HiFiMAN Ananda Nano Review
We’re going to be taking a close look at the newest open-back planar release from HiFiMAN today, the Ananda Nano. The original Ananda V1 was released in 2018, and in the five years since its release has become a staple not only for HiFiMAN fans, but for the mid-tier headphone community as a whole for it’s fast and vast sound and (moderately) affordable $700 price tag. The Ananda Nano curiously comes in at $600, a bit less expensive than the $700 Ananda V1. I’ll be reviewing the HiFiMAN Ananda Nano at face value, but will pepper in comparisons to the original Ananda as well. Let’s dig into it.
What You Get:
- HiFiMAN Ananda Nano Open-Back Planar Headphones
- 3.5mm detachable unbalanced headphone cable
- 3.5mm to 6.35mm adapter
- Semi-firm carrying case
The HiFiMAN Ananda Nano features greater clamping force than its Ananda predecessors. This may be a welcome change for those who struggled to get a good seal on the original Ananda, but may also present a minor obstacle for those who wear glasses. I happen to fall into both of those camps, but welcome the change in fit we see with the Ananda Nano.
The earpads are the usual from HiFiMAN: memory foam encased in a mix of nylon and synthetic leather materials. They’re breathable, and about as comfortable as always.
The Ananda Nano features a metal bracket and a fixed suspension headband made of synthetic leather, with adjustments being made via notched sliders on the yokes. The Nano does an excellent job comfortably distributing its mass – I was surprised to find out that the Nano weighs in at a semi-hefty 419 grams.
Lastly, I liked seeing that HiFiMAN included a carrying case with the Ananda Nano. I’m usually a little underwhelmed by the foam headphone stand that comes with HiFiMAN headphones at this price point, and appreciate their inclusion of an accessory with a more practical utility.
The HiFiMAN Ananda Nano features stealth magnets and a driver diaphragm that is a mere nanometer in thickness. This diaphragm is an Ananda first, and is borrowed from the diaphragm design featured in the ultra high-end HiFiMAN Susvara. This should, in theory, result in extremely fast driver movements and short note decay times.
Though not as enormous and ethereal as the stage heard on the Ananda V1, the stage on the Ananda Nano offers a different variety of exciting qualities. While the Ananda V1 exhibited a sprawling width and height, the Nano has a propensity to place parts in a forward facing manner with a depth that pushes a bit past the face. It wouldn’t be unfair to compare the shape and size of the stage to an astronaut helmet.
In the midst of the smaller and more intimate stage, the Nano is highly energetic, precise, and fluid with its stereo placements. Its highly skilled spatial separation results in an abundance of complex layers that give it a ruthlessly detailed and analytical character.
Balance and Overall Sound
The HiFiMAN Ananda Nano is defined by its punchy mid bass, revealing upper treble, and high-mid oriented center frequency profile. This is a fairly significant and colorful change in tuning from the more neutral Ananda V1 and V2. There’s more cut and bite that leads to some new-found dynamics and impact for the Ananda line of headphones. Beyond balance impressions, there is a distinct sensation of everything sounding much tighter – likely a result of new ultra-thin driver diaphragm. Kick drums and hi-hats strike hard in a way that’s usually characteristic of V-shaped tunings, yet the Nano isn’t lacking in mid-range presence at all – quite the opposite. Vocals have an easy time driving crisply to the top of mixes with a high-mid emphasis in their body and airy, lifted textures in their upper fry. While the HiFiMAN Ananda Nano could be called a bright headphone, I find it pulls this brightness off with a palpable ease, never sounding awkwardly peaky or painfully harsh. The fact that the greatest changes seem to be made in the uppermost part of the treble region results in a lifted timbre and sharper transients rather than any overly-noticeable differences in tonal quality.
The HiFiMAN Ananda Nano is one of the most impressive sub-$1000 over-ear releases to have come out in the past couple of years. It offers more speed and excitement than previous versions of the Ananda at a curiously more affordable price point. The Ananda Nano isn’t just my favorite version of the Ananda to date, but my favorite headphone from HiFiMAN in this mid-ranged price tier. Anyone looking for the high-end sound of the Arya or Susvara for a fraction of the price can find a slice of it in the HiFiMAN Ananda Nano.
You can purchase the HiFiMAN Ananda Nano here from Audio46.