Headphone Community Year in Review 2018


@Jaethan and I were talking earlier today and he had the idea to do a “year in review” thread for 2018. Sometimes the headphone world goes by in a blur and I think it’s a great idea to mark some milestones of 2018 for posterity.

Basically, this is a place to discuss any noteworthy headphone events that happened this year.

Please provide links if relevant.

I’ll keep this original thread up-to-date as a synopsis:


  • The HEADPHONE Community launched in May
  • Sennheiser announced the HD 820 closed-back at CES
  • Focal launched the Elegia closed-back at RMAF
  • Audeze launched the Mobius (initially through kickstarter)
  • Campfire Audio launched the Cascade, Atlas, Comet, Equinox and Solaris



  • Tyll Herstens retires from Inner Fidelity


To get things started: The HEADPHONE Community was established in May 2018!

I know, it’s unfair that I stole the biggest headphone story of 2018 and put it up top, but there has to be SOME advantage to putting up with my brother @taronlissimore all day. (jk, love ya bro)


Ossic, who raised $3.2m in crowdfunding to build 3D Audio Headphones disappeared without shipping the product to their backers


Sennheiser launched the HD 820 Closed-Back flagship

  • Audeze launched the Mobius, one of thee best wireless headphones currently on the market in my opinion.
  • Sennheiser released the Sennheiser HD 820 which has had very mixed opinions (@Torq’s review can be found here
  • Campfire launched the Cascade, Atlas, Comet and more recently, their first CIEM with the Equinox and their new flagship the Solaris (which we still haven’t got our hands on).
  • Audeze did a major overhaul of their line-up by updating their headbands as well as releasing some magnesium framed headphones to help lighten the load (Most notably the Audeze LCD-4z as well as the LCD-MX4)
  • Tyll Herstens retired and Inner Fidelity is in new hands


Chinese BA IEMs transformed the market.


Focal Elegia was released and became everyones new favorite closed back…ok not everyone but close lol.



Seriously, I can’t stand Raif.

Happy trails, Tyll.


To add to the year in review… Massdrop did things. Lots and lots of things. I’m still trying to put together a list, but funding dates and times are hard.

Hd6xx, MCTH, HD58X, etc


And I could have never predicted how long they’d make me stare at a screen trying to decide how close two circuit boards were. :wink:


I have to agree I think that Massdrop has done some good things this year. For me though it has to be Focals year they have some great gear out and have consolidated their place in the headphone market this year. IMO. :slightly_smiling_face:


Agree re Focal…especially with their price promotion and Andrew/Headphone Community selling me a Clear for $1100 (a $400 discount).


Congratulations to you and your brother. In all objectivity, you’ve done a surprising amount of good in a very short time. Thank you. And please keep up the great work.


Agree with you too about Massdrop. I love their HD6xx. It’s as good or better than my HD650’s and one of the best values in headphones today–if not the last few years.


I thought Cavalli teaming up with Monoprice to deliver cost reduced versions of his amps was pretty big news. Honestly makes me wonder what his profit margins were when he operated independently. :wink:


His profit margin might not have been particularly large because I assume 1) he wasn’t using contract manufacturers in Asia and 2) he wasn’t selling units at the kind of volumes that Monoprice and Massdrop can reach.


More of a tongue-in-cheek comment on my end, but both good points by you.