flinkenick's 17 Flagship IEM Shootout Thread (and general high-end portable audio discussion)
May 29, 2017 at 7:00 PM Post #1,651 of 37,891

Sleepow

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Just a comment from mostly an outsider to the threads politics who did not know who's who.

I was surprised by the reaction to the Katana review. Until then the rankings were mostly met by comments of surprise as in: how comes this great IEM is ranked so low; and then we had comments about Olympic finals and that all are great,...

The Katana ranking was met with feelings like: damn right this IEM sucks, good for Noble to get such poor ratings. (But a direct transcript of comment, just the feeling one guy from some comments)

So one has to wonder if there not also a anti-Noble fanboyism.

(Note that I never checked the Noble thread and never owned one of their IEM, but the Katana was on my shortlist for my last purchase)
 
May 29, 2017 at 7:59 PM Post #1,652 of 37,891

Marvellous_DAP

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Did a good audition at a local audio shop with samples of Katana, K10U. Didn't get the same experience of all the extreme positive features that some claimed. A little exaggerated I think. Good sounding and well made, but just not as described.

I was a little disappointed as was ready to grab one then. Ended just buying eartips from the shop.

I guess it is back to preference of sound?

A fair ranking in this thread based on a user's own experience and comparison.
 
May 29, 2017 at 8:33 PM Post #1,653 of 37,891

ranfan

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If it doesn't it shouldn't be too difficult to sell, there is a bit of mystique surrounding the Dream. My freaking curiosity costs me a lot.
I hope it will work out for you too. So you haven't listen to the Dream yet? That's a strong curiosity :)

If I may comment. The Dream has quite a unique sound character, with powerful bass. Would it be worth it, IDK. Depends on your taste. For me it is more of a specialty IEM, rather than a good all-rounder.



You should be impressed by the effort (consistency, and punctuality) of the delivery guy, haha.

On another note. It is quite frustrating sometimes not being able to send by plane abroad a device containing battery due to safety, although they're turned off, separated, and well-isolated. Meanwhile, every day there are mothers with her kids hand-carrying along iPads and Galaxy Note utilizing them during flight. I mean, isn't that more dangerous?
 
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May 29, 2017 at 9:08 PM Post #1,654 of 37,891

Mimouille

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I think we are mixing several topics here, so let us talk again about what occurred:
  • I mentioned, in a very civil manner, without targeting any personal, that I felt that in this thread, top CIEMs where getting a fair treatment, without being influenced purely by taste, hype, or the fact that they sponsored you, like it seems to be the case with Noble sometimes
  • I feel, having tried the K10u first version, that Noble gets too much exposure when considering their SQ compared to other brands, based partly on their marketing power, and sometimes other factors
  • As you will notice Watagump, you can to their rescue, when they didn't really need to be rescued, being I didn't really attack them
  • Then nobody in this thread attacked you, the fanboy comment was uncalled for, but you if you jump in the fire don't be surprised when you get burned
  • The argument could have been made in a more constructive manner, saying for example that you have compared Noble TOTL iems extensively to other TOTL iems and find that Noble deserves the praise. You will notice nobody jumped on Pinky despite him selling his charms to sailors on the docks
So the different topics are IMHO (only my opinion) :
  • Do some brands get an exposure not in proportion of the quality of their SQ? Yes
  • Are some people people positively biased towards some brands and does this affect their judgment? Yes. It is the case for me with Spiral Ears or Shure
  • Are some people more or less credible, because of their exposure to more gear and more critical testing? Yes. It is not case for me, because even if I have owned high end gear I am too lazy for systematic critical listening. And maybe too deaf
  • Do I have an increasing doubt about ultra positive reviews without nuance? Yes. Is this doubt increased when I realize that the brand reviewed brings a source of revenue for said reviewer? Yes
  • Will being very loud and omnipresent on a given topic attract more attention / criticism to you Watagump? Yes it will
Cheers
 
May 29, 2017 at 9:31 PM Post #1,655 of 37,891

Watagump

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I think we are mixing several topics here, so let us talk again about what occurred:
  • I mentioned, in a very civil manner, without targeting any personal, that I felt that in this thread, top CIEMs where getting a fair treatment, without being influenced purely by taste, hype, or the fact that they sponsored you, like it seems to be the case with Noble sometimes
  • I feel, having tried the K10u first version, that Noble gets too much exposure when considering their SQ compared to other brands, based partly on their marketing power, and sometimes other factors
  • As you will notice Watagump, you can to their rescue, when they didn't really need to be rescued, being I didn't really attack them
  • Then nobody in this thread attacked you, the fanboy comment was uncalled for, but you if you jump in the fire don't be surprised when you get burned
  • The argument could have been made in a more constructive manner, saying for example that you have compared Noble TOTL iems extensively to other TOTL iems and find that Noble deserves the praise. You will notice nobody jumped on Pinky despite him selling his charms to sailors on the docks
So the different topics are IMHO (only my opinion) :
  • Do some brands get an exposure not in proportion of the quality of their SQ? Yes
  • Are some people people positively biased towards some brands and does this affect their judgment? Yes. It is the case for me with Spiral Ears or Shure
  • Are some people more or less credible, because of their exposure to more gear and more critical testing? Yes. It is not case for me, because even if I have owned high end gear I am too lazy for systematic critical listening. And maybe too deaf
  • Do I have an increasing doubt about ultra positive reviews without nuance? Yes. Is this doubt increased when I realize that the brand reviewed brings a source of revenue for said reviewer? Yes
  • Will being very loud and omnipresent on a given topic attract more attention / criticism to you Watagump? Yes it will
Cheers

:ok_hand:
 
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May 29, 2017 at 9:53 PM Post #1,656 of 37,891

EagleWings

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The contempt towards the brand, that many of us hold, is not just because of the misleading hype, surrounding their IEMs. It's the hostile treatment in the thread, by a FEW Noble fans and John himself. I have posted on the Noble thread only a couple of times. And every one of those times, John had to intervene or say something that made me feel 'Why the hell did I even post on this thread?'. It's like, the only type of posts he likes to see are, 'K10 blew my mind' or 'My jaws dropped when I listened to the Encore'.

If anyone posted either neutral or critical comments on one of his products, his immediate reaction would be 'subjective, subjective, subjective' or he would point to the fact that K10 has 28 x 5-Star reviews. Don't believe me? Go to the Noble thread and search for posts in the thread by the user 'FullCircle', which contain the words '5 star' or 'subjective'. Btw, 'FullCircle' is the profile name of John.

But I don't want to just hypothesize and make guesses. Here are some incidents from personal experience:

1. There was this one time, people in the thread were discussing the measurement of K10 from this website:
https://clarityfidelity.blogspot.com/2016/08/noble-audio-kaiser-10-universal-new-ver.html

So I offered my 2 cents on the subject here: https://www.head-fi.org/f/threads/noble-audio-the-wizard-returns.684787/page-1459#post-12844439

As you can see, I was not criticizing the K10. In fact, my post was about the measurement and not about the IEM itself. But once again, John had to intervene here: https://www.head-fi.org/f/threads/noble-audio-the-wizard-returns.684787/page-1459#post-12844690

2. Here is me posting my balanced impressions on the Katana compared to the Rhapsodio Galaxy: https://www.head-fi.org/f/threads/noble-audio-introducing-katana.813979/page-17#post-12929245

It was a positive feedback. John could have left it alone. But he had to come and make a follow up post, asking about how the 2 IEMs compared in terms of looks and build, as my sound impressions did not carry sufficient hype.

3. Well one could argue that it is natural for a manufacturer to defend his own products. Which is fine. But the craziness doesn't end there. Here is me asking the noble customers about the nature of the Thanksgiving sale here: https://www.head-fi.org/f/threads/noble-audio-the-wizard-returns.684787/page-1552#post-12998704

And what do you know, there he is again making a comment that not only, does NOT answer my question, but also boasts about, how the Limited Edition K10 got sold in hours: https://www.head-fi.org/f/threads/noble-audio-the-wizard-returns.684787/page-1552#post-12999005

And it took me 4 more exchanges to make him realize, I wasn't inquiring about his marketing strategy but it was a question aimed at fellow noble customers.

Now to the consecutive 5-Star reviews. If you are new on Head-Fi and take the high number of 5-Star reviews too literally, you cannot be blamed, as you are still new to the site and are unaware of these misleading hype-trains on this site. But if you are someone, who has been on Head-Fi long enough, and are actually aware of these hype-trains and still are naively pointing to the numerous 5-Star reviews, then it seems, quantity speaks more to you more than quality. In which case, you may be better served with the likes of Panasonic Earbuds that has 30,000+ x 5-Star reviews on Amazon.

I wouldn't bother to make this post in the Noble thread, as it would hardly create a dent. But this thread here is a civil thread, where IEMs are judged objectively and IEMs' technical aspects are taken into account. And I don't want people to think that we are pointlessly bashing a noble brand just for the sake of it. Still not convinced? Try attending a Canjam meet and comparing with other similarly priced TOTL IEMs.

Oh, I should warn you. Don't expect a warm welcome, or a meaningful chat at the Noble table, which you would receive at other tables. Their arrogance follows them to the shows. I went to the RMAF Canjam 2016 and I was trying the Katana. Whenever I tried asking a question to Brannan or the other person manning the table, the kind of answers I got back was a one word 'Yes' or 'No'. It seemed like, they did not bother to put any kind of effort to connect with the people there, because they knew, no matter what, they have enough people buying their products.

If your mileage varies based on your interaction with Noble, I am truly happy for you. But there is also another side to the coin.
 
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May 29, 2017 at 10:03 PM Post #1,657 of 37,891

Watagump

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The contempt towards the brand, that many of us hold, is not just because of the misleading hype, surrounding their IEMs. It's the hostile treatment in the thread, by a FEW Noble fans and John himself. I have posted on the Noble thread only a couple of times. And every one of those times, John had to intervene or say something that made me feel 'Why the hell did I even post on this thread?'. It's like, the only type of posts he likes to see are, 'K10 blew my mind' or 'My jaws dropped when I listened to the Encore'.

If anyone posted either neutral or critical comments on one of his products, his immediate reaction would be 'subjective, subjective, subjective' or he would point to the fact that K10 has 28 x 5-Star reviews. Don't believe me? Go to the Noble thread and search for posts in the thread by the user 'FullCircle', which contain the words '5 star' or 'subjective'. Btw, 'FullCircle' is the profile name of John.

But I don't want to just hypothesize and make guesses. Here are some incidents from personal experience:

1. There was this one time, people in the thread were discussing the measurement of K10 from this website:
https://clarityfidelity.blogspot.com/2016/08/noble-audio-kaiser-10-universal-new-ver.html

So I offered my 2 cents on the subject here: https://www.head-fi.org/f/threads/noble-audio-the-wizard-returns.684787/page-1459#post-12844439

As you can see, I was not criticizing the K10. In fact, my post was about the measurement and not about the IEM itself. But once again, John had to intervene here: https://www.head-fi.org/f/threads/noble-audio-the-wizard-returns.684787/page-1459#post-12844690

2. Here is me posting my balanced impressions on the Katana compared to the Rhapsodio Galaxy: https://www.head-fi.org/f/threads/noble-audio-introducing-katana.813979/page-17#post-12929245

It was a positive feedback. John could have left it alone. But he had to come and make a follow up post, asking about how the 2 IEMs compared in terms of looks and build, as my sound impressions did not carry sufficient hype.

3. Well one could argue that it is natural for a manufacturer to defend his own products. Which is fine. But the craziness doesn't end there. Here is me asking the noble customers about the nature of the Thanksgiving sale here: https://www.head-fi.org/f/threads/noble-audio-the-wizard-returns.684787/page-1552#post-12998704

And what do you know, there he is again making a comment that not only, does NOT answer my question, but also boasts about, how the Limited Edition K10 got sold in hours: https://www.head-fi.org/f/threads/noble-audio-the-wizard-returns.684787/page-1552#post-12999005

And it took me 4 more exchanges to make him realize, I wasn't inquiring about his marketing strategy but it was a question aimed at fellow noble customers.

Now to the consecutive 5-Star reviews. If you are new on Head-Fi and take the high number of 5-Star reviews too literally, you cannot be blamed, as you are still new to the site and are unaware of these misleading hype-trains on this site. But if you are someone, who has been on Head-Fi long enough, and are actually aware of these hype-trains and still are naively pointing to the numerous 5-Star reviews, then it seems, quantity speaks more to you more than quality. In which case, you may be better served with the likes of Panasonic Earbuds that has 30,000+ x 5-Star reviews on Amazon.

I wouldn't bother to make this post in the Noble thread, as it would hardly create a dent. But this thread here is a civil thread, where IEMs are judged objectively and IEMs' technical aspects are taken into account. And I don't want people to think that we are pointlessly bashing a noble brand just for the sake of it. Still not convinced? Try attending a Canjam meet and comparing with other similarly priced TOTL IEMs.

Oh, I should warn you. Don't expect a warm welcome, or a meaningful chat at the Noble table, which you would receive at other tables. Their arrogance follows them to the shows. I went to the RMAF Canjam 2016 and I was trying the Katana. Whenever I tried asking a question to Brannan or the other person manning the table, the kind of answers I got back was a one word 'Yes' or 'No'. It seemed like, they did not bother to put any kind of effort to connect with the people there, because they knew, no matter what, they have enough people buying their products.

If your mileage varies based on your interaction with Noble, I am truly happy for you. But there is also another side to the coin.


For what its worth, I don't recall attacking or berating anyone just because they didn't like a Noble product. I know not everyone will, but its just I feel all of a sudden I am being blamed for how others have been treated by someone else. Someone even went as far as to say I am to blame for what John posted, how is that in my control? I have always treated people with respect and answered questions at shows I helped at. Heck, ask anyone who has met me. So once again, don't lump me in with feelings of how people have been treated in the Noble thread, only people I have a tendency to question are the ones once again coming in to shame them. If I did the same thing in threads of others, I would be attacked, so people don't need to act so innocent, we all have our loves and hates here.
 
May 29, 2017 at 10:03 PM Post #1,658 of 37,891

Toolman

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Like I have said...some guys just take a piece of their gear far too seriously, oftentimes without realising how lucky we all are to be able to splash this much money and resources on our hobby.

I owned many Noble earphones...from the good old Noble 6 to the Kaiser 10 (that was my main go-to iem for years) to the Encore that I just received weeks ago...yet you don't see me take offense when someone posted a less than glowing review or the many friends of mine who often talked down on basically "anything Noble"...its my money so my preference and my ears will call the shots.

I like Noble products and bought many (at full asking price without any freebies thrown in) and they remained a favourite of mine but stepping into the Noble thread I felt like I have just entered into a cult gathering, whereby anyone posting anything less glowing will get a dagger in his back and set off an uprising (no extra point for guessing who's often the leader of the troop) and the impression that any negative posts will be accused of being sponsored (or given free products) by another company or trying to destroy the brand or bring down the company. I didn't know the reputation of Noble is that fragile that warranted this level of defending by the "fans"?

When one is happy to have "28 consecutive 5-stars reviews" why is that anything otherwise get such backlash and ridicule? imo this is actually doing the brand a great disservice rather than "defending the integrity and reputation" of the company. After all we all have our very own criteria, preferences, listening sensitivity, expectation etc so we all will judge a piece of gear differently. It's no surprise that some are being put off after reading the very one-sided adulation of the brand over there. I believe Noble the company is in solid footing and they do churned out great products that I liked, and just like any brands out there it's good to have a more balanced view and open discussion so we head-fiers can benefit and be better informed which will result in us making a more balanced buying decisions
 
May 29, 2017 at 10:18 PM Post #1,661 of 37,891

PinkyPowers

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Like I have said...some guys just take a piece of their gear far too seriously, oftentimes without realising how lucky we all are to be able to splash this much money and resources on our hobby.

I owned many Noble earphones...from the good old Noble 6 to the Kaiser 10 (that was my main go-to iem for years) to the Encore that I just received weeks ago...yet you don't see me take offense when someone posted a less than glowing review or the many friends of mine who often talked down on basically "anything Noble"...its my money so my preference and my ears will call the shots.

I like Noble products and bought many (at full asking price without any freebies thrown in) and they remained a favourite of mine but stepping into the Noble thread I felt like I have just entered into a cult gathering, whereby anyone posting anything less glowing will get a dagger in his back and set off an uprising (no extra point for guessing who's often the leader of the troop) and the impression that any negative posts will be accused of being sponsored (or given free products) by another company or trying to destroy the brand or bring down the company. I didn't know the reputation of Noble is that fragile that warranted this level of defending by the "fans"?

When one is happy to have "28 consecutive 5-stars reviews" why is that anything otherwise get such backlash and ridicule? imo this is actually doing the brand a great disservice rather than "defending the integrity and reputation" of the company. After all we all have our very own criteria, preferences, listening sensitivity, expectation etc so we all will judge a piece of gear differently. It's no surprise that some are being put off after reading the very one-sided adulation of the brand over there. I believe Noble the company is in solid footing and they do churned out great products that I liked, and just like any brands out there it's good to have a more balanced view and open discussion so we head-fiers can benefit and be better informed which will result in us making a more balanced buying decisions

That's a good point. I also don't visit the Noble thread very often. Not because I was offended by anyone. Why would I be? I liked Encore. :D But rather there was zero constructive intercourse taking place. Any and all posts were just... well, hype... and marketing. Which is fine, I guess. Good for them. They've got their clique. But I have other stuff to be about. :wink:
 
May 29, 2017 at 10:23 PM Post #1,663 of 37,891

EagleWings

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For what its worth, I don't recall attacking or berating anyone just because they didn't like a Noble product. I know not everyone will, but its just I feel all of a sudden I am being blamed for how others have been treated by someone else. Someone even went as far as to say I am to blame for what John posted, how is that in my control? I have always treated people with respect and answered questions at shows I helped at. Heck, ask anyone who has met me. So once again, don't lump me in with feelings of how people have been treated in the Noble thread, only people I have a tendency to question are the ones once again coming in to shame them. If I did the same thing in threads of others, I would be attacked, so people don't need to act so innocent, we all have our loves and hates here.

Wata, I think I should have mentioned this in my original post. The noble fans I mention in my post, does not include you. I have seen quite a few playful jokes from you time to time, which in no way attacked a member, nor were you trying to defend the brand, unless you were provoked. It's a shame you got dragged into this mess. I hope things get better for you from here on.
 
May 29, 2017 at 10:23 PM Post #1,664 of 37,891

Dingding123

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On the backlash against Noble:
I concur with Eagle. Despite having joint the forum rather recently, I have been following the Noble thread rather regularly.
And my observations are quite similar to Eagles, where less-than-glowing reviews and negative opinions get dismissed rather indiscriminately. Time and again FullCircle would appear to quote the K10 5-star streak, and in no time, the negative voice is left behind and gets forgotten.
But hey! The 5 star streak was for the original K10. Why bring that up when talking about K10 encore and Katana? I find it ridiculous for people to keep clinging onto their past glory and not let go.
By the way, has anyone else observed that discussion of second or third tier IEMs are practically absent in the Noble thread?
 
May 29, 2017 at 10:30 PM Post #1,665 of 37,891

Toolman

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I would guessed there are some "less than 5-stars" reviews in between...just that there are now no-where to be found
 

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