Hey Guys, I've got the Susvara in house so I wrote up some more impressions/vs. the Abyss Phi. Pretty similar to my original set of impressions but I thought some might be interested. I have had quite a bit more time with the Susvara now so I thought I would share some thoughts on it, as well as a more detailed comparison with the Abyss Phi. Again, lets get it out of the way that this headphone retails at the crazy price of $6000USD. Just a bit nuts. I loved the Susvara the first time I heard it, it was/is my second favourite headphone I have heard, period. I went back to the shop four more times and listened carefully, and still really enjoyed it. I sold my LCD-4’s, and some other stuff to make up the difference. One thing to note is, I own this pair of headphones. I paid for it with my own money, I didn’t win it, and this isn’t a loaner pair. This review is completely honest. The build quality is something I wanted to pay close attention to as with the Susvara being a Hifiman product, it is definitely something to worry about. As I said in my initial impressions, the build quality seems to be better than the HE1000V1, and similar to the HE1000V2, perhaps a tiny bit better. It is pretty much the same headphone as the V2 HE1000 in terms of outer materials and whatnot. At this asking price, I really would have liked to have seen some real leather, and just….more attention to the tiny details, if that makes sense. It all seems fairly well put together, certainly much better than the HE1000V1, but it just lacks that last few percent that would truly make it an amazing “Statement” product. The Hifiman Sundara, a $500USD headphone, has better build quality than the Susvara. Thats a bit darn ridiculous if you ask me, but it is what it is. I wish Hifiman had waited 6 months on the Susvaras release, and done something similar to the Sundara with it. There is so much potential here and it just isn’t there yet. It really begs the question, what on earth makes this worth DOUBLE the asking price of the HE1000V2’s??? Well, lets get into that a little bit. In terms of build quality and the materials used….it really isn’t. Its a rounder HE1000V2. In terms of sound quality? Perhaps it is. It is certainly better than the HE1000V2, whether or not it is $3000USD better is up to the listener I suppose. This headphone is FAR into the land of diminishing returns. I think it would have been really neat if Hifiman had lowered the price of the HE1000 to say..$2500USD, and released the Susvara at $3500USD. I reckon they would be selling like hotcakes if they had. As it stands, I don’t there there are too many out there in the wild, which honestly isn’t surprising. Now lets talk about the sound quality, which I suppose at the end of the day, is the most important part. After all, once they are on your head, all the concerns about build quality and the materials used don’t matter as much (unless they fall off your head and break.) I’m going to include comparisons to the Abyss Phi below, as they are both competing in the top of the line arena and are what I have on hand to listen to Bass: The Abyss Phi has more quantity, and to my ears, better quality of bass. The Susvara sounds a bit rounder and is less hard hitting. However, neither headphone seems to lack definition when playing complex bass patterns. I listen to a lot of Electronica, so this is something I pay close attention to. Mids: I prefer the Susvara’s mids most of the time vs. The Phi’s. However, it really does depend what you are listening to and what mood you are in. The Phi seem to have a little less presence in the mids and are not as warm as the Susvara. Compared to the LCD-4, the Susvara is less warm, and seems to have less presence in the mids. They seem to bridge the gap between the LCD-4 and Phi nicely. In terms of mids, the Susvara just “works” for me and my ears. Treble: Apart from the occasional sibilance I hear from the Phi at higher volumes (which I think might be more my source gear than the headphones but lets not get into that right now) I do prefer the Phi to the Susvara in the treble. The Susvara is smoother sounding, less in your face, and more relaxed. The Phi has incredible definition in the upper region, and really lets you hear what is going on. You can still hear great treble detail from the Susvara, but it is less present, and more chilled out sounding for lack of a better expression. Soundstage: I like a big soundstage, and the Phi provides that. It is bigger than the Susvara. However, the Susvara’s soundstage is bigger than the LCD-4’s and much bigger than the Utopias. I don’t feel I am missing out when I’m listening to the Hifimans, I just prefer that extra width coming from the Phi, thats all. The sound coming from the Susvara seems to envelope the ear more than the Phi, but its really hard to describe. Transparency, and technicalities: The Abyss Phi is again the winner in my books. Both have great detail, digging into the recording and pulling out the tiny things you want to hear at this level. However, the Phi is the more dynamic headphone, and can absolutely punch your ears off. The Susvara is a bit less dynamic, but seems to be about equal in terms of transparency to the source. At the end of the day, the Abyss Phi is still my favourite headphone. It is more in your face, and aggressive. It is a no compromises all or nothing headphone. However, with that being said, the Susvara is almost as good, but completely different. It is easier to listen to. If I just want to chill out and enjoy some tunes, I think I will be reaching for the Susvara rather than the Abyss. If I have some free time and can really just concentrate on listening, I will reach for the Abyss. Perhaps its not a case of worse or better between these two headphone, and more of a case of different. I should mention that the Susvara is incredibly comfortable. Its weight isn’t too bad at 450g (similar to the Utopia) but it feels lighter than that. It certainly beats the Abyss in this area. I could wear the Susvara all day happily The Susvara is an incredibly expensive headphone. Its really a bit silly. I pray that if Hifiman introduces a new planar flagship, it isn’t $10,000USD. Most people aren’t going to drop $6000USD on a pair of headphones, and that is completely understandable. I wish Hifiman had even priced it at $4500USD, as this headphone should be experienced by more people. It really doesn’t scream “I’m a flagship” compared to something like the Focal Utopia, and could be a lot better in terms of build quality and the materials they have used. However, they do sound damn good. $6000USD good? I suppose that is up to the listener.