A bit more than 2 years ago the Arya Stealth appeared, paving the way for the Arya’s future as a departure from the old sound that in its second revision culminated into the Arya V2.
A big, bold, dynamically relaxed sound underwent a haircut and a different strength training into a tighter, closer, dynamically more explosive and frontal sound. Naturally, the Arya V2 always had its fans and kept them, no matter the revision. The bigger, deeper stage, the overall lushness in contrast, the bold bass that growled from a bottomless pit. A unique package. Of course Hifiman reads forums and impressions and they must have had an idea to fuse some of the old traits with those of the Stealth and throw that potion of magic onto a pile of Arya skeletons and from that cloud of smoke, glitter and dust thus emerged: The Arya Organic.
Now is it just a best of both worlds? Not really. It’s not a direct blend, it’s not splitting the booty as in being an Arya v2 with stealth qualities. Instead, it’s a fresh and unique take on the Arya sound mixing stealth qualities like explosiveness, dynamics, better resolve, finer wave guiding, sharper imaging with an even denser force per square inch and opening up a bigger, deeper stage, almost in the fashion of the grandfather.
Now that I spoiled the review, you are very welcome to read further on the details as the Arya Organic doesn’t just take what’s there but expands on a few key areas and ascends above previous iterations:
General sound impressions
The Arya Organic falls a bit into the “slightly v shaped but otherwise” rather neutral side of headphones, as in a pronounced bass shelf and a more prominent treble than in any Arya ever before, albeit also here in a more even progression or shelf not in a sore thumb way of a peak. The mids aren’t buried or take a sad, forgotten backseat. They are clear as a winter’s day and night and have reference grade transparency imbued into them.
The tuning is deliberate, to make for an exciting listen, a headphone to feel the presence of the music in pure euphony.
Extension is absolutely superb with a bottomless pit that grabs you where you know where and can set a footprint with heft, tactility, slam and a satisfying amount of punch.
Extension up top is very well handled, allowing for a lot of air to set the stage and let objects breathe. Trails and reverbs are fading out spectacularly on this model. There’s no blunting happening or a strong boundary barrier preventing you from almost touching the stars.
Driver control, start/stop as usual from the modern Hifiman is exceptional but not zip-tight, strung up and overtly dry. There’s more fading out happening here than on the stealth, this headphone is denser and richer at the same time.
The Bass is presented in an elevated manner, more of a shelf than a bump in the midrange or down below, giving the sound a powerful, bold, slammy and dynamic character. Also contributing to the organic character that gives this headphones its name. There’s zero bleeding into the lower mids or any masking going on that could make the sound muddy or veiled. This hasn’t been a problem for Hifiman’s planar offerings in general, though. Still good to be reminded that they don’t play around. Bass quality, resolving and separating bass lines is an effortless job for the Organic. The already dynamic and forceful character of the Arya Stealth gets a change of character:
It’s no longer waiting for a call to slam and dunk. It always does it now, leading to an even more energetic presentation, just bigger and bolder.
Genres like electronic music and its thousand subgenres strongly profit from this tuning and so do Hip-hop and Metal.
The midrange and vocal range are as we are used from the previous iterations, very open, transparent, revealing in the usual Hifiman fashion. Acoustic instruments don’t blend over or appear in a grey ground on a normalized sound level. They are alive, dynamic, palpable, there to reach out for and almost touch. If there’s anywhere where the Arya line never disappoints, it’s the midrange, the most important range of the music where all the good stuff happens.
Acoustic instruments are easily separated in the mix, not blended or homogenized at all if two of the same play.
The treble is coming at us with a shelf more than any soring peaks. The Organic definitely is a lit up headphone that manages to reveal all dark corners of the venue reaching very well extended into the grand stage. A good amount of air and illumination with a notable incisiveness makes define its lively character. A good pairing is still advised, so make sure your source is clean, well defined and has no treble quirks.
An amp with a slight romantic touch and an iron grip of control makes for a good pairing with these for sure.
Comparison with the Arya Stealth. Or: Here we go again.
The Organic has a few surprises and doesn’t just come with a new look and fresh frequency response and calls it a day. Like the Ananda Nano it sports a new driver/magnet constellation that improves the density of force applied per square inch and you can feel it both in pressure and the tactility of transients as well in tightening of the overall sound. It adds more physicality and weight and especially more volume in the bass region, yet still very well controlled and not overpowering.
Again. The Organic is a headphone that adds a good form of presence to its general live character. We can only speculate from here on, but it seems Hifiman is more and more infusing its high resolve, delicacy, highly transparent windows into the music with more and more physicality. Certainly very welcome for the friends of the old times.
The Organic has the tendency to move you with its euphonic traits, yet at the same time never let you relax – I can only be very positive about it. The Stealth is less moved here and more frontal in a way that it doesn’t have the Organic’s versatility. It’s more antithetic to the Arya V2 being generally tighter, more aggressive and in your face. The Organic strikes with romanticism and makes your toes tap right from the start.
Staging and imaging of the Organic go hugely towards the V2 with delivering a big, grand and deep soundstage and within that being more physical, tactile and alive. This is one of those special surprises that will definitely catch everyone with a smile.
Composure: As in my Nano review my definition of composure in the control and tightness of the overall sound when the music takes you into more complex, busier passages.
The ideal goal is effortlessness. Being able to flex the tension of the driver and yet render finer nuances and delicacies without breaking a sweat. When it gets wooly, it’s disappointing and hindering the flow of the music. Where the Stealth was already very good, the Organic goes even further and lets you hear a bee’s nest while drummers, guitarists and pianos try to “out-impress” each other. It’s that good.
The Organic is the most complete of all Aryas, bringing back some of the good traits of the Arya V2 and fuse them with the Stealth qualities and then outdo itself with specialties like its staging and imaging, the bass response and those hints of euphony that move and touch you.