Hifiman has seemed to be shaking the market in every price bracket lately with recent drops. That’s one of the things I must give them credit for. They seem to continue to improve upon past models and continue to push the envelope. The Arya alone is now on its 4th revision with some pretty significant changes to the drivers and the sound. Back when I heard the original Arya, I was somewhat skeptical of the praise they received at the time. A few months ago I had the opportunity to listen to the V3 Stealth and was blown away. This was not the headphone I remembered but a much more grown up and matured sound. Now with the introduction of the Arya Organic, I’m glad to say they really seem to have perfected it.
Hifiman seems to have taken the word “organic” by storm adorning the sides with a nice looking wood veneer. Making the Arya fit more visually with its older more pronounced elders. Theres a slightly more reddish tint to the wood than the HE1000 and Susvara but it seems to fit with the black hardware well. The rest of the exterior visually is pretty much the same as previous versions of the Arya. While the build seems the same there is something nagging at me that says it feels more polished. The metal frame feels a bit sturdier. The connections fell more well secured. Every part of these feels very premium and well deserving of the price from build alone.
Other than the new wood exterior lining, a few other features have benefited from “trickle down tech” inside the headphones. The drivers themselves seem to be taking on tech of their higher end offerings namely the HE1000Se.
All in all, it feels like a much more refined package that Hifiman is putting forward for the same price as the previous Arya iteration.
I was a bit skeptical to jump back in to listening to an Arya after my first experience. The first iteration I bought and sold within a few weeks of owning. I tried a friends pair just to make sure there wasn’t anything wrong but still wasn’t pleased with the sound. It was a bit to light through the midrange and the low end felt entirely detached from the rest of the music. No real sense of cohesion could be found. I was shocked as I really didn’t have issues with their other models at the time. Well after hearing the V3 Stealth I was back on board again and willing to take a chance. The Organic finally sold me. There is just something special about these. Its hard to point to any thing to criticize.
The low end was something I was particularly looking for after my previous experience. I was pleasantly surprised. Unlike the original, it blended incredibly well with the rest of the music. The low end was fast and punchy but still presented with good weight. There was great extension with a very linear response overall giving it a much more natural presentation. Also they have great resolution even on some of the lowest notes which is usually reserved for much higher tier headphones.
The midrange is where I thought they made a ton of improvements as well. I would definitely call it a balanced presentation. There doesn’t seem to be an over emphasis on either end that would color it a bit more. While the mids don’t have the warmth or thickness of some headphones, they still have enough weight to draw you in. Its not overly thin or airy like some other planar headphones. Vocals, especially female vocals, are presented with striking clarity and detail. The present mids a bit forward which ends up working well with their staging technicalities. If people were thinking the name “Organic” would present itself in a more warm and romantic sound then they would be wrong. Instead they’ve taken a very balanced and linear approach to tuning with an emphasis on resolution especially with mid range texture and timbre.
One of the biggest criticisms of the original iterations of the Arya was that it was too bright and could be glaring at times. The Arya Organic seems to fix all these cons without a hint of drawbacks. They retain all the top end detail, speed, and sparkle of the original while being able to reign it back in just a bit. What you get is a headphone that can be listened to for hours on end without fatigue. Its much more relaxed while still mustering up enough sparkle to wow you when called upon. Once again it has a very natural presentation.
The previous iterations were all very detailed in their own right and were known for quite wide staging. While the Organic keeps with tradition it adds a touch of its own flavor. The soundstage is still nice and spacious but within that the depth and positioning have been made much better. Instruments are all arranged withing their own space both horizontally and vertically. Within the stage its easy to pick out where each is located.
Overall, Hifiman has done a wonderful job with their latest offerings. I keep going back to the word natural (mostly because saying organic would feel odd) but it really does feel true. The present music in such a way that’s much more cohesive than previous offerings and without coloration. It really does have a “reference” sound but with enough flavor to keep you interested and coming back for more.