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HiFiMan Arya Organic Headphone Review: Old Look New Sound

The Arya series is one of HiFiMan’s more popular, if not the most popular, headphone series the company. Today, we are checking out the HiFiMan Arya Organic. Released mid-last year, it’s the fourth generation of Ayra headphones. The third was the Arya Sealth Magnet, and when I reviewed the Arya Stealth, I was impressed by it. The new Arya Organic retains the classic look but gets a facelift. Not only that, it also has a lower starting price than the Stealth version. So, does the new Arya Organic sound better? Does the strip of wood improve its sound quality? And is it worth it? Let’s find out in our review below.

hifiman arya organic review

HiFiMan Arya Organic Open-Back Planar Magnetic Headphone Review

Let me get this out of the way first. So, the strip of wood on the Arya Organic is just for aesthetics, and it does not affect the sound quality or change its sound signature. Jest aside, the latest version of HiFiMan’s Arya Organic features the company’s Stealth Magnets, just like its predecessor. However, I am unsure if it is the same Stealth Magnets used on the Arya Stealth or a newer one because there is something different about the Arya Organic.

Sandwiched between the magnets is HiFiMan’s Nanometer-Thickness Diaphragm, which is based on the Susvara headphone. The Susvara is currently HiFiMan’s flagship headphone, with a price tag even higher than Audeze’s LCD-5. It may have inherited some of the best traits found on HiFiMan’s top-tier headphones.

Specs-wise, the Arya Organic has a frequency response of 8Hz-65KHz, a sensitivity of 94dB, and an impedance of 16 ohms. Now, let’s take a closer look at the headphones, find out what they sound like, and discover what is organic about HiFiMan’s latest Arya Organic headphones.

Packaging and Closer Look

HiFiMan has recently changed its retail boxes and has gone with a simple and minimalist brown box. Unlike the Arya Stealth Magnet’s box, which had nice box art, there’s only a sticker label on the brown box this time. I don’t know if HiFiMan is using this for all of its recent headphones or only for the mid- to lower-end headphones. Still, the unboxing experience is quite a downgrade, in my opinion.

It’s nice and straightforward, and we don’t usually see the box anymore after getting the product out of the box, but it doesn’t feel like you are getting a premium product. The headphone is cradled on a foam, where the middle portion can be used as a headphone stand.

There’s not a lot inside the box. You only get the headphones themselves and a headphone cable. There are no reading materials or manuals. You’ll have to scan a QR code for the warranty, and if you are looking for a manual, you’ll have to download it from HiFiMan’s site.

I’m having mixed feelings about the packaging and accessories. They have removed many things, and the unboxing experience is a step back. Since they have standardized the packaging and removed some items, I wish they could have included different cable options instead. For example, a 4.4mm balanced cable would be nice since there’s only a single-ended 1/4″ cable inside.

Patented Window Shade System and Earcup Design

The Arya Organic looks exactly the same as the previous versions of the Arya headphones. It features HiFiMan’s patented Windows Shade System and large teardrop-shaped ear cups. This design works and has been well-received by many users. It’s comfortable, distributes the clamping pressure evenly, and leaves a lot of room around your ears. If the design is not broken, there’s no need to fix or replace it. However, some people find the earcups too big for their heads.

Wood Veneer, Ear Pads, and CNC Metal Body

There is a 3.5mm TRS connector on the bottom side of each driver (left/right). It doesn’t have a lock, so if the cable is accidentally pulled, it will just be pulled without damaging the headphones. If pulled really hard from a certain angle, the headphones may fall, which may result in more serious damage.

I’m unsure how thick the wood is on its earcups, but it looks like a thin veneer. It does look like it’s made of real wood, though, and I am not about to scratch it just to find out. There’s also a thin layer of cloth underneath each side to protect or cover the magnets and diaphragm.

The good news is that the whole driver portion is made from CNC metal, unlike the Arya Stealth, which is made of hard plastic. It feels sturdy and solid, but it’s still lightweight. Speaking of its weight, the Arya Organic only weighs 440 grams.

Like the Arya Stealth, the ear pads on the Arya Organic are detachable and replaceable. I think they’re the same exact ear pads. The ear pads have an asymmetrical shape and design that follows the form of the ear. They are also beveled, meaning the back portion is thicker than the front portion. The pads also have three different surfaces. The outer one is pleather, and the inner portion is fenestrated pleather. Meanwhile, the surface that contacts your head is polyester.

Metal Headband and Faux Leather Suspension Band

Again, the headband system is identical to the previous version of the Arya headphones. It’s a metal headband with a cutout on the top middle portion. The suspension band is (still) disappointingly faux leather, which, by the way, doesn’t last long. It’s very annoying once the suspension band starts flaking and peeling. At this price, I expect a more durable and long-lasting material.

On the flip side, this type of headband is still very comfortable, and the weight is evenly distributed on the top. It is my preferred type of headband, especially for headphones with larger drivers or heavier ear cups. I did notice that the clamping force on the Arya Organic was slightly weaker than my Arya Stealth. I’m unsure if this is an isolated case, but it’s worth mentioning.

Similar to the previous Arya, the Arya Organic is one of the most comfortable headphones I have worn. It is even comfortable compared to some Bluetooth headphones, like the B&W Px8 or Sony XM5. I could wear these headphones for a few hours without feeling hot around my ear or having a headache due to the clamping force.

HiFiMan Arya Organic Subjective Listening Experience

For those who haven’t tried any of the Arya series, the Arya Organic has a sound characteristic similar to that of its predecessor. It’s a bright-sounding headphone, and if you are used to bass-heavy headphones, you might find the Arya Organic (too) bright for your taste. But since I prefer neutral-sounding headphones or reference type, I don’t see the Arya Organic as too bright or harsh. I think Grado’s are brighter based on memory.

Like its predecessor, it also sounds spacious, open, and wide, with excellent instrument separation, layering, and imaging. However, it is different from the Arya Stealth in a few ways.

When I got the Arya Organic, I didn’t immediately do an A/B testing or compare it to the Arya Stealth side-by-side. Instead, I used the Arya Organic for several days. I want to familiarize myself with how it sounds and break it in.

My first impression was that it sounded like the Arya Stealth. In my review of the Arya Stealth, I was already impressed with its sound quality and liked its sound signature. I thought that only a flagship headphone could offer a significant sound improvement. Well, I was wrong.

After listening to the Arya Organic for several days, I switched back to the Arya Stealth. And I was surprised how the “bad” the Arya Stealth sound compared to the Arya Organic. Well, it’s not really “bad,” but the difference is noticeable, and it’s clear that the Arya Organic is a much better-sounding headphone overall. It was like comparing two completely different headphones.

Arya Organic vs Arya Stealth Magnets

Both the Arya Organic and Arya Stealth Magnet versions have similar neutral-bright sound signatures. They are very similar, especially in terms of how open and wide both headphones are. However, the Arya Organic sounds noticeably cleaner and clearer to my ears. It sounds a bit more detailed and refined. It also sounds louder or richer at the same volume level; perhaps the Arya Organic is more efficient.

Aside from clarity and resolution, one of the most obvious things I noticed is the Arya Organic’s bass. The bass sounds richer, has more body and texture, has more rumble, and sounds more controlled. When I was listening to Baldur’s Gate’s Main Theme, the bass hit harder, cleaner, and clearer on the Arya Organic. The sound of the string instruments is noticeably more pronounced as if you could “feel” the texture of the string instruments while they are being strummed or bowed.

Perhaps that’s why HiFiMan called this version of Arya “Organic” because it sounds organic. The mid-range is also improved, with better clarity and details. The music sounds a bit more lively, and the vocals sound more present and alive. I think HiFiMan re-tuned the mid-range to make it sound more intimate since the Arya Stealth was somewhat veiled or a bit wider. However, it’s a bit hard to tell unless you do a side-by-side comparison.

I didn’t find the previous Arya Stealth to be sibilant. But the Arya Organic has a good amount of treble extension, and it doesn’t sound sibilant to my ears. Again, if you are used to bassy headphones, there’s a chance that you may find the Arya Organic a bit bright, perhaps sibilant or borderline sibilant.

HiFiMan Arya Organic vs Audeze LCD-5

hifiman arya organic vs audeze lcd-5

After testing the Arya Organic, there’s one headphone that somehow resembles or is quite close to its sound characteristics. And that’s Audeze’s flagship the LCD-5.

While Audeze’s LCD-5 is entirely on a different level, especially in pricing, the level of detail, clarity, and sound quality is close to the Arya Organic. I’m not saying they both have the same exact sound signature since Audeze has its tuning, and HiFiMan has its own. But both headphones are neutral-sounding, reference-like.

They both have excellent bass clarity, control, and texture, great mid-range, and sparkling highs that aren’t sibilant or harsh. However, aside from their physical design and aesthetics, the most obvious difference I noticed is that the Arya Organic sounds more open and wide than the LCD-5. The LCD-5 is somewhat focused and forward-sounding compared to the Arya Organic. Both headphones do sound “organic”, though.

Between the two headphones, sans price, I prefer the LCD-5 more since it has a much better materials used. However, price is a factor, and the price difference is so huge that the Arya Organic looks like a steal compared to the LCD-5, especially in terms of sound quality. The only thing is that the Arya Organic feels cheap when compared to other premium headphones like the LCD-5.

Nevertheless, the Arya Organic and it’s tear-shape earcup is more comfortable. The LCD-5 has these oddly-shaped ear pads, which are less comfortable to wear than Arya’s ear pads.

Pricing and Availability

The HiFiMan Arya Organic open-back planar magnetic headphone is now available. Its manufacturer’s suggested retail price is $1,299. For the latest pricing and availability, kindly check the links below.

Where to buy: (#ad)
Arya Organic is available on Amazon here.
HE1000 Stealth Magnet is available on Amazon here.
Arya Stealth Magnet is available on Amazon here.

HiFiMan Arya Organic Review Conclusion

hifiman arya organic review conclusion

So, are the HiFiMan Arya Organic good-sounding headphones? Do I like them? Well, it’s not a good-sounding headphone; it’s excellent-sounding! I didn’t think that the Arya could be pushed further and could sound much better. Again, despite being identical in appearance, the Arya Organic and Arya Stealth are night and day in difference. It’s just a much better headphone overall.

However, there is still room for improvement. While I appreciate that the Arya Organic didn’t start at $1,599 (the original MSRP of the Arya Stealth), I wished HiFiMan had chosen a much better material, especially that faux leather headband suspension. They should have used real leather or vegan leather, just like in the HE1000 Stealth. Also, I’d appreciate it if they included a better cable, perhaps a bit longer, or an option for a 4.4mm balanced cable.

Is the Arya Organic worth it?

When it comes to sound quality, yes. It’s definitely worth it and a must-have headphone, especially if you are looking for a neutral-sounding or reference-like headphone that is open. However, the problem is that the Arya Organic is priced so close to the HE1000 Stealth Magnet. There’s only a $100 price difference between these headphones, at least at the time of writing.

I haven’t tried the HE1000 Stealth Magnet yet, but if it sounds similar to or slightly better than the Arya Organic, I’d pick it instead. Why? The materials used on the HE1000 Stealth Magnet are much better. It also looks more premium. Again, I’m just basing my decision on the materials and aesthetics.

Conversely, the Arya Stealth is currently discounted, selling for around $750 only. That’s a significant price drop coming from $1,599. Is the Arya Stealth a better buy? Well, if I haven’t heard what the Arya Organic sounds like, I think I’ll be satisfied with the Arya Stealth at its current discounted price. However, since I know that the Arya Organic sounds much better, it’s a tough decision. It really is night and day.

For some people, the price difference is nothing or a “small price” to pay for the improvements. But for others, $540 is a significant amount. So, this (really) varies depending on your budget. All I can say is, it sounds fantastic and it will be my daily driver from now on.

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Peter Paul
Peter is a PC enthusiast and avid gamer with several years of hands-on experience in testing and reviewing PC components, audio equipment, and various tech devices. He offers a genuine, no-nonsense perspective, helping consumers make informed choices in the ever-changing world of technology.

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