MajorHiFi Gold Awards 2018-2019

At MajorHiFi, we’re a mixed bag. Some of us like our sound signatures to be warm. Others prefer it clear and bright.  And for some, great balance is all it takes. So, know that we all have our biases when awarding the MajorHifi Gold Star. And we don’t always get to review our personal favorites. But as much as our tastes differ, there’s a certain amount of objectivity that can be applied to a review once factors like transparency, balance and price come into play. So, here are the MajorHiFi Gold Awards of 2018-2019 to date. We’ll be sure to update our list over the course of this year. Stay tuned.

Click on the links below to see our MajorHiFi Gold Award reviews.

MajorHiFi Gold Awards 2018-2019


Under $50

Final Audio E1000 Review

MajorHiFi Gold Awards 2018-2019The committee is in agreement. No one does affordable IEMs better than Final. Evenly balanced with fantastic separation for the price, these buds will give you a taste of audiophilia without the hefty price tag.

Under $100

FiiO FH1 ReviewMajorHiFi Gold Awards 2018-2019Great mids, plenty of clarity, detachable MMCX design, and a balanced cable to boot. Pretty, pretty, pretty good deal.

Under $150

Shanling ME100 ReviewMajorHiFi Gold Awards 2018-2019Well-balanced, detailed, and sounds tighter than David Beckham’s ass. A great bang for your buck.

Final Audio E4000 ReviewMajorHiFi Gold Awards 2018-2019Another reasonably priced winner from Final. Natural and realistic.

Under $500

Astell & Kern Billie Jean Review

MajorHiFi Gold Awards 2018-2019Warm, full-bodied, easy listening. Given the latest documentary on Michael Jackson, the name is unfortunate. But it’s still an amazing song. And a great IEM.

Under $1000

DUNU DK-4001 ReviewMajorHiFi Gold Awards 2018-2019

My colleague says this impressive Dunu model gives the Campfire Andromeda a run for its money. Blasphemy.


RHA CL2 Review MajorHiFi Gold Awards 2018-2019

Check out RHA’s planar magnetic puppy. And make it wireless if you like; 2 planars for the price of one. The CL2 made a big splash in 2018, and we think you’ll dig it.

Under $1500

Campfire Andromeda S ReviewMajorHiFi Gold Awards 2018-2019

For folks who hate green or want a different take on an irrefutable classic. Get a stainless steel pair if you still can.

Under $2000

Empire Ears Phantom ReviewMajorHiFi Gold Awards 2018-2019

Perfectly balanced and my personal favorite in the Empire Ears line-up.

JH Audio Lola ReviewMajorHiFi Gold Awards 2018-2019

Warm, unique, ideal for lovers of vinyl. Lola holds a special place in my heart.

Under $2500

Empire Ears Legend X Review 

MajorHiFi Gold Awards 2018-2019

This killer IEM needs no introduction. If the Phantom sounds too flat, then the super dynamic Legend X is your IEM.

Wireless Earphones

Under $100

JBL Reflect Mini 2 Review

MajorHiFi Gold Awards 2018-2019

Even if you sweat buckets and have weirdly shaped ears, I promise these buds will stay secure during your heaviest workouts. The best fitting sports earphones we’ve tested.

Under $200

RHA TrueConnect ReviewMajorHiFi Gold Awards 2018-2019

Love it. Need it. Bought it. And a second pair for my ball and chain. Beats the quality of the AirPods, and the sound isolation is primo. With an IPX5 waterproof rating, they’re perfect for the gym.

Under $500

Audio Technica ATH-DSR5BT ReviewMajorHiFi Gold Awards 2018-2019

If you like a solid neckband with your amazing sound, you can’t do better than this bad girl.

Under $1500

Beyerdynamic Xelento Wireless ReviewMajorHiFi Gold Awards 2018-2019

The committee is in agreement. Hands down, the best wireless earphones MajorHiFi has ever tested.

Wireless Headphones

Under $200

Audio Technica ATH-SR50BT ReviewMajorHiFi Gold Awards 2018-2019

If you listen to all genres, these cans might be for you. Stupendous value with a versatile sound signature.

Under $300

Grado GW100 ReviewMajorHiFi Gold Awards 2018-2019

In the market for a wireless, open-back headphone? You’re in the minority. But Grado has you covered, of course.

Closed-Back Over-Ear Headphones

Under $150

Shure SRH750DJ Review

MajorHiFi Gold Awards 2018-2019

Not for bass-heads, but still super punchy and a damn good time. My favorite DJ headphones of all time.

Under $500

Focal Listen Professional ReviewMajorHiFi Gold Awards 2018-2019


Attention mixers and critical listeners. These handsome Focal puppies will never lie to you.

Audio Technica ATH-MSR7B ReviewMajorHiFi Gold Awards 2018-2019

Life is always better with a balanced cable. The MSR7B is a new take on an old favorite.

Under $1000

Beyerdynamic T1 Impacto Universal Review

MajorHiFi Gold Awards 2018-2019

There are great deals, and then there are Beyerdynamic great deals. This one’s a steal. Pair these T1’s with the included Amp/DAC combo to bring your high-fidelity to the next level.

Under $3000

Focal Stellia ReviewMajorHiFi Gold Awards 2018-2019

She’s not just a pretty face, folks. This mademoiselle has mad skills.

Under $5000

Audio Technica ATH-L5000 ReviewMajorHiFi Gold Awards 2018-2019

Like escargot, these gorgeous cans are an acquired taste. But once you acquire it, the highs on the L5000 will send you to the moon.

Closed-Back On-Ear Headphones

Beyerdynamic Aventho Wired ReviewMajorHiFi Gold Awards 2018-2019

Oh so balanced, oh so smooth. These cans are honey in your ears.

Open-Back Over-Ear Headphones

Under $1000

Focal Elegia Review

MajorHiFi Gold Awards 2018-2019

Okay…So, she’s not the Stellia. But she’s far from chopped foie.

Under $2000

Fostex TH909 ReviewMajorHiFi Gold Awards 2018-2019

If you appreciate a massive soundstage, dynamic sound signature and uncompromising clarity, these red Fostex cans will make you a happy audiophile. 

Grado GS3000e ReviewMajorHiFi Gold Awards 2018-2019

Jazz and classical fans, get ready to be blown away by these Brooklyn beauties. A Grado fan’s favorite Grado headphone.

Under $3000

Abyss Diana Phi Review

MajorHiFi Gold Awards 2018-2019

Painfully expensive but totally worth an irresponsible purchase. 

Under $5000

Hifiman HE1000se Review

MajorHiFi Gold Awards 2018-2019

Yes, there a too many fantastic Hifiman models to count. It’s time to pick one.

Amps, DACs and Players

Under $150

FiiO K3 ReviewMajorHiFi Gold Awards 2018-2019

Hook up this bad boy to your computer. With a 2.5mm balanced output, as well as coaxial and optical connections, this cutesy putesy DAC/Amp combo will finally turn you into the audiophile you always wanted to be.

Shanling M0 ReviewMajorHiFi Gold Awards 2018-2019

The smallest and more adorable DAP we’ve ever tested.

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