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post #31 of 48

Just my 2c - seeing as how the topic is relevant for me at the moment.

 

Jack from HSA has sent me 4 samples so far.  Not sure if this will help or not Makiah - but here's what I've done so far.

 

  1. Give them pretty much a solid 10-14 days before putting pen to paper (in final form anyway - take notes during those 10-14 days definitely) .  IMO a day is not enough time to get to know them.  On many previous occasions, my opinions have changed after the first day.  I figure it's only fair that if someone is willing to send me something to review - I actually take the time to give a considered opinion.
  2. State the good and the bad.
  3. Every time with Jack - I've paid the freight, and offered to pay return freight if he wants them returned, or if he wants them passed to anyone else.  So far he hasn't wanted the samples back (which is good because they will be helpful in comparison or series reviews later).
  4. State clearly in the review that what you are reviewing is a sample from manufacturer.
  5. My intention - if I get to the stage that I have samples that need a new home - will be:
    [a] Talk to Jude about using them as a charity fundraiser (see if other reviewers could pool any of their spare gear, put it toward one raffle/charity etc).  Something like current refugee situation in Syria springs to mind.  I'd ask Jack's permission first & give them credit.  I still regard the samples as his property - even though I'm in possession.
    [b] Second option would be a straight give away on Head-Fi - new members who may not have a lot of gear.

 

Just some ideas.

 

Paul

post #32 of 48
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Brooko View Post
 

Just my 2c - seeing as how the topic is relevant for me at the moment.

 

Jack from HSA has sent me 4 samples so far.  Not sure if this will help or not Makiah - but here's what I've done so far.

 

  1. Give them pretty much a solid 10-14 days before putting pen to paper (in final form anyway - take notes during those 10-14 days definitely) .  IMO a day is not enough time to get to know them.  On many previous occasions, my opinions have changed after the first day.  I figure it's only fair that if someone is willing to send me something to review - I actually take the time to give a considered opinion.
  2. State the good and the bad.
  3. Every time with Jack - I've paid the freight, and offered to pay return freight if he wants them returned, or if he wants them passed to anyone else.  So far he hasn't wanted the samples back (which is good because they will be helpful in comparison or series reviews later).
  4. State clearly in the review that what you are reviewing is a sample from manufacturer.
  5. My intention - if I get to the stage that I have samples that need a new home - will be:
    [a] Talk to Jude about using them as a charity fundraiser (see if other reviewers could pool any of their spare gear, put it toward one raffle/charity etc).  Something like current refugee situation in Syria springs to mind.  I'd ask Jack's permission first & give them credit.  I still regard the samples as his property - even though I'm in possession.
    [b] Second option would be a straight give away on Head-Fi - new members who may not have a lot of gear.

 

Just some ideas.

 

Paul

 

Very good idea's. An yea more time is nessicary. Did I mention I was given 24 hours to throw the ATH review together, He asked for something by the end of the day. Wasn't to specified with it, but overall my ATH contact was... very nice. Still these are all things for me to take in and imrpove  upon. Sadly I'm god awfully floored with work atm, so I'll have to wait till maybe next week to revist the ATH Ad900X 

 
In addition the charity is a good idea as well! Honestly, I'd REALLY like to get a floating Demo Thread together, have all of us who have spare gear a place to well allow others to just listen! In this hobby listening is the only way to get to know a headphone. And the community could use a way to get thier hands on many different cans! That idea though comes with trust and honesty issues, which could be worked out. But with so many different head phones out there, I'd love to see a circuit of samples floating around for the established members of head fi to have access to! Something to allow all of us to try new gear, without having to buy it and re sell it [which btw I've bought and re sold... like 3 headphones this month alone >.>] 
 
That said my ShurEY is here... and I revisted my HP 100 and wow compared to everything else I own it's really showing it's flaws after a good solid weak. Then again I compared the Hp100 to the K550 and A900x of which I already sold. How ever this is the first I've compared my Hp 100 to my 2 other closed cans.
 
But I have time to revise my AD900x Review [going to do it up with new pictures and everything] and in addition, thanks for all the help as always guys! For better or worse I have enough new gear of my own to keep my busy, and I've got ALL the old reviews I posted to translate into "interesting" for a new blog. SO by the time I get another review sample I should be a little more refined :3 
post #33 of 48
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mshenay View Post

That said, since you are here Cel, I'm TOTALLY BACKED in home work today, but I've looked at some magazine and digital reviews, and they do read like articles... where as my reviews read like Spec Sheets, so I'd like to give a go at a more enjoyable reading and looking review tommorow maybe... actually I have a ShurEY 840 [it's been modded] coming in today. So it would be a good start

Now that you know that, you might want to rewrite your AD900X review. After all, you did solicit them from AT with the promise to write a review. If you want to be a professional reviewer, there's kind of an implied agreement in that situation that you will provide a well-written review.
post #34 of 48
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by cel4145 View Post


Now that you know that, you might want to rewrite your AD900X review. After all, you did solicit them from AT with the promise to write a review. If you want to be a professional reviewer, there's kind of an implied agreement in that situation that you will provide a well-written review.

 

Oh I plan to, I thought I mentioned that already? Still listening to PC Pro Class leassons online today so I'm busy with home work... I don't want to listen to some crummy lossy audio with the AD900x seems like a waste, not to mention I use closed headphones when I do home work >.> 

 
BUt it will be done, also my new picture station. I'm still a crummy photographer but the quality of the pics is alittle better imo, The new camera should help some more a well 
 

 

Notice the Blue White Back ground sheet and the Wooden table. There was too much light in this shot, so I might move my Lamp up a few feet though 

 

Going to snag a wooden Fiio Headphone stand now actually 


Edited by Mshenay - 9/21/13 at 8:29am
post #35 of 48
Another tip for photo's, if they have a mirrored surface, always be aware of the reflections in the surface. Try to keep yourself and the flash out of the reflection, and make damn sure you have clothes on when taking the pictures. biggrin.gif
post #36 of 48
Quote:
Originally Posted by TrollDragon View Post

make damn sure you have clothes on when taking the pictures. biggrin.gif

Umm...

post #37 of 48

As far as "selling" of review samples goes, and has already been stated, of course that's an unethical practice for samples that are received for free. However, in some instances, sometimes professional reviewers are offered discount pricing to buy an item (that is, if the reviewer wants to buy it of course). Not only have I heard about this practice, I was offered it myself once when I previously wrote for StereoMojo.com and wanted to buy a review sample. As far as that went, the rule was that I had to own the review sample for at least a year, so I followed that rule to the end. I did end up selling it over a year later, at the reviewer discount price that I paid.

 

I had another experience a long time ago where a well-known manufacturer of portable amps was offering review units to reviewers on Head-Fi, so I requested one. This was several years ago, when I was just starting out writing reviews. There were no particular criteria set by the manufacturer so I just assumed that I could write my honest opinion, as I've always done. I posted a highly negative review. Afterwards I tried twice to contact the manufacturer to return the review sample, but never got a response. I could only assume that they didn't want the sample back and that they probably didn't like my negative review either. I finally ended up raffling off the review sample on Head-Fi and donated the proceeds to charity. Donating proceeds to charity is another option that can be considered instead of just giving a review sample to someone, well at least for review samples you've paid for. I've never received "free" items that I could keep before, but if I did, I'd probably organize a giveaway as I used to do several years ago. (I'd prefer a raffle to donate to charity but as I've found out, PayPal doesn't like its account holders running raffles through their system so I'm never doing that again.)

 

Some general guideliness that I can share based on my experience on Head-Fi over the years and previously with StereoMojo:

  • Always act professional and courteously when communicating with vendors. You never know when you might meet them in person (I've met many over the years at meets & shows) and a good relationship with them will only help you. If you don't already have good skills in writing-based communication, you can learn to develop them.
  • Always ask the manufacturer any questions you have before starting a review. Not every manufacturer has the same rules/protocol. And always seek to return the review sample. Make sure you get it in writing that you can keep something and what you're permitted to do with a review sample that you can keep.
  • Always disclose the terms of the review in the review itself for manufacturer loans - i.e., clearly state that you received a loan from the manufacturer (or other source) and don't forget to thank them. If they allowed you to keep the sample, you should state that as well. You should do this "full disclosure" because it's honest, and it will let your readers know of all the facts that they need to know to take your review in the proper context.
  • If you have to ship a review sample back, use either FedEx or UPS Ground which have full tracking and can provide insurance, because you don't want to have to shell out of pocket if the review sample gets damaged or lost.
  • For those who attend meets/shows, it never hurts to develop personal relationships with vendors. You can only help yourself by talking to them (unless of course you have no social skills, heh).
  • And of course, seek to review stuff that you're actually interested in. Especially relevant on Head-Fi where most reviewers are unpaid. What's the point in the review if you're not getting anything out of it yourself?
  • Likewise, don't forget that Head-Fi has a huge audience and not everyone will take your review the way you might want - i.e., some people won't be influenced by it, others will, and there are always people who will attack your opinion or your methods, or both (heh). So just remember that a lot of people won't share your opinion - you need to have thick skin and always remember why you're writing reviews, whether it's for yourself or another reason.
  • If you take and post pics of the review sample, don't show the sample being propped on another object that will lead people to wonder how clean the other object is - i.e., you don't want anyone thinking that you're abusing or otherwise dirtying up the review sample. (Btw, yes I'm wondering how clean that carton is!)
  • Don't post poorly-lit or blurry photos either, as they're never flattering. It's better to not post pics at all.
  • Make sure that you keep the review sample in as pristine condition as possible, whether you return it or not (unless of course you plan on buying it and keeping it forever).

 

Review listening & writing:

  • Make sure you listen to the equipment, and then listen to it again. Your impressions might change more than once over a period of time. I suggest allowing at least 2 weeks to listen to the equipment before starting the writing process (though I do recommend taking notes along the way). 2 weeks is a standard amount of time in the reviewing industry. I recommend asking for more time if possible though, especially if you anticipate a busy schedule.
  • Consider what you want to share before actually putting your digital pen to paper. Some forethought on this can help you structure your review better instead of just writing extemporaneously.
  • Be honest in your opinion, whether positive or negative. No one wants to read a dishonest opinion.
  • Make sure the review is formatted nicely into paragraphs and is readable. No one wants to read a huge wall of text. Consider length as well - you don't want to write something that's really long (I'm sort of guilty of this but always have a hard time condensing reviews due to the amount of info that I want to share), but you don't want a review that's really short either and says nothing.
  • Spelling/grammar should always be checked with word processing software like Microsoft Word. No offense to any reviewers, but obvious typos and mistakes can make you look either uneducated or unprofessional.
  • Don't use "Internet-speak" or arcane contractions of the English language. Those will make you look unprofessional.
  • It can help to re-read a review more than once when you think you're done with it. You might see wording you want to change or a better way to express an idea. (I usually re-read my reviews at least twice, if not 3 times.)
  • List your gear in the review. Also include your biases if applicable, and/or any past or current experience you have with music and/or audio that can give you extra credibility (for example, if you've recorded or mastered in studios before, or if you play an instrument, etc). x2 on post #38 below mine, definitely include those as well.
  • However I vehemently disagree with numerically "rating" equipment. IMO that just leads to bad results - I know everyone likes to assign a nice number to a certain piece of gear, but readers will definitely misinterpret ratings and will only want to buy the #1-rated item. For that reason, they hurt the manufacturers as well, because when you have a rating scale where everyone wants to buy #1, the manufacturers of the other items will receive fewer sales. I always highly opposed Skylab's numerical rating system for that reason and it's one of the reasons why I don't do it myself. Rating systems end up just doing a disservice to the community and the manufacturers.

Edited by Asr - 9/21/13 at 9:54pm
post #38 of 48

Make sure you include an excerpt on what headphones you have experience with, what type of music you prefer, and what sound signature you prefer. This will give you more credibility than just saying headphones XYZ are awesome  with nothing to compare them too or knowing what music they are awesome with.

 

I also like to break things into categories and give a rating. I describe the category in my own words and rate it on a scale of 1-10. This gives the reader a numerical representation of where the headphone falls and a description through the review for the full picture.


Edited by whitedragon551 - 9/21/13 at 9:39pm
post #39 of 48
Quote:
Originally Posted by cel4145 View Post
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mshenay View Post

still Im happy to have given my ad900 as i did. I may do that with my future review models. Build a rig around them n sell the accompiments with the review model as a free bonus.

I don't think Head-Fi will consider that giving away your review sample for "free." When you bundle two things together in an ad, even though you say the price is for one item, and then the other items is a free bonus, then the price is actually for both of them. LOL

 

The  intention of bundling the items together was to sell items faster, not necessarily to "give" the headphones away.

post #40 of 48
Quote:
Originally Posted by elwappo99 View Post

The  intention of bundling the items together was to sell items faster, not necessarily to "give" the headphones away.
Agreed
post #41 of 48
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by elwappo99 View Post
 

 

The  intention of bundling the items together was to sell items faster, not necessarily to "give" the headphones away.

 

Wrong the intention of my first bundle was to give it away with the exact gear I listened to it with.

 
But I might actually start selling to donate to a charity! I'm a big fan of Domestic violence awareness... and there's not enough well awareness of rather not enough action again'st it. Heck America is more willing to solve the "cyber bullies" issues than tackle the "bullies" that have existed in family units for centurys... It's complete bull.
 
So Charity sales might be the way I'll go. 
post #42 of 48
Quote:
Originally Posted by whitedragon551 View Post

Make sure you include an excerpt on what headphones you have experience with, what type of music you prefer, and what sound signature you prefer. This will give you more credibility than just saying headphones XYZ are awesome  with nothing to compare them too or knowing what music they are awesome with.

I also like to break things into categories and give a rating. I describe the category in my own words and rate it on a scale of 1-10. This gives the reader a numerical representation of where the headphone falls and a description through the review for the full picture.

I always found that reviews which compared a headphone/speaker/amp with one or two competitive items helps more than rating scales. Rating scales seem useless to me unless one is comparing reviews by the same reviewer. Two people can feel the same headphones sound exactly the same, but one might rate them an 8 out of 10 and another a 7 out of 10 (inter rater reliability). Then in Mshenay's case, consistent ratings will be a problem if he's going to sell his headphones as soon as he reviews them. A rater needs several sets of reference headphones to make certain one's personal scale is consistently applied each time.
post #43 of 48
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by cel4145 View Post


I always found that reviews which compared a headphone/speaker/amp with one or two competitive items helps more than rating scales. Rating scales seem useless to me unless one is comparing reviews by the same reviewer. Two people can feel the same headphones sound exactly the same, but one might rate them an 8 out of 10 and another a 7 out of 10 (inter rater reliability). Then in Mshenay's case, consistent ratings will be a problem if he's going to sell his headphones as soon as he reviews them. A rater needs several sets of reference headphones to make certain one's personal scale is consistently applied each time.

 

Do u not know that my DT 880 is my refrance. It has always been my refrance can. I got my first pair a year ago, and I've gotten another again.

 
Still I'm going to ditch the numerical reviews out of the casual reads, and just leave impressions. 

Still I don't plan on selling my DT 880 :3 it's mah refrance headphone fa life! 
post #44 of 48
Quote:
Originally Posted by cel4145 View Post


I always found that reviews which compared a headphone/speaker/amp with one or two competitive items helps more than rating scales. Rating scales seem useless to me unless one is comparing reviews by the same reviewer. Two people can feel the same headphones sound exactly the same, but one might rate them an 8 out of 10 and another a 7 out of 10 (inter rater reliability). Then in Mshenay's case, consistent ratings will be a problem if he's going to sell his headphones as soon as he reviews them. A rater needs several sets of reference headphones to make certain one's personal scale is consistently applied each time.

 

The flaw here is that your assuming that the person owns 2 sets of headphones that are competitive items. For instance I only own 1 set of CIEMs, my Gorilla Ears AT5's. My next best IEM is the Aurisonics ASG2 and under that the Heir Audio 3.ai. None of them are comparable. They are all in way different price brackets, sound signatures, and number of speakers to ear piece.

 

I use a rating scale on all my reviews except for the first handful of them. With the ratings and the description/analysis you can easily gather where they would fall in their respective category and what each set excels at.


Edited by whitedragon551 - 9/22/13 at 11:38am
post #45 of 48
Quote:
Originally Posted by whitedragon551 View Post

The flaw here is that your assuming that the person owns 2 sets of headphones that are competitive items. For instance I only own 1 set of CIEMs, my Gorilla Ears AT5's. My next best IEM is the Aurisonics ASG2 and under that the Heir Audio 3.ai. None of them are comparable. They are all in way different price brackets, sound signatures, and number of speakers to ear piece.

I use a rating scale on all my reviews except for the first handful of them. With the ratings and the description/analysis you can easily gather where they would fall in their respective category and what each set excels at.

It's not a flaw in my assumption. Although I think you are probably doing what I was trying to describe. One needs several headphone sets as reference to be able to properly apply a scale across a range of values and do it consistently over time. Audio memory is too unreliable to base such different ratings on with one reference headphone set. Too easy for someone to assign a different rating to a headphone that should have deserved the same as a previous one.

And still, I might not trust your ratings against each other even then unless you are a professional reviewer doing it regularly. It's nothing personal, but even people that regularly try to apply a rating scale have to be careful to do so consistently over time when it comes to subjective evaluations. That's just a known issue with rater reliability in subjective evaluations of all kinds of things, and it has been discussed plenty in qualitative assessment and evaluation methods. One must continually work to keep one normed with ones original evaluation scale.
Edited by cel4145 - 9/22/13 at 12:32pm
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