Blog: 2017 Awards – Linus & Berkhan


What a year that was. My second year on Headfonia was quit dynamic. I reviewed Universal IEMs most of the year together with some great DAPs. Let me share my best of list and don’t forget to follow Headfonia for best audiophile reviews!

Best Accessory 2017

In my case, the best accessory was the Effect Audio Ares II 4.4mm Balanced cable. Build quality and ergonomics of the Ares II is awesome, with a great sound quality which is not typical of copper cables. Instead it has quite an open sound for a copper cable with nicely articulated trebles. It provides nice staging with good separation and a nice mid range. All of that for an affordable price too.

Picture Sunday: 4.4mm Balanced by Effect Audio – Ares II

Best Source 2017

This is extremely easy for me. The best source for me was the Walkman WM1Z by far. The Signature Walkman is absolutely splendid. In the review I was struggled to express its sound reproduction with the right words. It was not easy to pass on the information, but in the end I believe I did that. I really miss it because it’s the most special DAP I’ve ever listened to. It’s very very musical, it has great amount of tight bass, great mids and great highs. Everything is amazing with it. Fortunately I still have the WM1A, which is also great and it would be my 2nd choice.

Review: Sony WM1Z Walkman – Splendid!

Best IEM 2017

The best IEMs of this year were the Oriolus Forsteni and LZ Big Dipper. It’s difficult for me to choose one, because the Forsteni performs great for half of the Big Dipper’s price. But Big Dipper is also marvellous with an addition of sound switches to alter all of the spectrum areas.

At the end of the day, I should choose the Forsteni. The price is so good for it, that everyone can admit that it’s a killer IEM in the market. We hope we will continue to review Oriolus‘ products, since they know how to create fantastic IEMs.

I didn’t review CIEMs this year, but I will in the upcoming year for sure.

Review: Oriolus Forsteni | Not Just a Baby

Bonus – Best Wireless
I should also mention the V-Moda Forza Metallo Wireless. Maybe it’s not an audiophile gadget that we desire, but it’s a fantastic product for its audience. So stylish and so sturdy, you can take it to anywhere you want and use under any circumstance. This part is not a big surprise of course, since V-Moda is a brand that can do some cool and stylish headphones & earphones.

But, the most surprising part was the sound quality. I expected a mediocre sound that we find on the devices of this kind, but you can actually compare it to some mid-level IEMs that we’re accustomed to. It’s perfect to find that sound in that kind of a wireless IEM, and believe me, it really sounds very good to the extent to make you a happy listener while travelling. Even you have top notch audiophile IEMs.

Review: V-Moda Forza Metallo Wireless – Style

That’s it folks. If you have some impressive gear that you’ve experienced this year, feel free to share in the comments section.

Wish you a happy new year already!

Nathan’s choices and Lieven’s 2017 awards will be published closer to the year’s end as usual, keep an eye out for them!


4.4/5 - (26 votes)


A daytime code monkey with a passion for audio and his kids, Linus tends to look at gear with a technical approach, trying to understand why certain things sound the way they do. When there is no music around, Linus goes the extra mile and annoys the hell out of his colleagues with low level beatboxing.


  • Reply December 21, 2017


    Hi Linus,

    Great Recommendation.
    May I know why you prefer Noble Katana over Encore?


  • Reply December 21, 2017


    Hi Michael,

    thanks for your comment!

    I love both Katana and Encore. Katana for its incredible precision and Encore for its more fun and powerful tuning with richer upper mids and treble.
    The reason why Katana made the list and Encore didn’t is a very different though, simply because I reviewed Katana also as universal and Encore as custom only. I had to give the nod to the A18t as best CIEM because of its impressive sound which stood out the most this year.

    Hope that clears things up.


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