The Battle Of The Flagships

Welcome to the Battle Of The Flagships 2022 by Ear Fidelity.

This is the last category of this comparison – the value.

As you remember from the “disclaimers” part in the beginning, all of the ratings have been given without considering the price of the headphones. Because of that, now it’s time to rate the value of each entry.

A quick guide to this category – 8 means that the headphone is well worth its asking price, no questions asked. Even if its price is extremely high, it is just class-leading (or simply the best), and it’s fairly priced because of its exceptional quality. Everything above 8 means that the headphone is actually worth more than its asking price (spoiler alert: there’s one), and everything below is…well, you get the idea.

If you’ve read this entire article then you already know that you should NOT buy the Crosszone CZ-1. Its value is just one of the worst in the market.

This is harsh, but I stand behind it. The Diana Phi basically requires you to buy the upgraded pads and something to help with no padding on the headband. The included cable is not great, and because Abyss used proprietary connectors, changing the cable gives you basically no choice other than their own offerings, which are extremely expensive.
Lastly, the sound quality is just not worth the $4000 asking price. It’s way too aggressive and the frequency response is very uneven. I really like the energy of this brand, their YouTube channel is great, I like how they are proud of the “USA heritage”. I hope the best for Abyss, but the Diana Phi is a letdown for me. Hopefully, I’ll get the Diana TC or 1266 some time to include in this battle.

The value of the 8XX is kinda hard to judge. First of all, it’s a fantastic gaming headphone with its huge soundstage and bassy presentation. Without EQ I would say this headphone is not worth the asking price, but after EQ I saw many people bringing a lot of life into them. Having in mind how comfortable the 8XX is together with a fairly “affordable” price in 2022 for a Made In Germany high-end headphone, I think 5 is fair, but please, EQ them.

The Hifiman HE1000se and the D8000 Pro by Final are ALMOST worth their price. Almost, only because there

‘s a headphone called Meze Elite, which scored higher in this comparison while being very similarly priced. Any discount on these two or buying them used instantly make them a great deal and you can buy them with no hesitation – you’ll be amazed.

The Susvara is the most important headphone in this entire comparison, but it is also the best one. Because of that, even though it comes at a monstrous $6000, I believe they are well worth it. After all, you’re buying the best of the best.
The Elite is a similar story, $4000 is far from being affordable. However, it gets you the best-built pair of headphones on planet earth, lovely tone and simply a headphone that is excellent with everything. I’m not in place to question the prices of audio gear. Actually, I worked in audio manufacturing in the past and I know that it has to be expensive. The price of the Elite is very, very fair considering what you’re getting and what it took to craft this magnificent piece of tech.

The HEDDphone scores 9, which means it is actually worth more than its asking price (HEDD Audio please, don’t use it to raise its price after seeing this!). It’s pretty self-explanatory, it is 3x cheaper than the Susvara, 2x cheaper than the Elite, D8000 Pro, Diana Phi, and almost 2x cheaper than the HE1000se. Wait for the summary and you’ll see how impressive that is when you’ll see its score.
Actually, it would have been 10. Would have, because it is simply too uncomfortable to get that score. If HEDD Audio came up with the same headphone, for the same price but just more comfortable and lighter, then it would have been 10 with no hesitation.

Page 1: Introduction
Page 2: Contenders
Page 3: Presentation
Page 4: Build Quality & Comfort
Page 5: Tone
Page 6: Detail
Page 7: Soundstage
Page 8: Bass
Page 9: Midrange
Page 10: Treble
Page 11: Musicality
Page 12: Value
Page 13: Results


  1. Great review! Pitty so many are missing – LCD-5, CRBN, DCA Stealth, Staxxes, Utopia, T+A Solitaire…

    • Thanks Peter!

      Yeah, but I’ll get all of them eventually and will constantly update this 😀

      Thank you again and enjoy your time here.

  2. Great idea, well executed, but one small item please. Why not use the real Sennheiser HD800S as it is a headphone that many folks in the headphone community know and love (or hate) but at least it is a widely known data point. The Drop is comparatively unknown and had a lot of poor reviews due to the many variations in tuning. This has ruined your hard work and effort, sorry.

    • Hi Ian!

      Thank you very much for your comment, I really appreciate all the feedback 🙂

      While I definitely wouldn’t call that it “ruined” the hard work, I might get the 800S eventually to include it in the comparison as well. The more, the better. The 8XX is a rather fresh release and I’ve got it here, so it was natural for me to include it and see how it scores.

      Thank you for your feedback and hopefully I’ll be able to get the 800S in the future. Enjoy your time here 🙂

  3. This is one hell of a comparison of top and upermost earphones around. Keep up the highest mountines of our ears Pawel!

    • Thank you Kris, I’m glad you like it! I’ve mentioned this article so many times to you that there was quite an expectation I believe haha 😀

  4. Dear Pawel,

    It was a refreshing read of a comparison. I was in the market to see if I wanted to get one of the headphones you compared here and your article just made the decision for me! Keep up the great work and looking forward to future updates on this summit-fi shootout!

    • Thank you very much Kelvin, this really means a lot to me!

      I’m glad it helped you with your decision. What headphone did you choose in the end?

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