I found my perfect headphone! (aka, "What is wrong with you people?")
Mar 8, 2011 at 11:30 PM Thread Starter Post #1 of 2


1000+ Head-Fier
Aug 30, 2005
I think I've finally found my perfect headphone (the foam-modded HD558), and have vanquished upgradeitis for at least a couple years, until I get significantly more disposable income or the next generation of headphones comes out. Yay me... so before I leave, I'd like to address what's happened to this forum over the years. Having been back for less than a month after being gone almost three years, the biggest question on my mind is, "what is wrong with you people?"
There are a few basic problems:
- Most threads are started by lazy people with simple questions that could have been answered with a quick search. 
- Most posts seem to have been written by an illiterate 12 year old. 
- Most comments completely ignore the proceeding comments. There's little debate, just people shouting into a vacuum.
...ok, but these are par for the course on internet forums, right? Every large forum suffers from these problems to a greater or lesser degree, and the bigger a forum gets, the more common these problems become. But there are deeper problems specific to head-fi. I call them the Seven Deadly Commenters. 
The bored:
Your behavior - You are only here to kill time, have no life, and post constantly about your personal problems. The worst are the people who post every day about waiting anxiously for their newly purchased headphones to arrive.
Your problem - No one cares about how many days you've been waiting, or what songs you listened to today. You are the reason threads drag on to over a hundred pages. You drown out those with something worthwhile to say with your verbal diarrhea.
The weak:
Your behavior - You ask for constant reassurance on your purchases, starting several threads about basically the same topic and taking months to make a decision. 
Your problem - You want to be completely sure before you buy something, but you don't understand there's no firm answers with something as subjective as audio. No one can give you enough information to find your perfect headphone on the first try, but you can't accept this and flounder in your own doubt. Again, you drown out those with something worthwhile to say with your verbal diarrhea.
The Overly-enthusiastic:
Your behavior - You babble about how your new headphones are totally better than any headphone ever created, even though you haven't listened to them for more than a few hours and haven't compared them to any other headphones.
Your problem - Because you're pissing yourself with excitement, you can't stop word-vomiting all over the forum. You distort all sense of perspective and create undeserved hype, which leads to flavor-the-month-ism.
The Evangelists:
Your behavior - A cross between the overly-enthusiastic and the fanboys, you recommend your new favorite headphone to anyone asking for advice, even if it's obviously not suited to their needs.
Your problem - You derail the conversation and lead people to choices they shouldn't be making. The sad thing is, because there are far too many recommendation threads for experienced people to make thoughtful suggestions, these inmates are now running the asylum. Again, this leads to flavor-the-month-ism.
The Fanboys:
Your behavior - If someone doesn't like the sound of a certain headphone, you suggest amping them, getting a better amp/source/cable, etc.
Your problem - Most of the time, they just don't like the headphone's sound signature. But since you're a fanboy, you can't understand why anyone would dislike your chosen headphones. You exaggerate the difference amping/sources/cables can make, misleading them into spending more money.
The Self-justifiers:
Your behavior - You rave about how your new amp/source/cable makes a HUGE improvement to your headphone's sound. 
Your problem - You are self-justifying a purchase that you either vaguely regret or feel ambivalent about. This is a common psychological phenomena, where people who are unsure of a decision overcompensate by making bold declarative statements. You don't care about the truth, you're only interested in justifying your own choices. 
The Self-promoters:
Your behavior - You don't even own something, but enthusiastically recommend it based on what other people have said. If you're not trying to justify yourself, why would you do this?
Your problem - You want to be an expert, and can't resist answering a question even if you have no direct experience with the subject. You repeat things you've read from other people, present it as gospel truth, and often distort their original opinion. You are probably the biggest cancer on Head-fi.
So what's to be done? I've thought of a few guidelines:
- Because opinions without context are almost meaningless, try to evaluate one headphone/amp/source compared to another.
- Tell us your signal path; what bitrate, source, cable and amp you're using to drive your headphones.
- Stop using meaningless adjectives like 'better'. Be specific and tell us how or why something is better.
- Try to keep a sense of perspective when discussing improvements or upgrades.
- Stick with the commonly understood definitions of audio terms. 
- Read the original post completely before responding.
- Specify how you know something. Tell us if you read it somewhere else or experienced it yourself.
...but I realize there's no hope fighting against an unstoppable torrent of narcissism and apathy, so I'm taking the only other course of action - leaving.
Adios, it's been fun.

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