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Hifiman Ananda - similar sounding closed back or IEM for up to 1000€/$ possible?

Sep 26, 2020

as some of you who helped me in my other thread might already know I currently have the Hifiman Ananda headphones. I drive them with a RME ADI-2 DAC FS and am getting a Motu M2 in a few days and see how I like it. Eventually I would consider getting a dedicated DAC and Amp in case I'm not happy with the ones in the M2 which right now seems unlikely.
I REALLY like the sound of the Hifiman Ananda. My biggest issue (apart from the fact that I would enjoy a little more of that fantastic bass) with it however is the "impracticality" of open back headphones on a day to day basis.
I can neither use them in the office nor on a plane or even just at night at high volumes if my girlfriend sleeps next to me (I sometimes have to work late and have a desk/workstation in the bedroom).
From what I can understand and have read on the internet and here at least one feature (the wide soundstage) is definitively achieved due to the open back design and the high performance at a "relatively low" price point might also benefit from it.
Now. I am already almost sure that I'm gonna keep the Ananda. However I think that if there was a closed back alternative or also an IEM with a similar sound characteristic, of similar high performance and at a similar price point I might regret not at least considering that option. In the end it is a lot of money and I would like to be able to really enjoy the product it gets me as unrestricted as possible and wherever I want. I think both IEM's and closed back headphones would make it easier because they reduce the impact of the factor environment in the equation.

any ideas or recommendations you can give me? :)


Active Member
Jan 20, 2020
I too own the Anandas and they're just fantastic.

Crinacle's IEM table is pretty useful. Includes measurements, prices, sound signature/tone score/technical score: https://crinacle.com/rankings/iems/

Well under your budget, but the JVC FDX-1 is what I have and it doesn't really match the Ananda's bass detail/texture and openness/airiness, but has similarly beautiful tone.


Addicted to Fun and Learning
Sep 21, 2019
Finding a closed back or IEM out-of-the-box 'match' for your Ananda seems not easy, given lack of responses. So - why not be able to 'adjust' afterward, on whatever you get?

I just got a $110 Qudelix 5k just for it's PEQ capabilities. While not yet reviewed by Amir, he does have one 'on the way'.

Besides the PEQ, the Qudelix, unlike my experience with an ES100 and BTR3 (sent back)) has enough 'oomph' to nicely drive my HE400i, in balanced mode at least. Used PEQ to get rid of the 8K peak.

Could be the basis for a nice portable setup for office or plane as well. Mine is USB connected to a $29 LG Rebel tracFone. Runs Android 8 - for any music app. I use Amazon Music. Works great, IMO.

Last thought: Pick an IEM or closed back that tests with low distortion - less than 0.5%. Low distortion may be one reason you like the Ananda. It definitely is for me and my HE400i. Start with low distortion and it should be less likely that things will fall apart if you add PEQ bass boost..etc.
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