User Review Headphone Review: Hifiman Edition S On-Ear with Open/Closed Back

The Edition S is a universally acclaimed headphone manufactured by Hifiman. I think that It is fabulous to look to at and also packs some very convenient features into a compact, portable package.

Pros: Lightweight, durable and good looking. Universal 3.5 mm jack. Fantastic sound and the option of being used as an open or closed headphone. Extremely comfortable with high quality cushioning – can be worn for hours without fatigue.

Cons: Not ideal for big bass lovers. A bit pricey but if you look around, you’ll get extremely good deals. (Psssst….more on this later at the end of the article.)

Design and Build

I liked the Edition S from moment I set my eyes upon it. It’s just different! It does not have the ubiquitous round cup – instead it is elongated and slightly a right-angled trapezium. The cups fold inside and also pivot around their hinge. Thus, the Edition S is easy to fold into it’s stylish and compact egg-shaped case. Don't mistake compactness for flimsiness though; this headphone has been designed for everyday use and it’s a hardy piece of equipment. I almost feel like it’s the perfect travel headphone. Especially since the case comes with a safety-harness-style D-ring, which, you have to admit, is a cool touch!

A signature feature of the Edition S is the removable covers on the outsides of the ear-cups (casing). The plates have a metal fixture and are held in the place by the driver magnet itself. Thus, the Edition S can go from being an open headphone to a closed one within a matter of seconds. This is very convenient; in busy and noisy areas, I left the plates on for better isolation. At home or in a quiet cafe, I removed the plates to enjoy the more open, spacious sound-stage. While I like this convertible option, I am slightly concerned about losing the back-covers or bending them in jeans pocket while riding a motorcycle.

The construction materials used are a combination of metal and soft-touch plastics with matte finish. The headband features a good amount of consistent and soft faux leather padding. The actual band doesn’t touch the head. The ear-pads are quite deep with very high quality cushioning, making the headphone extremely comfortable, even during long musical sessions. Although the Edition S is marketed as an on-ear, I personally feel that it is almost an over-ear headphone. The unique shape of the ear-cup is somewhat similar to that of the human ear. The pressure too, is evenly distributed along the thick and soft contours of the pads.


Apart from the headphone and case, the box also contains a user manual, a card with QR codes that you can scan to ‘like’ Hifiman on Facebook and a small carton of accessories. These include a 5 mm jack, a two pronged adapter jack, a cable with a 3.5 mm universal jack (goes in headphone) and a right angled 3.5 mm jack to plug into the device of your choice. The cable has a microphone, a collar clip and an inline remote with 3 buttons for volume up, volume down and play/pause. The right-angled jack is compatible with Android and iOS.


Hifiman is almost synonymous with planar magnetic technology. So I was quite surprised when I found out that the Edition S has a dynamic driver. Not that this detracts from the caliber of the headphone in any way. In fact, the sound is very pleasant, musical and full-bodied. The lows are fun-sounding with accurate bass. There’s enough low end grunt to make the experience enjoyable but it is not over-emphasized to the point where the mids and highs become clouded and muddy. The mids are smooth with emotional vocals. The treble is detailed and elevated but not at all hard to listen to. The clarity is exceptional, especially with the covers on. When you take the covers off, you get a wider sound-stage with a bit more punch in the bass.

Final Thoughts: The Hifiman Edition S is a highly capable and versatile headphone with warm mids and clear highs. It is so comfortable that you’ll probably forget to remove them when you’re done listening to music.

Where to buy?

According to the Official Hifiman Website, there are only two authorized dealers in India – one in Madhya Pradesh and the other one in Mumbai, Maharashtra (see screenshot below). All other sellers are unauthorized and they are selling imported units at exorbitant prices. The MP dealer does not stock the Edition S (as of May 2017).

I hope that you guys enjoyed this review. Pics are attached below.


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[DOUBLEPOST=1496402062][/DOUBLEPOST]All Technical Specifications

  • Style: Open/closed back
  • Frequency Response: 15 Hz to 22 kHz
  • Sensitivity: 113 dB
  • Impedance: 18 Ohms
  • Driver Size: 50 mm
  • Weight: 248 g


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