Here at MajorHifi, we occasionally see a decent, awesome-sounding headphone slip through the cracks of the public consciousness. This can be due to competition in a particular manufacturer’s lineup, or competition with other similarly priced headphones, or if the headphone fulfills a niche role in terms of sound quality. The $1799 Hifiman Edition X is one such headphone – not ignored because it performs badly, but because it features a rarely-sought sound.
The Edition X comes in a large box with all the usual trappings of Hifiman’s high-end headphones: two removable cables, a bit of literature, and the headphones themselves.
Built with sturdy plastic, the design is one that reduces weight while maintaining a certain level of comfort. A steel suspension-type headband with pleather padding only furthers the effect.
Once secured on the head, the Edition X seems to envelop my ears, and I have no doubt I can forget these headphones exist during even the shortest of listening sessions.
Frequency Response: 8-50000 Hz
Nominal Impedance: 25 ohms
Sensitivity: 103 dB
Weight: 14.07 Oz (399 g)
As these specifications show, the Edition X utilizes a low nominal impedance, wide frequency range, and decent volume levels. While perfect for mobile listening, it could still pair well with low-output devices, like personal computers or some stereo receivers.
The deep and relatively full low end of the Edition X is complimented by strong bass impact. With little to no bleed, this part of the frequency range remains clear and fairly accurate.
While the midrange isn’t completely terrible, there’s still some room for improvement. Vocals seem somewhat distorted, while instrumentation is colored by the intense low end, leading to a deeper sound than would normally be expected.
The high end on the Edition X is bright with strong detail. This detail can be a bit much at times, though, leading to a slightly forward-leaning sound teeters on the brink of screeching discomfort.
The rich, beautiful soundstage imparts an overwhelming sense of depth and placement. While not exactly as rewarding as the real thing, the Edition X is quite probably the next best thing.
While many headphones with a similar price will aim to deliver the perfect sound, the Hifiman Edition X offers a more dynamic sound suited for bass-heavy tunes. While it probably won’t be anybody’s first choice when it comes to high-end headphones, it would doubtlessly compliment the sound of any rock, hip-hop, or EDM tunes.
If you’re looking for a headphone that handles all genres equally, this is not the headphone for you. The Edition X won’t sound great for classical or instrumental tunes, or for people whose listening enjoyment hinges on a balanced and even sound. Instead, the dynamic but bass-heavy sound of the Edition X excells where a beat is needed, but falters where an even keel is preferred.
So, is there another headphone out there that does what the Edition X does? The $1699 Audeze LCD-X might come close. However, even as much as I love Audeze headphones, I still think the Hifiman does this particular sound better – the bass is more intense, and the sound signature is just a little more V-shaped.
For the money, the Hifiman Edition X is a top-end headphone that excells at a very particular sound. While not the best headphone for every genre, it’s still going to be THE best headphone for some genres – namely rock, hip-hop, and EDM.
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