Stereophile's Products of 2022 Headphone Product of the Year

Headphone Product of the Year

Meze Audio Elite headphones ($4000; reviewed by Herb Reichert in Vol.45 No.9 review)

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Finalists (in alphabetical order)
Audeze CRBN headphones ($4500; reviewed by Herb Reichert in Vol.45 No.1 review)
IFi Zen Can Signature headphone amplifier ($599 with ZEN DAC Signature V2; reviewed by Julie Mullins and Jim Austin in January & March 2022, Vol.45 Nos.1 & 3 review) Dan Clark Audio Stealth headphones ($4000; reviewed by Herb Reichert in July 2022, Vol.45 No.7 review)
Stax SR-X9000 headphones ($6200; reviewed by Herb Reichert in March 2022, Vol.45 No.3 review)

Is it my imagination, or do headphones get better every single year? I still use the Sennheiser HD 650, and they're adequate for my needs, but I've heard enough other 'phones to realize how far the state of the art has advanced.

According to Herb, the Meze Audio Elite headphones are notable not just for their quality but for the extent to which they present a particular point of view about headphones. "Very few manufacturers declare their viewpoint about how their headphones should look, and feel, and sound as clearly as those I've auditioned from the Meze lineup," he wrote.

Listening to a very Herb-y track—"the extremely difficult-to-reproduce, sounds-best-on-headphones 'It Took the Night to Believe,' from Sunn O)))'s 2005 album Black One"—through the dCS Bartók DAC, "I smiled at how effectively the Elite sorted all that packed-tight, close-toned, multitracked layering. ... The Meze Elite did not disappoint: It delivered the full measure of dystopian anxiety and microdetailed doom-sonics with an appropriate feeling of high-voltage power." Sometimes I could just cuddle up to Herb's prose and take a nap. "The Meze Elite is an elite headphone,"

Herb concluded, "comparable to the best at any price."

About the Vote
In another close competition, the Meze Audio Elite squeaked by the Stax by one vote. The Audeze CRBN was in the race until the end but ended up four votes back.

COMMENTS
Jack L's picture

......seven categories: Amplification Component of the Year,.."qtd Jim Austin

My question is: did "each reviewer" already auditioned "EACH of the 3 items in the seven categories" in order to give valid & impartial nominations ????

Otherwise, how could it be a valid nomination in case the reviewer(s) concerned never auditioned those particular candidate components out of the seven categories he/she nominated ????

IMO, actual personal in-depth audition of a candidate components is crucial of valid & fair nomination given by the reviewers concerned.

Listening with own ears is believing

Jack L

ChrisS's picture

Jack L, do some reading.

Did you even read this article?

A priori?

Jack L's picture

Hi

I have read it. That's why I asked.

YOU think you read it but you don't seem to know what you are talking about !

Jack L

ChrisS's picture

A priori!

Jack L's picture

Hi

If I were a priori, you are a big mouthing posteriori !

Hahahahahaaha....

Jack L

ChrisS's picture

...everything in your head?

Jack L's picture

Hi

Sure, better than a huge posteriori like you "listen to your great stereo with your head so far up your ASS all the time" as per your pal: johnnythunder!

Johnnythunder1: get your kissing cousin johnnythunder2 talk to me as yr mouth stinks like your ASS !

Hehehehehe

Jack L

johnnythunder1's picture

with your head so far up your own ass all the time.

David Harper's picture

ignore this guy. everything he thinks is wrong.

ChrisS's picture

...between Jack L and David Harper.

Hehe...!

Anton's picture

I don’t think it would be a conversation so much as simultaneous monologues.

Jack L's picture

Hi

Since when Stereophile Components of the Years becomes a stage for you bunch of polylogue-jokers ???

Jack L

ChrisS's picture

...believing, Jack L!

Jack L's picture

Hi

If here were a library, reading books there is believing.

Here is Audiophile, so LISTENING is believing, right?

Besides, who wants to read any nonsense from "you bunch of polylogue-jokers" here ?

Hahahaha..

Listening to music is believing

Jack L

ChrisS's picture

...Stereophile.

I can also read Herman Melville's Moby Dick on my computer.

Are we believing yet?

Jack L's picture

Hi

First off, what's Stereophile magazine in your "libray" to do with "Mody Dick" read from yr computer ??

Stereophile is about audio/music - we listen with our ears.
"Mody Dick" = The Whale, is an 1851 novel read by the eyes.

Apple to orange comparison ! Former is for real vs latter is a fiction. So you believe in fiction, be my guest ! I don't.

This is an audio/music venue, not for novels reading. Thanks but no thanks.

Listening to music is believing

Jack L

PS: I am never a novels reader since day one. Too busy with my music listening already ! What dragged me in to start my first novel reading was the billion-dollar top seller: "Da Vinci Code" by Dan Brown in 2003. The thriller was sooo popular I got to wait a while for it from my neighbourhood public library !

ChrisS's picture

...go round and round.

Jack L's picture

Hi

Come on. You should be "WATCHING yr eyeballs go round & round in your mirror to look for yr ears - gone with the wind !

For no-ear YOU, reading is believing, pal. HEhehehe...

Jack L

Indydan's picture

Hey Jack L, why does everyone pick on you? Maybe it's because the L in Jack L is for LOSER.

For Jack L, SUCKING is believing.

Jack L's picture

Hi

Who cares, SOURgrapes !

What "everyone"?? The editor here is not a "LOSER" like YOU here as he does not "pick on" me.

YOU "sucking" "loser" is my believing !

Jack L

Indydan's picture

Hey JackOFF the Loser, keep sucking!

Jack L's picture

.

Indydan's picture

Hey Jack L, I am hearing from reliable sources that you pick your nose and eat it...

rschryer's picture

Btw, I'm eating dude. Gross.

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