Head-Fi.org › Rules etc › Posting Guidelines

Posting Guidelines  

The following is a set of posting guidelines for Head-Fi. They are derived from the Steve Hoffman Forums and rules I wrote for another forum and essentially cover what is actually enforced by the moderators. Please also see the Head-Fi Terms of Service, which includes the Privacy Policy.


Head-Fi is a place for the peaceful and collaborative discussion of personal and portable audio equipment and music. We hope to create an environment that is family-friendly, receptive and educational, not rude or judgmental like many other forums on the internet. To both develop and preserve camaraderie and general politeness among members, simple guidelines have been established. To that positive end, a team of forum moderators (tagged as either "Moderator" or "Administrator") volunteer their time to make sure that these guidelines are respected.


Key points:

  • Treat others with the same respect and dignity that you would expect back.
  • Extend your respect to the whole community by writing quality posts and threads.
  • View your Head-Fi experience in a positive light, even when people are negative and unhelpful. 


Our forum rules have one major purpose: they allow a respectful exchange of ideas. These rules have been created to provide you with information about what you can expect here, and what is expected of you. There's nothing wrong with contrary opinions, in fact life would be pretty boring if everyone agreed on everything! We have to insist though that opinions are expressed in a civil fashion, free of insults. Use common sense. As yourself often if what you're about to post would be good if everyone were to do as you are.


Maintaining forum decorum also means that certain behaviours, such as trolling, thread crapping, and being openly critical of our staff and policies, have no place on our site. The same applies to content that is unacceptable such as politics, religion, racial discussion, pornography, spamming, illegal drug use and so forth. 


Please keep in mind that you are responsible for everything that you post, and it is important that you think carefully before clicking on the reply button. All internet forums have a system of sanctions for members who violate the rules, and we are no exception. We encourage our members to become familiar with the full version of our rules and policies so that we can maintain and nurture our little corner of the internet! On the forums, people make between 2000 and 4000 posts per day and millions of people read the site every month. That means the most important person when it comes to keeping the discussion pleasant is YOU.


With that in mind, we ask that you please:


Search the forum first. Use the Advanced Search and try searching only thread titles to find info that is more specific.  You can also search head-fi using Google by adding site:head-fi.org into your search query.


Fill in your profile! People will check there to find out what equipment you own and music tastes you have. New members can't edit their profile until they've made a few posts due to issues with spammers.




Make good thread titles. 

  • Good: Need help choosing a pair of inexpensive portable over-ear headphones, mostly for rock and metal.
  • Bad: Help!
  • Bad: Another question thread.
  • Bad: Newbie question.
  • Bad: Where can I find...
  • Bad: Best IEM <$50


Question threads, especially if you're a new member, should be posted in the Introductions, Help and Recommendations forum. Note that new members that make posts including links, images or videos will need those posts to be approved, initially, as our forum is a huge target for spammers. Please do not repost if your post requires moderator approval. Please wait until it appears.


Take the time to write clear, concise questions.


When asking for advice, let people know:

  • What you've found from searching.
  • What music you like and how loud you listen.
  • What other related equipment you have or may buy.


Only start ONE thread with your question. You may, if there are no replies to your question after at least 24 hours, "bump" the thread by making a post, but not sooner. Click on your username to find threads you have posted in (at the bottom of your profile).


Only make the same post in ONE thread. Cross-posting is frowned upon and may be treated as spam which may result in your account being banned after your posts are deleted.  


2014-05 Addition: For any product, please stick to ONE main thread and ONE impressions thread maximum. Please do not create "appreciation" threads. People will have good and bad impressions of any product. Please be tolerant of this.




Respect the OP's (original poster's) intentions and try and keep comments on topic. If you feel a strong need to (continue to) discuss a particular, but off-topic subject in a thread, start your own thread and direct post a link in the thread rather than derail that thread. If it's not a discussion worthy for a thread, consider taking it to private messages.


Curb any urge you may have to flippantly dismiss someone's opinion. (Examples: "That's the dumbest thing I've ever heard" or "That's bull****").

Don't take comments personally. Just as music tastes are subjective, so is the equipment used. Much of the subjectiveness is actually a result of the different types of music people like and, consequently, how it plays back through different headphones and other equipment at different volumes.


Avoid getting personal. Do not make personal attacks, even veiled ones, such as "All people who believe X are deluded.", "All people who can't hear the difference must be deaf.", "This will be fine for people without hearing problems." etc. If you disagree with someone's opinion, discuss the opinion, not the person. Likewise, avoid weasel or derogatory words such as shill, fanboy, koolaid, audiophool, snakeoil, etc. You'll look like a troll and your post will likely be deleted.


A good tip is: When you start posting about the member ("You ...") instead of the product or discussion about it, then you're getting personal.


A better idea by far is to add "I think" or "IMO" (In My Opinion) to what you write. 


☞ Remember, differences in opinions about headphones and IEMs and other audio gear are due to people listening to different music at different volumes, both which considerably alter the perceived sound! ☜


DON'T reply If someone makes an off-topic, rude or otherwise inappropriate comment, or a post appears to be trolling or spam. Report it by clicking on the red flag and filling in the box explaining what the problem is and let the moderators take care of it. If something is inappropriate or rude, what is the point of giving it more attention by replying to it and/or quoting it?!? If nobody replies to or comments on a trolling or abusive post 100% of the time the person goes away!


Don't abuse the reporting system. Some people have been getting other members riled up by abusing them, then reporting the equally abusive replies as a kind of revenge. Wasting the moderators' time and abusing the effort they make to keep the discussion pleasant will very possibly result in a ban.


It is OK to report a post of a thread that needs to be moved or closed or otherwise needs the attention of moderators for any reason.


If you find yourself getting heated up over comments, consider taking a break before replying. If this starts happening repeatedly, consider taking a few days or even weeks away from Head-Fi. 


On the contrary, when someone makes a good, helpful or otherwise constructive post, encourage them by clicking on the "Thumbs up" button bottom right on their post. That will let them know their post was good and encourage them to make more constructive and helpful comments.


Reviews and Impressions


Please don't recommend equipment you don't own or otherwise don't have a reasonable amount of familiarity with. You wouldn't recommend someone a car you've never driven or suggest someone live in a country you haven't been to, so recommending headphones and equipment you haven't owned or used is unhelpful. Even if you've seen the same comments about something from a dozen members, save discussion of that if you're intending to buy it yourself.


Likewise, please avoid trashing equipment you haven't used or aren't familiar with. Having doubts about something you see in a design is fair enough, but to quote Robert Pirsig: "The test of the machine is the satisfaction it gives you. There isn't any other test. If the machine produces tranquility, it's right. If it disturbs you it's wrong until either the machine or your mind is changed." So remember that you can derive satisfaction from listening with any audio gear as much from your appreciation of the design (whether how it looks or how it measures) as much as how it reproduces music.


Also, Please don't post a review of a product in the Head Gear section that you don't yet own or have only heard briefly. People use the reviews to decide what product to buy, and brief impressions or comments by people who don't own a product (or at least haven't had it in their possession for a sufficient amount of time) are unhelpful.


Inappropriate content


Please understand that our membership consists of people from many cultures and backgrounds, so please don't swear or post of potentially offensive comments and images (including in your avatar). If you're not sure about the potential offence of something you intend to post, consider whether or not it would be broadcast on prime-time TV or in a daily newspaper. If not, then don't post it.


Likewise, to ensure peaceful discussion, topics such as politics and religion are not to be brought up on the forums or included in your profile or avatar.


Please don't discuss moderation decisions on the forums. Our experience has been that no productive result can come from discussing moderation decisions on the forum. Moderation discussion is kept between people whom are affected and the moderators. The most frequent reason people are banned (other than for spamming) is a result of rude, abusive, inappropriate or needlessly inflammatory posts, even after being asked to refrain multiple times from making them, followed by abuse of the classifieds. Moderators and Administrators are NOT connected with the management or organisation of sponsors and, excepting the site owner, do not benefit financially from their presence. See the Moderation FAQ for further information.


Importantly, you must state, when expressing an opinion on or writing a review of equipment if it was loaned or given to you for posting comments or review or discounted in any form at purchase. You must also declare any relationships you have or had to audio equipment manufacturers or resellers. We like everything to be open and transparent here and that includes whether or not people are receiving any financial or other benefit from posting. Members of the Trade and Sponsors are clearly marked in their profile and posts so there is no ambiguity about a person's reason for posting. Failing to declare a discount or association may result in your reviews being deleted and your account being banned and the manufacture may risk black-listing from Head-Fi. See this (external) article: Why Astroturfing and Fake online reviews are Illegal.


Likewise, it seems that everyone and their dog has an audio blog or Youtube channel these days. Head-Fi is NOT a promotion service, it is a community of people who wish to discuss audio gear, so trying to get traffic to your blog or Youtube channel is seriously frowned-upon. Using the video embedding button to post your Youtube videos is OK, however. Established members that have shown that they are here for the community (such as contributors) are allowed to link to their blog in their signature and, within reason, link to their external reviews.


Affiliate links from Amazon, Indiegogo and other sites (eg: Free iPads etc.) where you get a discount or payment when people buy or pledge for things after clicking the link are forbidden. We are not a means to get gear for free or make money for nothing. 


Group buys, due to issues with predatory pricing and people and companies being overwhelmed to the point that people lost money are also not permitted.

Head-Fi.org › Rules etc › Posting Guidelines