How Can I Trust Head-Fi Reviews?
Dec 27, 2014 at 1:03 AM Post #76 of 155

wuwhere

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I kind of have another trust issue with some reviews, too. Some companies send a sample product to major reviewers to have them publish reviews online. The idea of the company sending a slightly better than average product to the reviewer comes to mind. That slight increase in performance will ensure a better review and wont make the reviewed product seem irrelevant to the product we are buying. I wish major reviewers, innerfidilety, headfonia, cnet and others could afford to buy the product themselves for reviews.

 
How can a company send a better product for review when the said product is being judge by its sound quality? How can a reviewer judge an increase in sound quality subjectively vs. the lesser performing unit? When you open an audio product, an amplifier for example, all you see are capacitors, resistors, transistors, diodes, PCB board, wires, etc... A reviewer will take a photo of the board and publish it. So an astute buyer will be able to see the workmanship of the review sample.
 
Dec 27, 2014 at 5:39 AM Post #77 of 155

TripBitShooter

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I guess lofthanza thinks some reviewers will give good reviews of a product because they got to try it for free, and wants reviewers to actually buy the headphones themselves.

And as i said before in an earlier post, this logic is severely flawed, as we would then never see reviews of stuuf like the HD800
 
Dec 27, 2014 at 6:53 AM Post #79 of 155

Xenophon

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  I know for a fact a very popular manufacturer in the portable industry has offered incentives for reviews. 


+1, it happens (in all sectors, not just audio).  It's unrealistic to demand that reviewers pay all the stuff out of their own pocket, but I do think they need to be clear about any incentives such as keeping the review unit for free or at a discount, visiting trade shows or events (especially of the variety hosted in a luxury hotel) at the expense of exhibitors/sponsors etc.  
 
Or site sponsoring, regardless of what is claimed, nobody will convince me that reviews of sponsors' gear are unbiased.  
 
Best thing to do is always to try it out yourself if possible, apart from that I tend to go with reviews written by people who have owned the article for some time, share my musical tastes and have heard competing products.
 
Dec 27, 2014 at 7:54 AM Post #80 of 155

paradoxper

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+1, it happens (in all sectors, not just audio).  It's unrealistic to demand that reviewers pay all the stuff out of their own pocket, but I do think they need to be clear about any incentives such as keeping the review unit for free or at a discount, visiting trade shows or events (especially of the variety hosted in a luxury hotel) at the expense of exhibitors/sponsors etc.  
 
Or site sponsoring, regardless of what is claimed, nobody will convince me that reviews of sponsors' gear are unbiased.  
 
Best thing to do is always to try it out yourself if possible, apart from that I tend to go with reviews written by people who have owned the article for some time, share my musical tastes and have heard competing products.

So, Currawong has PM'ed me regarding my comment. Trust me, I don't want to be banned.
There's really two sides to this, though. 
 
A. This manufacturer didn't just send out a review sample (which is fine, I mean, what else do you expect reviewers to do, right.) They specifically stated they would only do so if intent was to not write a negative review. This is way ethically wrong and in part why I flat out don't trust this industry. (i,e. subjectivity, trust your own ears anyway.)
 
B. And the real big problem. This person, this "reviewer," well, he had no real intention on writing a review in the first place. He just wanted the product - for free or discounted.
 
AND, this "reviewer" has wormed his way into writing for your favorite and friendly headphone sites. 
Headphoneguru, Audio360, etc. There's a problem when "trusted" review sites, sources, etc, are gamed like this person has done/is doing.
 
Dec 27, 2014 at 10:41 AM Post #81 of 155

SilentFrequency

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So, Currawong has PM'ed me regarding my comment. Trust me, I don't want to be banned.
There's really two sides to this, though. 

A. This manufacturer didn't just send out a review sample (which is fine, I mean, what else do you expect reviewers to do, right.) They specifically stated they would only do so if intent was to not write a negative review. This is way ethically wrong and in part why I flat out don't trust this industry. (i,e. subjectivity, trust your own ears anyway.)

B. And the real big problem. This person, this "reviewer," well, he had no real intention on writing a review in the first place. He just wanted the product - for free or discounted.

AND, this "reviewer" has wormed his way into writing for your favorite and friendly headphone sites. 
Headphoneguru, Audio360, etc. There's a problem when "trusted" review sites, sources, etc, are gamed like this person has done/is doing.



omg :eek:

Who is the "reviewer"?

Is it a secret? I mean who can be trusted in reality?
 
Dec 27, 2014 at 2:57 PM Post #82 of 155

Lenni

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  So, Currawong has PM'ed me regarding my comment. Trust me, I don't want to be banned.
There's really two sides to this, though. 
 
A. This manufacturer didn't just send out a review sample (which is fine, I mean, what else do you expect reviewers to do, right.) They specifically stated they would only do so if intent was to not write a negative review. This is way ethically wrong and in part why I flat out don't trust this industry. (i,e. subjectivity, trust your own ears anyway.)
 
B. And the real big problem. This person, this "reviewer," well, he had no real intention on writing a review in the first place. He just wanted the product - for free or discounted.
 
AND, this "reviewer" has wormed his way into writing for your favorite and friendly headphone sites. 
Headphoneguru, Audio360, etc. There's a problem when "trusted" review sites, sources, etc, are gamed like this person has done/is doing.

 
it's a shame this kind of things happen. It's just wrong.
 
However, I wonder how significant one review can be to someone making his/hers choice. I doubt anybody will make a purchase by reading one review. As SilentFrequency noted, there are here 47 reviews of the HD800 alone, and though it's a lot reviews to read, I think it's good. Even if one or two out of those 47 may be bad, the good ones should favour. Personally I either skip or not take into much consideration reviews that seem to good with a product. I'm more interested in the critics ones, or a balance of the two. just my 2c.
 
Dec 27, 2014 at 3:51 PM Post #83 of 155
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First up - thanks for some of the previous comments - it is nice to know that some of my reviews come in handy for those who share similar tastes.
 
As one of the contributing "semi-regular" reviewers on this site, all I can do is provide a little of my own philosophy and insight - into what I do, how I write, and what drives me.
 
  • I'm not paid, never have been.  I have a real job.  This is a hobby.  I write because I genuinely enjoy doing it.
     
  • I have extensively tested myself (as objectively as possible - a lot of ABX) to understand my own limitations and preferences.  I then preface every review I do with my understanding of my own bias and physical limitations. I don't have 'golden ears' - far from it in fact.  And I also prefer people to know my own views on cables, formats etc so that they can then form their own views on how useful my opinion will be to them.
     
  • I think reviewer bias plays a big part in each review - and I know (for example) that I very much dislike warm bassy headphones.  So I try to state this clearly and give examples of headphones I've owned and liked, and those I haven't.
     
  • One thing I am very conscious of now is that some people may be making buying decisions based on what I like - so I try very hard to make sure I don't overhype something.  The other thing I try to do is test thoroughly (ie put at least 20-30 hours listening into a piece of gear) before I put pen to paper.
     
  • I do always acknowledge if the product being reviewed is mine, borrowed, or a review sample.  I think this is very important.
     
  • I don't solicit reviews - the closest to me doing this is when the occasional manufacturer thread appears asking for interest in reviewing something - and I will generally express an interest in these threads.  But I don't email manufacturers asking for review samples.  Why?  Because it would make me feel uncomfortable.  Most of my contacts have either been "out of the blue" - manufacturers contacting me on this site via PM asking me to review something, or referrals from other reviewers where they have suggested to a manufacturer that I might be a good person to contact.
     
  • With virtually every manufacturer I have offered to either return (generally at my cost), or purchase review units. I do this for my own peace of mind. Most manufacturers have thanked me but explained clearly that the units are review units and no need to return or pay for them.  But the offer is always there.  I have at different times purchased review units from Fiio, Fidue, T-Peos, Beyerdynamic and others - and I have at least offered to do so for everyone else.
     
  • You'll find with my reviews that they aren't all positive.  I try to write exactly what I think about the product in question - and this means often going against the grain / mass opinion of other reviewers. I try to do this respectfully and objectively.
     
  • There is some gear that I have received, listened to, and then given the manufacturer an impression + the option for me not to review (often if the product is in my opinion really bad). I believe this is fair to the manufacturer, and with some it has led to open discussion on flaws with the product in question, and often improvements being implemented.  It is particularly gratifying when this happens, and I think one of the best things about manufacturers being very involved with the Head-Fi community.
 
Hopefully this sheds light into what drives me personally, and reassures those who think a lot of reviewers are shills simply looking for "free stuff".  It wouldn't be worth it given how long it takes me to put a review together, For me it is still all about the joy of the hobby :)
 
Dec 27, 2014 at 4:38 PM Post #84 of 155

wuwhere

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Reviews and/or commentaries, formal or informal, positive or negative, can have an impact on a product, hence a manufacturer's revenues. And if one is just a small start-up and can't afford to advertise, comments here about their product can make or break a start-up.
 
Dec 27, 2014 at 5:10 PM Post #85 of 155

paradoxper

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omg
eek.gif


Who is the "reviewer"?

Is it a secret? I mean who can be trusted in reality?

I haven't stated either the manufacturer or reviewer name because I'd rather not end up getting banned. 
 
Dec 28, 2014 at 2:53 AM Post #87 of 155

Asr

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Lachlanlikesathing, a youtube reviewer, sometimes crowdsources funds from his viewers to buy headphones for headphone reviews

 
I'm pretty sure that he was banned (from Head-Fi) for attempting to do exactly that. Jude (the admin of Head-Fi) didn't allow the idea of crowdsourced funding for review samples, Lachlan complained about it, and was then banned. That's not ethical IMO either—where do these reviewers get off on trying to collect money from their reading audience to acquire items? If they can't afford to use their own money, they shouldn't be asking other people for money.
 
omg
eek.gif


Who is the "reviewer"?

Is it a secret? I mean who can be trusted in reality?

 
I'm pretty sure I know exactly who paradoxper is referring to, so it's not exactly a secret. Anyone who's spent some time reading around on Head-Fi should be able to figure it out.
 
Dec 28, 2014 at 3:05 AM Post #88 of 155

TripBitShooter

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So, Currawong has PM'ed me regarding my comment. Trust me, I don't want to be banned.
There's really two sides to this, though. 

A. This manufacturer didn't just send out a review sample (which is fine, I mean, what else do you expect reviewers to do, right.) They specifically stated they would only do so if intent was to not write a negative review. This is way ethically wrong and in part why I flat out don't trust this industry. (i,e. subjectivity, trust your own ears anyway.)

B. And the real big problem. This person, this "reviewer," well, he had no real intention on writing a review in the first place. He just wanted the product - for free or discounted.

AND, this "reviewer" has wormed his way into writing for your favorite and friendly headphone sites. 
Headphoneguru, Audio360, etc. There's a problem when "trusted" review sites, sources, etc, are gamed like this person has done/is doing.
i heard that Bose actually tried to sue a reviewer for giving a bad review of one of its speakers really long ago. Its absurd, really.
 
Dec 28, 2014 at 3:08 AM Post #89 of 155

TripBitShooter

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Deleted post
 
Dec 28, 2014 at 3:11 AM Post #90 of 155

TripBitShooter

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First up - thanks for some of the previous comments - it is nice to know that some of my reviews come in handy for those who share similar tastes.

As one of the contributing "semi-regular" reviewers on this site, all I can do is provide a little of my own philosophy and insight - into what I do, how I write, and what drives me.

  1. I'm not paid, never have been.  I have a real job.  This is a hobby.  I write because I genuinely enjoy doing it.

     
  2. I have extensively tested myself (as objectively as possible - a lot of ABX) to understand my own limitations and preferences.  I then preface every review I do with my understanding of my own bias and physical limitations. I don't have 'golden ears' - far from it in fact.  And I also prefer people to know my own views on cables, formats etc so that they can then form their own views on how useful my opinion will be to them.

     
  3. I think reviewer bias plays a big part in each review - and I know (for example) that I very much dislike warm bassy headphones.  So I try to state this clearly and give examples of headphones I've owned and liked, and those I haven't.

     
  4. One thing I am very conscious of now is that some people may be making buying decisions based on what I like - so I try very hard to make sure I don't overhype something.  The other thing I try to do is test thoroughly (ie put at least 20-30 hours listening into a piece of gear) before I put pen to paper.

     
  5. I do always acknowledge if the product being reviewed is mine, borrowed, or a review sample.  I think this is very important.

     
  6. I don't solicit reviews - the closest to me doing this is when the occasional manufacturer thread appears asking for interest in reviewing something - and I will generally express an interest in these threads.  But I don't email manufacturers asking for review samples.  Why?  Because it would make me feel uncomfortable.  Most of my contacts have either been "out of the blue" - manufacturers contacting me on this site via PM asking me to review something, or referrals from other reviewers where they have suggested to a manufacturer that I might be a good person to contact.

     
  7. With virtually every manufacturer I have offered to either return (generally at my cost), or purchase review units. I do this for my own peace of mind. Most manufacturers have thanked me but explained clearly that the units are review units and no need to return or pay for them.  But the offer is always there.  I have at different times purchased review units from Fiio, Fidue, T-Peos, Beyerdynamic and others - and I have at least offered to do so for everyone else.

     
  8. You'll find with my reviews that they aren't all positive.  I try to write exactly what I think about the product in question - and this means often going against the grain / mass opinion of other reviewers. I try to do this respectfully and objectively.

     
  9. There is some gear that I have received, listened to, and then given the manufacturer an impression + the option for me not to review (often if the product is in my opinion really bad). I believe this is fair to the manufacturer, and with some it has led to open discussion on flaws with the product in question, and often improvements being implemented.  It is particularly gratifying when this happens, and I think one of the best things about manufacturers being very involved with the Head-Fi community.

Hopefully this sheds light into what drives me personally, and reassures those who think a lot of reviewers are shills simply looking for "free stuff".  It wouldn't be worth it given how long it takes me to put a review together, For me it is still all about the joy of the hobby :)
i do reviews as well because i just simply enjoy doing them. Listenig critically comes naturally to me now, so why not write my thoughts down? also sometimes my opinions are different from others, and sometimes, after i have voiced them out, a lot of people who weren't sure they heard right start to speak up against the general consensus. And my reviews are hardly ever fully positive. Its impossible for a product ro be 100% perfect.
 

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