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.
Top 30 headphones as voted on by our readers
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.
"The HEDD Audio HEDDphone is a new path, a new direction, and a unique sound. It is not a planar headphone sound, neither dynamic nor electrostatic but it successfully mixes some of the best traits of each to paint a massive presentation, huge depth, and wonderful clarity."
$1599 Teak, $1899 Blackwood
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 Ultrasone Edition 15 Veritas surprised me and in a very good way. I usually have a few reservations with regards to flagship-level headphones with closed-back builds but the Veritas smartly plays to the strengths of that design and avoids trying to shape and bend in such a way to poorly mimic open-back qualities.
The Hel Yeah! bundle is quite literally the most absurd audiophile “Gaming Rig” that is officially intended to be a gamer's rig. I am impressed by how well they work together.
Despite being a relatively new company, the Austrian Audio Hi-X55 is a very mature product that shouldn’t just be confined to the studio. Plenty of regular audiophiles will enjoy this also.
I can see how this would be an attractive reference listening experience. Not dead neutral by the way, never confuse those terms as being the same. Rather, the LCD-1 invites you to listen to the bigger picture rather than tease you with dominant bass candy, treacly vocal forwardness, or a frosted treble on top. It is the whole cake this time and at $399 it tastes rather good.