Chapter 4 - Anatomy of a Review – The Content (part 2)
Mar 13, 2016 at 5:00 AM Post #16 of 28

Aero Dynamik

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As I don't have the luxury of spare time at this point in my life I haven't read all posts here, so the following may already have been discussed.
 
To me it's very important to know that the reviewer isn't associated with the manufacturer or have some hidden agenda. I simply don't trust (with some variation) reviews reviewing samples sent to them by the manufacturer as it will inevitable affect the review.
 
So, personally I really only trust reviews where the reviewer has used his own money and unpaid time to review the equipment.
 
Mar 13, 2016 at 11:56 AM Post #17 of 28
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As I don't have the luxury of spare time at this point in my life I haven't read all posts here, so the following may already have been discussed.

To me it's very important to know that the reviewer isn't associated with the manufacturer or have some hidden agenda. I simply don't trust (with some variation) reviews reviewing samples sent to them by the manufacturer as it will inevitable affect the review.

So, personally I really only trust reviews where the reviewer has used his own money and unpaid time to review the equipment.


And that is your perogative - which is why I state it and am very up front about it. But why would someone like me have any more or less bias than an owner - who may be trying to justify their purchase? Raises an interesting point when you look at it like that doesn't it? If anything, the advantage of a good reviewer with a lot of experience is able to balance things out because they can compare to many other similar products.

All you have to do then is work out whether you trust the reviewer in question. Are they consistent enough? Is what they write truthful, balanced and fair - especially regarding a product you may already own?

Ultimately it becomes your call - but saying you don't trust anyone who doesn't pay for all samples seems like a bit of a blanket statement to me. There are some I follow, some I don't. I judge each one on merit, based upon the accuracy and consistency of their reviews over time.
 
Mar 14, 2016 at 7:02 AM Post #19 of 28

MMansell

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Fantastically nice job Brooko!
I've always wanted to point this out ,so here it goes:
why do some reviewers who only spend a few weeks reviewing the equipment write with so much confidence regarding the "build quality" ?! 
how will they know if it's gonna last 3 month or not, if they only had it for 4 weeks i.e. ??? I mean it's obvious that some stuff will show after about 12 months of use. for instance:
how long will the body paint last?
how long till the ear pads break and/or starts peeling material?
how long till maybe drivers of a headphone fail
( I say this because, both of my GR07 Vsonics had driver failures; one in 2 months and the other in 5 a half months after usage. I replaced one of them using warranty but ignored the second pair!)
and so on...
 
Now...wouldn't you urge reviewers that spend relatively little time with the gear to use terms like
" the strain reliefs seem sturdy but I don't know how long till they break with normal use" instead of simply writing
"strain reliefs are sturdy!!" when they are describing the BQ?
 
thank you!
 
Mar 14, 2016 at 3:16 PM Post #20 of 28
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It's s good point - one I hadn't thought of before. Thanks for bringing it up - I might need to change the way I write that section in future.
 
Mar 14, 2016 at 5:19 PM Post #21 of 28

MMansell

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No problem! But you weren't the one I was talking about ... Just took advantage of your popularity to tell others my view on things :D
It takes a special kind of writing to get people (specially the youth of this era) to read long threads like this, and you have that gift! I should learn :beyersmile: good luck
 
Mar 14, 2016 at 9:55 PM Post #22 of 28

MMansell

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  As I don't have the luxury of spare time at this point in my life I haven't read all posts here, so the following may already have been discussed.
 
To me it's very important to know that the reviewer isn't associated with the manufacturer or have some hidden agenda. I simply don't trust (with some variation) reviews reviewing samples sent to them by the manufacturer as it will inevitable affect the review.
 
So, personally I really only trust reviews where the reviewer has used his own money and unpaid time to review the equipment.

Well, I agree. you can't trust them... as you can't trust TV news or celebrity gossips and so many other things that might have some hidden connection to corporations and what not.
 
however, if we read many reviews and not just one, we might find out which adjective is the common way of describing the product and what is more mentioned in reviews...
and we'll be able to choose better ( not good) ... as should be the case with the political news, always listen to news told from both sides not just one side.
 
but that is, if we care enough -have enough time- to read many reviews. so in most cases people often choose them trusting the sub-par information they have or a friend's blind recommendation.
My point being... there's always the "I don't know" factor present so, whether find a shop that let's you test the gear, or you'll have no choice but to choose trusting you guts and these reviews! 
redface.gif
 
 
Mar 16, 2016 at 4:18 PM Post #23 of 28

Aero Dynamik

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As I don't have the luxury of spare time at this point in my life I haven't read all posts here, so the following may already have been discussed.

To me it's very important to know that the reviewer isn't associated with the manufacturer or have some hidden agenda. I simply don't trust (with some variation) reviews reviewing samples sent to them by the manufacturer as it will inevitable affect the review.

So, personally I really only trust reviews where the reviewer has used his own money and unpaid time to review the equipment.


And that is your perogative - which is why I state it and am very up front about it. But why would someone like me have any more or less bias than an owner - who may be trying to justify their purchase? Raises an interesting point when you look at it like that doesn't it? If anything, the advantage of a good reviewer with a lot of experience is able to balance things out because they can compare to many other similar products.

All you have to do then is work out whether you trust the reviewer in question. Are they consistent enough? Is what they write truthful, balanced and fair - especially regarding a product you may already own?

Ultimately it becomes your call - but saying you don't trust anyone who doesn't pay for all samples seems like a bit of a blanket statement to me. There are some I follow, some I don't. I judge each one on merit, based upon the accuracy and consistency of their reviews over time.

That's excellent and I wouldn't expect anything less from a serious reviewer/Head-Fi:er!
 
Because you want more review samples. A definitive "thumbs down" review - or two - and those review samples would probably stop coming in. No, in my experience serious Head-Fi:ers have no need to justify their purchases! You may occasionally see that kind of behavior with some wannabe audiophiles/Head-Fi:ers, but not with experienced Head-Fi:ers. Take a look at this profile and posts and you'll know what I'm talking about.
 
Well, it's simply a rule of thumb with some exceptions and some variation. We have a saying where I live (don't know about English) that says "you don't bite the hand that feeds you". When you accept review samples (or trade), the readers can't know for sure it doesn't affect your reviews no matter how much you assert to the contrary. It doesn't necessarily effect the review - which could be absolutely first class - but it raises the though that it could affect the review and that is the core of the problem.
 
Well, JM2C...
 
Mar 16, 2016 at 4:39 PM Post #24 of 28
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It's worth raising - and I guess different people will reply in different ways.  I was sent a headphone recently.  It sounds decent, but aesthetically (including build and comfort) I can't see it even close to justifying the price.  I contacted the (new) supplier, told him what I thought, and gave him the option of taking the headphone back without me writing it up.  I also told him my reasons, and what I was likely to score the headphone at its given (and IMO over-inflated) price point.
 
To his credit - he suggested still reviewing it and posting my honest thoughts - and he said that next time they'd choose a little more carefully what they'd like me to look at.
 
I think this illustrates where I'm coming from.  It doesn't matter if you're someone new, or a major brand.  It doesn't matter if the cost is $25 or $1000. I'll still review it the same way, and that includes my subjective evaluation of performance vs value.
 
I'm in a great position in that what I have (purchased) more than meets my needs.  Review samples are exactly that - review samples. I love trying new gear, but at the end of the day, the stuff I've actually purchased still commands most of my own (for pleasure) listening time.
 
I get approached by companies because they know what they can expect.  I've had a few that haven't liked what I've said and haven't come back. That is their issue - not mine. 
 
Mar 17, 2016 at 12:08 PM Post #25 of 28

avitron142

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  Fantastically nice job Brooko!
I've always wanted to point this out ,so here it goes:
why do some reviewers who only spend a few weeks reviewing the equipment write with so much confidence regarding the "build quality" ?! 
how will they know if it's gonna last 3 month or not, if they only had it for 4 weeks i.e. ??? I mean it's obvious that some stuff will show after about 12 months of use. for instance:
how long will the body paint last?
how long till the ear pads break and/or starts peeling material?
how long till maybe drivers of a headphone fail
( I say this because, both of my GR07 Vsonics had driver failures; one in 2 months and the other in 5 a half months after usage. I replaced one of them using warranty but ignored the second pair!)
and so on...
 
Now...wouldn't you urge reviewers that spend relatively little time with the gear to use terms like
" the strain reliefs seem sturdy but I don't know how long till they break with normal use" instead of simply writing
"strain reliefs are sturdy!!" when they are describing the BQ?
 
thank you!

 
I've thought about this in my first review, back when I first bought the AKG K7XX. I was puzzled how I was supposed to be able to judge the build quality after a short time with it, especially regarding suspension.
 
But I've realized that people don't expect you to definitely guarantee the longevity of a product; they expect you to accurate gauge how its built in comparison to other products we received. We handle enough products to project future longevity (at least in general increments like "built solidly", "flimsy", etc.) to see how it looks like it'll hold up. But it is important to know that the reviewers can't make any precise guarantees; they're just judging based on how it looks.
 
As for your other point, with the body paint, driver failure, ear pads etc., there are certain parts of the headphone that break much more often than others. When discussing over-ears, driver failure is almost unheard of - it's cable breakage that makes up of most of the defects. With IEM's over $100, driver failure is also very uncommon. Body paint peeling on an IEM? I've never seen that. That's why there's a lot of focus on the stress relief and whatnot - with a good stress relief, there isn't any "breakage from normal use" in that area - the chances of that has pretty much been eliminated.
 
When discussing more budget-y items (sub-$100), you definitely have a point - who knows where the headphone is going to break? It can be a million things there. But for anything above that? Most of the breakage can be isolated to a few points, and it's easy to tell over time whether the company covered all the bases.
 
Mar 18, 2016 at 7:19 AM Post #26 of 28

MMansell

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Yes,
then we agree on this that, reviewers writing about sub 100$ sets -and maybe from less famous brands- need to warn people about possible longevity issues. 
I have doubts about the 100$ factor though, more like 200$....as an example, my ATH-M50's ear pad leathers broke and became somewhat uncomfortable because the leather's quality was sub-par at best.
also -while it's always a reassurance to know the brand is well known- even a brand like Sennheiser might make mistakes in BQ... My HD-435s' headband silver color started peeling after 6 months (though other built quality aspects are still very good).
 
 
I also agree about accurately gauging the lifetime, because a reviewer shouldn't feel he/she has to elaborate about everything to be thorough. Sometimes a friendly sentence like "I couldn't see for myself how this gear is gonna last... and so please do comment below about possible build problems..." is more thorough.It even feels more honest.
 
Mar 18, 2016 at 10:13 AM Post #27 of 28

avitron142

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  Yes,
then we agree on this that, reviewers writing about sub 100$ sets -and maybe from less famous brands- need to warn people about possible longevity issues. 
I have doubts about the 100$ factor though, more like 200$....as an example, my ATH-M50's ear pad leathers broke and became somewhat uncomfortable because the leather's quality was sub-par at best.
also -while it's always a reassurance to know the brand is well known- even a brand like Sennheiser might make mistakes in BQ... My HD-435s' headband silver color started peeling after 6 months (though other built quality aspects are still very good).
 
 
I also agree about accurately gauging the lifetime, because a reviewer shouldn't feel he/she has to elaborate about everything to be thorough. Sometimes a friendly sentence like "I couldn't see for myself how this gear is gonna last... and so please do comment below about possible build problems..." is more thorough.It even feels more honest.

 
I didn't know that. I was primarily referring to $100 IEM sets, but if the M50 had problems, I'm going to rethink my guidelines. My KRK KNS-8400 (got them for $80) doesn't even look used, and that's after 2 years.
 
One thing I forgot to say last time; if there are any issues, I always update my reviews with that information. So as soon as my pair has any build issues, future readers are sure to know.
 
I'm actually planning on doing what you said in one of my future reviews; I'm not entirely sure where the build quality lies, since it's lightweight plastic. I'll probably say that I can't predict how it'll hold up for now.
 
I usually go to amazon (if available for that product) to see if anyone else had QC issues. But I agree with you, a reviewer shouldn't feel like he has to give a verdict on that.
 

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