In its latest stride towards enhancing the audio experience of music enthusiasts, HiFiMAN has unveiled two new additions to its lineup of desktop DAC/amplifiers: the HiFiMAN EF500 and EF499. With an emphasis on performance and affordability, these devices aim to bring audiophile-grade sound quality within reach of a broader audience.
Founded by Dr. Fang Bian in 2007, HiFiMAN has been at the forefront of innovation in high-fidelity audio. Two years after its inception, the company introduced the acclaimed HM-801, the first digital audio player to offer true audiophile-grade performance in a pocket-size form factor.
Since then, under Dr. Bian’s guidance, HiFiMAN has consistently developed an extensive selection of headphones, digital audio players, and headphone amplifiers that are widely recognized as best in class, offering unparalleled performance that defies their price point.
Priced at $459 and $299 respectively, the EF500 and EF499 embody HiFiMAN's commitment to delivering superior sound while maintaining sleek and compact designs suitable for any desktop environment.
Both models boast industrial designs that serve not only as functional headphone stands but also contribute to reducing desktop clutter. Equipped with fully balanced input/output connections, a Coaxial/NET+USB function switch, independent power supplies, and thermal optimized tower cases, these DAC/amplifiers prioritize both form and function.
The HiFiMAN EF500 distinguishes itself with the inclusion of HIFIMAN’s Hymalaya LE ladder DAC, which utilizes a unique "ladder" method of conversion to ensure maximum accuracy and musicality in digital signal processing. This innovative approach should result in exceptional performance metrics, including a signal-to-noise ratio and total harmonic distortion optimized for the most discerning listeners, as the company claims.
One of the EF500's standout features is the Hymalaya LE R2R DAC, which outperforms conventional PCM1704k modules with its superior sonic output. Through meticulous engineering and the use of 0.01% precision resistors, the EF500 should achieve a total harmonic distortion rate of 0.0025% (-8dB), setting a new standard for clarity and fidelity in audio reproduction.
In contrast, the EF499 offers a comparable level of performance, utilizing the renowned Philips R2R DAC architecture known for its warm, full-range sound signature and exceptional sonic tuning, characteristic of HiFiMAN products.
Dr. Fang Bian, President and CEO of HiFiMAN Electronics, commented on the launch, stating, “The success of our reference desktop DAC/amplifiers is proof that music lovers are hungry to invest in gear that has a demonstrably positive effect on the listening experience. With our new models, we are able to extend the benefits of these products to moderately priced models that put the sonic attributes of our sonic signature within reach of more headphone fans than ever before.”
Both models, despite their differences, share identical dimensions and offer the same front and rear inputs, providing users with versatility and convenience in their setup. Scheduled for release in February, the HiFiMAN EF500 and EF499 will be available for purchase from authorized HiFiMAN dealers and the company’s online store.
The EF500 and EF499 from HiFiMAN represent a significant step forward in bringing high-performance desktop DAC/amplifiers within reach of a broader audience. With their combination of sleek design, powerful performance, and accessible pricing, these devices are poised to elevate the listening experience for music lovers at every level.