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Nan-6 Planar Headphone Review

Rate this headphone:

  • 1. Poor (headless panther)

    Votes: 6 4.1%
  • 2. Not terrible (postman panther)

    Votes: 36 24.7%
  • 3. Fine (happy panther)

    Votes: 82 56.2%
  • 4. Great (golfing panther)

    Votes: 22 15.1%

  • Total voters
    146

amirm

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This is a review and detailed measurements of the Nan-6 Planar Magnetic headphone. It was kindly drop shipped to me by a member and costs S$999 (US $750).
Nan-6 Planar Measurement Response Headphone.jpg

Other than the cheesy logo and rough finish of the metal parts, the headphone "looks the part" as our British friends would say. It is exceptionally comfortable and fit on my head nicely. A pair of velour pads and what looks to be half a dozen filters also come with it. I stuck with the unit as shipped (as shown above). There is no documentation with the unit so I don't know what the filters do (if anything different).

A high-end looking balanced cable comes with the unit.

The claim to fame of this headphone is that it is supposed to be clone or close to Hifiman Susvara/HE-6 at a much cheaper price.

Note: The measurements you are about to see are made using a standardized Gras 45C. Headphone measurements by definition are approximate and variable so don't be surprised if other measurements even if performed with the same fixtures as mine, differ in end results. Protocols vary such as headband pressure and averaging (which I don't do). As you will see, I confirm the approximate accuracy of the measurements using Equalization and listening tests. Ultimately headphone measurements are less exact than speakers mostly in bass and above a few kilohertz so keep that in mind as you read these tests. If you think you have an exact idea of a headphone performance, you are likely wrong!

Fitment on the fixture was superb once I expanded the headband to near max.

Nan-6 Headphone Measurements
As usual we start with the headphone frequency response as comparison to our preference curve:
Nan-6 Planar Measurement Frequency Response Headphone.png


Compliance is decent from 150 Hz to about 1.5 kHz. Outside of that range we have some deficiency. There is fair bit of roughness in the measurements and one channel deviates from the other in the 2 to 3 KHz region which may indication lack of production quality assurance.

Here is the response of Hifiman HE-6 by the way:
index.php


There is better channel matching but the HE-6 has that notch around 7 kHz which the Nan-6 remedies.

Relative response shows that we don't have a lot to fix:

Nan-6 Planar Measurement Relative Frequency Response Headphone.png


Distortion was impressively low at my two lower measurement levels:
Nan-6 Planar Measurement THD Percentage Response Headphone.png

Nan-6 Planar Measurement THD Distortion Response Headphone.png


We will have to boost a couple of regions though so there will be some degradation in practice.

Typical of this class of headphone/driver, impedance is low and flat:
Nan-6 Planar Measurement Impedance Response Headphone.png


You need a high current headphone amplifier to drive the Nan-6 given the very low sensitivity:
Most sensitive planar magnetic headphone review 2022.png


Finally, group delay is messy which likely goes with the roughness in the frequency response:

Nan-6 Planar Measurement Group Delay  Headphone.png


Nan-6 Headphone Listening Tests
I unplugged my everyday Dan Clark Stealth headphone out of my RME ADI-2 DAC/Amp and loss in output level was quite apparent. The Nan-6 is about half as sensitive. I could drive it to everyday listening level at max level but bass response was anemic. So I fed the output of the ADI-2 DAC to Topping A90 and now I could drive them well enough to clear ear cobwebs. :) I was however surprised that I could get the drivers to crackle pat 3:00 o'clock. Based on distortion measurements, I did not think I could overdrive them. So maybe I was past 114 dBSPL. :D

Anyway, without EQ the sound is pleasant and definitely usable. Add the bit of bass boost and especially the 3 kHz raise and the sound opens up subtly but nicely.

Edit: forgot the EQ curve:
Nan-6 Planar EQ Equalizer Response Headphone.png


You have have very dynamic response with more open air. Spatial qualities are excellent with EQ and just a bit less so without. Other than needing a bunch of power, there was not much to complain about. I wanted to sit there and keep listening but had to stop to take picture and post the review....

Conclusions
Objective flaws in response of the Nan-6 is easy to identify and fix. Once there, the sound is excellent if you have a powerful and clean headphone amplifier. You can use lessor amplification but you won't have any headroom to enjoy the bass response (with EQ) that this headphone can deliver. Whether it is close to the headphones it is supposed to clone, I let you all argue that. :)

I am going to recommend the Nan-6 headphone and especially so with equalization.

------------
As always, questions, comments, recommendations, etc. are welcome.

Any donations are much appreciated using: https://www.audiosciencereview.com/forum/index.php?threads/how-to-support-audio-science-review.8150/
 

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Georgrig

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If it wasn't for the "cheesy logo", I could swear this is an Audeze headphone. I mean, the headband is identical! In fact, it looks like an LCD-X with Abyss 1266 side grills and Hifiman HE6 drivers.

Also the price in China (place of manufacture) is 500 USD, not 750. I believe the reseller is based in Singapore, so a bit of surcharge is included.
 
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Looks like an Audeze knock off or plainly copy. Certainly wouldn't pay $750 for an unknown maker with questionable after sale support & warrantee. My take is on the low THD. Frequency response is irrelevant since the target is just a target which provides some level of information but with questionable merit. For instance I prefer different frequency response.
 

Ilkless

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I see no reason to take this over Audeze (with or w/o EQ depending on preference) except if one believes in the wishful thinking that the more esoteric and hard to access the headphone is, the higher the performance it must have.
 

edahl

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I see no reason to take this over Audeze (with or w/o EQ depending on preference) except if one believes in the wishful thinking that the more esoteric and hard to access the headphone is, the higher the performance it must have.
Weight(? can't find it), tuning, excellent treble tracking, price?
 

[email protected]

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In my opinion, I don't think it is a good think to encourage nockoffs by testing them in ASR.
This has borrowed parts from abyss, audeze, and a marketed tuning of hifiman !!
Legit asian audio companies are very good and lauded especially in iems and gear, but and I don't think we should buy a 1k$ nockoff.
 

Georgrig

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In my opinion, I don't think it is a good think to encourage nockoffs by testing them in ASR.
This has borrowed parts from abyss, audeze, and a marketed tuning of hifiman !!
Legit asian audio companies are very good and lauded especially in iems and gear, but and I don't think we should buy a 1k$ nockoff.
Sure, but I don't think this is mass produced. More like someone making these in his/her garage.
 

maxxevv

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According to the Taobao listing, its RMB$3300 with an XLR cable and headphone stand. So that's about US$500/-. Excluding shipping and taxes.
 

Komeko

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Weight(? can't find it), tuning, excellent treble tracking, price?
The weight given by the manufacturer is not always true.
Especially in the case of such a garage product, the data provided by the manufacturer does not necessarily agree with reality.
I care about precise weight, because planar headphones can be really heavy.
 
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nyxnyxnyx

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I wouldn't buy this headphone either. Even at much lower prices you can find better ones and EQ is also a "must" here.
Amir did recommend this pair of headphones with or without EQ, and assuming if it sounds like HE6 or Susvara I don't think the sound quality is anywhere near "bad".
It's easy to question the customer service & warranty terms along with durability of these headphones though.... If it is alike to Hifiman then it's about enough to be pessimistic
 
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