HIFIMAN is one of our favorite high-end headphone manufacturers and we have owned their products for many years. The Sundara open-back headphones have been one of their best models for many years and they were certainly due for a refresh. We’re just surprised by the nature of the new design. The new HiFiMAN Sundara closed-back planar magnetic headphones have been announced and we have a lot of questions.

Open-back vs Closed-back

While there are always variations between specific headphones, in general, an open-back headphone allows outside air to pass through the earcup, allowing for a more natural open sound, but doesn’t prevent some sound from escaping nor does it keep out exterior ambient noise. However, if you are listening in a quiet environment, open-back headphones may be a great choice as they may be more comfortable over long listening sessions and they offer a more spacious sound.

A closed-back headphone offers users a sealed earcup so that you get all the sound from the headphone drivers (including enhanced bass response) as well as limited exterior noise. However, depending on brand/model, they tend to be heavier and may not be as comfortable as open-back headphones over a long period of time. 

For more details, refer to Open-back vs Closed-back Headphones: Which Should You Buy?

HiFiMAN Sundara Closed-back Headphones
HiFiMAN Sundara Closed-back Headphones

Sundara Closed-back Headphones

The HIFIMAN Sundara closed-back headphone features stylish hand-assembled beechwood ear cups. The earcups isolate the listener from background noise and emphasize a more natural bass response typical of closed-back designs. 

The Sundara features the same Stealth Magnet Technology as the open-back version which significantly reduces reflections and diffractions that distract from the sound quality.

Tip: HIFIMAN introduced Stealth Magnet Technology in their Arya Headphones.

Like the open-back version, the closed-back Sundara features HIFIMAN’s ultra-thin Super Nano Diaphragm which is up to 80% thinner than diaphragms in many other headphones. 

The Super Nano Diaphram also supports an ultra-wide frequency response of 6Hz-50kHz, which allows the fine details present in well-recorded music to be easily revealed.

Additional Specifications

  • Impedance: 20 ohms
  • Sensitivity: 97dB
  • Weight: 1 pound

According to Dr. Fang Bian, Founder, and CEO of HIFIMAN: “Sundara is a Sanskrit term meaning ‘beautiful’ and ‘noble,’ both of which are accurate descriptions of the new headphone design, inside and out. Music lovers will enjoy the new Sundara Closed-Back as much if not more than the original open-back model.”

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Availability & Pricing

The Sundara closed-back over-the-ear planar headphone is expected to ship sometime in August 2022 for $399.

Tip: If you prefer open-back headphones, that version of the Sundara has been reduced to $299 at Amazon, £299 at Amazon.co.uk, and $385 at Amazon.ca.

Tip: Both versions of the Sundara are wired headphones with a 3.5mm connector and cable provided. 

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