BLOG: 2017 Awards – Lieven’s Selection


Best IEM (Price no objection): Hifiman RE800

This may come as a surprise to a lot of people but I really like the tuning of the RE800. I don’t care much about the 24K gold plating but I love the sound, build quality and the comfort it gives. For me it’s a highlight of the year, more so than the RE2000.

Review: Hifiman RE800 – Balance

Best IEM (Best Value): Unique Melody ME1

Only recently reviewed but treasured for quite a while already. The ME1 is an audiophile tuned planar magnetic IEM that just like the Audeze iSine IEMS thinks out of the box. For me the ME1 tuning, finish and concept deserves the 2017 award.

Review: Unique Melody ME1 – Planar Bliss

Best CIEM (Price no objection): Vision Ears VE8

As you know I’m a big fan, promoter and addict of custom IEMs. I love a whole series of monitors from the 1-driver Warbler to the 11-Driver Flamenco, but the one that stood out most for me in 2017 is the Vision Ears VE8. The 16-driver UM Mason V3 sounds like a real competitor but it won’t arrive at the HFN HQ before the end of the year.

Review: Vision Ears VE8 – Perfection

Best CIEM (Best Value): CustomArt Fibae 2

Gone are the days where a good CIEM set you back a lot of money and the CustomArt Fibae 2 is the perfect example that you can get great quality in an affordable package. Sound-wise this little gem really performs, so do check it out if you can. I’m looking forward to the Fibae 3 myself.

Review: CustomArt FIBAE 2 – Surprising!

Best Amplifier: Auris Audio HA2-SE

The Auris Audio HA2-SE is the only full sized desktop amp I had the opportunity to test in the past year. As the market is focusing on portable gear, we don’t see as much desktop gear being released. The HA2-SE however is one of the best amps I have heard in a very long time. The new Auris Headonia didn’t make it to the offices in time for an evaluation and I look forward to comparing it to the Audiovalve Solaris in 2018.

Review: Auris Audio HA2-SE – Perfection

Best Headphone (Price no objection): Focal Utopia

Ok, I admit. The Focal Utopia wasn’t really released in 2017 but it to me up to today still is the very best full sized headphone on the planet. And so: Award!

Picture Sunday: Focal Utopia

Best Headphone (Best Value): Meze 99 Neo

Actually it was NAthan who did the review but I really love the Meze 99 as well. Everywhere you go people love the 99 and it has an excellent price/quality ratio. The Neo version was launched in 2017, so an award it gets!

Review: Meze 99 NEO – riot

Best Accessory: ROON

It’s Linus who introduced me to Roon early this year and I fell in love with it immediately. If you’re not sure what Roon is or does, do check out our interview with Roon’s CEO and read the review below, because this software is awesome. Sure it’s quite expensive, but oh so very worth it.

BLOG: Roon – Overdue revolution

End Words

Congratulations to our winners! May it motivate the competition to do even better next year 😉

If you have questions or suggestions about how we’re doing things, head over to the comments section and we’ll do our best to make even better in 2018!

Happy New Year!

3.9/5 - (27 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.


  • Reply December 27, 2017

    George Lai

    To the entire team at Headfonia, thank you for such great reads and Happy New Year from Singapore.

  • Reply December 28, 2017


    Hugo 2?

    • Reply December 28, 2017


      Are you seriously asking if the Hugo 2 got an award?

  • Reply February 6, 2018

    Paolo Zucchetto

    I rewrite everything. I have SHURE SE846, amp Alo audio CDM, Astell & Kern AK300 and Focal Elear. I would change everything with the following devices:
    Are better the SHURE se846 or HIFI RE2000. How are the AKT8iE MKII and the Bayerdynamic Xelento headphones? Are better ALO CDM or Chord Mojo? How does Sony NW-WM1A play? I love music with deep bass, bass with the tail. I like also mids warm and details. Excuse me if I don’t write well.
    Paolo Zucchetto

    • Reply February 7, 2018


      I’m sorry Paulo, but you’re asking for too much
      RE2000 vs AKt8ie vs se846 vs me1 vs xelento: Akt8ie vs Xelento was reviewed and the rest are with different reviewers.
      Mojo vs cdm (was discussed already)
      Vorzuge was reviewed
      WM1A was reviewed

      We like to help, but don’t ask for the impossible before searching and reading up yourself. We’re not personal consultants 😉
      Good luck.

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