The following Top Reader Voted headphones scores are assigned by the readers, (Score) and apply only to all reviews where a slider voting system exists. This list includes all types of drivers including dynamic, planar and electrostatic headphones.
Please note the list will change dynamically as readers continue to vote. Higher scoring headphones will automatically replace lower-scoring headphones. They will also continue to change as we progressively work our way through historical reviews and add a voting system.
These lists are not to be confused with our forthcoming Editorial scoring lists which are the top gear as reviewed and scored by our review team. Those lists will form the basis of our Awards at the end of the year. Once the year is completed the Editorial scores will be deleted and the ‘annual top lists’ will start over again.
The Diana Phi owns its flagship status with aplomb despite its funky almost cutesy visual aesthetic. It also presents an equally capable but decidedly different presentation to the likes of the Empyrean that make it almost the perfect complement to Meze's masterpiece.
The tonality of the headphone is hyper-pure and very clean feeling. If anything, I'd want more bass depth and response when things are very low on the track. Perhaps, also, more imaging properties. Good job, Audeze. I'm not a purist and I still enjoyed the MX4 and all it has to offer.
The lower price will also tempt those thinking about the competition, the Empyreans, and RAD-0 or the Final D8000's of this world which have a similar price. It belongs there but it also brings its unique qualities to the table. Qualities such as a blazing level of articulation, outstanding staging complexity, and very smooth yet clear tuning. A very addictive performer indeed.
Dan Clark Audio always has a trick up their sleeve with affordable modifications such as these. The Ether 2 responds dramatically with the switching of the pads, painting very different aural pictures that should cater to a much broader set of preferences than the stock pads alone.
The PS1000e is no doubt a masterful headphone, one which will send a true audiophile to audio bliss. Its reference sounding, crystal clear mids and highs, and well-defined bass are its strongest points. Folks looking for a touch more weight to their bass and do not mind a little loss of articulation may want to give the I series one last final look.
The impression of the C Flow is much more immediate and impactful than the Ether C in that respect. If I want to lay off on the power a little, go for something a little flatter, and have the right match up I can still pick up the Ether C and feel pretty satisfied.
With a highly musical flair and appeal to it, the LCD-XC is a musical experience second to none in the closed-back world, something I have found myself enjoying thoroughly for some time and wish to continue using as a primary headphone.