2024 Reader voted Best Gear polls – Update 3!

In this article we give you a third status update on the 2024 Reader voted best gear polls. 


It’s been about five months since we launched the 2024 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 new and third update. Let’s find out what you so far in 2024 find to be the Best / Your favourite Gear on the market! 

There are more categories this year and they are the following:

  1. Headphones
  2. Universal IEMs
  3. Custom IEMs
  4. TWS IEMs
  5. Portable Players/DAPs
  6. DAC/AMP Combos – Including Dongles
  7. Amplifiers (only) – Tube or Solid State
  8. DAC (only)
  9. Streamers
  10. Cables & Accessories

The Status on June 1st is the following:


  1. Meze Audio Empyrean 2 – 26.46%
  2. Sennheiser HD800 S – 10.07%
  3. Audeze LCD-5 – 9.13%

The Meze Audio Empyrean 2 is still in the lead, and how! The Sennheiser HD800 S and the Audeze LCD-5 have switched places but they’re still strongly in the top 3

Universal IEMs

  1. Sennheiser IE900 – 19.12%
  2. Empire Ears Odin – 14.71%
  3. UM MEST MKii – 12.75%

The number 1 position still is for the Sennheiser IE 900. Last year it easily won and it seems the unit – now with 19.12% – has gained even more followers this year. In 2024, the Empire Ears Odin and Unique Melody MEST MKII are in 2nd and 3rd position. The ThieAudio Monarch MKiii is in place 4 with only 4.41% of the votes. I hope this top 3 will change many times over the year.


Custom IEMs

  1. JH Audio Layla – 46.15%
  2. 64 Audio A12T – 23.08%
  3. 64 Audio A18T – 11.54%

The market is mostly focusing on universal IEMs now and even the CIEM companies are now offering a whole series of universal IEMs. I personally will take a custom over a universal any day, simply because of the comfort and sound quality. That said, the CIEM market is getting very niche and that shows in the number of votes and models in the list.

The first position is for the JH Audio Layla with an impressive 34.21% of the votes. The second spot is for the 64 Audio A12t and also their A18T is in third place with 15.79%. The fourth place is for the Unique Melody Multiverse Mentor with 10.53%. It is one of my personal fav custom IEMs.


  1. Sennheiser Momentum True Wireless 3 – 27.03%
  2. Apple Airpods Pro 2 – 27.02%
  3. Sony WF-1000XM4 – 13.51%

The top place is for the Sennheiser Momentum TWS3, but its lead over the Apple Airpods Pro 2 is only very small. The Sony WF-1000XM4 still is in the third spot with 14.81% of the votes. T

Portable Players/DAPs

  1. Astell&Kern SP3000 – 29.25%
  2. FiiO M15s – 8.16%
  3. HiBy RS8 – 7.48%

The Astell&Kern SP3000 always is one of the best scoring DAPs if you have larger budget. At this stage it has the most of the votes with 29.25%. The second and third place now are for the Fiio M15s and the Hiby RS8. All great DAPs!

DAC/AMP – Dongles included

  1. Chord Electronics Mojo 2  – 29.65%
  2. Chord Electronics Hugo TT2 – 12.21%
  3. Cayin Audio RU7 – 9.88%

Absolutely no change here. The Chord Mojo 2 and the Hugo TT2 are still doing very well with the top 2 positions. The TT2 won this category last year, but it’s still a bit of a surprise to see it here. The third position still is for the Cayin RU7, which is one of my personal favorite DAC/AMP dongles. It however is closely being followed by the Fiio Q15

Amplifiers only

  1. Ferrum OOR – 12.50%
  2. Linear Tube Audio LTA Micro ZOTL 2.0 – 12.49%
  3. Cayin C9 – 6.94%

The First spot is for the popular OOR amp, which is especially impressive with the dedicated power supply. The second place is for the LTA Micro ZOTL which is getting seriously close to the OOR. The Niimbus Audio US4+ lost its spot to the Cayin C( amplifier, though it only is 0.01% behind.

DAC only

  1. Chord DAVE – 35%
  2. Holo Audio May DAC – 11.25%
  3. Chord TT2 – 18.75%

The Chord DAVE is a TOTL unit and I really enjoyed my time with it. It’s a bit surprising to see it in the lead, but that’s purely because of it’s selling price. The second spot is for the super popular and excellent Holo May DAC and it’s really close to the DAVE. Chord is also taking up the third spot with their TT2, which is scoring well in our DAC/AMP poll as well. The Ferrum Wandla is advancing fast and it has almost caught up with the TT2.


  1. Eversolo DMP-A6 – 27.47%
  2. Eversolo DMP-A8 – 17.58%
  3. FiiO R9 – 16.48%

This is a new category but Eversolo is strongly performing as you can see. Both their A6 and A8 are strongly in the top 2 and they are just ahead of the Fiio R9 all-in-one unit. The DMP-A6 won our streamer of the year award last year, so I have a feeling it will stay in this top 3. The FiiO R9 is coming up strong here and I expect to keep climbing fast.

Cables & Accessories

  1. Effect Audio Signature series – 22.45%
  2. Linum SuperBaX – 10.20%
  3. Eletech Sonnet of Adam – 6.12%

Cables, you like them or you don’t but we are running a poll about them anyway. The first spot is for the multiple award winning EA Signature series. Second we now have the more affordable SuperBaX, and in #rd spot we have the high-end Eletech Sonnet of Adam cable.

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. One vote a person a day is allowed, so start voting!

Full links:

  1. Headphones
  2. Universal IEMs
  3. Custom IEMs
  4. TWS IEMs
  5. Portable Players/DAPs
  6. DAC/AMP Combos – Including Dongles
  7.  Amplifiers (only) – Tube or Solid State
  8. DAC (only)
  9. Streamers
  10. Cables & Accessories
4.3/5 - (65 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.