HiFiMan is a hard one to pin down. True, they’re best known for their high-end, advanced-technology planar-magnetic headphones like the $2,999 HE1000. Most HiFiMan headphones are planar designs, but this new one, Edition S, is a more conventional dynamic headphone, albeit one with a rather unusual feature: It’s an open- or closed-back design. Say what? Let me explain. Each earcup has a removable cover; with them in place, Edition S is a closed-back design, and since the covers are held in place by strong magnets, it takes just a few seconds to remove the covers, converting Edition S into an open-back design! The magnets are very strong, so I can’t imagine the covers would ever accidently fall off.
Edition S is also HiFiMan’s first on-ear design. All of their other full-size headphones are larger, overthe-ear models. Edition S features 50mm drivers, whereas most on-ear and even overthe-ear headphones run 40mm drivers. While many of the older HiFiMan headphones had round earcups, the Edition S’s cups are “ear shaped.” I also liked that this lightweight design has a hinged headband so it can be folded into a compact bundle.
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