Head-Fi.org › Articles › 2013 Head Fi Summer Buying Guide Introduction

2013 Head-Fi Summer Buying Guide (Introduction)

Over-Ear Headphones Over-Ear Headphones In-Ear Headphones Wireless Headphones
Gaming Headphones Exercise Headphones Cables & Accessories /
Desktop Amps & DACs Portable Amps, DACs & Music Players
Ultra-High-End Headphones (Summit-Fi) Desktop & Portable Speakers
Head-Fi Meets Music



What I find exciting about what I've seen in the world of Head-Fi since last holiday's buying guide is that the pace of new product development hasn't slowed. And I'm also excited to see such strong development in so many different segments, and at all price points. We've seen a $99 in-ear headphone that upended its own more expensive predecessors; a $129 portable amp that can drive just about anything well; a tiny $1300 high-resolution media player that's actually usable and plays DSD files; a $2000 DAC/amp purpose-built for a flagship headphone; a $5500 planar magnetic beast that, in my opinion, is one of the world's best headphones (and the company's very first headphone); and much more. And there's so much more wonderful stuff coming down the pike--trust me, more ooohs and aaahs are just around the corner.

As always, thanks to the community members who gave us permission to use their quotes in the guide. It's always a privilege to be able to quote you guys, as you, the members of the Head-Fi community, are my favorite audio reviewers in the world.

Enjoy the 2013 Summer Buying Guide, and the fun summery theme designed by warrenpchi (Warren). 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 gear I've listened to and liked and thought might be of interest to you. This time, though, we did also add contributions by mikemercer (Michael) and dBel84 (Donald), and I hope we have even more guide contributors next time.

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

Best Regards,

Jude Mansilla
Founder, Head-Fi.org


Comments (21)

Psyched to be part of this, and more excited to be a part of this community!
Yay! The guide is live!
Wait! How could you NOT include that thing-you-haven't-heard? And you didn't even mention that obscure-thing-only-I-own?! How dare you launch this without including all 17,867 headphone models ever released?!?! Guide fail!
LOL, you know that was a parody though right? ;)
Thanks Warren for getting the important bits out of the way first. ;)
great stuff as usual, although I don't get why it is preferred to always include the repetitive same materials in every issue like Blue Danube in every year's new year concert..you know it's appreciated but it gets old for returning readers
@Overwerk, thanks for the feedback. Inspired in part by Stereophile's Recommended Components list, this Buying Guide is accretive, with new things added to the last list. As things are discontinued, obsoleted, or outclassed by other things I've tried in the same class, things will also get removed (one example in this guide being the removal of the Phonak PFE232 due to discontinuation). Because it's likely that with each update more will get added than removed, the guide will likely continue to get longer, and so we'll think of ways to make it more manageable for the readers. Again, thanks for the feedback, Overwerk.
@Currawong, well you know, it's just a matter of time before it came up. Hopefully, a preemptive caricature in time can save ward off such things. :)
great reading, very informative,lots of great tips
speciially fo someone like me who are fairly new to headfi
thanks a bunch
Sweet, been wondering when the next edition would start rolling out.
Nice guide :)
Now I have more problems and less money, thanks a lot.
Head-fi's job is to reduce wallets and make spousal partners cringe everytime a new box shows up in the mail.

Appreciate the quick guide to great headphones/IEMs out there.
Good to see the Monster Gratitude get a little love. Seriously underrated 'phones.
Great stuff, Jude and all else involved in this - thank you!
Thanks Jude, great stuff!!
Now I have more problems and less money, thanks a lot. plus one~
Looking to upgrade my listening experience, I lurked Head-Fi for a short time and joined when I came across your fantastic Summer Buying Guide. Thank you so much!
Head-Fi.org › Articles › 2013 Head Fi Summer Buying Guide Introduction