This was my first-ever trip to AXPONA and it may be my last. As much as I love new gear, shows like this are simply overwhelming. Combining the sheer amount of product and demo rooms to look at with the crowds, noise, and exorbitant prices, I found myself wanting to look at less and less. It's also nearly impossible to seriously listen to any open or semi-open headphone at a show like this. Perhaps I'm just not a true audiophile.
Nevertheless, here are a few photos from the brands that I had good chats with. I found Noble Audio's line of IEMs to be especially impressive. The Auralic gear is simply awesome. Woo Audio amps, regardless if the sound is for you or not, are gorgeously built. Audeze cans may be heavy, but they sound wonderful. Chicago headphone builder ZMF Headphones was in attendance with a nice booth. If you own or plan to own a pair of ZMF cans, you need a Decware amp, no questions asked it is the best combination. The Abyss headphones are a joke. I don't care what is said about them in the media. I really wanted to get a good listen on the new HiFiMan HE-1000, but there was always someone at the listening station, and the Ear Gear room was quite loud anyway. I can say, however, that they look amazing in person. I've had bad experiences with HiFiMan, but it looks like they really reinvented themselves with that headphone.