Hifiman Arya vs Arya Stealth vs HD800S: The Ultimate Battle Of High-Ends!

High-end headphones come in a wide variety, and many are equipped with numerous high-tech functionality. So, choosing a high-end headphone is perplexing.

So, which wins the battle of overall sound quality- Hifiman Arya vs Arya Stealth vs HD800S?

Sennheiser’s HD800S is the best of the three. Even so, the Hifiman Arya and Arya Stealth are equally impressive. The HD800S is a little more difficult to drive. But, Arya’s 30-ohm impedance makes it easier to gain the best audio quality. HD800S is revolutionary in the mids, but Arya headphones are superior in the bass. 

I’ve compiled the proper and more detailed distinction between the three down below. So let us not waste any time and get right to work-

Key Takeaways

  • Both Hifiman Arya and Arya Stealth are equipped with new planar drivers.
  • You need amps for these headphones to reach their full potential.
  • You get a detachable microphone with every headphone.

Hifiman Arya vs Arya Stealth vs HD800S: A Quick Comparison!

This comparison will differ slightly from the other three product comparisons between ThieAudio Oracle MKII, Moondrop Variations, and DUNU SA6. Because there is almost 90% similarity between the Hifiman Arya and the Arya Stealth. But what is the slight distinction between these three?

Let’s take a quick look at that distinction alongside the HD800S-

FactorsHifiman Arya(v2)Arya Stealth(v3)HD800S
DriverPlanar PlanarDynamic
Connectivity Technology1/8″ connections  &  1/4″ connectorDual 3.5 mm to 6.35 mm (1/4″)1/4″ plug, 4.4mm plug
Sensitivity90 dB94 dB100 dB
Impedance35 Ohms32 Ohms300 Ohms
Frequency Response8Hz-65kHz8Hz-65kHz4Hz-51kHz
Weight404g 404g330 g
Price$800-$1299$1000-$1659$1399-$1800
Product LinkCheck price on AmazonCheck price on AmazonCheck price on Amazon

So, does this small difference make any bigger impact on the audio quality? Let’s find out in a detailed explanation right below-

Graph comparing the Three

Hifiman Arya vs Arya Stealth vs HD800S: A Detailed Comparison!

For the most, part the difference between Hifiman Arya and Arya Stealth is very small. So much so that they are basically called Arya (V2) and Arya (V3).

So, why did Hifiman come with the second version? Well with V2 they did notice less upper treble in 13-14kHz. V2 was also more distant sounding with reverb. But the Arya V3 is a little closer.

Then again these differences are sometimes too little to even distinguish. Even audiophiles find it hard to distinguish between the two. Other than the treble peak their performance on the specification graph is also similar.

Nearly all of Hifiman’s recent headphone releases have adhered to a certain level of audio specifications. So, for the rest of the comparison, I’ll be mentioning Hifiman Arya and Arya Stealth as Arya headphones.

Now with that out of the way, let’s move on to comparing these headphones with Sennheisers HD800S-

Audio Quality

The tones on three of these headphones are remarkably similar. This is quite expected of headphones that are designed to be referenced class headphones. 

These headphones have fairly neutral and linear sonic characteristics. Such headphones also do their best to remain as true to their source as possible.

In terms of neutral sound, the Sennheiser HD800S is slightly outperformed by the Arya headphones. Depending on your preferences, you might prefer one over the other.

How do they differ then?

Source: Reddit

The majority of the differences between these headphones are due to the technology of their respective drivers. As these drivers have a significant impact on both the technical and sonic presentation of the speakers.

Below, we’ll compare the various ways these headphones’ sounds differ from one another.

Tonal Differences in Bass:

The most significant difference between these headphones can be found in the bass. Both of the Arya headphones excel in this area.

Although the HD800S bass is relatively clear, it is not as sharp as Arya’s. In contrast to the other two, the bass is also barely audible. Therefore, it does appear to have a pretty thin bass response.

On the other hand, Arya’s bass extension and response are both excellent. These extensions aid in enhancing the satisfying deep sub-bass rumble. You can expect very tight and fully controlled bass when using Arya headphones.

Winner: Arya headphones should be your first choice if you value a quick, well-defined, and present bass.

Tonal Differences in Mids:

Similar and accurate mids can be found in both Arya and HD800S headphones. Arya headphones do, however, run the risk of sounding a little thin. This happens when it changes to the upper mid-range.

The slight counterclockwise tilt to the RS frequency response is the reason behind this. At around 3kHz, this may come off as shouty or a little forward.

In comparison, the mid-range of HD800S is more linear with a good balance between fundamental tones. Harmonics of the presence region and the lower mids are also well balanced.

Winner: The HD800S definitely appears to be a more natural and tonally rich headphone.

Tonal Differences in Highs:

Although Arya headphones are brighter and have more energy between 6kHz to 10kHz, the travel range is smoother. At the same time, frequency bands don’t peak over each other.

Graph HD800S Highs
Source: DIY-Audio-Heaven

The HD800S, on the other hand, does have two minor peaks at 5.5kHz and 10kHz. This subtly emphasizes consonant sounds and introduces a faint semblance. So, after a while of listening, some listeners may find HD800S distracting or tiring. 

Winner: Despite being quite bright, three of these headphones have good high-frequency tuning. So there’s no clear winner

Soundstage Imaging & Layering:

These three are among the best high-performance headphones available. The soundscapes on Arya headphones and HD800S are airier and organically expansive.

However, the HD800S is wider and more spacious compared to the Arya headphones. In addition, it has the most accurate imaging. 

It is astonishingly accurate in determining the position and location of the sound. So it does perform marginally better than Arya headphones.

Image of Hifiman Headphone
Source: Head-Fi

Unexpectedly, Arya headphones outperform HD800S when it comes to instrument separation. This separation is strengthened by adding a sense of distance and depth to different images. 

And Arya Headphones do perform significantly better when it comes to reproducing intricate musical passages. Overall, they enable listeners to concentrate on both a single instrument and a vocal line better.

Winner: So, Arya headphones are surprisingly ahead in this case.

Connectivity:

The HD800S has dual-sided odu connectors for headphones and two non-microphonic flexible cables. One cable has a single-ended quarter termination, and the other is balanced at 4.4 millimeters.

HD800s vs Arya
Source: YouTube

Both Arya Headphones, on the other hand, use much more common and convenient dual-sided 3.5-millimeter connectors. But, the included crystalline copper cable is a little short and stiff.

It can quite inconvenient for some users. They may have to look for an aftermarket solution.

Winner: Sennheiser HD800S is the clear winner in this case. 

Power Requirements:

In general, headphones with high impedance produce a clearer, more transparent sound. The soundstage is larger, and the bass definition is sharper. 

Image of Arya stealth and a DAP
Source: Moon Audio

So, the HD800S has a sensitivity of 100dB milliwatt and an impedance of 300 ohms. For Hifiman Arya and Arya Stealth, the impedance is 35 and 32 ohms respectively. And the sensitivity for Arya is 90 dB, while Arya Stealth is 94 dB.

If you want to get the most out of these headphones, amps are a must. With properly matched amps, both of these drivers will provide the maximum benefits of these headphones.

  • And I believe the Schiit Asgard 3 does an excellent job for the HD800S. Without tubes, this amp is the best option for under $500. The HD800S will have a softer edge and a more relaxed, less slammin’, and less cutting sound.
  • People generally prefer Burson Soloist 3X amps for Arya headphones. These amps undoubtedly bring out the best of Arya headphones. 

Winner: With driving requirements in mind Arya Headphones are definitely winning in this battle. 

Build Quality & Comfort:

In terms of build quality, Arya and Arya Stealth are very similar. Despite the use of plastic in their construction, these headphones have a solid build and structure.

Even so, the HD800S is the most premium quality headphone out of the three. But it is also the most fragile. This is primarily due to the metal mesh used in the construction.

It takes up the majority of the rear side of the driver. It is easily scratchable and dent-prone. It is also more brittle and vulnerable to tearing out due to the unreinforced connectors.

Image of HD800s
Source: Headmania

On the other hand, Arya had a really poor track record when it came to driver longevity. They have attempted to change that with Arya’s Stealth.

Both businesses have a strong warranty policy in case you encounter any problems. Moreover, their customer service is excellent and quick. 

So, there’s no need to worry in any case of mishaps. But Sennheiser has a 2-year warranty, compared to 1-year for HiFiman products.

Regarding comfort, these headphones are among the best and incredibly convenient to wear during all-day listening sessions. But if comfort is a priority, HD800S has the upper hand.

The HD800S has a sizable weight advantage over the 404g Arya headphones at 330gs. Arya can slightly press on your jaw and temples. Whereas, HD800s evenly distribute weight and clamp force.

Winner: HD800S wins the battle with better-built quality and comfort level.

Warning: Using headphones for too long can cause headaches.

Technical Performance:

The HD800S and Arya headphones have the best detail retrieval capabilities compared to other reference models . These are some excellent performers for under $2,000.

But, HD800S ultimately has the advantage in terms of resolution and perceived image clarity. It excels at bringing all the complex vocal and instrument tones to the surface. 

Image of Hifiman Aria mids
Source: ASR Forum

This gives them a solid foundation and creates a clear picture of the music. The HD800S can produce the most unobtrusive listening effects when used with the right tracks.

Winner: HD800S is the best contender in this section as well.

Dynamics:

Arya Headphones are outperformed by HD800S in this category by a slight margin. Because it has a slightly heavier snap and a little more kick in the lower registers.

The HD800S, Arya Stealth, and Hifiman Arya have incredibly thin dynamics. The strongest sense of punch and slam, however, is not present in any of these.

If you want headphones with a more satisfying physical sound impact, these aren’t the ones for you. Instead, you can look for Focal or Odyssey’s headphones for such requirements. They have significantly more energetic and engaging dynamic presentations.

Winner: HD800S wins the battle. 

Pro Tip: Use an equalizer to find your sweet-sounding spot.

Price:

When purchasing high-end headphones, price is extremely important. You obviously expect a certain level of quality for the high price. 

The price range of HiFiman Arya is $800-$1299. Whereas, the Arya Stealth is sold for $1000-$1659. However, the HD800s is sold for $1399-$1800. 

Winner: HiFiman Arya for being the cheapest.

Arya or Stealth Arya or HD800s: Which One to Choose?

It can be difficult to choose between the Arya headphones and the HD800S. Ultimately, they are all very good headphones with exceptional technical performance. Additionally, they are deserving of becoming the standard for high-end headphones.

Therefore, it really depends on what you are looking for.

Do you want a headphone that provides smooth transients, detailed retrieval, and dynamic driver decay naturally? And if you do not mind sacrificing a little bass, then HD800S is the one for you. Here’s someone rocking with their HD800S.

Arya headphones, on the other hand, are excellent quality headphones with reliable audio performance. They are a great option for those who prefer a tonal balance that is slightly tilted counterclockwise.

Additionally, a full bass experience is provided, along with some additional brilliance to highlight the instrument’s overtones. Considering you essentially receive the same audio quality pick, Hifiman Arya, out of the two.

Image of a headphone
Source: Headfonia

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Is Hifiman Arya A Good Gaming Headphone?

Yes, it is an excellent gaming headset. If you want top-tier audiophile gaming headphones, the Hifiman Arya is a no-brainer. But it does come at a high cost. As long as your budget allows, you can find a good Over-Ear Planar Magnetic headphone in Hifiman Arya.

Is Arya Better Than Ananda?

The HiFiMan Arya is better planar magnetic headphones for neutral sound than the HiFiMan Ananda. Both headphones are well-built and comfortable. However, the Arya sounds more neutral and consistently delivers bass and treble.

Is It Better to Have An 80 Ohm Or A 250 Ohm Resistance Headphone?

The 80 Ohm version is better for leisurely listening because it produces more bass. You’ll also get more out of 80 Ohm while listening to music or gaming. However, if you’re looking for studio headphones, the 250 Ohm pair will be better. Because 250 ohm comes with wider frequency response.

End Words

That was all about Hifiman Arya vs Arya Stealth vs HD800S. Between Arya’s Stealth and Hifiman Arya, there is little to no difference. But, the HD800S is more distinct and gives good competition between the three.

It ultimately comes down to personal preference. Hopefully, you now have a clear idea of which you want to choose.

Do let us know which headphones you ultimately chose and why in the comments. Until next time!

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