HE6se vs. Arya

Haven't seen much talk on here regarding these newer releases from Hifiman. I've been a huge fan of the HE-500 for the last 6 or so years. It is still my favorite sound signature even with the 20+ pairs that have followed it. When the original HE-6 was still in production I didn't have much interest due to cost and limited options for amping it properly. Once I had picked up amplifiers capable of driving it properly, and rectified myself to the >$1K cost, it became quite scarce due to all the Code modding going on. Now with the HE6se I have a chance to purchase it NIB again (although at a much higher cost). I was all set to drop $1800 on the 6se when the Arya came to my attention. Now I am a bit stuck in deciding between the two. I am a big fan of extended bass, fairly neutral response leaning a shade warm if I have to pick a side, amplification is not a concern. Anyone have time with either (preferably both) of these offerings? Thanks to anyone who might be able to provide hands on insight.

Jan 31, 2021
I have Audeze LCD-XC headphones which I like a lot but after a while wearing them, they do feel heavy (>690 g) and are not the most comfortable when wearing glasses either. I am looking for another pair of planar magnetic headphones as I like their sound. Would prefer closed but only if they really block out outside sound, otherwise open would be ok. Something lighter for sure which would be more comfortable to wear for extended periods of time sitting at a desk. I read through some of the threads on the Ether CX vs. Ether C Flow as well as threads on Arya and HE6se and came across this thread. The majority of music I listen to is classical, especially piano, but also listen to a good deal of rock. After using both of these headphones for a while now, any thoughts on whether one of these would be a good option for me to consider and why one might be preferred over the other, if so? I have a Centrance HiFi-M8 as an amp now but plan on upgrading that soon. That will be the next thing for me to research :) Thanks
Feb 1, 2021
Thanks for the thoughts. Have you listened to the Meze Empyrean or the Diana Phi?
I have not, if I upgrade again it will most likely be a Hifiman Susvara or perhaps a Abyss 1266 TC. I'm pretty happy with my "Triad" of HE6se, Arya and Ether CX.
Nov 20, 2020
adorama has HE6-SE V2 for $699 (link works as of 11/20/2020 2:00 pm CST) Just placed an order myself. https://www.adorama.com/hmhe6sev2.html?emailprice=t
Interesting, they dropped the pali pads (didn't like those on mine) added on Focus pads (which I have on my 500) and went back to the OG housing. Curious once measurements show up. I bought my 6SE from Adorama last year when they cut them to $900 (including speaker amp adapter).
Dec 3, 2020
How have the HE6-SE V2 been so far? Curious about them. Heard many great things. Although currently my strongest amp is an Aurender Flow, so I'm not positive that will drive them correctly to a decent potential.
To update my thoughts here both the Arya and HE6se are still around, both getting pretty equal time but the 6se is preferable with all things electronic, rap/hip-hop and rock. I have settled on TH900 sheepskin pads as my current preference. I do like the Arya for games, movies and acoustic based or vocal music. At this point I feel pretty happy with my cans, from here I feel like only the 1266 TC or Susvara would be a clear upgrade. Neither of those is happening any time soon. Still feel the Arya is probably the best option for someone who wants just one headphone but damn if that HE6se doesn't come closer to a speaker presentation than anything else I have.
And now I have an Arya inbound... will update this post once I've had time to put together some comparison notes. Arya received... two hours in and it sounds good with everything but lacks the weight to the bass tones that the 6se has. There is nothing wrong with it's bass, one of the better in my collection actually, the 6se has more heft/weight to the notes. Early Impressions - if you only want one headphone the Arya is probably the best option. If you have an addiction like I do the HE6se is very unique and does things I've not found previously in the 30+ pairs I own.
Oct 23, 2019
I had the hekv2 which I liked until I got Empyrean. The hekv2 being pretty much the same as Arya had a thin sound to it. I just got the He6se and really like it. I find it to have more meat to it. My plan is use the hifiman adapter and buy emotive A-300 with 150 watts rms into 8 ohms. That will wake up he6se even more as they need tons of power. Currently using HeadAmp GSX mini with 4 watts into the 50 ohm load.
Oct 24, 2019
No what I mean is you gotta get a power amp that produces high wattage because the impedance is high. I should have clarified that. Don’t throw an amp without the Adapter. The sound quality is night and day. First thing if you put some edm on with good sub bass you’ll wonder why you waited. Lol.. so I’m currently using Sonos the big threater xpa 7 gen 2 amp and source is xmc-1 sounds freakin amazing. The adapter above xmc 1

Most solid state amplifiers won't have an issue running straight from the speaker taps. Vacuum tube speaker amps would be more of a concern to me, when I do get around to playing with my speaker amps/stereo receivers I will definitely start off with the adapter box. If I like what I hear will then sort out a 3.5mm to banana plug cable for the he6se.
Snagged a deal on the HE6se for 899 NIB... should be in this week.
Aug 7, 2019
As someone who's owned both and has sold both, I suggest you get a pair of HE6 OG from headfi or sbaf. Hifiman went with a different tuning since the HE1000, and any headphones after that point sound softer and slower than their early day offerings. HE6SE sounds close to the 6 screw HE6 but you need to replace the stock pads with their velour pads. Arya tho, not much improvement over HE1000.
Jan 17, 2020
The Arya sounds like a good compliment to the OG HE6.
Feb 16, 2020
If you don’t mind me asking, what makes the velour pads better than the stock pads? Or how do they change the sound? Thanks in advance.
Mar 6, 2019
Not sure if this matters to you, but maybe the HIFIMAN XX will offer another interest for you when they release.
It was originally in the running but I'm pretty locked in to one of these two. The HE6 was on my list for years but the Arya impressions and some preliminary measurements make it seem more up my alley. Not to mention usable with more of my gear as the HE-6 will pretty much be the Cayin, some speaker amps and maybe my Lyr. The Arya would work with most of my amps as they tend to run in the 1W plus range.
Mar 6, 2019
Hifiman offerings always lean a bit bright, regardless of their low end extension. The Sundara is supposed to have the least brightness, and the Arya borrows a little from it...but they're still bright.
HE4/5 along with the some of the lower end newish releases I would tend to agree. The 500 not so much but they do have less than linear treble response which can come across as "Tzzz" with some material. Own both Grados and Beyers, which I would definitely call bright, the Hifiman's I'm familiar with don't compare to those two house sounds. I don't need a dark tonality, I've got many pairs on either side of the "neutral/natural" line. Some reviews state the HE6se is just more of the HE500 sound, others have issues with it's treble. Neither of these are available close by to listen so was hoping someone out there had some familiarity.
Feb 18, 2020
I wouldn't call the HE500 or the HEXv2 bright, as they're both on the warmer side of neutral especially with the latter's treble roll-off. None of my Hifiman cans (HE6 [prototype], Arya, HE500, and the HEXv2) are what I consider bright, especially compared to my Grado HF-3 (short listening sessions only). Based on my cans (just my opinion): LCD2.1 [pre-fazor] - dark HD6XX - dark-warm HE500/HEXv2 - warm HE6 [prototype] - neutral (can be neutral-bright with leather pads) Arya - neutral-bright (9-10k peak is the source of any kind of brightness with the Arya, otherwise it is smooth sounding) Grado HF-3 - bright (to my ears)