Headphone recommendations on Head-Fi - a suggestion ..
Sep 3, 2009 at 7:08 PM Post #17 of 31

jewman

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I think this is a good idea. It would be a good way to consolidate headphone reviews and facilitate searches for headphones. I found this review plugin and thought it might be a good start.
 
Sep 3, 2009 at 7:47 PM Post #19 of 31

runswithaliens

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I like the original poster's idea. It might be very helpful when trying to decide on a new set of cans... On the other hand; each thread for a given pair of headphones would eventually turn into a mega sized thread where completely contrary experiences are related so often that one can only come to the conclusion that the only thing certain before buying a new set of cans is the uncertainty as to how they will actually sound for you.
 
Sep 3, 2009 at 8:19 PM Post #20 of 31

feifan

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I agree with Duggeh. This is a bad idea.

Quote:

Originally Posted by runswithaliens /img/forum/go_quote.gif
I like the original poster's idea. It might be very helpful when trying to decide on a new set of cans... On the other hand; each thread for a given pair of headphones would eventually turn into a mega sized thread where completely contrary experiences are related so often that one can only come to the conclusion that the only thing certain before buying a new set of cans is the uncertainty as to how they will actually sound for you.


I agree with runswithaliens that, in quick order, the rec threads would become so huge that "reading" it from start to finish might takes hours.

OP, your idea is logical and practical, and in the best of all possible worlds, it might work. But the reality is that discussion forums, in general, have minds of their own. They never go in the direction that you expect. For posts to go off topic is normal since there are subtopics in every post that aren't directly related to the opening topic. And these subthreads could easily -- and usually do -- go on for pages. They are usually interesting and add dimensions to the discussion that are often just as if not more valuable than the opening topic.

Re repetitions ad nauseum: I don't think the problem is as bad as it first appears. Every post tends to be slightly different, based on the OP, so people like Uncle Erik can continue to share their views in different threads but with variations that are aimed at the OP.

Also, I think there's a built-in mechanism that renders the problem moot: If an OP is starting a thread on a question that is similar to one that's already been asked and discussed, those who posted opinions in the earlier forum will simply ignore it. With very few posts, the thread will quickly sink into oblivion.

Moderators, too, routinely sweep the forums for repetitious threads.

If a new thread is similar to an older thread but attracts numerous posts and views, then the head-fi community is saying, through its actions rather than words, that the topic deserves a new or different look.

I guess what I'm trying to say is that as messy as the head-fi threading process appears to be, it works. There's a logic that's operating even if it's not obvious, and it's based on the way we really are as human beings and not the way we ought to be.

Just my two cents.
 
Sep 3, 2009 at 8:27 PM Post #21 of 31

estreeter

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Quote:

Originally Posted by 32y0 /img/forum/go_quote.gif
I think it's a good idea, but I'm also a little afraid about the things Duggeh posted. I think it could work, but you need to work it out very good.


1. I'm 'afraid' of most of the things duggeh posts !
very_evil_smiley.gif


2. Agree that the specifics are harder to nail down than my initial post was to throw together, but thats the nature of suggestions. Clearly, some Head-Fiers dislike the idea and others think it has merit - no biggie - but whether anything will come of it, and how its implemented, is out of our hands.
 
Sep 3, 2009 at 8:50 PM Post #23 of 31

estreeter

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feifan, I completely agree that the creation of a Reccomendations sub-forum wouldnt be an instant cure-all for folk simply starting a new thread to ask about headphone XYZ, and I agree that Uncle Erik will always want to alert newbies to the need to avoid the K701 in favour of the HD600 (I dont completely disagree with him on this..), but the prospect of incredibly large 'recommendation' threads is nothing new to Head-Fi : some of the 'Appreciation Society' threads are already monsters. One of the things that has made them monsters is that, pro or con, we feel the need to give a lot of detail when describing our experience with a pair of headphones. By contrast, a form-based approach to the recommendations thread might just cut down on *some* of that : you submit your form once and from that point you can only edit your scores etc.

For example, this could be one my entry for the ES7 (many of these fields would be optional):


Ownership : 6 months

Cost: 155 AUD

Sources : home rig and portable, per my profile

Pros:
- bass response
- good detail for closed cans, very energetic cans
- true portables

Cons:
- uncomfortable initially
- sweaty ears
- thin cord

Overall Score: 7/10


Clearly, you could have individual scores for bass/mid/treble response etc, but hopefully you get the idea - by using dropdown boxes for the scores and a few other mechanisms, its not hard to minimise the amount of screen real estate taken up by each entry. The main forum would still be here for the ding-dong battles over whether or not the ES7 is the best thing since the combustion engine, but the Recommendation forum would be a great starting point for newcomers to Head-Fi : posting a link to the ES7 entry in response to an enquiry asking for 'Good bassy cans for someone on a budget' might just cut down on the need to repeat the same basic stuff. If the OP then has something specific to ask in relation to the cans he/she is seeking, at least they will have some idea of the prevailing opinion of the ES7 before coming back to the thread. In the case of the K70*, it would also be intensely amusing to see the *rollercoaster* scores in one place !

Finally, I agree that a discussion forum does have a mind of its own, and thats probably why most of us dont even read the Headphone Buyers Guide : its just another very long thread. Kinda like this one
smily_headphones1.gif


cheers,

estreeter
 
Sep 3, 2009 at 8:58 PM Post #24 of 31

Uncle Erik

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You are making a false assumption that all reviews are equal. A quality headphone heard by someone who has never heard a quality headphone (or other audio gear, for that matter) will sound like the Voice of God.

You see that often - new members with their first good headphones praising them to high heavens and denouncing anything that costs a dime more.

The problem with consolidated reviews and ratings is that they'll be skewed by those without a reference point.

It would be difficult to balance that against the opinions of those who have put some time, money and effort into listening to a wide variety of headphones.

Call that condescending and elitist if you must, but do you really want to buy a piece of gear based on the opinions of the inexperienced?

Further, Head-Fi is a very open group. Even a jobless student is welcome at meets to experience many pieces of gear. If you get to know other members, you can often borrow or swap gear for a time. Becoming experienced doesn't have to cost a lot of money.

Another reason not to have static reviews is because we're constantly revising and updating our rigs. A new amp or CD player might change your mind about a pair of headphones and it would be a pain to constantly upgrade your review.

Finally, an important part of this place is giving a personal welcome and personal recommendations to new users. Most land in the Headphone Forum and most are overwhelmed by the information. Being told to shut up and go back to the overwhelming information will probably drive them off. Or they can start a thread, not be beaten up and sent off, really appreciate the help, then stick around and become part of the community.
 
Sep 3, 2009 at 10:43 PM Post #26 of 31

estreeter

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Quote:

Originally Posted by Uncle Erik /img/forum/go_quote.gif
Finally, an important part of this place is giving a personal welcome and personal recommendations to new users. Most land in the Headphone Forum and most are overwhelmed by the information. Being told to shut up and go back to the overwhelming information will probably drive them off. Or they can start a thread, not be beaten up and sent off, really appreciate the help, then stick around and become part of the community.


No-one is talking about beating anyone up, any more than posting a link to an existing thread in response to a query is currently seen as being 'beaten up'.

The 'not all reviews are created equal' DOES smack of elitism. It implies that newbies have no right to give their opinion of a pair of headphones (given that they do so everyday on Head-Fi, What ?), and a 'recommendation' is *not* the same thing as a detailed review. If my 3 points on the ES7 were that it was 'totally awesome' or 'it rooly sucks !', then I would hope that most would be able to ignore that particular recommendation.

Erik, I value the 'Devils Advocate' role that you play in many fanboy posts, and you undoubtedly have a wealth of experience, but I really think we might be travelling on different astral pathways in this instance.
wink.gif
 
Sep 4, 2009 at 12:47 AM Post #28 of 31

jwalsh1

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Uncle Erik brings up a lot of good points.

It seems that people new to this (like myself) need a reference point from which to start. It might be interesting to have 3 or 4 threads describing an individuals progression through their headphone experience based on the type of music they listen to. Doesnt have to be long, but then at least a newcomer can come in, see a sticky written by an experienced member here who likes Ambient music like I do, and discover how they found the right headphone. Do the same for a rock person, or heavy metal, or jazz and classical so on and so fourth.

Its doesnt solve the subjective nature of things here, but at least it gives a new guy a reference point with which to start, knowing that others with the same musical taste will likely have a similar enough desire from their headphones so as to create a jumping off point.
 
Sep 4, 2009 at 2:00 AM Post #29 of 31

Uncle Erik

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Quote:

Originally Posted by estreeter /img/forum/go_quote.gif
No-one is talking about beating anyone up, any more than posting a link to an existing thread in response to a query is currently seen as being 'beaten up'.

The 'not all reviews are created equal' DOES smack of elitism. It implies that newbies have no right to give their opinion of a pair of headphones (given that they do so everyday on Head-Fi, What ?), and a 'recommendation' is *not* the same thing as a detailed review. If my 3 points on the ES7 were that it was 'totally awesome' or 'it rooly sucks !', then I would hope that most would be able to ignore that particular recommendation.

Erik, I value the 'Devils Advocate' role that you play in many fanboy posts, and you undoubtedly have a wealth of experience, but I really think we might be travelling on different astral pathways in this instance.
wink.gif



What I meant with the "beating up" was that new members are occasionally greeted with a string of "use the search function" posts. I think it's better to give a few recommendations even if they are repetitious.

For example, if you went back through the Member's Forum, you'll notice that this topic comes up every few months. All manner of subforums, ratings systems, etc., etc. have been proposed over the years in an effort to ward off noob posts asking for basic information. But I think it's better to explain than to snap at the OP to search because this exact thing has been discussed before.

Reviews truly are not equal. No matter how sincere and well intentioned the reviewer, they need a frame of reference to make a judgment. That could be extensive exposure to live music, being a musician, owning or listening to a lot of gear, or a combination of those.

Everyone starts somewhere. There's nothing wrong with being new to something. But rather than pretending that everyone is equal, it's better to acknowledge lack of experience and deal with that directly. And it doesn't have to be exclusive. That's the point of having meets - to expose people to as much equipment as possible.

I don't want a tiny circle of people deciding what sounds good and excluding others. It would be far better to have a large group of people who have listened to lots of gear forming consensus. Further, that group should encourage people to become more experienced.
 
Sep 4, 2009 at 7:26 AM Post #30 of 31

feifan

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Quote:

Originally Posted by estreeter /img/forum/go_quote.gif
feifan, I completely agree that the creation of a Reccomendations sub-forum wouldnt be an instant cure-all for folk simply starting a new thread to ask about headphone XYZ, and I agree that Uncle Erik will always want to alert newbies to the need to avoid the K701 in favour of the HD600 (I dont completely disagree with him on this..),


estreeter, in my comment about Uncle Erik, I didn't mean this. I meant that he is very generous and patient with his advice to noobs and doesn't seem to mind repeating ideas, and in all cases, the advice is fitted to the OP. My apologies for not being clear.

Quote:

but the prospect of incredibly large 'recommendation' threads is nothing new to Head-Fi : some of the 'Appreciation Society' threads are already monsters. One of the things that has made them monsters is that, pro or con, we feel the need to give a lot of detail when describing our experience with a pair of headphones. By contrast, a form-based approach to the recommendations thread might just cut down on *some* of that : you submit your form once and from that point you can only edit your scores etc.


I agree that a lot of threads are super long and many of the posts have a lot of detail. But when you're looking for info on equipment that you've been saving up for months to buy, you really want all the detail you can get. This is where the experienced head-fiers that Uncle Erik mentions become invaluable. They base their opinions on comparisons to a range of reference type equipment that most of us can relate to, and this gives us a base line for making decisions about what will suit us and what won't.

Quote:

For example, this could be one my entry for the ES7 (many of these fields would be optional):


Ownership : 6 months

Cost: 155 AUD

Sources : home rig and portable, per my profile

Pros:
- bass response
- good detail for closed cans, very energetic cans
- true portables

Cons:
- uncomfortable initially
- sweaty ears
- thin cord

Overall Score: 7/10


Clearly, you could have individual scores for bass/mid/treble response etc, but hopefully you get the idea - by using dropdown boxes for the scores and a few other mechanisms, its not hard to minimise the amount of screen real estate taken up by each entry. The main forum would still be here for the ding-dong battles over whether or not the ES7 is the best thing since the combustion engine, but the Recommendation forum would be a great starting point for newcomers to Head-Fi : posting a link to the ES7 entry in response to an enquiry asking for 'Good bassy cans for someone on a budget' might just cut down on the need to repeat the same basic stuff. If the OP then has something specific to ask in relation to the cans he/she is seeking, at least they will have some idea of the prevailing opinion of the ES7 before coming back to the thread. In the case of the K70*, it would also be intensely amusing to see the *rollercoaster* scores in one place !


I have to admit, that's a very clear and logical system. As you say, for noobs, it may be a lot more helpful than long and drawn out posts. But I don't see head-fiers limiting their opinions to a form. They have definite ideas and want to voice them in their own way. In the end, I think head-fying is more an art than a science, and as such, it defies systematic codification.

Quote:

Finally, I agree that a discussion forum does have a mind of its own, and thats probably why most of us dont even read the Headphone Buyers Guide : its just another very long thread. Kinda like this one
smily_headphones1.gif


cheers,

estreeter


This is a good thread with a thought-provoking proposition. I think you're asking a question that all of us ask ourselves: Isn't there a more efficient way to share information? After hanging around a while, you begin to see the logic in the apparent confusion and learn to appreciate it.
biggrin.gif
 

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