Sigh.....You can only show a horse where the water is.....but a budding music fan and "audiophile" will never listen nor learn.
I ask myself the same question. I was at a brick and mortar store today picking up a present for my wife. While looking around I noticed a guy looking at IEM's and headphones. He looked confused and just couldn't decide on anything. Observing his obvious calamity I offered my opinion after asking him what he was looking for. We talked for about 5 minutes and then this happened....
LFF: "OK. Based upon all the information you told me, you should buy these. They are well built, have great isolation and are affordable."
DUDE: "Yeah? But they are cheap. These cost more so they must be better. My friend told me X was better because they research their designs. Many people online love them."
LFF: "No. You are being misled. They are overpriced and sound worse than these. Also, I belong to a forum called head-fi and it's a forum full of headphone fans. Based upon what I know and what people have posted on the forums, these cheap headphones DO sound much better than X brand."
DUDE: "Cool. I think I will buy X brand because my friend said they are the best he ever heard. Should I buy these big X brands or the tiny X brands?"
LFF: "You're on your own there buddy. Take care."
So I left the poor bastard to pick his poison and enjoy bad sound for lots of money. I got home and then took my wife out for some errands. While at another store, I saw another guy and his wife asking an employee about the sound quality of some IEM's. The employee said the following:
Employee: "Yeah. Like, I really wouldn't know. I just use the ones that came with my iPod. I think, like, they should sound the same...like, maybe a little better. Yeah, but like, I have never actually heard any of these. Yeah...sorry."
Customer Male: "My friends son uses these and he says they are the best."
Customer Female: "Yeah, he does. Just get those."
Customer Male to LFF: "Do you know anything about these?"
LFF: "Actually I do. They are not worth the money. For $50, you could get much better. In fact, these cost less than half and sound better than those. You're overpaying for the fancy design and name recognition and NOT for good sound quality."
Customer Female: "Yeah, but he wants the ones you put inside your ear. He doesn't like the old ones. He wants modern ones."
Customer Male: "Yeah, I want them to shut out all the noise. These look nice. Plus, they are expensive so they can't be that bad."
LFF: "I see. You want some In Ear headphones. These are quite good and are still rather cheap. Do you need them now?"
Customer Male: "Yeah. I kinda do. Why?"
LFF: "For the price you will pay, you can order some top quality in ear headphones from the internet."
Customer Male: "Yeah...I want them now."
LFF: "Ok. These are probably the best ones here. They are less than half the price of the ones you have and sound much better."
Customer Female (with attitude): "How do you know?!"
LFF: "I am a member of an internet forum that is full of headphone and music lovers. We are audiophiles who discuss all types of headphones and even speakers"
Customer Female: "Just get the ones you have and let's go!"
Both turn and leave.
So that was it. No thanks, no following my advice....nothing. It really didn't personally bug me but I found it fascinating how much people are led to believe something by their peers or family members. I repeatedly told both guys that the headphones they had in hand were bad and told them why. I gave them better alternatives that were not only better, but cheaper. Both still went with the more expensive product that performs worse than most knock-off brands simply because "so and so said they are the best" despite my explanations of why that isn't so. Anyway....
I think it's easier to make a horse drink water than for people to actually listen to good advice.
Worthless blog post, I know. Just thought I would share.
Edited by LFF - 8/1/10 at 9:25pm