Type: circumaural, open-back, planar magnetic
Test sample supplied by: Signature Systems, UK distributor
Reviewed in: Hi-Fi News, August 2019
There is a strong argument, when you compare their measured performance, for saying that the Arya is superior to HIFIMAN's costlier Susvara. Its advantages begin with its voltage sensitivity of 103.5dB SPL for 1V at 1kHz, which would not be anything to crow about in what is quite a low-impedance headphone but for the Susvara's being fully 12dB lower. About 6dB of that is accounted for by the Arya's lower impedance (nominally 35 ohms although actually nearer 30 ohms), which is roughly half that of the Susvara. Also in the Arya's favour: it isn't polarity inverting as our test sample of the Susvara was.
The Arya's uncorrected frequency responses are essentially flat in trend below 2kHz, whereafter there is a well-developed peak at 3kHz which promises near-neutral perceived tonal balance through the critical presence band. As a result, the corrected responses are quite impressively flat, particularly the Harman 2017 corrected response which is flat to within ±4dB from 20Hz to 16kHz. No surprise, then, that the Harman PPR scores are impressive at 84/83 ≡ 73%/73% (L/R), somewhat bettering the Susvara's figures. Moreover, the Arya is largely insensitive to compromised earpad sealing, its PPR scores actually improving slightly to 85/84 ≡ 74%/73% and 84/85 ≡ 74%/74% in the spectacles and 'hair' leakage tests.
Manifest wobbles in the uncorrected frequency responses from 150Hz upwards suggest that the Arya has a series of diaphragm breakup resonances, confirmed by the CSD waterfall plots, although these underplay the sub-1kHz resonances due to the limited frequency resolution of the measurement. Still, the Arya's performance here again betters that of the Susvara. Decay of the IR response to below -40dB takes 3.3ms for the left capsule but 6.5ms, almost double, for the right capsule because of the high-Q 4.2kHz resonance that dominates its CSD waterfall. Although neither CSD plot hints at resonances below the 200Hz lower limit, there is evidence in the acoustical crosstalk trace of some structural resonances, particularly between 50Hz and 70Hz.
As the Arya's impedance versus frequency plot is virtually flat, its frequency response is unaffected if it is used with signal sources having finite output impedance.
Also virtually flat are its isolation versus frequency traces, confirming that the Arya provides no effective attenuation of common environmental sounds.