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Musicphiles, Audiophiles and Gearophiles

Discussion in 'Sound Science' started by bigshot, Jul 6, 2019.
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  1. bigshot
    I was approached by a company who saw me on Head-Fi to be part of a group evaluating and reviewing new products. They had a product they wanted me (and a group of other Head-Fi regulars) to evaluate and review. It was still in production and they wanted feedback to refine it. I figured what the heck and agreed to do it and I set aside time to do a good job of it. I did my basic tests and communicated with the lead designer on the first product. He listened and let me know what they were aiming for. When the product was released, I posted my test results and gave it an overall good review.

    The second product was already designed. They just sent me one and asked me to review it. It was overpriced and not mac friendly and didn't sound better than anything else on the market... even products that cost a quarter of the price. I posted an honest review. I never heard from that company again. I guess I shouldn't have expected to.

    The moral of the story is that companies do give out free stuff to influencers here. And if the influencer gives good reviews, they continue to get free stuff. If they tell the truth, that is the end of their reviewing career. If you wanted free stuff, what would you do? If you want facts, look at measurements. If you want sales pitch, read the words wrapped around the facts. Nowadays, I skip over the words.
    Last edited: Jul 14, 2019
  2. Killcomic
    I find it hard to imagine someone jumping down this rabbit hole without loving music first. However, I do think that once you're in the audiophile game, it is very easy to get into gear collecting and status seeking (although I see this more conducive by the culture of the individual, some of which value status and status symbols more than others).
    I do have gear at home, most of it is cheap and certainly not flashy at all. I already found my endgame headphones with the MSR7. I'm utterly satisfied with it and have no urge to look for something 'better'. Now I'm looking for my endgame IEM and I think I might have found it in the F9 Pro. I would imagine that for quite a few others, an endgame is an impossibility as they may be looking for something that it's harder to replicate with gear.
    I do think that everyone here wants the same thing, to have the best possible audio experience, the problem is that to achieve that, people take very different courses.
    Last edited: Jul 14, 2019
    TronII and SilentNote like this.
  3. SilentNote
    I’ve found my endgame analytical signature in the ER4SR. Still looking for an endgame balanced IEM. Maybe the FH7 or Acoustune 16xx. Tried the more expensive stuff and they didn’t really sound any better to my ears.
  4. TronII
    Doesn't the ER4SR use MMCX connectors for the cables? If so, you could probably find a balanced cable pretty easily.
  5. taffy2207
    I guess you lot are gearophiles then :stuck_out_tongue:
    TronII likes this.
  6. taffy2207
    I think the solution is pretty simple. No Free review samples, just loaner units to be returned to the Companies. Advertising budgets are huge for these companies, they can afford it if they can give gear away. If reviewers are not doing reviews for freebies (like a lot of them claim) then there shouldn't be any problem with it. Most reviewers are claiming it's a hobby and they can't afford the gear they review so they accept review samples.

    If reviewing is their job that's a different kettle of fish IMO.

    I was a Lawyer for over 20 years. Do you know what the most common excuse is in theft cases? They take stuff because they can't afford to buy them. Is this theft? no, of course not but personally I don't think it's morally justifiable for a hobbyist to accept free gear particularly when the reviews look like adverts and are generally overwhelmingly positive

    Lately, I've been asking reviewers for full disclosure when they write reviews as required by the rules here because a LOT of them don't state how they obtained the units they review :-


    (I still have the PM's sent to the reviewers, some of the replies are bemusing)

    There's also the issue of fake reviews, there's little criteria to be met (Post count, time on headfi etc) to post a review.

    Claiming they get no financial incentive to write reviews (Pretty common in the subtext of reviews) is frankly, hogwash. It's called bartering, it's the oldest form of commerce. You get a freebie if you write me a review.

    Also, giving review units away also gets companies (outside of headfis remit) positive reviews and advertising whilst bypassing the need to be a MOT or a Sponsor on head-fi, that's just not business savvy.

    Just wanted you to see a different perspective. Just for transparency I was offered free gear on here for a review, I turned it down immediately and explained why.

    I think I'll shut up now, this never ends well.
    Last edited: Jul 16, 2019
    TronII likes this.
  7. Killcomic
    Same here, I auditioned the Etymotic ER3SE and LS200 before settling for the much cheaper F9 Pro. I do think there's a point where throwing more money doesn't increase your enjoyment of music and that's where you should stop.
    I wonder if I heard the Sennheiser Orpheus, I would just think it's overpriced?
    TronII and SilentNote like this.
  8. bigshot
    In my case it was a little different. I was part of a focus test. We were communicating directly with the lead designer of the product letting him know what we liked and didn't like. There was no agreement that we would get free equipment, but in the end after we had finished with the focus testing, they did give it to us. When I wrote a review here, I let folks know that I was part of the focus group. I saw one other guy who was part of the group who identified himself too- and of course Tyll. There were four or five others who never did surface. I'm sure a lot of this stuff ends up in the marketplace forum.

    I really don't care myself. There is so much pay for compliments on the internet already, it seems to have evolved into being an ethical thing now. I follow blu-ray sites and they won't review titles that aren't sent to them for free. They get college kids to write for them without pay as long as they get to keep the swag. I take that into account whenever I read a review.
    Last edited: Jul 15, 2019
    TronII likes this.
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