What we’re writing today is our HIFIMAN Edition XS Review which focuses on the new headphones from HIFIMAN. It takes the best qualities from its predecessor, the Edition X, and has essential upgrades that make it click.
The headphones feature the Stealth Magnet Technology, HIFIMAN’s NEO Supernano Diaphragm, plus other notable features. The Edition XS even offers depth and range of well-recorded audio, giving you all these treats in an affordably-priced product.
To learn more about the product, continue reading our HIFIMAN Edition XS Review. Get details about its features, specifications, performance, design, etc. But before looking into those, let’s check out its packaging and what HIFIMAN included in the box.
Like other HIFIMAN packaging, the Edition XS came in a premium-looking box sporting a cardboard and dark theme. The front displays an image of the headphones, the company’s branding, and the product’s name.
Flipping the box, you’ll find another image of the Edition XS and its specifications. Its barcode is on this area with two QR codes. The latter redirects you to HIFIMAN’s official pages.
In the box are the Edition XS headphones and a detachable audio cable. There’s also a user manual and a 1/8″ – 1/4″ adapter.
Removing the box’s seal, we realised HIFIMAN utilised a two-set package that allows you to lift off the top. Like the company’s other packages, all the necessary paperwork is on top of foam sheets. These are for separating the paperwork from the headphones.
We continued removing the box’s contents for our HIFIMAN Edition XS Review. That’s when we saw the headphones didn’t come in a case of any type. So keeping the product won’t be as convenient as other headphones with containers.
But despite not having one, HIFIMAN added a soft cloth-wrapped foam with a cutout for holding the Edition XS.
HIFIMAN Edition XS Review – Design and Functionality
Now we’re looking at the design and functions of the product in our HIFIMAN Edition XS Review. The Edition XS appears identical to the Ananda and earlier Edition models. The current version’s headband offers a comfortable experience even during hours of use.
It’s also durable to handle twists and turns, allowing you to depend on the Edition XS for the long run. For us, the Edition XS looks stylish and professional simultaneously. It weighs 405g, slightly heavier than the Ananda wireless, which is 399g.
The headphones mostly have a metal design, silver grilles, and a faux leather pad on the headband and earcups.
The cushioning material’s thickness is 2.8mm behind the head and 1.8mm in front. This design helps distribute weight evenly based on the shape of your head. What’s nice is it doesn’t pinch at any point when worn.
Its overall build quality is good, and we didn’t feel any difference from HIFIMAN’s Ananda wired. The latter is already well-built, so expect the same comfort with the Edition XS.
The headphones’ earpads have a premium feel, plus its headband and yokes feel good when worn. To put it simply, the Edition XS is a premium headphone from all angles.
The headphones’ detachable pads fit perfectly on the outer plastic shells. Its exterior aluminium grilles offer stability and durability to the enclosure.
On the headphones’ front and rear are the cups that connect via a sturdy metal bracket inserted into the headband. It has a gridded height adjustment offering lots of room for movement.
It’s good to note that the headphones’ size is more massive than usual. We tried wearing it, and it fits perfectly in the smallest setting. Simply put, it might be a problem for people with smaller heads since the earcups may rest lower than intended.
Comfort-wise, the headphones balance weight adequate on the head thanks to its new headband. It lets you listen to music for long periods while enjoying ideal comfort levels.
Remember, the headphones’ position affects your overall listening comfort, so you can try others to find the best for comfort. For some, positioning the headband slightly in front of the head is more comfortable than resting it on the backside.
Its swivelling asymmetrical cups ensure a perfect fit when worn. Plus, the pressure on the ears and head is just right to keep the Edition XS in place.
Materials for the pads are velvet and leather, which feels soft and comfortable. Our ears didn’t brush the inner parts of the cups, which is a plus for us.
Stealth Magnet Design
Let’s discuss the headphones’ Stealth Magnet design in our HIFIMAN Edition XS Review. It’s a highlighted feature of the product since it’s a rework of magnets. This feature is vital since it lessens the interference when sound waves move through its magnet gaps.
Reshaped magnets are present to lessen wave diffractions and turbulence while decreasing distortion to retain the sound wave’s integrity. It happens when the sound waves leave the diaphragm.
Generally, HIFIMAN’s Stealth Magnet design enhances the perceived soundstage and optimises tonality and frequency spectrum.
Key Features of theHIFIMAN Edition XS
HIFIMAN has several pairs of planar magnetic headphones, but what makes the Edition XS different? We’ll discuss the product’s key features in our review to help you determine if you should purchase these headphones.
A Major Upgrade of Edition X
HIFIMAN expands the popular Edition X with several upgrades by releasing the Edition XS. These headphones feature the Stealth Magnet Technology and the NEO Supernano Diaphragm. As a result, it produces a broad and natural soundstage that gives an exceptional listening experience.
The Edition XS delivers the range and depth of well-recorded music without requiring you to spend a lot.
Advanced Stealth Magnet of the HIFIMAN Edition XS
Stealth Magnets feature a specific shape that allows sound waves to pass through magnets without interference, unlike conventional magnets. Since this magnet design is acoustically transparent, it significantly reduces diffraction turbulence and affects the integrity of the sound wave.
With less distortion, the Edition XS yields pure, full-range sonic output with accuracy. Later in our HIFIMAN Edition XS Review, we’ll discuss its performance and see if this feature works well.
NEO Supernano Diaphragm (NsD)
HIFIMAN’s new NSD is thinner by 75% than previous designs, allowing it to deliver fast response and detailed imaging.
Ergonomic Headband of the HIFIMAN Edition XS
The Edition XS features a lightweight, ergonomic headband for maximum comfort even when worn for long periods. Its exterior uses a refined matte black material, while the interior has high-grade memory foam for proper fit and elasticity.
This structural design provides the Edition XS with extreme durability to retain its comfortable fit in the long run.
Changeable and Replaceable Cable
HIFIMAN’s new 3.5mm sockets are like the ones on conventional audio devices. The company also included a 3.5mm cable that can be changed and replaced when necessary.
We’re discussing the product’s specifications in our HIFIMAN Edition XS Review to see if it has everything you need. It will also let you know if your devices will work with these headphones.
The Edition XS is a pair of open-back planar magnetic headphones that weighs 405g. Its impedance is 18Ω, while its sensitivity is 92dB. The product’s frequency response ranges from 8Hz to 50kHz.
We mentioned earlier that these headphones come with a 1/ 8” TRS cable and a 1 /4” adapter. These accessories allow you to use the headphones with a wide range of audio equipment and amps.
You can connect the Edition XS to the PS4, PS5, and Xbox consoles’ controllers. All you need to do is to plug their analogue cable into your controller. The headphones can receive audio when connected to your Xbox console’s controller via analogue.
Note that the Edition XS doesn’t have a mic, so you can only receive sounds when using it with consoles.
Hands-on with theHIFIMAN Edition XS
We’re now sharing our hands-on experience with the headphones after using them for a couple of weeks. We put it through a couple of tests to see if it’s as good as claims. These tests are also necessary to determine if it’s something worth upgrading to and purchasing.
The bass reproduction of these headphones is clean, powerful, and contoured. Embedding vocals were precise and weren’t over-emphasised in the midrange.
We could listen to vocals differently and grasp each nuance of sounds produced. The headphones’ bass is nice and punchy.
We found the bass very natural without affecting its overall audio output. Lows had excellent speed and recovery because of the Edition XS’ ultra-thin diaphragm.
Since the bass accuracy of the Edition XS is ideal, it gives quite a punch and warmth to the audio. It won’t overwhelm audio, nor will it muddy the rest of your tunes.
If you love thumpy, strong, and bumpy genres like hip-hop or EDM, you might find the headphones’ sound slightly lacking.
The bass’ texture was notable, but we noticed an impressive aspect of the product. Its sub and mid-bass levels are somewhat equal, which is why it still produces quality sounds.
Edition XS can reach deeply with the sub-bass. However, it also offers notable mid-bass to the current base notes of instruments in an appealing manner. Although it doesn’t give off great rumble and thump from dynamic drivers, it’s still all good.
Why? Because you’ll receive top-notch bass that’s well-balanced and notably impressive.
The mids of the Edition XS were crisp and clear with impressive tonality, which added liveliness to any song. Its upper mids sounded energetic, while the whole midrange was realistic, especially the timbre of the vocals.
These headphones’ audio never sounded “off” in any way, and these delivered natural sounds. Listening to its overall tonality was outstanding since it was close to our studio speakers.
The vocals sounded better than the instruments, but the latter also had great texture and positioning. When we listened to instrumental jazz songs, we heard all the detail and nuances, which we loved.
The lower midrange was slightly warm. With the flat response, the Edition XS’ vocals and lead instruments sounded clear and present. Also, the dip in the high-mid slightly weakened these sounds.
The Edition XS’ high-frequency range surprised us while testing it for our HIFIMAN Edition XS Review and excellently reproduced with rich detail, making it sound open and lively.
Also, the audio didn’t sound harsh, so our listening experience was more enjoyable. What surprised us the most was the virtual stage representation with the perfect width and clearer localisation of sounds.
The Edition XS also had an impressive analytical spatial depth that allowed audio to sound realistic. Guitars and other string instruments also sounded clear during our tests. The audio wasn’t harsh too, and sibilants weren’t too piercing.
The only issue with the high-frequency responses was the brightness that occasionally occurred. But we aren’t complaining about this since it wasn’t too harsh. Also, these headphones made our listening experience more pleasing, regardless of the genre played.
Although it was the weakest part of the headphones’ sound, it was lively enough to improve anyone’s listening experience. It may not have the best refinement level, but it still enhances audio well and reproduces sound accurately.
The Edition XS delivered impressive soundstage and imaging performance. Even if it wasn’t broad, these headphones’ passive soundstage was outstanding. It also had a sense of intimacy in the vocals and instruments.
For imaging, the Edition XS was also exceptional. There were slight delays, but these were barely audible, resulting in transparent highs and tight bass reproduction.
We also liked the L/R drivers being well-matched in amplitude, phase, and frequency response. These drivers produced audio that offered accurate localisation and placement of objects.
HIFIMAN Edition XS Review Summary
HIFIMAN impressed us with the Edition XS headphones. Its new Stealth Magnet offers perfectly balanced audio with excellent frequency responses. We also loved the neutral sound profiles with their vivid and lively soundstage.
Although it’s compatible with any device with a 3.5mm jack, it works best with a powerful amplifier. Aside from that, it works well and delivers an outstanding performance as the company claims. The Edition XS offers high-quality audio that is on par with higher-priced headphones.
For its price, it’s an audiophile bargain that offers satisfying performance, and we highly recommend it.