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Head-Fi Buying Guide (Introduction)


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

Dear Friends,


We're more than halfway into another solid year for high-end headphone audio and a lot of exciting new products and developments!


Companies with longtime experience in high-end audio (but not previously headphone audio) continue to enter the space. OPPO, known mostly for their high-performance / high-value universal disc players, launched their first headphone with their planar magnetic OPPO PM-1. They also released their first DAC / headphone amp combo in the OPPO HA-1. Other established companies who've made moves into our space include Light Harmonic (most famous for their successful Geek Out Kickstarter campaign), and Chord Electronics (with the wildly popular Hugo portable DAC/amp combo), and many others.


The first part of the year saw a lot of our community's attention being stolen by electronics, like the aforementioned Chord Hugo and the Astell & Kern AK240 ultra-high-end portable music player; but the second half of the year holds some exciting new headphone launches, like the new HiFiMAN HE-560, the re-worked Audeze LCD-2 and LCD-3, and still plenty more to come, so look for headphones to come storming' back. (We'll be updating the guide soon with the HE-560 and the Fazor-equipped LCD-2 and LCD-3.) 


If you want to experience the products in this guide in real life, make sure to attend Head-Fi Meets, which are independently organized Head-Fi get-togethers held all over the world. Through these meets, you'll enjoy great sound, and, most importantly, start genuine friendships that can last a lifetime.


Enjoy the rest of your summer, and enjoy this updated Summer 2014 Head-Fi Buying Guide!



Jude Mansilla

Founder, Head-Fi.org

P.S. Some products were submitted for consideration for the Guide too close to the deadline for us to have a chance to listen to them in time for this update's launch. We're going to be adding some of those late entries soon, so please check back in to see them.



Comments (18)

I was looking forward to this ... thanks for all the hard work. Now let me start some reading, er, research. 
That girl.... killed my focus on the article 8(
Right on @jude! Great job as always! You're a machine! Was privileged to write for the last one - and it's a real treat to read one all covered by you bro (w/ @Currawong fillin' in too of course). Eager to keep reading myself - and will ping this out from my social chain this morning! 
i was confused tll i read this . thanks alot!
Hats off to everyone involved in making this guide! Good stuff!
Is it possible to get this guide in PDF format? That was i can pop it on my iPad or iPhone and take it everywhere with me. Help during those impulse buy moments. :P
I sure did not read a lot but it's plain to see where your time and energy went. Thanks for the good work. Keep it up!
Nicely done @Jude - get some good referral rebates through the GW campaign here ;)
Good guide as always!
the guide had been in pdf format in the past; don't know why they have taken that away. can we get that back Jude?
so..... is there going to be a pdf for this? =]
Excellent stuff - thanks!
thanks for the recommendations =D
Not sure why you need to revert to sexism to advertise your product.
thnx head-fi for another great list!
I cannot find the document.
What am I missing?
Hi @jude
I would like to know how will be the HE-500?
In recent years he was a Summit-Fi. And now?
How are the analyses of the HE-400i and HE-560?
The AKG K712 Pro has already been analyzed?
Looking forward to the holiday buying guide. Any ETA? 
Head-Fi.org › 2014 Summer Buying Guide › Head Fi Buying Guide Introduction