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1,672-word post, approx. 3-4 min. read
2/23/20. Added Video Shootout and updates to the 400 series as a whole.
Hey there friend, and Welcome aboard!!
Small Disclaimer before we get into things: HiFiMan has been having ongoing quality control issues for quite some time now, mostly with the cable connection. My video shootout goes into much depth about my overall impressions of the big 4, including Drop’s HE-4XX, the original 400i, the 400S, and the Sundara. It should also be noted that Audio Advice (a store I frequent to demo these models) has stopped carrying HiFiMan products due to said issues. Your mileage may vary. More in the video below!
Before we get into the HIFIMAN Sundara Review, grab a snack, sit back and relax because…
I’m Here to Help!!
Image Coming Soon!
What I will bring you in this review
Now without further ado, let’s get rolling!!
Sundara (सुन्दर) is a Sanskrit term meaning “beautiful, lovely”, or generally “noble; well, right”. As a personal name, it may refer to: Maravarman Sundara Pandya, Pandyan king, who ruled regions of South India between 1216 and 1238.
My oh my. HIFIMAN really stepped it up with these. The build on both the 400S and 400i was a tad questionable (400S especially), but by and large I would say the 400i was relatively solid. The headband adjustment is really the only thing that stood out to me as being somewhat poor. It was awkward as all get out to adjust, and the material seemed kind of sparse and vulnerable. Learn more:HIFIMAN HE400i Review!
The 400S felt even more flimsy, and housed way too much plastic for it’s price. I still enjoyed the sound however. Learn more:HIFIMAN 400S Review!
Luckily, the Sundara improved upon both of it’s predecessors 10 fold.
No longer is the headband shaped like a deformed Ostrich. It’s now round, sound, and won’t make you frown. 😀 In other words, it actually resembles a headband this time around. 😛
The adjustment itself is much more rugged, and the piece used to move the ear cups up and down has been given more heft and length, while staying roughly the same diameter across.
It’s also NOT made of plastic this time around, which is a welcome surprise.
The actual material of the headband itself hasn’t changed, which is fine.
It feels good on your head, and with these headphones padding isn’t of the utmost importance. They rest comfortably on your melon without digging in.
The chord is more solid as well, and feels more durable overall. It still splits off into a Y into both ear-cups, and terminates in dual 2.5mm jacks. The other end is a gold plated L-shaped 3.5mm that can be fitted with a 1/4″ adapter.
The cups are still a protein leather with a thin layer of velour on top, and are still circular. They fit my ears well, but still do tend to flatten out over time like most cups.
Luckily they are replaceable though.
Build Quality Score: A NUMBAH 1!
Verbage used to describe Sundara’s build:
(Feel free to add to this in the comments below!)
How about comfort?
Comfort on these puppies is pretty fantastic, and a slight step up from the 400i and 400S.
I guess the best way to describe it is that they feel more secure, and more sure of themselves.
The 400i tends to slide downwards onto your ear lobes if you don’t get the adjustment right, and though the same applies here, I just felt like the fit was more solid overall.
It’s snug like a bug in a rug 🙂
Clamp force is exemplary as well, and they hug your dome piece with just the right amount of force. Not like the HD600’s vice grip, but not on the looser side like a 9500.
Stu is determined to help you make sound decisions, and strives to deliver the best and most in depth content on the internet! In his spare time, he likes to fish, paint, play guitar, pray, rap, make beats, take photos, record videos, graphic design, and more. His sense of humour, coupled with a knack for excellence and strict attention to detail are what allow him to stand out in an crowded industry.