Dark Mode On / Off

HarmonicDyne Zeus Elite – The Bigger, Fuller Upgrade

HarmonicDyne Zeus Elite – The Bigger, Fuller Upgrade

HarmonicDyne Zeus Elite is a $379 USD pair of over-the-ear headphones with a dynamic driver at the heart, and a warm, punchy sound, with a new 50mm driver that uses a suspension diaphragm. Today we will be reviewing it and also compare it to other high-quality headphones in the midrange price segment, including HIFIMAN Ananda Nano (599 USD), OLLO S5X (489 USD), Sivga Luan (359 USD), and Erzetich Thalia (599 USD). 



HarmonicDyne is a brand mainly sold and fulfilled by Linsoul, as part of their constant effort to bring better, and more affordable headphones to the western market. You can be sure you’ll have the best support, service and delivery times when ordering from Linsoul. If you’re not fully comfortable ordering from the main Linsoul website, they also usually sell and service the HarmonicDyne headphones on Amazon, making sure you’ll have an outstanding experience ordering, receiving and using those. I usually recommend using Amazon to get a lengthy return window, to allow you to make sure whether those fit in with your musical taste or not. 

It should be noted that I have absolutely no affiliation with HarmonicDyne or Linsoul, I am not receiving any incentive for this review or to sweeten things out. I’d like to thank Linsoul for providing the sample for this review. Every opinion expressed is mine and I stand by it. The purpose of this review is to help those interested in the HarmonicDyne Zeus Elite Headphones find their next music companion. 


Product Link

You can grab one from www.amazon.com here: https://amzn.to/44R3Csw

If you’re in the UK, you can grab one from www.amazon.co.uk here: https://amzn.to/44To4cr

And if you’re from Europe, you can grab one from www.amazon.de here: https://amzn.to/3ZfHKpI


Build Quality/Aesthetics/Fit/Comfort

I have been a huge fan of the original Zeus, and considered it such an amazing headphone, and for so many reasons that my sweet girlfriend actually tried to get the model of the ear cups printed on my birthday cake this year, when I made the official review for them. I still think they are awesome for the price, but it looks like Harmonic Dyne wanted to improve on a few things and make the listening experience even better, now having launched the new Zeus Elite. We have an improved driver and sound, but the build quality is actually slightly worse than the original Zeus

The cable has improved vastly, and right now the cable that comes with the Zues Elite is the best cable I’ve seen, included with a headphone from the factory, and not a single headphone comes even close to coming with a cable so high-quality, so thick and so well made. The package is also better than what we’ve seen with most headphones out there, Harmonic Dyne offering exactly what I’d consider to be a proper flagship experience. Even better, the whole headphone is constructed well, even slightly better than the original Zeus, making the new Elite a proper elite headphone. 

The ear cups are now painted black, which looks slightly worse in person and in photos, and the earpads are thicker, which should be more comfortable, but there is less space inside for my ears, which makes it hard to recommend the Zeus elite for someone with larger ears. The headband has a soft padding, but the weight is distributed in such a way that there is a bit of a hot spot at the top of my head which can cause fatigue after a few hours of wearing the new Zeus elite. 

We have a slight passive noise isolation, about 5-8 dB, and they don’t leak absolutely everything, so you can listen rather loud without everyone hearing absolutely everything. Everything that’s magic in Zeus Elite is handled by the Daichi CCAW Voice Coil, which is a pairing between a new diaphragm membrane with an ultralight premium voice coil from Japan, making the driver movement lighter, snappier and faster. The magnets are stronger, which helps with the agility of the sound in Zeus Elite. 

There have been a few crowdfunding campaigns to kickstart the HarmonicDyne company, and those included the Helios, the Zeus and the Poseidon headphones. From all of those, HarmonicDyne learned and kept improving to now deliver a headphone that’s not a crowdfunding project, but a product that is ready for the market. They made the new Zeus Elite with a 32 OHM impedance to make it easy to drive, but not overly sensitive. The weight has been kept really low at 360 grams, and we have a sensitivity of 105dB, which can be considered to be average, yet in practice Zeus Elite needs a rather strong source to be driven well. The ear cups are made of Zebra Wood. 


Sound Quality

It is a bit odd how all the time we speak about the tech that helps the sound before doing the proper sonic analysis, but Zeus Elite implements quite a few bits of tech that we need to keep in mind to understand why it sounds the way it does. Starting with the sources used to drive the Zeus Elite, we have FiiO K9 PRO, iBasso DX320 MAX TI, but also Aune S9C PRO, Matrix Mini-i PRO 4, iFi Audio Go Bar, Hiby R2 II, SMSL M300 SE, and HIDIZS XO. It is clear right away that Zeus Elite will sound better with a warmer, smoother source, and they need quite a bit of power to be driven well, so a source like Matrix Mini-i PRO 4 is perfect for them, while FiiO K9 PRO has more than enough power, but results in a brighter, colder sound that works well for rock, metal, orchestral and classical but not so much for electronic music in general. 

The general signature of the Zeus Elie is a a delightful, rich in the middle, natural presentation that has a good amount of bass, but is clearly not for bassheads, which has a wide and holographic presentation, but not a lot of depth, and which has a lot of treble extension, sparkle and will make most music sound wide, bright and brilliant. The sound has a certain tuning to it, it is not a specific coloration that I heard, but it has a special richness that doesn’t work with all of my library, but made me enjoy Stoner Metal, Rock and generally Alternative Rock much more than I used to. Zeus is excellent for instrument layering, it shows multiple layers of guitars really easily, but it adds grain to electronic instruments, giving them more texture than I’m used to hearing from them, making certain music sound considerably more textured than I expect it to sound like.  

Starting with the bass, it most certainly has been improved than what we’ve seen and heard with the original Zeus, and the new Elite is quite a bit better for low-end reproduction, but it is not a basshead headphone. Zeus Elite can handle bass guitars and acoustic bass incredibly well, making rock, punk, and generally non-electronic music sound just right, but it struggles with bass in electronic music, or where bass is supposed to flow in rivers, and will add a certain grain and texture to it, which for some could be considered distortion. The bass has a bit of extra warmth all across the range, so the sound isn’t purely dry and bright, but it is not super enhanced, and that textured feeling makes it much better for stringed instruments for sure. The bass can climb as low as about 40 Hz, below which it tends to roll off and lose control. Ih the upper bass, we have a natural presence around 80 Hz, and the upper bass has a bit of uplift which warms up the midrange a bit, giving music a more pleasing sound. 

The midrange is somewhat forward on the Zeus Elite, it pushes voices closer to the listener, and it makes lyrics much easier to understand, and it really helps with the feeling of width in music, the staging is perfect for music that you’d want to sound holographic and wide, rich and natural, but the rather shallow bass means that the sound is not very deep. The midrange has exceptional detail, especially with the added grain and texture, and with the extra forwardness, you notice many things you can’t with most headphones around the price point, including multiple layers of background guitars, background voices, special effects and information in the midrange. The upper midrange is not especially more forward, yet it is not recessed either, but with the treble having a peak around about 11 kHz, there’s quite a bit of high-end forwardness, which turns the midrange a bit cold and bright too. 

Speaking of the treble, Zeus Elite has proper flagship detail and resolution, but it is also quite bright, airy, sparkly, and like a cold shower, brings clarity. It is the kind of headphone that makes rock, metal, and punk music really enjoyable, but it also can make it fatiguing, especially if you start listening after a whole day of work, or if you’re generally sensitive to treble. The treble is also a bit extra textured, and that extra speed and promised agility in the driver seems to be adding a bit extra to the sound, making music more reverberant, and something I noticed only with Zeus Elite, is that if a song has any kind of room acoustics recorded, for example the echo of a hall, they enhance the sound of that much more than any other pair of headphones I have. It is interesting because the tech isn’t anything too specifically designed to do this, yet the sound of the Zeus Elite is a really specific bag of extras that make certain atmospheric music really delightful and enjoyable. 



HarmonicDyne Zeus Elite vs HIFIMAN Ananda Nano (379 USD vs 599 USD) – Ananda Nano has much larger earpads that are deeper, so there is much more ear space inside, but they also have a shallower earpad. The cable of the Zeus elite is of a much better quality, Ananda Nano has a mechanism that avoids creating a hotspot at the top of your head. Both need a quality source, but Ananda Nano needs a much better source to be driven well, while Zeus elite just needs a warm, thick and smooth source with good driving power to sound nice. The sound of the two is really similar, yet really different too. Both Ananda Nano have a somewhat natural – neutral bass, a somewhat forward midrange, and a bright, open treble that has a lot of energy and sparkle, yet they play those in such different ways that they couldn’t be farther away from each other. The bass of Ananda Nano is more versatile, it works well with all music styles, has more punchy and better depth, it is deeper and stronger, but the bass of Zeus Elite is richer in textures, which gives realism to stringed instruments such as bass guitars. The midrange is much smoother in texture with the Ananda Nano, but it also has more dynamics, and much less texture, which is more prominent on the Zeus Elite. This makes the Elite sound richer in the mids, but Ananda Nano has better depth. Both are really wide in the soundstage. Both of them do a good job at separating the background from the foreground, but Zeus Elite brings voices closer to the listener, giving a more forward sound. The treble is much smoother in the texture for Ananda Nano, which creates the feeling of juiciness more, while Zeus Elite would ideally be better for mixing and mastering as it shows issues in recordings more. Ananda Nano will sound better with EDM, Electronic, but also with poorer recordings, while Zeus Elite will shine really well with really well mastered and mixed music.  

HarmonicDyne Zeus Elite vs OLLO S5X (379 USD vs 489 USD) – The shape of OLLO S5X is such as the earpads have less space for my ears inside, and they are almost on-ear, but the ear pads are thicker and softer for OLLO S5X. This means that Zeus elite has larger earpads with more space for my ears, but with harder and shallower earpads. The cable of Zeus Elite is a whole world above the cable that OLLO S5X comes with. You will likely need opposite sources for them, as S5X shines with a brighter, colder, neutral source, while Zeus Elite needs a smoother, bassier source to really shine and combat their forward sound. The tuning of OLLO S5X is much thicker, with a larger bass, rolled off treble, smoother sound, but still quite a bit of texture and grain in the midrange. Zeus Elite shows a more natural presentation, with more treble, more width in the stage, but less depth, as S5X has a deeper sound. The bass of S5X has a bit of texture, but is also brought forward compared to the flatter presentation of the Zeus Elite. I prefer the general tuning of OLLO S5X when I’m tired and want something I can enjoy for longer, but Zeus Elite makes music sound richer, more forward in the voices, and I have a much easier time understanding lyrics while wearing the Zeus Elite. The treble is much brighter, more detailed, has more texture, and is generally more open on the Zeus Elite, while S5X has a really smooth and rolled off treble by comparison. 

HarmonicDyne Zeus Elite vs Sivga Luan (379 USD vs 359 USD) – Sivga Luan has a deeper ear pad design, with much softer earpads, larger earpads, but Zeus Elite comes with a much better package, better cable, and they are also rather light and easy to wear. Driving the two is similar, they both sound best with a warmer, smoother, thicker sounding source, but that is because Sivga Luan is really bright and detailed, analytical in the tuning, with this being the first Sivga headphone that doesn’t have a forward midrange. Zeus elite shows much more richness, more texture in the midrange and treble, but also a warmer bass, and more bass punchiness. Sivga Luan has a smoother bass with less texture and less grain, which makes it better for Electronic music in general, while Zeus Elite seems to excel with classical, orchestral and rock music, music that has been acoustic or which sounds better live. Sivga Luan is a much more neutral presentation.

HarmonicDyne Zeus Elite vs Erzetich Thalia (379 USD vs 599 USD) – Starting with the design, Thalia is an on-ear design made to be more portable, and they also come with a good cable, but the cable of Zeus elite is much better, it has a better package and feels more like a premium and flagship headphone. The Thalia is easier to drive and sounds better with a colder, brighter source, while Zeus Elite prefers a warmer, thicker and smoother source with more bass. The sound of the Thalia is warmer, it touches the low end of the bass more, having more extension, a bigger bass, and less texture for the whole sound. Zeus Elite is more precise in the bass, has a more forward midrange that reveals textures more, it has more texture in the treble, although Thalia has more treble energy and presence, with a brighter sound that has more energy around the 9kHz Peak. Both are quite good with rock and metal, Thalia works a bit better with EDM, while Zeus Elite works better with orchestral, classical and acoustic, and atmospheric music in general. 


Value and Conclusion

HarmonicDyne Zeus Elite is a good example of a top quality and top value product, but with a specific audience, so for this one it is important to know whether you’d like its specific sound. The detail, resolution, comfort and build quality all are excellent for the asking price of the Zeus Elite, but the signature being an acquired taste, you’ll either instantly fall in love with them or not feel the tuning all that much, so the value is great, but it has to be great for you to like them. 

At the end of the day, if you’re looking for the headphone that comes with the best cable from the factory, the headphone that has a more forward, richer midrange, that sounds really wide and extremely enjoyable with guitars, makes everything super textured, and gives music an edge in clarity and precision, HarmonicDyne Zeus Elite is a fully recommended purchase and a headphone I enjoy a lot and can recommend to anyone looking to have fun. 


Product Link

You can grab one from www.amazon.com here: https://amzn.to/44R3Csw

If you’re in the UK, you can grab one from www.amazon.co.uk here: https://amzn.to/44To4cr

And if you’re from Europe, you can grab one from www.amazon.de here: https://amzn.to/3ZfHKpI


--- Please remember to stay safe, and always have fun while listening to music!---

 - If you have a dime to spare, please donate, and help us! It would make the day brighter for me and my wife- 

Full Playlist used for this review

We listened to more songs than those named in this playlist, but those are excellent for identifying a sonic signature.  I recommend trying most of the songs from this playlist, especially if you’re searching for new music! The playlists are different for Spotify, Tidal and Youtube, and based on the songs I enjoy and are available on each!




--- Contact Us ---

1 Comment

  1. […] be reviewing their sound, and place them against other headphones in the price range, including HarmonicDyne Zeus Elite (379 USD), SIVGA Luan (359 USD), Austrian Audio HI-X60 (399 USD), and OLLO S5X (489 USD). From the […]

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Copyrighted (C) to www.audiophile-heaven.com