- Key Points
- Public Messages
- Reviews and Impressions
- Disclosure, Group Buys, Product Tours etc.
Key Points (TLDR summary)
- Be excellent to each other.
- Treat others with the same respect and dignity that you would expect back.
- Extend your respect to the whole community by creating quality posts threads and reviews.
- Before posting something, imagine if everyone was to do as you are about to and if that would be good or bad for the community.
- View your Head-Fi experience in a positive light, even when people are negative and unhelpful.
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 contents written here as well as the Terms of Service 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.
New members 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.
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.
Public messages are just that, public. Please do not post any personal information in public messages as this information will be visible to everyone on the site.
Please do not list "For Sale" or "Want to Buy" posts in public messages. Those types of posts belong in Head-Fi Classifieds only.
Question threads of all kinds all go in the Introductions, Help and Recommendations forum.
Make good thread titles that indicate something specific about your question. Subjects like "Help!", "Newbie Question," "Best IEM <$50," or "Advice Wanted" 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 in many threads is frowned upon and may be treated as spam and your account possibly banned. If everyone spam-posted, the forums would quickly become useless, so we are pretty strict about this kind of behavior.
Only make one post at a time 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 the duplicate posts and we'll delete them.
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," "," etc. This also includes posts that contain only images or animated GIFs. Depending on circumstance and context, such posts may be deleted. Use the subscribed link or "Like" button if appropriate.
To subscribe to a thread without posting, please click on the "Watch" link located in the upper right corner of the page, just below the search box.
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.
Please don't post For Sale / Want to Buy type posts, or links to your Head-Fi Classifieds listings, anywhere in the Forums. To boost the visibility of any Head-Fi Classifieds listings, you're welcome to include a link to them in your forum signature.
When someone makes a good, helpful or otherwise constructive post, please encourage them by clicking on the "Like" 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 and not add unnecessary posts to the thread. Do not use Head-Fi's Like system as a means to troll others.
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 that 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!
Take from Jason Stoddard, who has been at this way before Head-Fi existed:
I think that every review, impression, or de facto "this product sounds better than that" statement would be made immeasurably better if it was required to have these three disclaimers:
1. This is only my opinion.
2. I am biased, like everyone else.
3. I have not heard everything in the world.
Avoid getting personal. Do not make personal attacks, even veiled or generalized 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, because, after all, it is ONLY your opinion. Even thoughts about science topics are opinion.
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 "Hi-Res is a rip-off..." in a DAP thread (or similar) will be treated as thread-crapping. Likewise, avoid weasel or derogatory words such as shill, fanboy, koolaid, audiophool, snakeoil, etc. You'll look like a troll, your post will likely be reported by other members. 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.
Please 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 (Please do not directly PM the moderators). If something is inappropriate or rude, what is the point of giving it more attention by replying to it and/or quoting it?!? If someone starts a fire, you wouldn't set other things on fire with it, so please don't go and do the equivalent here.
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 (and start becoming like the guy in the cartoon at the top) consider taking a break before replying. If this starts happening repeatedly, consider taking a few days or even weeks away from Head-Fi and just relax and enjoy listening to music for a while.
Reviews and Impressions
We value good, well-written reviews with pictures and videos, so please do take the time to add your reviews (in full, not just a link to your blog or channel) to the product in the Head Gear section. We feature good reviews on the front page and you don't have to be a long established member for that. Reviews and discussion of knock-offs, clones, replicas, and other forbidden products will be removed.
Please don't recommend or post reviews of equipment you don't own or otherwise don't have a reasonable amount of familiarity. 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."
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 whether or not something you intend to post could be taken as offensive, 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 people who were banned or those that post content denigrating Head-Fi or its members.
We don't allow discussion of moderation on the forums. See the Moderation FAQ for further information.
Private messages are private - We do not encourage, and are generally not comfortable with, the posting of private messages and private emails.
Disclosure, Group Buys, Product Tours etc.
We require that when you write about a product, especially in reviews, that you state whether it was borrowed from or given to you by a Member of the Trade and under what circumstances (eg: for feedback, review or whatever). If you have any financial connection to a manufacturer, distributor, dealer or any other association, this must be stated up front. In such case you may fall under rules for Members of the Trade in the Terms of Service. Note that Astroturfing and fake online reviews are illegal (external link) both in the US and Europe and manufacturers whose staff we have caught behaving in this manner have been blacklisted from Head-Fi with all reviews and discussion of their products deleted. Likewise bloggers who are caught writing positive reviews purely in exchange for free gear without disclosure will be banned and all reviews deleted.
Affiliate or referral 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. Campaigning for or promoting links to Patreon and similar sites are not permitted. Sharing contests for chances to win prizes via referral are also not permitted. We are not a means to get gear for free or make money for nothing.
Product tours on behalf of a non-sponsoring Member of the Trade are not permitted. Nor is any other form of advertising by proxy: posting about new products; posting discount codes; relaying messages to the community; etc, on behalf of a Members of the Trade. Doing so may qualify your profile for Member of the Trade status. Writing reviews of loaned items are OK, but see the requirement above. If a Member of the Trade wishes to promote themselves on Head-Fi, they must become a sponsor. It is unfair on sponsors who do the right thing for non-sponsors to to sneak around that requirement via a third party.
Important! Do not ever create user accounts for other people, especially Members of the Trade. By doing so, you will be held in violation of the Terms of Service, as well as them and risk both your account being banned, as well as theirs.
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.
If you have questions about the rules in general, please PM a moderator and ask (though if it is about a specific piece of content, we'd prefer you report it using the "red flag"). As tough-sounding as some of these rules are, we are pretty ordinary and easy-going.