Head-Fi.org › Articles › 2012 Head-Fi Holiday Gift Guide (Introduction)

2012 Head-Fi Holiday Gift Guide (Introduction)


I remember years ago, I'd search the web for new headphone related news and product releases. Days would go by. Weeks would go by. Sometimes months would go by with no exciting headphone related news to read. Now? Now I'm thinking of good ways to efficiently and effectively manage and share the constant flow of personal audio related content and news with the over two million visitors who come to Head-Fi every month.

New and exciting advancements and personal audio products are being released constantly. HDtracks.com and Chesky Records recorded and released three new binaural albums for us in 2012, with more coming. Head-Fi Meet activity around the world seems to be at an all-time high. 2013 CanJam @ RMAF is already in planning. Fujiya Avic's Tokyo Headphone Festivals have expanded into two-day events. Our community is growing at a fantastic pace! Also exciting is that so much of the news--and so many of the best reviews--are breaking within our community, in our forums. Even if the pace of new product releases and developments accelerates, I think 2012 will always be remembered in our community as a breakout year for personal audio.

Anyway, I just wanted to say thank you all for making this such a great year, and for making this a community so many of us are proud to be a part of, and that's also fun to be a part of. And thanks also to the community members who gave me permission to use their quotes in the guide. It was a privilege to be able to quote you guys, as the members of this community are my favorite audio reviewers in the world.

I hope you enjoy the 2012 Head-Fi Holiday Buying Guide. Again, the Head-Fi Buying Guide is in no way intended to be an encyclopedia of all the world's headphone hi-fi products, but, rather, a look at some of this community's favorite products as gift ideas. And, in most cases (unless otherwise indicated), the products in the guide will be products I have direct experience using and listening to.

Now check out the links in the table of contents above (in the graphic header at the top of this page), and enjoy the guide!

Best Regards,

Jude Mansilla
Founder, Head-Fi.org


Comments (24)

Word. Thanks for taking the time to put it all together Jude. And even though it appears that I have purchased all the "wrong" stuff this year, I'm sure that it will help many decide what to get for others (as well as themselves).
So many unpredictable (at least in my mind) things happened this year. Ultimate Ears launched headphones. Denon re-vamped their entire line. V-Moda proved that working with the community to refine and launch their new M-100 was the right way to go. Even Martin Logan is now offering a pair of headphones and a pair of IEMs. 2012 was both dramatic and explosive in ways that not everyone could foresee.
Though it's not the official year I joined, I'll always remember 2012 as the year that I stopped lurking and actively participated in the community. I've learned so much from the established and active members here, and I hope that I've been able to give some back. I'm looking forward to the years to come with great optimism and anticipation.
This guide is suspiciously similar to the summer guide :D.
warrenpchi: Thanks for the nice post, man.

catspaw: As I've stated in this introduction, pretty much every single product included is something I have actually listened to and/or own--it's not intended as an encyclopedia of all things headphone audio. For example, there are many more headphone additions than amp additions, simply because I haven't used as many new headphone amps as headphones since the summer update. In over-ear headphones, I believe 15 headphones were added, going from 33 in the last guide to 48 in this one. For in-ears, there were 19 models in the last guide update, and 31 in this one. I hadn't used any new headphone cables since the last update, so I did not add any new cables in this update. In computer audio, three DACs were added; and there were products added in other categories, of course. Additionally, many existing product listings were edited, some products were removed. Many new user quotes were used, every one of them only with the permission of those who posted them.

For the next guide update in spring/summer 2013, I'm hoping to include at least a couple of other community members to contribute editorially, so that we can cover more new gear. However, even with the other people helping, my intent is to still have the guide rooted in experience with the gear listed, not just a list of gear.

That all said, there will probably always be similarities from guide to guide, as many will products will, of course, carry over from one edition to the next.
"I'm hoping to include at least a couple of other community members to contribute editorially"
If that is so, be sure to include MalVeauX, he knows his stuff :)
I am not trying to undermine the work. The data is still usefull up to date (and models dont come out at a fast enought speed to actually keep up with the news articles).
Of course. Honestly, I haven't been this exited about cans in a long time. BTW +1 on Malveaux. He is definitely a rich resource for - and a valued asset to - our community.
Very best,
Thanks for putting up with us rabble and our opinionated verbiage.
May next year be the year you don't dye your hair and let the grey show.
This would have been a useful guide if it covered all price ranges..... :(
Also took me a while to realize the guide wasn't just a header graphic but the actual guide....
Thanks, Jude!
Erm, the Fostex HP A8 entry should be updated to reflect that DSD support via USB is now available...
Absolutely can't wait for your review of the DAC2. Your glowing remarks and my past experience with the DAC1 have me hovering over the purchase button :)
Where's the ksc75?
My headfi guide:
$12 - ksc75
$350 - HD 650 or speakers
I think that for speakers, one would have to visit Room-Fi.org
Is that a custom HD800 at the front of Head-Fi? with the blue rings?
I think that's a Colorware edition of some kind. That blue ring is cool, but I believe it takes one year off the warranty.
^full warranty; supported by Colorware ;)
0.0 TheDeliveryMan is BACK! =D Happy holidays to y'all!
what is his headphone ?
Jude's? Monster Diamond Tears.
Awesome, thanks.
Head-Fi.org › Articles › 2012 Head-Fi Holiday Gift Guide (Introduction)