Evaluation of the HIFIMAN Deva Pro
HIFIMAN Deva Pro is a Great Value
This review compares the HIFIMAN Deva Pro wireless open-back planar headphones to others. $329.
The HIFIMAN Deva Pro is a good value for entry-level planar wireless headphones. It refines the highs, smooths out the mids, and tightens up the original tuning’s bass.
- Superior highs
- LDAC Performance Excellence
- Comfortable, lightweight
- Bluetooth volume isn’t controllable.
- Shining requires power.
The ‘new’ Deva Pro will be released in late 2021. The Deva was the second evolution of the Ananda BT, the company’s first wireless headphones.
The Deva’s low price, good performance, and Bluemini module pleased many. The Deva Pro includes HIFIMAN’s Stealth Magnet technology and a new Bluemini R2R module with Himalaya R2R DAC.
The original Deva’s driver coil and diaphragm haven’t changed. Efficiency and load ratings are the same as the Deva at 18 and 93.5dB SPL, indicating a returned original coil and trace.
The new Deva Pro uses a circumaural planar driver inside an open back enclosure with a super-thin NEO “super nano” diaphragm (NSD). HIFIMAN’s high-end drivers have used this for years.
Pitch is the diaphragm’s nanometer-thickness. The HE1000 thin diaphragm was followed by the Deva Pro, which is even thinner. The material is light, low in mass, tight, extremely durable, and designed to produce a high-quality, fast-sounding dynamic response.
The addition of a single-sided stealth magnet array has made a big difference from the original.
The stock HIFIMAN image above is misleading about the Deva Pro’s stealth magnet array. Not a symmetrical alignment of similar-sized magnets.
The magnets’ shape and composition allow sound waves to pass from one side to the other without “interferences” like wave diffraction turbulence, reducing distortion. They’re almost acoustically invisible, hence stealth.
The Deva Pro gets the new Bluemini R2R wireless module, which functions similarly to the original’s 2nd Gen Bluemini but with an updated Himalaya DAC chipset.
The Bluetooth module has been upgraded from Qualcomm CSR8675 to Qualcomm QCC5124 with 8-hour battery life.
In NOS mode, HIMALAYA R2R handles the conversion. aptX, aptX HD, LDAC 24BIT/96kHz, AAC, and SBC decoding.
Bluemini R2R’s USB-DAC can output digital audio to Deva Pro. This works with PC, Mac, and Android OTG. The onboard DAC decodes and converts the signal for the amp chipset.
Hifiman’s real-world testing shows 230mW rated output, though they claim 1W on paper. It allows PCs/Macs and smartphones to play directly without a Bluetooth signal and decodes up to 24BIT/192k.
The 1970s retro mix of tans and aluminum silver has been replaced by something more executive and conservative.
Once in your hands, you’ll see how they did it by mixing silvery-dense plastics for the pivot blocks with anodized aluminum gimbals, large silver screws, and cup grills. I think the headband metal is spring steel despite the pleather exterior.
It’s adequate for this level, and while the mix of plastics, synthetic leather, and aluminum isn’t high-end, its classic circumaural styling is.
A nod to the original HE series design, with only the black detachable Bluemini R2R deviating from the norm.
The Deva Pro’s weight and shape are good.
Although it’s not the lightest headphone on the market, the memory foam headband and deep-set, wide-opening hybrid earpads make it very comfortable to wear.
Hifiman optimized the Deva Pro’s pressure balance. These don’t rely on heavy vertical pressure like the original HE series, nor are they as clamp heavy or rigid as the Sundara, which allows for more lateral movement.
The headband is adjustable, so it’s never too short or long, but its narrow surface contact area relative to its height may cause some wiggle.
The Bluemini R2R module slots into the left side and is light enough to not affect the headphones’ balance. Accessing controls is also easy.
The hybrid or PeliPad earpads look similar to the original Deva versions, except they’re black. They’re deeper and longer than HE-R9s. The inner fabric prevents sweating during extended use.
The Deva Pro’s connection system is a step up from the original Deva’s limited cable system.
The Deva Pro now has a dual entry system that lets you use 3.5mm TRS stereo cables, just like their high-end headphones. Deva Pro can roll Ananda and Arya Stealth cables.
You can use a single wired connection, including inserting the Bluemini R2R on the left. The left-to-right cup connection uses a low-profile wire inserted into a headband groove to prevent damage.
You only get one cable instead of two, and it’s 1.5m, making it unsuitable for desktop use unless you have a compact desk.
If you want single-ended, you must buy the cable from HIFIMAN. The cable has a portable SE 3.5mm TRRS and 6.35mm adaptor.
Most HIFIMAN cables use three-core, crystalline copper with silver plating. The black rubber jacket is more appealing than the older single-crystalline copper cables.
It’s thick and quiet. I’m guessing there’s plenty of noise-isolating material inside to prevent distractions. Excellent handling discipline reduces memory retention.
Accessories and packaging
Like the Sony Linkbuds, the Deva Pro is an entry-level model. This is HIFIMAN’s standard headphone box, except for a satin overlay on the memory foam and a foam layer on the lid. It’s simple but effective and comparable to most headphones at this price.
The Deva Pro lacks a carrying case, unlike the Ananda BT. The headphones are securely inserted in the foam and satin throw.
Accessories include a USB-C to USB-A cable, a manual, and a warranty card. The stock cable is tucked into a crevice in the display area, with the Bluemini R2R module above.