HifiMAN Deva is a new Bluetooth enabled planar magnetic headphone from HifiMAN. HifiMAN has been making waves in the planar magnetic headphone space for nearly a decade now, with earlier models like the H400i becoming major hits internationally. With the release of the Deva, it feels like HifiMAN taking the beloved Sundara and adding Bluetooth functionality. With the inclusion of “Bluemini”, the Deva is fully wireless – perfect for those who want to just play music from their phones without headphone amps. However, these aren’t great for outdoor use as they are fully open headphones, meaning you’ll get a whole load of background noise.
HifiMAN is better known for their sound quality than construction – and Deva countinues in this tradition. We found some parts to be a bit more “plastic” feeling, due to the materials used in the construction. We appreciate the HifiMAN is going away from the normal looks, opting for more appealing leather cups.
I found with Hifiman, the build quality varies quite a lot between units. From reading reviews and feedback of Hifiman units, it’s clear there are some units that were hastily made with some visual flaws, such as burn marks. Personally I’ve never, encountered such problems – but there have been customers who have complained about quality consistency.
Bluetooth – Bluemini performance
We definitely found the Bluetooth module to be capable, providing amazing sound for those who want to walk around a bit. We found Bluemini to perform better than most mobile phone amps – so ironically the Deva might sound better on bluetooth for most phones. However the openness of the headphones mean it’s not great for going outdoors and in crowds.
The HifiMan Deva produces a very high quality sound for the price point – especially considering it’s got a Bluetooth module. We tested out sound quality with both Bluetooth (using the LDAC codec) and cable connected to a DAP. We found the quality to not degrade substantially over the Bluetooth connection.
In terms of bass response, it’s quality over quantity. It’s got a more analytical overall sound quality. It’s definitely more focused on detail retrieval and spaciousness rather than kind of a thumpy thick bass. If you have a Sundara for reference, I would say that it slopes off a little bit, sooner than the Sundara.
Considering the price point, I do find the bass response impressive. Not for the amount, but so far for the quality of it. It seems quite nice.
So vocals here so far are good in some ways, not so good in than others. The separation factor is exceptional. and that goes into having that, that wide-open sound.
You can almost see the shape of the person. It’s very good. But. there is a bit of harshness in the S region and it pops up obviously in instruments. Unfortunately, this can be a little unpleasant sometimes.
Very complete, very crisp, or they’re going to be like, ouch. Now, one of the reasons why I bring that up is because, while this is similar to the Sundara and a lot of ways treble included. it doesn’t quite have the total resolution.
Overall we found the Deva to be quite an unusual offering. It’s trying to cater for both the audiophile community whilst establishing mainstream appeal. We definitely found the Bluetooth module to be capable, providing amazing sound for those who want to walk around a bit. We found Bluemini to perform better than most mobile phone amps – so ironically the Deva might sound better on Bluetooth for most phones. However, the openness of the headphones mean it’s not great for going outdoors and in crowds. In terms of raw experience when plugged in, the Deva performs similarly to the Hifiman Sundara. At the end of the day, it depends on what the you regard is most important – portability or raw sound quality. If portability is what you want, Deva is definitely the right headphone for you. If you want a pair of headphones that sound great, consider the cheaper HifiMAN Sundara and pairing it with a good DAC.