2023 Reader voted Best Gear polls – Update 1!

ThieAudio Monarch MKII


In this article we give you a first update on the status of the 2023 Reader voted best gear polls. 

It’s been a good month since we launched the 2023 Reader Voted Best Gear polls. For those of you who have no idea what I am talking about, check out the page below where we announce and explain the Reader Awards. Anyway, it’s time for a first update. Let’s find out what you so far in 2023 find to be the Best / Your favourite Gear on the market!

The categories this year are the same as last year and they are the following:

  1. Headphones – Link: Headphones
  2. Universal IEMs -Link: Universal IEMs
  3. Custom IEMs – Link: Custom IEMs
  4. TWS IEM – Link: TWS IEM
  5. Portable Players/DAPs – Link: DAPs/Port. Source
  6. DAC/AMP Combo – Link: DAC/AMP

The Status on February 10 is the following:


  1. Sony MDR-Z1R – 14,47%
  2. Sennheiser HD800 – 9,43%
  3. Hifiman Susvara – 7,55%

The Sony MDR-Z1R is in the lead with 14,47%. This is very surprising as this exact headphone only had 1,08% of the votes at the end of 2022. Let’s see how this evolves, I’ll anyway do a fraud check to be sure. Second place is for the Sennheiser HD 800, just like last year and the 3rd spot is still for the Susvara. So no big changes here for now, except for the first spot which last year was for the Meze Audio ELITE.


Universal IEMs

  1. Sennheiser IE900 – 14,29%
  2. Sennheiser IE 600 – 9,36%
  3. ThieAudio Monarch MKii – 4,57%

2022 ended with a different Top 3, but the number 1 position still is for the Sennheiser IE 900. Last year it won with 9,87% of votes, so it’s gained a lot of followers this year. In 2022, the FiiO FH9 and Sony IER-Z1R were in 2nd and 3rd position, but this year has started with the Sennheiser IE 600 in second place and the ThieAudio Monarch MKii  in 3rd position. I am sure this top 3 will change many times over the year.


Custom IEMs

  1. Vision Ears Elysium– 19,23%
  2. 64 Audio A18T – 19,22%
  3. JH Audio Sharona – 15,38%%

The top 3 here hasn’t changed this much. Last year the 64 Audio A18T won, with the Elysium from Vision Ears in 2nd place. This year the Elysium is in the lead with 19.23%, followed by the A18t with 19,22%. The third place last year was for the UM MEST, but it now is for the JH Audio Sharona. The latter surely is a surprise to me.


  1. Apple Airpods Pro 2 – 3§,62%
  2. Sony WF-1000XM4 – 12,50%
  3. Sennheiser Momentum True Wireless 3 – 9,38%

For now we in first position have the Apple Airpods Pro 2. With 36,62% they have a huge lead over the Sony WF-1000XM4, which has 12,50% of the votes. The 3rd position is for the Sennheiser Momentum True Wireless 3, with 9,38%. Last year the Samsung Galaxy Buds Pro won this category.

Portable Players/DAPs

  1. Fiio M17 – 14,95%
  2. AK SP3000 – 10,28%
  3. AK SP2000T – 8,41%

Last year we had the Fiio M17 winning this category, with the SP2000T and the SP2000 in second and third place. Right now, the Fiio M17 still is in the first spot with 14,95% of the votes. The SP3000 now is in the second position with 10,28% and the third spot for now is for the Astell&Kern SP2000T (8,41%) 



  1. Chord Electronics Mojo 2  – 19,53%
  2. Chord Electronics Hugo TT2 – 17,97%
  3. Questyle M15 – 7,81%

The RME ADI-2 DAC FS is no longer in the top 3 for now. With the Mojo 2 (19,53%) and the Hugo TT2 (17,97%) Chord Electronics is still doing very well here with the top 2 positions. The third position now is for the Questyle M15 DAC/AMP dongle, and I can totally understand that.

Don’t forget that you can still vote and participate in all of these polls. If you don’t agree with the intermediate results or you want to see your favourite piece of gear in the results, you know what to do…

Check out Page 2 and following and get voting!


Full links:

Headphones: https://www.headfonia.com/2023-reader-voted-best-gear-polls-update-6/2

Universal IEMs: https://www.headfonia.com/2023-reader-voted-best-gear-polls-update-6/3

Custom IEMS: https://www.headfonia.com/2023-reader-voted-best-gear-polls-update-6/4

TWS IEMs: https://www.headfonia.com/2023-reader-voted-best-gear-polls-update-6/5

DAP: https://www.headfonia.com/2023-reader-voted-best-gear-polls-update-6/6

DAC/AMP: https://www.headfonia.com/2023-reader-voted-best-gear-polls-update-6/7


4.3/5 - (64 votes)

Lieven is living in Europe and he's the leader of the gang. He's running Headfonia as a side project next to his full time day job in Digital Marketing & Consultancy. He's a big fan of tube amps and custom inear monitors and has published hundreds of product reviews over the years.

Be first to comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.