound leakages as well and you are likely to disturb others around you.
The HiFiMAN Arya Stealth has a low impedance rating of 32 Ohms which is great but the sensitivity is also low and it is at 94dB. Furthermore, it has a very impressive frequency response of 8Hz-65kHz. Arya headphones will certainly benefit from having an amp driving them. The amplifiers should be of equal caliber and have the sonic characteristics to complement the HiFiMAN Arya as well as to suit your own preferences.
This open-back planar magnetic headphone is capable of producing a massive amount of music details without sounding forced out. The HiFiMAN Arya is transparent and revealing but never sounded clinical. We find the highs not overly bright and have just the right tonality, blending in nicely with the midrange. The mids of the HiFiMAN Arya are quite neutral with a hint of warmth and are filled with details too. Vocals and musical instruments sounded realistic where subtle nuances can be heard clearly as well.
The bass performance of the HiFiMAN Arya is superb and is more impactful than expected. The HiFiMAN Arya is able to dig deep into the bass extension and deliver the subsonic low frequencies effortlessly. It has enough weight and authority for you to feel the low-ends, and without compromising the clarity of the upper registers. The bass delivery is taut and the articulate low-end performance gave us an engaging and energetic music presentation. HiFiMAN Arya might even satisfy some bass fanatics.
The soundstage projected by the HiFiMAN Arya is spacious and immersive, enabling us to be fully enveloped by the music we are listening to. It has amazing overall accuracy and plenty of details to boot, the Arya will be suitable for almost all music genres including bass-heavy soundtracks. The low-end performance of the HiFiMAN Arya might even put some closed-back headphones to shame. It is very entertaining to listen to and should suit almost everyone except the most critical of listeners. Please check out the list of the headphone amps you can choose and partner with your HiFiMAN Arya by continuing to read.
HiFiMAN Arya Specifications
- Wearing Style: Headband
- Transducer Principle: Open-Back, Planar Magnetic
- Frequency Response: 8Hz-65kHz
- Sensitivity: 94dB
- Impedance: 32 Ohms
- Weight: 430g (0.95lbs)
Best Headphone Amps to partner with HiFiMAN Arya
Chord Hugo 2 is just like the HiFiMAN Arya where it has also received many accolades ever since its debut. This is a powerful headphone amp with an in-built D/A converter and possesses an award-winning sound quality that will match well with the Arya planar magnetic headphones. Chord Hugo 2 leaves no stones unturned, producing a massive amount of details and giving its listeners a high-resolution music presentation. Even with so much information being revealed, the Hugo 2 doesn’t lose its footing and confidently delivers the music to us with cohesion.
The Drop + THX AAA 789 is an excellent headphone amplifier to go for as it is modestly priced and neutral sounding. You can hardly detect any colorations coming from the THX AAA 789 and this allows the sonic characteristics of the HiFiMAN Arya to fully shine through. It simply does its job which is to drive the Arya headphones without intruding nor coloring its sonic traits. Other than its neutral sonic characteristic, the Drop + THX AAA 789 also has a polished background with very low noise.
Violectric HPA V281 is a high-end headphone amp and is definitely a worthy match for your HiFiMAN Arya planar magnetic headphones. The neutral sonic trait of the HPA V281 allows the amp to avoid coloring the Arya headphones while driving them with ease. It may be extremely accurate but it doesn’t sound sterile. The Violectric HPA V281 is extremely transparent and unravels plenty of music details with clarity. There is no doubt that the HPA V281 is one of the best reference headphone amps currently on the market.
Some headphone enthusiasts prefer to match their HiFiMAN Arya with tube headphone amps and the LittleDot MKIII is an exceptional choice to go for. LittleDot MKIII has a modest price tag and it is powerful enough to drive the Arya planar magnetic headphones. It has a wide and spacious soundstage which is impressive for a tube headphone amp at this price range and will complement the HiFiMAN Arya well. The LittleDot MKIII also adds a bit of weight into the bass response and this gives us a more engaging performance.
This is another amazing headphone amplifier with a built-in D/A converter. The Mytek Digital Liberty DAC II will be an excellent amp partner for your HiFiMAN Arya, not to mention, it is sanely priced as well. It also has an in-built MQATM decoder and supports up to 32-bit/384kHz (PCM) resolution, decodes up to DSD256. One of the most notable sonic traits of the Mytek Liberty DAC II is its tube-like analog sound quality and has beautiful tonality which will suit the HiFiMAN Arya very well. It is certainly worth your time to audition them together.
Schiit Audio Lyr 3 is one of the best hybrid modular headphone amps to go for and will be a suitable match with your HiFiMAN Arya. Other than being able to drive the Arya planar magnetic headphones with ease, you are also given the option to select Multibit as your DAC Module or the ES9028. For turntable users, you might want to go for the MM Phono Input Module instead. It also adds a bit more texture and details to the bass frequencies. This is a musical-sounding headphone amp and will be a good fit with the HiFiMAN Arya planar magnetic headphones.
Headphone Amps Auditioning
After you have shortlisted the headphone amplifiers you are interested in, you should arrange an audition with them. Do remember to bring your own HiFiMAN Arya to partner up with the potential amps. From there, keep listening to your favorite music until you can really differentiate which headphone amp sounds the best. If you are unable to do a side-by-side comparison then note down the positive sonic traits of the auditioned amps.