How Can I Trust Head-Fi Reviews?
Dec 29, 2014 at 3:11 PM Post #107 of 155

SilentFrequency

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There is really no need for reviews actually, you just need to follow these simple rules to chose gear :

1. Anything from Japan, Korea or Germany is better than the rest
2. Expensive is better, anything under 1K should not be considered. Anything more expensive than a car sounds better than sex. If you buy something very expensive and you do not like how it sounds, you are wrong
3. I am always right and my tastes are better than yours, that's why I get all the girls
4. Graphs are cool. Not even considering what they tell you about sound, they can help you get girls / guys

If you have say additional issues with your gear, I can perform headphone therapy (talk to your gear to help it unleash its potential) or headphone massaging (exert pressure on your gear's central points to open up soundstage or improve PRAT) for very reasonable tarifs, PM me for price list.


Actually, I think you will find the Hype thread that way >

:p
 
Dec 29, 2014 at 8:16 PM Post #108 of 155

TripBitShooter

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There is really no need for reviews actually, you just need to follow these simple rules to chose gear :

1. Anything from Japan, Korea or Germany is better than the rest
2. Expensive is better, anything under 1K should not be considered. Anything more expensive than a car sounds better than sex. If you buy something very expensive and you do not like how it sounds, you are wrong
3. I am always right and my tastes are better than yours, that's why I get all the girls
4. Graphs are cool. Not even considering what they tell you about sound, they can help you get girls / guys

If you have say additional issues with your gear, I can perform headphone therapy (talk to your gear to help it unleash its potential) or headphone massaging (exert pressure on your gear's central points to open up soundstage or improve PRAT) for very reasonable tarifs, PM me for price list.
Japan: audio technica. Germany: Sennheiser
 
Dec 29, 2014 at 8:52 PM Post #109 of 155

oqvist

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US Grado?
 
Dec 30, 2014 at 7:03 AM Post #111 of 155

oqvist

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For me it´s 2-1 Japan I believe. Sony CD 3K, JVC DX 1000 and Audeze LCD-2. Though the LCD-2 do top them so would call it a tie US/Japan :D
 
Jan 14, 2015 at 4:41 PM Post #113 of 155

Vartan

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So funny my post launched a country / brand discussion
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Get even more fun
Stayer Profi 1118 
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Mar 1, 2015 at 10:14 PM Post #114 of 155

Raketen

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Derp. Writing about ethics in a science thread. Deleted.
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Jun 24, 2015 at 6:13 PM Post #115 of 155

taffy2207

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Sorry if this offends anyone but I don't trust many of the reviews. There's far too many 4 and 5 star reviews. Every day I see the review wall on the forum and inevitably they're pretty much all 5 star reviews. I value much more the opinions of users in threads than the actual reviewers. It's amazing how many reviewers aren't actually embracing the community aspect of Head-fi. I figure some of them are just trying to get their hands on free gear, just my two pence worth (Hell, I'm British)
 
It tickles my pickle to hear someone say "These are the best headphones I've ever heard" only to find they are selling them a month later.
 
I saw a 1 star review yesterday, I nearly fell off my chair, such was my surprise.
 
And templated reviews? Meh.
 
Nevermind. As you were, Just needed to vent a little
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Jun 25, 2015 at 1:36 AM Post #116 of 155

Xenophon

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Tickling British pickle or whatever but you're stating the obvious:  precious few reviews can be trusted. 
 
First of all, because you're navigating a huge marketing platform whose core objective it is to whip up mass hysteria about a product and create a need that you weren't even aware of existed  2 months back so that you whip out that already groaning credit card and order an item.  Any item.  If the formula didn't work there would be no sponsors here.  Read 'La psychologie des foules' (the psychology of crowds) by Gustave Le Bon.  Dates from 1895 but is (or should be) on the shelves of any marketeer/crowd funding specialist or forum manager.  Rationality is suspended.  At head-fi that translates to the relegating to a subforum of any 'objectivist' talk that tries to debunk subjective claims.  For those of you who have been hanging around here a bit:  remember what happened in the 'HOT-transducer' thread?  A sponsor's item got taken apart (in both senses of the term), measured, parts sent through a mass spectrometer and even a scanning EM if I'm not mistaken.  It became clear that the item couldn't do anything based on current scientific knowledge...arguments got heated and pretty soon posts were removed and people got (temporarily) banned.  I'm not saying that strict objectivism is the only way to go (check out H2audio if that's your thing) but trying to pour a scientific sauce over subjective claims is a no-no, at least to me.
 
Secondly because -pardon my French- most people posting reviews don't know what they're talking about.  How could they?  They've heard/owned a couple of cans max and one or two amps and make far-reaching general observations based on that.  What's a claim like 'The best set of headphones I've EVER heard' worth if the writer heard exactly 2 sets?
 
But otoh if you stick around, take a temporary leave of absence until the gear-craze has abated then you get to know the guys who have seen/tested their fair share of items, have given more than they've taken and although you may not always agree with them, interesting discussion is certainly possible.  I've learned a lot on this site; one of the most important lessons was that it's good to take a break from time to time and just listen to what you have in stead of chasing the golden rabbit down the infinite hole.
 
Jun 25, 2015 at 4:20 AM Post #117 of 155

money4me247

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Above post brings up some good points. Here are some of my tips for evaluating reviews.
 
1) Does the review cover both strengths & weaknesses of the headphones?? (all headphones even the most expensive TOTL headphones have flaws, there is no such thing as a perfect pair of headphones, only a pair of headphones that "perfectly" fit your tastes or a pair of headphones whose flaws are not important to you).
 
2) Does the review include relative comparisons against other current market options? The majority of audiophile terms are actually relative, so without a reference point, you can actually write whatever you want. A review needs comparative reference points for any meaningful information to be pulled out. A lot of times you will need to deduce the "reference point" that the reviewer is using for the audiophile terms if they are not explicit about this aspect. Either look at their preferred/primary gear set-up or their other reviews to get a sense where their unstated sound signature preference is. An 'audiophile' description in a vacuum is worthless as they are all relative terms. It is actually possible to describe the same sonic characteristic in either a positive or negative way depending on what you are comparing to.
 
3) Does the reviewer acknowledge his biases or mention his preferred set-up? All reviews and reviewers are biased!! This is a subjective hobby and people are looking for different sound signatures (and weigh different sonic qualities differently). This information is extremely important to gauge how your own personal requirements fall relative to what the reviewer is looking for. 
 
4) Does the reviewer claim to be an expert or have golden ears? I personally feel that any sonic change worth describing should be audible by everyone (even average Joe pulled off the street) as long as the listener knows specifically what to listen for. The more of a 'guru' someone claims to be, the less seriously I take their opinion.
 
5) Does the reviewer have differing beliefs than you? (examples can include subjects ranging from burn-in, cables, sampling rates/bit depths, and having special hearing abilities). If you have different fundamental beliefs on how audio works, impressions may not be as relevant for you.
 
6) Does the reviewer misuse audiophile terms or contradict himself in the usage of specific terms? A lot of sonic characteristics are inherently related and affect other aspects of the sound. There are certain common patterns on how FR changes affect the sound, and often you can draw pretty extensive conclusions just by picking up on a few key words (if properly used). Also, note that it is possible to describe the exact same sonic characteristic in either a positive or negative way. Look for more relative comparative usage of audiophile terms rather than absolute wording.
 
7) Does the review talk about the relative degrees of difference? There are often a lot of sonic differences you can pick up after extensively playing with some gear. Some differences or sonic characteristics are more dramatic than others.
 
8) Does the reviewer talk about performance:price & other market options? There are many decent headphones, but when placed at a specific price point, they can become either extremely attractive relative to the current market or extremely 'overpriced' for what they offer. I haven't really found many headphones that are so horrendous that I think everyone will hate them, but when you closely examine the price point offerings of all competitors relative to a specific pair of headphones, conclusions can be made about relative value.
 
9) Why is the review being written? The best reviews (in my opinion) are from personally purchased items written by non-professionals. Professional reviewers operate in a different setting. Their access to review gear is dependent on review samples sent by companies and they are required to establish relationships with manufacturers. Their profit margins are determined by their visibility and audio gear sponsors. What they write will be more dramatic than reality and often tilted more positively. If two things sound exactly the same, they can't just write that. Expect a lot of flaws to be glossed over in professional reviews. Expect a lot of jargon or other writing styles that project a sense of authority or expertise over the average listener to give more credence to their subjective opinions over others. They have to met deadlines, are required to write about the gear that they are assigned, and have to follow certain guidelines set by their editors. Do note their work also provides additional benefits (discounts/freebies) as well as a secondary source of income.
 
10) Temper your expectations. Expect that any difference that is written about to be like half as dramatic as the review makes it sound. The nature of writing about subtle differences in audio gear inherently makes things sound exaggerated. There is actually an upper limit of how "good" or "magical" things can sound (primarily determined by your source files). Both positive or negative reviews are usually more revealing of the reviewer's personal sound signature preferences rather than the actual headphones performance.
 
I personally try to write my own reviews in a way that is more universally relatable, but I'd be the first to admit that there are certain sonic attributes and sound signatures that are more appealing to me personally. To gain helpful information from a review (imo), you need a reference point to relate your experiences to my experiences, and you need to judge whether the things I mention are important to you or what you are looking for. People perceive relative differences between different sonic attributes differently and also have different "goals" or ideals on what things should sound like.
 
In conclusion, there is really no such thing as an "universal review" or 100% trustable review. However, I have personally found that I have been able to draw helpful information from all reviews. Some reviews simply require more reading in-between the lines. How accurate a review will be to your experiences depends on similar your preferences and sonic impressions on other gear are to the writer. Hope this perspective from someone who enjoys writing reviews is helpful :)
 
Jun 25, 2015 at 5:39 AM Post #118 of 155

taffy2207

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The gear craze thing is what bugs me the most. The Fiio X3 2nd gen or whatever its called now has just been released and its top of the list already, number 1 DAP. The sheer number of reviews (hugely helped by loaner units from Fiio!) has got them there. It probably is a great DAP, but as soon as I see the line 'Thanks for the loaner unit' my brain immediately questions the objectivity of that review. As has been stated before several times it's hard to be objective when someone has basically done you a favour by reducing the price or lending you a loaner unit.
 
I'm really not interested in what is the best DAP / headphone etc, I'm more interested in what's best to my taste / ears. I think it's something that should be pointed out more than it is . There's absolutely no substitute for trying out gear yourself. Personally I'm more likely to be hooked in by a general comment from someone who owns what i'm interested in than over-hype of a product. Discussion on the forum by people that own the product and use it everyday is what I'm swayed by mostly.
 
The whole notion of head-fi being a marketing platform sends shivers down my spine to be frank, a forum should serve it's community. That's what is bugging me at the moment, is it serving us, the sponsors, or both? The fact that the X3II has got there so quick (before it was even released) makes me question this. Only 5 of the 33 reviewers actually owned the X3ii at the time of their reviews, the other 28 were promotional loaners.
 
The over hyping of gear is what leads to other gear disappearing from mention. It's almost as if something is good until something perceived as better comes along, then the gear that's good rarely gets mentioned.
 
That's the problem for me, everyone wants to know 'what is the best' and that's a subjective opinion. Everyone wants to out-do each other.
 
If it sounds good to your ears, hell, just be happy with it.
 
Meh, I think I'll go dark and play in the FLAC thread before I get banned
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Edited to include X3ii review stats
 
Jun 25, 2015 at 8:03 AM Post #119 of 155

Xenophon

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  The whole notion of head-fi being a marketing platform sends shivers down my spine to be frank, a forum should serve it's community. That's what is bugging me at the moment, is it serving us, the sponsors, or both? The fact that the X3II has got there so quick (before it was even released) makes me question this.
 
The over hyping of gear is what leads to other gear disappearing from mention. It's almost as if something is good until something perceived as better comes along, then the gear that's good rarely gets mentioned.
 
That's the problem for me, everyone wants to know 'what is the best' and that's a subjective opinion. Everyone wants to out-do each other.
 
If it sounds good to your ears, hell, just be happy with it.
 
Meh, I think I'll go dark and play in the FLAC thread before I get banned
ph34r.gif
 

 
If anything online is available for free, then you're the product.
 
But don't fret, there's no law obliging you to purchase, just don't get carried away by the hype-wave.  And to the credit of this site and the mods:  you don't get banned that quickly.
 
Jun 25, 2015 at 8:36 AM Post #120 of 155

taffy2207

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Definitely not getting carried away with the hype, fella as you can tell from my source gear
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Just edited my last post with some review stats on the X3ii, Only 5 of the 33 reviewers actually owned the X3ii at the time of their reviews. The other 28 were promotional loaners.
 
 I'm a firm believer of 'putting your money where your mouth is'. Guess I'll stick to word of mouth on the forums. I'll definitely be ignoring the reviews from now on.
 
Backs out of thread slowly....
 

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