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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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!
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.
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 Headfonia.com even better in 2018!
Happy New Year!