ConclusionThe Hifiman Ananda BT pushes boundaries. Bluetooth has never sounded as beautiful on this Ananda and we expect more brands to follow. With this, Hifiman sets a new standard for audio over bluetooth.
But the real surprise is the playback via cable. Not via a normal headphone cable but via USB-C. If you use the Ananda BT as wired headphone, the built-in DAC and headphone amplifier are even better.
For the asking price you have a planar headphone, a DAC/amplifier that you can use either wired or wirelessly. With the detachable microphone you can also make and play calls and games. Only the Hifiman app can do better, and we miss and volume control on the headphones. For the rest: happiness and (wireless) joy with the Ananda bt.
LDAC, HWA (LHDC)
Now that we can expect more Bluetooth in the realm of high end audio, we will also have to learn new abbreviations. The HWA (LHDC) codec, for example, which encodes and decodes audio over Bluetooth. With the Hifiman app we can play music via HWA, but this app doesn’t work so well. If we want to adjust the volume via the app, we only hear the music with bumps and bumps. Moreover, we think that the Hifiman app reflects the high tones a bit too emphatically. Maybe an update of the Hifiman will improve it. In any case, the Oppo media player sounded a lot calmer, more balanced. At the time of writing, only the Huawei P20, Mate 20 and RS support HWA.
Playing with the apps showed something else the Hifiman Ananda BT can do better; there is no volume control on these headphones. We suspect that this is the only wireless headphones on the market without volume control. We can only control the volume via the playback app and that’s really a limitation. Sometimes we quickly want to turn a track a bit softer or louder and then it’s not convenient to unlock a screen first, search for the application and the volume control.
Happiness and Joy
In terms of sound signature, the Ananda is closer to the Arya than to the Sundara. That’s mainly because of the Ananda’s bass punch. The bass sounds nice and fat and full, at least within the context of planar headphones. This somewhat cryptic sentence means: yes, there is bass, and there is speed, spaciousness, timing, precision. However, the bass is not a badly defined rumbling down under. We mean PRAT: Precision, Rhythm, Accuracy and Timing. The Hifiman Ananda BT takes Bluetooth playback to the next level. But actually the Ananda BT brings even more happiness and joy using the USB DAC and headphone amplifier via USB-C cable. The match between DAC, amp and planar driver is excellent, as it should be with an active system. Well matched components and a short signal path are the ingredients for a successful product.
Frequency Response : 8Hz-55kHzSensitivity :
35 OhmsWeight :
460g (495g, including the microphone and cable)
Full Charging Time : 2.7 HoursPlaytime
: 10 Hours