I don't know, interesting, hearing that some phones beat other phones at this level. It comes down to personal preference, people hear and feel things differently. I have heard most of the phones mentioned and I felt the JHAudio combination of JH16 with 3a DAC/AMP was my preference, doesn't mean they beat them, I just prefer the way they convey the tone, clarity and rhythm of the music. I play the saxophone so I usually listen to sax, guitar and piano when I listen to buy, I can generally tell the difference between a sax made by Yamaha, Selmer or Cannonball, the JH Audio excelled at that. I listened to the AKG's and felt their treble was too hot, while others may be extremely happy with that much treble energy, I thought the 1plus2 were very good but I chose the JHAudio.
Have you ever been in a car where one person will turn the bass, mids and treble way up, while another would turn the bass almost all the way off. It comes down to their preference, I guarantee they would not agree on which earphone sounded better. I was in an argument once with a guy that insisted certain things in an audio chain make no difference, i.e. amps, wires, etc. I also know that people translate what they hear differently, while he may not hear a difference, he may also be that guy at the party or concert that claps off beat or dances like the DJ is playing something different, and may feel that he is an audio expert because of his engineering knowledge, I wouldn't take a recommendation from him.... That is why you can't spend a grand on a pair of earbuds and believe someone else's opinion, you must listen for yourself. After all the earphones I have listened to, whether by purchase, going to audio shows suchas; Canjam in Denver Tech Center (with those little sponges that give a pretty good seal) or by loaner, I settled on spending 1700.00 on the JH16/3a combination. I ordered mine before Christmas and received them the second week in January.