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1st Place: FiiO E7
It's not a product for everyone, but the FiiO E7 is no less worthy of accolade for that. Its killer price, coupled with an almost improbable ability to make a mediocre audio source sound fantastic endeared it to us almost immediately. While the amplification the E7 offers is impressive enough, it's the USB DAC that really steals the show. Compressed music will sound better and with a half-decent pair of headphones and lossless source material you'll be able to enjoy even greater immersion, thanks to the extra detail it will bring out.
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2nd Place: Shure SE535
Many of you will baulk at the thought of paying over £100 on a pair of earphones, so at over £400 the SE535s are definitely not for you. But if you have money to burn, or can appreciate that such high-end audio equipment is an investment that will pay dividends in the long run you'll doubtless appreciate the superb build quality, clever design features (such as removable cabling), and of course, the beautifully balanced, detailed and involving sound produced by the SE535 earphones. Short of custom-moulded IEMs, there's little out there to compete.
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3rd Place: Bowers & Wilkins P5
Is it the metal super-structure? Maybe it's the warm, deliciously tactile lambskin leather? Possibly it's the refined, clear audio reproduction. Whether it's one of these details, or a combination of several we'll leave for owners to decide. One thing is for certain: we can't imagine anyone buying a pair of Bowers & Wilkins P5 headphones being disappointed. They look great and sound great, especially considering they're built to be driven by an iPhone. Yes, they're pricey but, hey, you’re worth it!
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