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WINNERS: Headphones – Sound+Image Awards 2022

Awards 2022
(Image credit: Future)

Good headphones are the easiest ticket to hi-fi sound – no system building required, just a good source device and/or a good headphone amp, and a pair of headphones to create your personal world of musical space. 

But which type is right for you, and with so many brands and models on the market, how to choose? 

These are the headphones that have wowed us over the last 12 months of our magazines Sound+Image, Australian Hi-Fi, Best Buys Audio & AV, and Audio Esoterica, and which represent our recommendations of the very best headphones available in Australia today for the home, for commute, even for getting back on a plane after all these months at home.

For the full details on each and every winner, check out the Special Awards Issue of Sound+Image magazine, on sale now in print and digital editions. Print subscriptions here; digital issues here (opens in new tab)!

Now let's meet the winners!

Home Headphones of the year under $5000

Awards 2022

(Image credit: Future)

HOME HEADPHONES OF THE YEAR UNDER AU$5000
Stax SR-L500 MkII & SRM-400S driver
AU$1200 / AU$2100
Judges Comment: The latest version of Stax’s classic Lambda earspeakers thrill with incredible clarity and purity of sound.

Home Headphones of the year over $5000

Awards 2022

(Image credit: Future)

HOME HEADPHONES OF THE YEAR OVER AU$5000
Stax SR-9000X earspeaker
AU$9500
Judges Comment: Warning! Audition these earspeakers at your peril. Once heard, there is no forgetting their impeccable electrostatic sound.
Click to read our full review

Headphone Amplifier of the year

Awards 2022

(Image credit: Future)

HEADPHONE AMPLIFIER OF THE YEAR
iFi Zen Can
AU$269
Judges Comment: The iFi Zen Can sounds invisible, allowing headphones to deliver their own signature for the music being played, while also measuring superbly, and costing so little!
Read our full review

In-ear Cabled Earphones of the year

Awards 2022

(Image credit: Future)

IN-EAR CABLED EARPHONES OF THE YEAR
Sennheiser IE 300
AU$439

Judges Comment: The IE 300 proves Sennheiser’s ability to deliver an impressively natural sound balance even from buds so small and flush-fitting.

True Wireless Earphones of the year

Awards 2022

(Image credit: Future)

TRUE WIRELESS EARPHONES OF THE YEAR
Sony WF-1000XM4
AU$449.95
Judges Comment: Good control, comfort, ANC, and the best audio quality we’ve yet experienced from true wireless buds.
Click to read our full review

Wireless Headphones of the year

Awards 2022

(Image credit: Future)

WIRELESS HEADPHONES OF THE YEAR (no ANC)
Audio-Technica ATH-M50xBT2
AU$349
Judges Comment: No noise-cancelling here, but great wireless performance with a solid sound worthy of the heritage behind these headphones.
Click to read our full review

Wireless Noise-Cancellers of the year under $250

Awards 2022

(Image credit: Future)

WIRELESS NOISE-CANCELLERS OF THE YEAR UNDER AU$250
JBL Live660NC
AU$249.95
Judges Comment: Well-featured, well-built and well-tempered in tone  with app EQ available to tweak to your preference: nothing can match JBL’s Live660NC  for over-ear wireless ANC at the price.

Wireless Noise-Cancellers of the year $250 - $500

Awards 2022

(Image credit: Future)

WIRELESS NOISE-CANCELLERS OF THE YEAR AU$250-AU$500
Yamaha YH-E700A
AU$499
Judges Comment: Yamaha delivers a perfectly priced pair of wireless noise-cancellers with high comfort and great sound under ANC.
Click to read our full review

Wireless Noise-Cancellers of the year over $500

Awards 2022

(Image credit: Future)

WIRELESS NOISE-CANCELLERS OF THE YEAR OVER AU$500
Apple AirPods Max
AU$899
Judges Comment: A magnificently low-distortion headphone creating such wide landscapes of sound that music of every kind opens up and lives every moment, reveals every detail, and nails every beat.
Click to read our full review

 

Awards 2022

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Sound+Image is Australia's no.1 mag for audio & AV – sister magazine to Australian Hi-Fi and to the UK's What Hi-Fi?, and bestower of the annual Sound+Image Awards, which since 1989 have recognised the year's best hi-fi and home cinema products and installations. While Sound+Image lives here online as part of our group, our true nature is best revealed in the print magazines and digital issues, which curate unique collections of content each issue under the Editorship of Jez Ford, in a celebration of the joys that real hi-fi and high-quality AV can bring. Enjoy essential reviews of the most exciting new gear, features on Australia's best home cinemas, advice on how to find your sound, and our full Buying Guide based on all our current and past award-winners, all wrapped up with the latest news and editorial ponderings. Click here for more information about Sound+Image, including links to buy individual digital editions and details on how best to subscribe.