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Best Products of 2022 – Audiophile-Heaven Awards

Best Products of 2022 – Audiophile-Heaven Awards

2022 ends, and I want to give awards to the best sounding equipment I tested and reviewed this year. The list includes IEMs, Headphones, DACs, AMPs, and basically everything that’s been the best. This list is not sponsored or promoted by any brand in any way, and highlights my feelings, bringing this year of reviewing and music listening to highlight what’s the best stuff my ears had had the honor of hearing. 

 

Introduction

2022 has been an outstanding year for audio, and we’ve seen a high number of high-end and high-quality products released, aggressive price slashes in most areas of audio, and we’ve seen a growth of Audiophile-Heaven to now reach 500 written reviews posted, and 375 video reviews. First of all, I want to thank you all for being here with me, for supporting me, and for reading audiophile-heaven. We opened that HOF or Hall Of Fame a while ago, and started adding many products to it, so I feel that at the end of the year I should share with you my absolute favorite products from the entire year. 

The most important aspect of this hobby is to have fun, so please, when reading audiophile-heaven, or any other publication, have fun, listen to music, spend time with your loved ones, and live with no regrets. Don’t forget that music is all about love, art and expressing your emotions. This list doesn’t have to be seen as a buying guide, and instead I just want to award the best products I heard and to share that there have been some outstanding products out there, things that really surprised me with their performance and with the overall design, and even price to performance ratio. Since I sometimes could not decide for a single best product the list either has the best or the best 3 products for each category. So without further ado, here’s the best products of 2022.

 

Best Speakers – KLH Model Five 

It is sometimes hard to start a list, so I’ll go with a sure winner. Model Five is a large speaker, and it was quite the adventure to go and pick them up outside of Bucharest, as the delivery company didn’t have all my data and info, but it was all worth it. Those speakers redefined what I expect from speakers, and they’ve been my companions ever since I installed them, playing almost non stop for me, games, music, movies, and everything in between. They sound natural, clean, and while they’re hard to handle around, once you have them installed, they will open heavens of music for you. You can grab them here – https://amzn.to/3PM0hVP

From my original review – “While you could say that Model Five is a loudspeaker slightly more expensive than the majority of what I already reviewed on Audiophile-Heaven, at least as far as passive speakers go, it is undeniably one of the best price / performance and value speakers you can grab. In fact, when you count in the fact that they come with 10 years of warranty, and that you’re not likely to upgrade them unless you’re ready to spend 5-10 times the money you paid for Model Five, your best shot at a well priced audio nirvana is to get Model Five, a matching AMP and be done for the day, or rather for the next 10 years.”

KLH Model Five – Acoustic Suspension 5 Hifi Stereo Speakers

 

Best DAP / Digital Audio Portable Player – iBasso DX320

I needed some time to think about what should be the best flagship DAP I ever reviewed, but in the end none other could have been it, but iBasso DX320. I simply love too much the new ROHM implementation and the sound, and when I first heard it it was such an improvement over everything, that I knew I wanted to experience its sound more. Even now, every single time I open it, it surprises me. If anything, I should get one for my fiance who loves the sound as well. This is the kind of DAP that truly deserves to be named the best DAP of 2022. You can grab it here – https://amzn.to/3jjhnOx

From my original Review – “At the end of today’s review, if you’re looking for the ultimate sonic performance, but if you want versatility as well, if you want a DAP that can do pretty much everything, but won’t feel far from the quick and snappy smartphone experience, and if you’re looking for a sleek, ergonomic and elegant design, with good battery life, iBasso DX320 is an excellent choice, capable of driving most headphones out there with ease, but with no background noise and at the current price of 1599 USD, a great deal for the first DAP in the whole world to implement the new ROHM MUS-IC DAC Chips.”

iBasso DX320 DAP Music Player – Ultimate Sonics

 

Best Flagship Headphones – Audeze LCD-5

There’s only one way to describe LCD-5, and that is perfection. Those are some seriously good headphones, from start to end, they have outstanding comfort, build quality, and most important, sound. The detail levels are insane, the soundstage is pinpoint precise, and they are probably the most transparent headphone I heard in my entire life, making everything else a degree of color compared to the sound they provide. If I was to have any complaints, they are darn hard to drive and won’t sound good until they’re paired with a proper source. You can grab them here – https://amzn.to/3vvQBpj

From my original Review – “The Audeze LCD-5 is special as a headphone, because it stays really dynamic, detailed, clean and fun sounding regardless of the volume you’re listening to. This means that they can be enjoyed quietly, with music playing whispers to the listener, but also at medium and normal listening volumes, and they can even turn into full sized concert speakers for your head. I naturally tend to listen louder than it is recommended, but recently I wanted to start taking better care of my ears, so havin a headphone that can stay dynamic, clean and detailed at low volumes is ideal. LCD-5 is super capable of staying fun, clean and especially dynamic at low volumes, which indicates that the drivers have really good quality. They need much more power than my usual headphones, but are easier to drive than HE6SE and LCD-4.”

Audeze LCD-5 – Flagship Performance Supremus

 

Best Comfort & Sound Balance For Headphones – HIFIMAN HE1000 V2

We also have a more balanced headphone, for a more affordable price, but which is still a super high-end offering, with a larger earpad, larger design, lighter, but still a headphone I enjoyed this year and which has opened my eyes to how far we’ve come with personal audio. While I can’t listen to the mighty He-1 from Sennheiser again, as it is not on display locally anymore, I can say that I was nowhere near as impressed by it as I am every single day by He1000 V2 driven from HIFIMAN EF400 and iBasso DX320, so this would be the most balanced high-end flagship, if we include price in the equation as well. You can grab them here – https://amzn.to/3jsLRh5

From my original Review – “HIFIMAN He1000 V2 is not the most pricy headphone I reviewed on Audiophile-Heaven, but it is one of the most technologically advanced, so it is interesting to see how all the tech HIFIMAN developed affects the sound and how it all creates a certain presentation for HE1000 V2. Since we already established that they’ve been tested with a variation of sources, both R2R sources and classic ones, desktop and portables, it would be more useful to explore how HE1000V2 sounds like, and what the default signature is. I would describe them as extremely open, detailed and transparent, with a wide and holographic imaging, a slightly bright tonality, but with outstanding bass reproduction, and especially low distortion, even at extremely high volume.”

HIFIMAN HE1000 V2 Planar Magnetic Headphones – Music Magic

 

Best Closed-Back Headphones – Dan Clark Aeon 2 Noire 

If you’re in a pinch and can’t use open-back headphone or if you need something that will cut you out from all the noise, this is going to be the perfect choice, a headphone that’s made to keep all the audiophile qualities we always seek, but to be open-back at the same time. I love the tuning of Aeon 2 Noire and I’d say I find them to be perfect every single day when I’m looking for reliable and good-sounding headphones. They are not the easiest to drive, so be prepared to feed them power if you want to hear their best. You can grab them here – https://amzn.to/3HYA1pq

From my original Review – “The basic way to describe the sonic signature of Dan Clark Aeon 2 Noire is superb. This is a headphone that could easily become my favorite all-time best closed back headphone. To be fair, most high-end closed-back headphones I spent a lot of time with have focused on delivering a soundstage that’s as wide and as deep as possible, all whilst sacrificing other aspects of their sonics in the process, but Aeon 2N goes for exactly the other thing. They go for a sound that’s technically precise, with a super deep, fast and punchy bass, with superb imaging and clean sonics. It is quite surprising to say this, but they managed to get a stage that’s not very small or narrow, and to my ears, Aeon 2 Noire nails the width and depth of a song rather well. The tuning pads included in the package do a good job at increasing the damping factor for the sound of Aeon 2 Noire. They help round the bass to a deeper, slower, and more punchy presentation, with white giving the best bass depth. On the other hand, listening to Aeon 2 Noire with no dampeners and with their bare naked drivers will result in the brightest, most clean and crisp sound they can offer. The higher damping factor of adding the filters increases the perceived soundstage and width of Aeon 2 N’s sound.”

Dan Clark Aeon 2 Noire – True Flow Music Design 

 

Best Headphone Amplifier – Feliks Audio Echo 2

Proceeding forward, I always enjoyed a well-designed Tube Amplifier, so it comes as no surprise that I love the Echo 2, a refinement of the original Feliks Audio Echo, a superb Tube Amplifier I love to bits. This is the kind of AMP you want to have in your house, with excellent driving power for OTL Headphones, and a beautiful design. I now wish I did a ranking back when I reviewed the Feliks Euforia, it surely would have gotten a place here. You can grab it from here – https://feliksaudio.pl/product/echo-2/

From my original review – “Speaking of which, the overall tonality and sound of Feliks Echo 2 is extremely natural, fluid, musical and pleasing to the ear with a smidgen of warmth, superb soundstage and a holographic presentation and with outstanding resolution and detail. You can actually fine tune Echo 2 by using a different set of tubes, and with the toroidal power deliver being of outstanding quality, and with the input / output set also being excellent, you can use tubes as good as you’d like without having to worry that the AMP construction limits you in any way. The OTL in the Echo 2 naming stands for Output Transformerless, as it omits having an output transformer, for increased linearity and fidelity. We have 2 x 6N6P tubes, and 2 x 6N1P tubes. The power transformer is a stabilized toroidal transformer with electronic ripple suppression. The main reason OTL tech took off so well is the outstanding detail for the price category an AMP like Echo 2 can offer, and the extremely low distortion, as the current is drawn directly from the tubes, and it is enough for a typical headphone.” 

Feliks Audio Echo 2 Tube Amplifier – Lamp Refinement

 

Best Price & Performance Ratio DAP – TempoTec V6

While finding the best DAP, finding the best price / performance DAP is really hard, and since iBasso already got a place, it would have been odd if they got this spot as well, with their exceptional DX170, so it was either V6 or Hiby RS2. The main reason I picked V6 is the increased versatility, lower price point, and for how it took everyone by surprise, delivering a performance no one expected and no one was prepared for. You can grab it from here – https://amzn.to/3Vmatph

From my original Review – “The overall signature of V6 is quite pleasing, as it has a smoother, clean, and detailed sound. The bass is plentiful, the midrange sounds musical, fluid and has a bit of extra thickness that gives music a beautiful body, while the treble is relaxed, clean, but well extended and airy. V6 has a natural soundstage that provides good separation between instruments, also good dynamics and punchiness. I just reviewed SMSL C200 back to back with V6, as this has been my order, and I can easily notice the differences in the signature and the way music is presented between them, V6 does not struggle at all with dynamics and impact, even if the music is modern commercial pop that’s terribly compressed dynamically, made especially for radio. The bass of V6 has a really nice uplift above what I’d consider dead on neutral, and it helps V6 deliver a punchy and colorful presentation. I’m especially surprised to see an entry-level DAP or source drive HE1000V2 with ease, and delivering such a nice amount of low end, with a controlled and clean impact too. For IEMs, the sound is even warmer and cleaner than it is for headphones, and V6 is superb for driving basically anything you might have around the house. There’s an especially nice amount of bass, that gives music depth and the impression of impact.”

TempoTec V6 Music Player DAP – Super Performer

 

Best IEMs & Best Sound of 2022 – FiR Audio Frontier Series NEON 4 NE4 IEMs 

Small things really matter in life, and NE4 has been the first IEM both me and my fiance agreed upon entirely, with no second thoughts. This is it, the best sounding IEM we both heard in 2022, or at least the most pleasing one. The warm, and deep bass, the bright treble, and excellent detail, everything is simply perfectly balanced. You can imagine it was super exciting to review it and to share a product with someone you love, so kudos to the guys at FiR Audio, a new company, but they made such an impressive product. You can grab them from here – https://amzn.to/3HTsqIF

From my original Review – “Starting with the overall sonic signature, NE4 is truly unique in how raw and impactful its bass is, how sublime the midrange clarity and precision is, and how clean and crisp the treble is. Truly, it is a U-shaped signature, which grows stronger in the sub lows and the upper ranges of its treble, plus works well for contemporary music, regardless of whether we’re talking about metal, rock, EDM, Pop, or even low-fi and indie music. NE4 has one of the widest soundstage out there, and while VxV surprised me by how enjoyable and natural it is, NE4 surprises me by how clean and explosive, but also wide and holographic it can be. One surprising detail I noticed is that aftermarket cables do not improve the listening experience too much, and even if you’re crazy enough to go for cables that are 1000 USD is, the default cable of NE4 will be able to keep up, at least sonically.” 

FiR Audio Frontier Series NE4 – NEON 4 IEMs – Exceeding All Expectations

 

Best Design & Innovation for IEMs – Ambient Acoustics MAD16

There’s something about MAD16, and how the company balanced the sound that convinced me they already earned their place here, and I can’t complain. MAD24 is the most expensive flagship IEM the company made, but I’d say that the true winner of 2022 from Ambient Acoustics is MAD16, for having a more balanced sound, better detail, and most important, a really pleasing listening experience. They beat their big brother and most IEMs I heard this year, so here’s a cheer for another year of excellent music. 

From my original Review – “The sonic presentation of MAD16 can be described as natural, clean and detailed. They have superb impact, and a dynamic sound, but the focus is on how natural, precise and clean their sound can be. The detail level is actually in line with what MAD24 can offer, but MAD16 has a more natural tuning that’s less warm, cleaner, and which allows detail to shine through better. Both IEMs have outstanding resolution, but MAD16 has something unique going on for it, having a cleaner, more sparkly treble, and a more neutral tuning. They are easy to enjoy and digest regardless of the volume you’re listening at, and MAD16 can be said to be the perfect IEM for all music styles, all volume levels, and all tastes. They have the bass that would satisfy a basshead, the detail and resolution that would satisfy a treble head and the transparency that would satisfy someone who’s coming from speakers. Basically the quintessentially perfect IEM. But let’s not get too much ahead of ourselves. Ambient Acoustics basically followed the Harman Curve rather well with MAD16, and this is why they sound perfect for basically anyone who doesn’t want a specific coloration in their sound.”

Ambient Acoustics MAD16 IEMs – Crazy Music Colors

 

Best Desktop DAC & AMP – HIFIMAN EF400

I always get the question of what is the best sounding DAC / AMP out there, and after discussing it for a while, HIFIMAN EF400 always appears in the conversation and ends up being the choice for most people. It is just so perfectly balanced, the price / performance ratio is superb, the build quality is superb, driving power is plentiful, and it simply performs as you’d expect, and even better than that. The way EF400 sounds outclasses most options you will find around the price point, but it also has 4 headphone outputs, Line Outs, and both Os and NOS modes, all of this making it basically the best desktop DAC / AMP I reviewed in 2022. You can grab it from here – https://amzn.to/3GeMpAh

From my original Review – “Through all those comparisons, I was able to understand the signature of EF400, and since it is an R2R DAC/AMP, it has a pretty specific signature, with NOS and OS having different presentations. There is no baseline here, and you should use OS or NOS based on what kind of sound you’re looking for. Just keep in mind that OS means Over Sampling, and this is how it should sound when compared to most DAC / AMPs out there, while NOS is a special mode that only R2R DACs usually have. High gain seems to also have a huge effect with EF400, and instead of a volume attenuator, low gain is the baseline for the sound, and high gain is a gain switch, and not a volume selector. It adds real gain, and you can hear it with most music, being similar to what I hear when I turn the gain and drive higher on my Boss Katana MK2 Guitar AMP. If you’re using the high gain setting on EF400, you generally get a more vivid, more punchy presentation that gives more insight in the details of your music, as well as makes textures harder and more prominent.”

HIFIMAN EF400 Balanced DAC/AMP – The R2R Music Magician 

 

Best Desktop Stereo / Headphone Amplifier – Cyrus One Cast

Even I forgot that I reviewed Cyrus One Cast this year, but it was among the first products I published in 2022, and man, did it give a strong start and lead us to a beautiful year. I’m willing to say that One Cast is probably the best all in one unit I heard in my entire life, and it has everything. You might not guess this, but it has been the center of my system for the entire year, and this includes playing music, gaming, driving headphones, and amplifying my speakers. It ain’t tiny, but I purchased a special pedestal for it, to have it always next to me while I’m enjoying music. You can grab it from here – https://amzn.to/3BV4mkE

From my original Review – “You can say that the unit is a bit pricey, but for the vast amount of features it offers, I think it is perfect in pricing. You don’t just get a DAC, or an AMP, or a Streamer, or an Integrated. For this price, you get all of them, and all of them in uber quality. The only parts that I do find disappointing are the lack of an ethernet port, lack of aptX or LDAC, and lack of a balanced headphone output / XLR outputs for the DAC. Folks looking for Hi-Res may want more DSD and Hi-Res support, but most of my albums are redbook CDs, some even MP3 recordings that I was never able to find anywhere, so I’m far more forgiving of no Hi-Res support than someone who mainly purchases their music from HDTracks. Cyrus One Cast has perfect driving power, it has perfect control over any speaker you may throw at it, it has a great sound, and can do streaming too.”

Cyrus One Cast Smart DAC / Integrated Amplifier – English Media Flagship

 

Best Bluetooth Receiver & Amplifier – Dethonray SG1 Pegasus

Best things in life are free, that’s a rule I believe life always follows, and an unknown company surprising me with a product I wasn’t ready for surely was a huge surprise. I liked the DTR1+ Prelude from Dethonray, but SG1 Pegasus is exactly what I’d consider if I really wanted to get serious about bluetooth products. This is not just a DAC / AMP, and in fact it cannot even work as a DAC/AMP, being a bluetooth receiver only. But the sound is so lush, thick and smooth that it wins hands-down the title of the best bluetooth receiver of 2022. You can grab it from here – https://amzn.to/3hHW6Ol

From my original Review – “I cannot begin to tell you how enjoyable using SG1 is, you have quite literally a high-end flagship audiophile source in quality and presentation, but it is Bluetooth with LDAC, and sounds just as good as most wired sources, without you having to clump yourself with those. I see such high potential for SG1, especially for those watching stuff on smartphones or tablets (I got a Huawei tablet and I love watching concerts while laying down and relaxing), also SG1 has a fairly low background noise so it should be ok for most IEMs. You can hear a faint hissing if no music is playing and your IEMs are sensitive, for example I hear something with Fir Audio Ne4 and Campfire Atlas, but I don’t hear much background noise with Final Audio A8000, and less sensitive IEMs. I suggest always keeping your smartphone / source at maximum digital volume and using the potentiometer on SG1 to set the volume for the song you’re enjoying.”

Dethonray SG1 Pegasus Bluetooth DAC/AMP – High Resolution Bass Receiver

 

Best Dongle DAC & AMP Sound – Lotoo PAW S2 

We also have a tiny Lotoo PAW S2 appear in the best gear of 2022, and well, this is the only portable DAC / AMP with a good-working EQ profile, and if I was to tell you a little secret, this is the DAC/AMP my fiancee has been using ever since I finished my review of it, so it would be her Editor’s Pick as well. Truly a surprising experience, and while Lotoo generally makes great products, they really outdid themselves with S2, and as long as the price isn’t too much for you, the performance surely won’t disappoint. You can grab it from here – https://amzn.to/3BWWdw2

From my original Review – “The overall tuning and signature of PAW S2 can be described as clean, impactful, with a full and satisfying bass, deep and low-reaching bass, with a slight emphasis on the upper bass / lower midrange, giving male voices a nice natural resonance, and with a smoother, cleaner treble that’s non-fatiguing, but which still provides outstanding imaging and soundstage to PAW S2. Starting with the bass, Lotoo PAW S2 is super capable in the lows department. In fact, it somehow has such a good bass performance that even if you keep it running at maximum with a harder to drive headphone, and if you enable EQ to bring in more bass, it still won’t distort, and the whole sound will be satisfying, clean and impactful. There’s no particular coloration in the bass, although PAW S2 does have a slight tendency to emphasize the lower midrange and to give an extra thick, deep presentation to male voices, guitars and bass guitars.”

Lotoo PAW S2 Dongle DAC AMP – Equalized Presentation

 

Best Dongle Price & Performance Balance – iBasso DC06

We also have something more affordable for dongles, and DC06 has the perfect balance, being the perfect dongle I heard in 2022 as an overall product. It is true that this is not a high-end flagship product you typically see everyone talking about, but for a dongle DAC AMP, it has the best overall balance of price, performance and sound, and that’s special. You can grab it from here – https://amzn.to/3GelOmK

From my original Review – “If you’re looking for a sonic signature, iBasso DC06 can be described as really engaging, dynamic and forward sounding. It is like a tiny bit of DX320, and this is in every way possible. I’m also reviewing Lotoo PAW S2, Questyle M15, and have a TON of other dongle DAC AMPs on my desk, to do quick switching to say this, but DC06 is super impressive. The sound of DC06 has the best bass extension, best impact and dynamics I’ve heard for the price range. It can safely drive both IEMs and headphones, there’s absolutely zero noise and distortion.”

iBasso DC06 Dongle DAC AMP – Square Performance

 

Best Headphone Cable – Eletech Inferno

Cables have always been a hot debate, but I really like the Inferno, and as far as the best cables I reviewed in 2022 go, this is just perfect, a cable that will outweigh, out-thick, and outlive the others. Pure copper, and a high AWG should be enough to warrant a beautiful design, and hopefully an improved sonic for all music enjoyers. You can grab it from here – https://elementechnology.com/products/inferno

From my original Review – “The first effect that I noticed is that of a much blacker background. I noted a really black background in my original review of LCD-5, but adding the cable changes things quite massively. It is like instruments gain a new level of depth and definition, with much better separation and a wider soundstage. The differences cannot be attributed to biased expectations, since I did the swap over 20 times before writing my impressions, as I couldn’t believe my ears either. We get a cable like Inferno, for 700 USD, which can give LCD-5 a full mini upgrade, to make it an even better headphone. I mentioned some tonal changes now, that I had the time to assess the sonics more, and Inferno helps LCD-5 sound deeper, fuller, and less bright. It feels like, with the original cable, LCD-5 is more midrange forward, and brighter, with a more sparkly presentation, while Inferno refines that sound, giving LCD-5 a deeper, fuller presentation, with better bass, less treble edginess, and better overall clarity.”

Eletech Inferno Cable – Dante’s Dream Of Devilishly Good Sound

 

Best IEM Cable – Astral Acoustics Pulse

And, lastly, I really love the Astral Acoustics Pulse cable, it is the only alternative to good default cables I really use a lot, and simply because it is ergonomic. It usually improves the sound quite a bit, doesn’t cost quite that much, and is super pleasing to use, being the kind of cable I simply keep using, keep installing on the IEMs I listen to, and I like to see as well, thanks to its neat design, making it the most balanced deal for an IEM cable I’ve seen in 2022, for a flagship cable that won’t cost too much but will have an improved comfort, ergonomic and general design. You can grab it from here – https://www.astralacousticscables.com/product-page/pulse

From my original Review – “The general sound of Astral Acoustic Pulse is a really natural, thick and warm one. Just as promised, it seems to create a longer decay for each musical note, and sound seems to linger for longer, music has a heavier presentation, increased width and better instrument separation as a result. The background also seems to be a bit blacker, and music seems to be better defined. We have a full, delightful bass, and Pulse seems to aid in each musical note gain ground, have better impact and more low end presence. Oddly enough, the bass doesn’t get overly boomy or thick, rather, the bass gets a bit slower, it becomes fuller and sounds more realistic. Pulse is the kind of cable that will change the sound of your IEMs a little by toning the bass to be heavier and thicker, but won’t change the overall quantity, rather change the character of the bass and presentation.”

Astral Audio Pulse Cable – Starfield Source Of Music

 

Editor’s Picks

There are a few products both me and my editor fiance loved, but we couldn’t really place in any category, but which deserve to be read about as those are products we do use on a daily basis and which are extremely enjoyable. The list includes honorable mentions as well as products we simply couldn’t live without. 

 

iFi Audio hip-dac2 – a truly amazing little DAC/AMP with super power, ergonomic design, and which was so pleasing to photograph for the review that it deserves a place here to the level we couldn’t deny it. 

iFi Audio hip-dac2 – Late Autumn Colors

 

Crosszone CZ-8a – a pair of headphones so unique in engineering and results it simply can’t miss this list, although it is super boutique.

Crosszone CZ-8A Hifi Headphones – Speaker Sound, Closed Back

 

Uniuqe Melody MEXT – I really would have wanted to add MEST MK2 to this list, but it was a 2021 product, and my review on the mighty Maven PRO is not ready yet, but MEXT is super nice, has about the performance of the MEST MK2, but for a lower price, and it is a dynamic, punchy and super revealing IEM with superb design too.

Unique Melody MEXT – Price Cut, Musicality Increase

 

Sivga SV023 – The high-impedance dynamic headphones of the year, perfect to match with amplifiers such as Feliks Echo 2, and a pair of headphones I’ve enjoyed for hours in a row with that amp. 

Sivga SV023 Dynamic Headphones – Pinch And Punch

 

Hiby RS2 – The world’s most affordable R2R DAP or Digital Portable Player, with superb design, minimalistic OS, but superb sonic performance and presentation. If I made this list and didn’t add it, the list would miss the highlight, because during the christmas days RS2 has seen more usage than basically all of the other DAPs I have. The small form factor made it perfect for the crowded streets of Bucharest during Christmas.

Hiby RS2 Darwin Player – Musicality Focused DAP

 

Audeze MM-500 – Those headphones almost overtake their big LCD-5 brothers, but I already had a product from Audeze, and MM-500 is not the best in raw performance, nor as comfortable as HIFIMAN HE1000 V2, but those are the best studio headphones I reviewed to date, making them a super important part of today’s rank.

Audeze MM-500 – Studio Suprema Planar

 

NHT C3 – Before Model Five from KLH stole the spotlight, C3 has been a personal favorite, also a 3-way speaker, but with similar tuning to Model Five. As it is natural, C3 is much more affordable and easier to recommend if you’re on a budget, so super important to check out if you’re looking for some of the best speakers money can buy.

NHT C3 3-Way Bookshelf Stereo Speakers – Music For Life

 

To another year of music, happiness and enjoyment! 

This year has truly seen some interesting releases, superb choices regardless of your budget, and we all had a great time, improving quickly from the previous year. I hope you’ve been having a blast reading and watching Audiophile-Heaven, and I hope that I’ll see you in the new year as well. Please remember that newer isn’t always better, you don’t need to replace what you currently have, and the most important thing in this hobby is to enjoy what you already have. If I ever asked you for a favor, please do this for me – have fun, and enjoy life to the fullest. Listen to music, and be happy! 



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Full Playlist used for this review

We listened to more songs than those named in this playlist, but those are excellent for identifying a sonic signature.  PRaT, Texturization, Detail, Resolution, Dynamics, Impact, and overall tonality are all revealed by those songs. We recommend trying most of the songs from this playlist, especially if you’re searching for new music!

https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PL_cjBXGmwSHSdGcwuc_bKbBDGHL4QvYBu

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4 Comments

  1. Johan

    I own two of your choices! 🙂 DCA Aeon 2 Noire and the Feliks Echo mkII.
    Nice choices there!

    1. George Dobrescu

      Thank you, and really happy to help!!

  2. Tapas

    Nice choices.

    1. George Dobrescu

      Thank you, and always happy to help!!

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George Dobrescu

George Dobrescu

Hello, and welcome to Audiophile-Heaven! I am George, the Creator of Audiophile-Heaven, and I love music! I will be sharing insights and comparisons of audio products with you. I invite you to join me in the exciting journey of discovering joy through music!!

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