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WINNERS: Headphones: Sound+Image Awards 2021

Sound+Image Awards
(Image credit: Future)

Some of the most euphoric musical experiences come from the private world of headphone listening, whether you're safe at home with the joys of open-backed home headphones, or braving the streets with the wonders of True Wireless earbuds. 

These are the models that have most impressed us for the sheer value of hteir ear-pleasing performance during the last year of testing in Sound+Image, Australian Hi-Fi, Best Buys Audio & AV, and Audio Esoterica magazines. You can read the Judges' Comments below: for the full details on each and every winner, check out the Special Awards Issue of Sound+Image magazine, on sale in December in print and digital editions. Print subscriptions here; digital issues here!

Now let's meet the winners!

Sound+Image Awards 2021

(Image credit: Future)

HOME HEADPHONES OF THE YEAR UNDER AU$1000
Sennheiser HD 560 S
AU$319.95
Judges’ Comment: The open-backed cabled HD 560 S headphones deliver what Sennheiser does best — neutral, natural and high-value shining sound.

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Sound+Image Awards 2021

(Image credit: Future)

HOME HEADPHONES OF THE YEAR OVER AU$1000
Stax SR-009S/SRM-700S earspeaker system
AU$5900
Judges’ Comment: This classic Stax earspeaker+driver combination brings ear-beguiling and scintillating electrostatic performance. Click to read our full review.

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Sound+Image Awards 2021

(Image credit: Future)

WIRELESS HEADPHONES OF THE YEAR
DALI iO-6
AU$699
Judges’ Comment: DALI nails the wireless noise-cancelling headphone with its first attempt — built like a speaker, the iO-6 delivers thrillingly rich and musical sound.

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Sound+Image Awards 2021

(Image credit: Future)

IN-EAR HEADPHONES OF THE YEAR
Nura NuraLoop
AU$299
Judges’ Comment: Your personal sound profile is the first step to sonic success in these innovative compact, rugged, portable, and affordable noise-cancelling in-ears.

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Sound+Image Awards 2021

(Image credit: Future)

TRUE WIRELESS HEADPHONES OF THE YEAR
Sony WF-1000XM3
AU$278  
Judges’ Comment: These are easily the market-leading True Wireless designs for sound quality, facilities and value... at least until Sony releases an XM4... Click to read What Hi-Fi?'s review.

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Sound+Image Awards

(Image credit: Future)

DAC / HEADPHONE AMP OF THE YEAR
Questyle CMA Twelve    
AU$2299
Judges’ Comment:  The CMA Twelve proved a versatile and very high-quality DAC, while it handled all our headphones, delivering beautiful, powerful music. The longer we played, the more we fell in love with it.

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Sound+Image Awards

CLICK to return to our main list of categories (Image credit: Future)