It’s that time of the year again where all the “best of 2022” lists are going to start rolling in so I thought it might be fun to do one ourselves as a community. I’ll lay out the format and go first!
Favourite Headphone in 2022 - Can only choose one!
Favourite Amp in 2022 - Can only choose one!
Favourite DAC in 2022 - Can only choose one!
Favourite purchase in 2022 (does not have to be audio related) - Choose one
Top 3 favourite songs in 2022 - Self-explanatory
Favourite thing that happened in 2022 - Can be an experience, somewhere you travelled, the world is your oyster
Thing you’re looking forward to in 2023 - Can be anything from a new toy, travel, your favourite team winning the Stanley cup, anything!
Alright, now that we have the ground rules out of the way, I’ll go first.
Favourite Headphone in 2022 - Rosson Audio Design RAD-0
I have the privilege to listen to a ton of great headphones. And there are a ton of great headphones, new and old out there. But for me personally, they don’t top the experience of the RAD-0. There’s more to the RAD-0 than just the listening experience, from working with Alex and his team at Rosson Audio Design, to opening the box on your brand new RAD-0s and seeing the beauties you’ve been working on and waiting for in person. Couple that with its excellent tonality and detail and it just becomes a headphone that I don’t think will ever leave the top of my list.
Favourite Amp in 2022 - Feliks Audio Envy
This was a tough one as I was real torn between the Zahl HM1 or the Envy. I had to go with my gut though and the fact that the Envy has been on my desk for a little while the HM1 I have only had the opportunity to listen to at our own booth on the show floors. The Envy is gorgeous to look at, is diverse in its options and has that tube sound without straying over the edge like I found in the Auris Audio Nirvana. I actually really liked the Nirvana when I heard it but it was also much more euphonic than the Envy and I could it being used for more niche and limited listening while the Envy is an all-day amp. Plenty of power for any headphone you throw at it. The only con against it is that it’s just so damn hard to get it right now in North America.
Favourite DAC in 2022 - dCS Lina DAC
The dCS Lina DAC is a DAC that I don’t want to leave my desk anytime soon. It’s an extremely pleasant sounding DAC that I’m sure measures horribly in the realm of inaudibility but when paired with either the Bakoon Amp-13R or the Envy on my desk, I always had a grin on my face. It’s noticeably different from the Mytek Brooklyn DAC that’s sat on my desk for quite some time and I’ve found it very difficult to go back to that DAC after having the Lina on my desk.
Favourite purchase in 2022 (does not have to be audio related) - Air Fryer
I use our air fryer pretty much every second day. It’s an extremely convenient way to cook a multitude of food and also leaves room in our oven to cook other things. I can’t believe I lived a life without an air fryer in the past.
Top 3 favourite songs in 2022
This song was my number one played song according to Spotify Wrapped so it has to be here.
This song I actually heard while watching Black Panther Wakanda Forever 2 weeks ago and when I heard it in the movie, I new I needed to find it and download it right away. I pretty much have started every morning with it and it just gets me into the perfect mood / vibe to get the day started.
Most of you that know me know that this entire list could be taken up by songs by The Midnight but I’m going to throw a curveball out there. What started out as listening for memes ended up turning into an appreciation for the music and I’ve actually taken quite a liking to a few Babymetal songs now. Definitely not for everyone but there’s just this strange mix that works for me. Take into account that the guitarists and drummer are all extremely talented and I don’t know, they just work. They’re also going to be performing in Munich while High-End Munich 2023 is happening and you can bet that I’ll be making pushes to make sure @andrew and @Resolve get to enjoy it as much I do.
Favourite thing that happened in 2022 - Summer EuroTrip
I was able to take my first official vacation since Andrew and I started Headphones.com where I was not actively answering emails and live chats this summer and travelled to Europe with my wife where we went to Ireland, UK, Italy and France and then Andrew joined me at the end of August for a work trip where we travelled to Spain and then back to France to visit with Focal, meet up with @Resolve to film the factory and get early access to the Focal Bathys. It’s easily up there with one of the coolest things we’ve been able to do as a company and the vacation beforehand was much needed. It was my wife’s first time travelling through Europe and we had an amazing time and are already planning our next trip back.
Thing you’re looking forward to in 2023 - Seeing what’s in store for the future
A bit of a cop out I know, but I am genuinely excited about the future in 2023. The team at Headphones.com continues to grow with incredible people and I don’t think Andrew and I really take the time to sit back and reflect on where the business is now vs before. It used to be just be Andrew, Resolve and I working out of an apartment and before that it was just Andrew and I working from his couch in his apartment with his pregnant wife trying to navigate the maze of boxes strewn about his living room floor.
On top of that, our incredible community continues to grow on both the forum and our Discord, manufacturers are starting to pour some serious money into wireless headphones to try and bring the sound quality we know and love to the wireless experience, more boutique and one-man operations are starting up and flourishing. It’s a fanatastic time to be in the audio hobby and I only see that getting better as competition becomes even more fierce while the truly innovative continue to innovate.
Cheers to 2023 and beyond!