I’ve played with my friend’s Arya for nearly half a week. Will return them this Friday. My overall impression is very positive so far. Honestly amazed. HFM successfully souped good parts of previous generations of HEK and HEX maybe even adding some lessons learned during Susvara developments. Some highlights of subjective impressions Arya tonality reminded me of hex v1 (no ab, just from my memory). Very pleasing and well-balanced. A little bright (indeed a tad brighter than hex 1 if I recall correctly) but still within what I consider neutral (maybe “least upper-bound” of my neutrality zone). Easily love tastefully tuned mild W-tonality -- nevertheless to my ears sound quite coherent and continuous from bottom to top. I have a certain set of criteria regarding showstoppers -- boring bass, muddy or honky midrange, and piercing or sibilant high treble -- but arya failed in none of these. Vocals occasionally sound harsh or too edged but not as problematic as stock hd800 or focals. Slightly plastic-ish, hollow, and/or artificial timbre -- a lot better than hex v1/2 but still worse than susvara-- might bother some. For this reason, arya might work better with something complementary (meatier and fuller sounding headphones). Ignoring minor improvements (mostly regarding presentation), driver-related technicalities (plankton, micro- and macro- details/dynamics, transience) are nearly at the same ballpark of HEK v2. If you’re familiar with focal open trio, imagine a distance bw clear and elex. But to much less extent for arya-hek2. Articulate is the best word to describe arya. Both HEK 1 and 2 did surprisingly well in this regard, but arya is a bit more improved on top of them. Making me revisit the favorite tracks to find something hidden (at least less evident before). Bass is equivalently satisfying compared to my current go-to ether 2. Main difference is that Arya is more articulate and E2 is tighter and punchier. Both well match to the detail level of bass reproduced by convert-2 -- only bested by susvara. DTPed 800 is also great but too dry by comparison. Ether 2 has fuller, better, and more resolving midrange but arya’s mid and high mid have better sense of reverberation. Very engaging and life-like. Transience and delineation are all very good with Arya. It still is on the “softer” (or “gradual” at least) side but less so than heks. Sounds faster than any other HFMs I experienced except classic line and susvara. Treble sounds artificial but enjoyably controlled. Reminded me of some colored compression drivers (couldn’t exactly remember which though). I need to emphasize this. Like other hek variants, arya scales very, very much -- potentially bad if good signal is not fed. Tested with various configurations: mbp (as dac amp), topping d10+fiio q1, even d10+ec bw (god please forgive my curiosity).. It didn’t take long to understand why the owner was meh about arya -- he uses topping dac worshiped somewhere else. No wonder. In addition, arya taught me that convert-2 still had potential to pull out. Good thing in my book. Headband is largely identical with hex -- it can swivel. Comfort guaranteed, but build quality isn’t as good as hek v2 or susvara (haven’t seen hek se yet). For 1.6k product, I wanted to see better bq. Cable is not as weirdly-looking as hex or hek but inflexible (like elex cable) and cheap-ish.