HE6se vs. Arya
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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.
thumb_uphan, Megazine, and 1 other
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ElectronicVices
2006
Dec 9, 2019
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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.
(Edited)
Dec 9, 2019
Bonddaboom
127
Oct 23, 2019
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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 23, 2019
Bonddaboom
127
Oct 24, 2019
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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
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Oct 24, 2019
ElectronicVices
2006
Oct 24, 2019
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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.
Oct 24, 2019
ElectronicVices
2006
Sep 23, 2019
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Snagged a deal on the HE6se for 899 NIB... should be in this week.
Sep 23, 2019
Lambdastorm
56
Aug 7, 2019
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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.
(Edited)
Aug 7, 2019
ElectronicVices
2006
Dec 12, 2019
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You were spot on with the Pali pads, OG velour is the way to go IMO. Haven't rolled outside the stock pads yet but have some Focus on my 500 so may swap those in at some point. I ended up with an Arya (as well) but am only a couple of hours in at this point. I really like them both honestly, along with an Ether CX I think I've hit the "good for a while" threshold now.
Dec 12, 2019
Lambdastorm
56
Dec 12, 2019
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I just love the Arya. It has this addictive quality that can make you listen for hours on end without a hint of fatigue, yet the details and end-to-end extension are all there. The defining quality of Arya is its big driver, and the huge surface area is directly responsible for its 'wall-of-sound' presentation that makes it sound extremely open and spacious, like the sound is coming from everywhere around you. HE6 is the polar opposite, everything is super focused and condensed, you lose Arya's sense of space but everything sounds extremely focused. It's almost like its intentionally highlighting parts of the music that stands out. Plus it scales extremely well on a power amp. At the end of the day I kept my OG HE6 and re-bought the Arya. They are very special headphones.
(Edited)
Dec 12, 2019
Megazine
465
Mar 6, 2019
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Not sure if this matters to you, but maybe the HIFIMAN XX will offer another interest for you when they release.
Mar 6, 2019
ElectronicVices
2006
Mar 6, 2019
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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
Keth
701
Mar 6, 2019
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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.
Mar 6, 2019
ElectronicVices
2006
Mar 6, 2019
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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.
Mar 6, 2019