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Head-Fi.org › Rules etc › Posting Guidelines

Posting Guidelines  

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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.


However, please do not link to your blog or Youtube channel in posts or in your signature. Once you've shown that you're here for the community and not just to self-promote, we allow this, but not before. Using the video embed button to post video reviews is OK.



☞ Question threads of all kinds all go 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.


Make good thread titles that indicate something specific about your question. Subjects like "Help!", "Newbie Question", "Best IEM <$50" or "Advice wanted" are pointless and waste people's time. They also usually fail to get the attention of the folks most well-equipped to give you useful answers.


Take the time to write clear, concise questions. 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). Note that most people are likely to see a thread during weekday evenings US or European time. On weekends fewer people are around.


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.  


Only make one post in a row in any thread. If your post is the last one in the thread and you need to add something, use the Edit button instead. If your browser glitches and re-posts the same thing by accident, please report one of the posts and we'll nuke the extra posts.


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.


Please do not make one-word or other short, useless posts. Eg: "Subscribed!", "+1", "Me too." ":popcorn:" etc. They will be deleted. Use the subscribed link or thumb's up button if appropriate.


To subscribe to a thread without posting, please click on the "Subscribe" link at the top below the thread title, or in the mobile version, the top-right menu button to bring up the options.





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.


If it is a one-off reply, you can also put the reply in a spoiler tag and rename it "Off-topic".


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. 


☞ 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! ☜


Avoid getting personal. Do not make personal attacks, even veiled or generalised 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.


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. 


Do not troll or otherwise intentionally derail a thread (thread-crap) with inflammatory posts. Deliberately bringing up controversial subjects, eg: "All cables are worthless" in a headphone impressions thread or "High-res is a rip-off..." in a DAP thread (or similar) will be treated as thread-crapping and you'll receive a warning*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.


*Feel free to discuss topics such as those in their own threads, but not threads about specific products or brands.


Abusive private messages are not OK either.


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.


Please don't post about items you have for sale or want to buy in the classifieds. To add those to your posts, please use the menu system available when you edit your signature.


Reviews and Impressions


Please don't recommend or post reviews of 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, People use the reviews in the Head Gear section 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.


Similarly, 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." It is quite possible to 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. No method of appreciation is "wrong".


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. Basically, keep it PG-13.


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


The language of Head-Fi is English. Please do not post in other languages. 


We don't allow personal (or group) vendettas against people or companies to be entertained here. If you have an issue with a person or company, deal with it privately and not on Head-Fi. This includes linking to sites of banned members or those that post content denigrating Head-Fi or its members.




We don't allow discussion of moderation on the forums. Nothing productive can possibly come from it. We get 2000-4000 posts made here daily. While 99.99% are fine, sometimes we occasionally have to delete as much as a page or more of a thread to get it back on topic, so please understand if occasionally a post of yours is deleted and you aren't told why. In those (rare) cases, it would take more time than there is in a day for us to notify every person of the reason and we'd rather be participating as members than arguing with people who don't understand or refuse to accept the rules. The moderating staff aren't dragons trying to make it hard for people. We are ordinary enthusiasts like you who wish to share our enjoyment of the hobby and have volunteered to help keep the forums in order. 


Deleting posts is not a personal thing. Don't make it one. Crying "censorship" and conspiracy theories about protecting sponsors because you refuse to follow the rules only makes you look foolish. 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.


People come to Head-Fi and expect to read about products from people who are honest and don't have a secret agenda with the manufacturer. Thus we are strict about the source of posted views and ask that you state, when expressing an opinion on or writing a review of equipment if it was loaned or given to you for posting comments. If you have a financial connection to the manufacturer (eg: you work for them or are a dealer or distributor) then you can't post about a product and need to contact a moderator first! See the Terms of Service. Note that  Astroturfing and Fake online reviews are Illegal (external link) both in the US and Europe and manufacturers we catch behaving in this manner may end up blacklisted from Head-Fi with all reviews and discussion of their products deleted.


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, including DIY group buys are not permitted for various reasons, but primarily because recently a number of them went horribly wrong with everyone involved losing money.


Any questions? PM me or another moderator and ask! :smile: 

Head-Fi.org › Rules etc › Posting Guidelines