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Hifiman HE-400i (2014)
HiFiMan Sundara (2017)
See Top Ranked Open-Back Headphones

HiFiMan HE-400i (2014) vs HiFiMan Sundara (2017)

Analysis:

The Hifiman HE-400i (2014) is a great Open-Back Headphone for its $208 asking price.

The HiFiMan Sundara (2017), however, while a reasonable product for $349, doesn't stack up against its competitors quite as well. If you're considering Open-Back Headphones in the $330 range, you might want to check out some better options.

The Hifiman HE-400i (2014) got praised by Wirecutter (NYTimes) and SoundGuys - two highly trusted sources that perform in-depth hands-on testing. It was awarded the "Top Pick" title from Wirecutter (NYTimes) and "Bang for your Buck" from SoundGuys in their respective Open-Back Headphone roundups.

As for the HiFiMan Sundara (2017) analysis - it impressed reviewers at Expert Reviews, a source that's known for its objective testing and well-thought-out methodology - it performed great in its "Best headphones 2020: Get great sound from as little as £40" roundup and earned the "The best open-back headphones under £400" title.

Out of the sources that tested and rated both of these Open-Back Headphones, Head-fi preferred the Hifiman HE-400i (2014), whereas reviewers at Rtings liked the HiFiMan Sundara (2017) better. Head-fi gave them identical review scores.

We also took a look at which sources liked these products best - the highest Hifiman HE-400i (2014) rating came from Head-fi, whereas the HiFiMan Sundara (2017) most impressed reviewers at Head-fi; they earned scores of 8.9 and 8.9, respectively.

Finally, we compared them to other Open-Back Headphones on the market and found that the two of them got reviewed similarly to the majority of their competitors. The overall average review score for Open-Back Headphones in general is 7.8 out of 10, whereas the Hifiman HE-400i (2014) and HiFiMan Sundara (2017) managed averages of 7.4 and 7.5 points, respectively.

It should be noted that it might not be entirely fair to do a direct Hifiman HE-400i (2014) vs. HiFiMan Sundara (2017) comparison due to the difference in their pricing; some sources have a tendency to review more premium products better than more affordable ones.

Comparison of expert ratings
Highly Recommended
Recommended
Mentioned
Not Mentioned
SoundGuys
Wirecutter (NYTimes)
Rtings
CNET
Head-fi
Expert Reviews
Headfonics
Reddit
Tech. Specs Comparison
Hifiman HE-400i (2014)
$208
HiFiMan Sundara (2017)
$349
Wireless
No
No
Has average expert review score
7.9
Overall Avg. for Open-Back Headphones
7.4
Avg. Review Score
Score
Has average expert review score
7.9
Overall Avg. for Open-Back Headphones
7.5
Avg. Review Score
Score
Highly recommended by trusted experts
Wirecutter (NYTimes)
Highly Trusted Source
Depth of
analysis
Yes
In-house
Testing
Best Overall
in “The Best Everyday Audiophile Headphones” 
Last updated: 12 Mar 2020
SoundGuys
Highly Trusted Source
Depth of
analysis
Yes
In-house
Testing
Runner Up
in “Best headphones under $1,000 in 2020” 
Last updated: 20 days ago
Recommended by trusted experts
Expert Reviews
Trusted Source
Depth of
analysis
Yes
In-house
Testing
The best open-back headphones for under £500
in “Best over-ear headphones 2020: The best Bluetooth, noise-cancelling and wired headphones in the UK” 
Last updated: 13 days ago
Expert Reviews
Trusted Source
Depth of
analysis
Yes
In-house
Testing
The best open-back headphones under £400
in “Best headphones 2020: Get great sound from as little as £40” 
Last updated: 22 days ago
Rtings
Highly Trusted Source
Depth of
analysis
Yes
In-house
Testing
Mentioned
in “The 7 Best Open-Back Headphones - Summer 2020” 
Last updated: 11 days ago

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