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✒️ Author: Kah Hon | 📷 Photo: Willy


For many, the brand Hifiman has always been synonymous with great, open-back planar magnetic headphones in the audiophile market. A few years ago, the brand introduced the R10D and R10P, both premium closed back headphones, offering a more laid back and relaxing sound compared to their usual sound signature. Their success has now led to the rise of the HE-R9, a dynamic driver closed-back headphones, poised to have the same signature as its closed back predecessors with a more affordable price point for the fans.

The Hifiman HE-R9 are sold in either the pure wired version or bundled with the Bluemini R2R DAC/amp dongle, which is a nice addition as it really does add to its lightweight, closed back, almost portable nature of the R9. The construction and build quality are very similar to the R10D/R10P, but unlike the 2 premium closed back headphones which utilises wood for its odd shaped cups, the HE-R9 sports a rather thin plastic cup instead. While it does reduce the overall weight of the headphones, the plastic cups could be thicker and more solid, as you could feel the vibration on the plastic cups even at a reasonable volume. Sporting the new padded headband, the easy clamping force and the overall build materials used, the R9 feels absolutely comfortable on the head, allowing for fatigue free long listening sessions. The R9 also features dual cable connection compatibility; single 3.5mm TRRS cable or dual 3.5mm connections for ease of use and replacement/upgrade capabilities

When it comes to sound, the HE-R9 inherits a similar signature to the R10D and R10P, having a warmer, more laid back sound signature, designed for longer listening sessions. Unlike the conventional Hifiman neutral/bright sound signature, the R9 is warmer, with more mid bass presence. The bass, due to the tuning and closed back nature, goes quite deep with a clean sub rumble that doesn’t encroach on the other frequencies. While I wouldn’t call these bass canons, but for a Hifiman sound signature, this is one of the few Hifiman headphones where genres like hip-hop and EDM sounds quite full and rounded.

Midrange is also clean and veers towards neutral, with a more forward positioning making vocals and instruments take centre stage. The highs are sparkly enough to be in line with the Hifiman sound, but it does lack some resolution and detail compared to the open back models. The more relaxed sound does take some edge off the treble, but it can still exhibit minor sibilance if the audio track is recorded as such. Regarding soundstage, as far as closed back phones go, the Hifiman HE-R9 does have a larger than average headspace with more depth than height but impressive nonetheless. Imaging does take a hit for the wider soundstage, where it's not as pinpoint or detailed as I would have preferred.

Overall, if you are looking for a budget friendly closed back Hifiman headphone with a more bassy fun sound as well as convenient useful features like Bluetooth, this is a model to look out for.

◆ Hifiman Topology Diaphragm dynamic driver
◆ Lightweight closed back headphones 328g
◆ Large ear cups for superior acoustics
◆ Dual compatibility cable connections
◆ Optional Bluemini R2R Bluetooth dongle


◇ Retail : RM2,999 | Promo : PM for best price⠀


■ Physical shop / audio specialist⁣ since 2013
■ Authorised distributor of Hifiman in Malaysia⁣
■ 100% genuine / warranty covered⁣
■ Malaysia first audio theme cafe / library

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