HIFIMAN Deva Wired.

Hot on the heels of the HE400i 2020, I get a look at the wired version of HIFIMANs Deva headphones.

Disclaimer:
HIFIMAN have been very kind and sent these my way for review.
I have not been paid or sponsored for this review.
These are my own unbiased views.

The HIFIMAN Deva Wired retail at $219 at the time of this review.

You can find the Deva Wired here:
https://hifiman.com/products/detail/305

Review Equipment:
HIFIMAN Deva Wired.
Astell & Kern AK70.
iPad Pro running Qobuz Studio Premier.
Audioengine B1 bluetooth receiver and DAC.
Cambridge Audio DACMagic-100 USB DAC.
Eufonica H5 tube headphone amplifier.

Music:
Various FLAC files on the AK70.
And the following playlists on Qobuz.
https://open.qobuz.com/playlist/3785941
https://open.qobuz.com/playlist/3784071

The Audiophile Cafe readers can now receive 1 month’s free subscription to Studio, which allows you to listen to Qobuz’s entire music library in Hi-Res and CD quality. 
Note: Existing Studio subscribers need to unsubscribe first before activating the gift. 
Please click the following link for more:
https://try.qobuz.com/tqs_fr/?qbzs=society&qbzc=THE_AUDIOPHILE_CAFE&utm_source=society&utm_medium=partner_page&utm_campaign=THE_AUDIOPHILE_CAFE

What’s in the box:
1x HIFIMAN Deva.
1x 3.5mm headphone cable.
1x 1/4″ adaptor.

Spec:
Frequency Response : 20-20kHz
Impedance : 18Ω
Sensitivity : 93.5dB
Weight : 360g
Socket : TRRS 3.5mm

Build and finish:
The HIFIMAN Deva are a good looking headphone with a fantastic finish that oozes premium craftsmanship.
They use the same headband design as the HE400i 2020 that I previously reviewed.
I like this new design, It’s comfy, robust and has less moving parts.
The ear pads are sumptuous and look amazing.
I really like the silver and tan aesthetic. They look and feel like something from a higher price range.
A single balanced headphone jack is used in combination with a 3.5mm stereo headphone cable which can easily be swapped out for a balanced cable or the bluetooth adaptor that is made specifically for this headset.
The cable that comes with the Deva is a thick robust rubber sleeved affair with a good quality jack on either end.
HIFIMAN knocked it out of the ballpark with the Deva. A very well made headphone indeed.
The Deva pictured below is the wireless version. The black unit you see is the bluetooth adaptor.

Comfort:
The HIFIMAN Deva Wired are an extremely comfy pair of headphones.
The ear pads are really soft and luxurious on your ears. The headband is the same and sits nice and softly on your head.
I wore these for a four hour session with zero discomfort or fatigue.

Sound:
Fast paced, accurate planar magnetics with good dynamic range and a spacious sound stage.
Low frequencies are tight and have good presence if a little lacking in the lower end. It’s there but in a subtle manner but well defined.
Midrange is flat and neutral. Lots of detail and air but not too forward.
The highs are fast, crisp and precise.
Live performances shine through with lots of depth and superb imaging.
Classical and Jazz are a delight to listen to on the Deva. Vocals come through with an organic neutrality that make these a very soothing listen.
I’d say they are forgiving and almost a good all rounder. Although I found EDM and heavy rock/metal a touch unsuited to the Deva. Everything else they managed with ease.
Switching to the Eufonica tube amplifier I found the Deva sounded a lot warmer in the lower end, with a smoother midrange and softer highs.
The AK70 had no problems powering these from its single ended headphone out. At 18ohms that’s going to be obvious anyway.
$219 is a really good price and friendly on your wallet.
They’re a truly classy pair of planar magnetics that sound as good as they look.
Who would I recommend them to? Anyone wanting to get into planar magnetics at a low price point. Someone who’s looking for a planar magnetic with flexibility in connection options. Or even if you want to add something a little different to an existing headphone collection.
It’s going to be a struggle to send these back. I’ve grown quite fond of them.



Thank you as always to my brilliant little group of readers!
Please subscribe, like and share!

Paul.

Sponsors:
The Audiophile Cafe is sponsored by Airpulse. Supporting the blog and helping me to bring better content to my readers.


http://www.airpulseaudio.com/en/

HIFIMAN HE400i 2020 Version.

Already the owner of the original HE400 from HIFIMAN, I am interested to see how the 2020 version differs or improves upon a classic and personal favourite.

HIFIMAN have been very kind and sent these my way for review.
I have not been paid or sponsored for this review.
These are my own unbiased views.

The HIFIMAN HE400i 2020 Version retail at $169 at the time of this review.

You can find the HE400i 2020 Version here:
https://hifiman.com/products/detail/304

Review equipment:
HIFIMAN HE400i 2020 Version.
Astell & Kern AK70.
iPad Pro running Qobuz Studio Premier.
Burson Audio 3X Performance.

Music:
Various FLAC files on the AK70.
And the following playlists on Qobuz.
https://open.qobuz.com/playlist/3785941
https://open.qobuz.com/playlist/3784071

The Audiophile Cafe readers can now receive 1 month’s free subscription to Studio, which allows you to listen to Qobuz’s entire music library in Hi-Res and CD quality. 
Note: Existing Studio subscribers need to unsubscribe first before activating the gift. 
Please click the following link for more:
https://try.qobuz.com/tqs_fr/?qbzs=society&qbzc=THE_AUDIOPHILE_CAFE&utm_source=society&utm_medium=partner_page&utm_campaign=THE_AUDIOPHILE_CAFE

Whats in the box:
1x HIFIMAN HE400i 2020 Version.
1x detachable single ended 3.5mm cable.
1x 1/4″ adaptor.

Spec:
Frequency Response : 20Hz-35KHz
Sensitivity : 93dB
Impedance : 35 Ohms
Weight : 370g
Cable Length : 1.5m
Plug : 3.5mm/6.35mm

Build and finish:
The HIFIMAN HE400 have long been a favourite planar magnetic. However I was never that keen on the build quality and over time they have shown their age. They still sound amazing but they’ve definitely seen better days when it comes down to construction.
The HE400i 2020 version is of a far better finish and they feel more robust. The 3.5mm connectors installed in the cups are a welcome change to the screw in connector first used in the original HE400 and offer the ability to swap out different cables with greater ease than before.
One noticeable improvement that jumps at me are the forks and how they work with the new headband. The clicks are solid and click firmly into place and the forks no longer have a screw in the centre, instead favouring a one-piece design. Good call!
I like the charcoal black satin finish. It works well with these headphones and gives them a subtle yet premium quality.
HIFIMAN have provided a very decent cable with the HE400i 2020s which is well made and nicely sleeved in black. If more headphone companies did this the headphone world would be a far happier place.
At 35ohms they are easy to drive from a desktop, portable or even built in amplifier.

Comfort:
HIFIMAN have made a comfortable headphone here and the new headband design is a welcome change and improvement.
The ear pads are no different to what I have experienced on the original HE400 model and this is a good thing. Those pads are still going strong now and as comfy as ever.
The pads on this 2020 model are then by default onto a winning streak.
I found I could wear the HE400i 2020 for hours of listening with no discomfort and no fatigue.

Sound:
The HE400i 2020 use the same drivers as the original version and it shows with the same premium sound quality as before.
However I do notice a slight change in soundstage and the upper frequency range.
Whether this is because my HE400 “Originals” are older now and far more broken in than this pair or whether they have been tuned slightly differently I don’t know, but I love what they have done here.
The soundstage is wide and has some depth to it.
Separation is excellent and instruments are easily distinguishable from one another, even in noisier parts of some tracks.
Bass extension is here in bucket loads and with good definition. Also managing to sweep low without any distortion or lack of detail.
The HE400i 2020 has a smooth forward midrange and upper midrange that works very well with vocals, and acoustics lending a “Jazz-club” feel to the sound.
High frequencies are detailed and fast paced. A little rolled off. However not as rolled off as the original HE400 model, so when I compare the two versions I found the HE400i 2020 to have a better dynamic range over the originals.
At $169 I have to recommend these as a very well rounded and exiting headphone to listen to which would be great for someone who wants to try their first planar magnetic, or maybe it’s your first proper pair of headphones? Either way you can’t go wrong!

Many thanks to you my readers for your continuing faith and support!
Please subscribe, like and share the blog and my reviews to help me grow.

Sponsors:
The Audiophile Cafe is sponsored by Silver Note Tonearms, supporting the blog and helping me to bring better content.

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Big Fudge 4-in-1 Vinyl Cleaning Kit.

As I listen to more vinyl as part of my audiophile journey and also as a reviewer I am beginning to explore what’s out there in the cleaning product market.
Let’s begin with a very affordable kit and see if it’s worth it…

Disclaimer:
Big Fudge Vinyl have not paid or sponsored me for this review.
This is an unbiased review of an item I purchased myself.
The views and opinions in this piece are my own.

The Big Fudge Vinyl Cleaning Kit currently retails at $22.95.
You can find it and other products on their website here:
https://bigfudgevinyl.com/

Review Equipment:
Technics SL1200 MKII turntable.
Ortofon Quintet Red MC cartridge.
Various records.
Big Fudge Vinyl Cleaning Kit.

What’s in the box:
1x 50ml alcohol-free cleaning spray.
1x antistatic velvet brush.
1x all purpose brush.
1x stylus brush.
1x carry pouch.




Build and finish:
Big Fudge Vinyl have made a good quality product here with a great finish.
The velvet brush has been finished and engraved really well.
The rest of the kit is pretty simple but again very well made.
The pouch is a nice touch allowing me to keep the kit all in one place.

Ease of use:
The kit is quite straight forward to use and Big Fudge Vinyl have an instructional video on the product webpage that shows very clearly how to use the kit.


Summary and conclusion:
I’ve been using this kit now for a few months and it’s made a great addition to my “box of audio tools”
It does a fantastic job of cleaning records and the stylus and you can hear the difference.
I wouldn’t use it for a deep clean, that’s what Big Fudge Vinyls other kit is for but we’ll get into that in another review that is coming up.
I would recommend this to be used when you’re pulling a few records out to play which need a little touch up. The stylus brush is very soft and works well, removing any light build up of dust on the stylus.
I also try to use this kit when I am putting my “rotation” stack of records back into storage, giving them a little pre-storage clean.
For $22.95 you really can’t go wrong, consider it a cheap investment that will pay for itself x number of times over in no time at all.

Thank you to my readers and followers for your continuing support!
Paul.

Sponsors:

The Audiophile Cafe is sponsored by a small group of sponsors and partners, helping me to bring better content to the blog and you the reader.

Thanks to Custom Cans and Jason for sponsoring the blog and for the ongoing support!

https://customcans.co.uk/s/s/