The "I think Headphone X is better than Headphone Y" discussion thread (part two).
Dec 20, 2007 at 5:58 PM Thread Starter Post #1 of 34

Wmcmanus

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Just for fun, I started the thread below last night and gave it a little time to run:

http://www.head-fi.org/forums/f4/i-t...thread-277429/

I didn't want it to become another useless post type of thread, and that's why I've cut it off now. Maybe it's just me and my crazy imagination, but I think there are a few points in there worth considering (in addition to the fact that people can't follow simple rules, but that's quite Ok, and was kind of funny actually).

I think there are several tendencies at Head-Fi that an informed user ought to be aware of and do his or her best to avoid/combat:

1. Many people ask for advice without giving us enough information about how they intend to use the unknown product of their desires. They don't tell us enough about themselves (their sonic preferences and musical tastes, their associated gear, how they intend to use the item, etc.) Yet, they want us to tell them what is the "best" solution for them.

2. Many people likewise answer such questions by giving advice without directly or even indirectly providing a context in terms of where their advice is coming from. In other words, they don't give us a proper perspective either, and thus the teeter starts to tauter toward the "blind leading the blind" scenario, even though both the person asking the question and many people who are answering the question could do a better job and thus help lead to a "better" (but maybe still not "best") solution.

3. There is also the "familiarity" issue in that people will recommend what they are most familiar with (i.e., HD650 and K701 are recommended a lot more than are comparable Ultrasone headphones) and this has the tendency to create a bit of a sheep herding mentality. Perhaps it's not intended as such, but it's the inevitable result because most people asking for advice are looking for tried and true solutions. Although they ask for the "best" they are often times looking for the best "safe" alternative.

4. On top of all of that, when it comes to audio gear, reasonable people can and will differ in their opinions, so you always have to account for individual tastes and try to understand where each of the advice givers is coming from. That becomes even harder to get a handle on as their interests shift and their own opinions change over time as they are exposed to more products. Pinpointing another person's perspective at a moment in time is hard enough to do, but keep in mind that all of our opinions are moving targets.

5. But despite all of this, I still think it's possible to "make sense" out of the vast array of information that is available on Head-Fi, so long as you find a way to sift through the muck. Each of us does that in different ways, but it's instructive to me the the same "usual suspects" always seem to reappear no matter what the question is. If the question is "What is the best headphone, price no object?" you'll get one set of closely aligned answers. If the question is, "What is the best portable headphone for under $100?" then you'll get another list of "usual suspects" and can take it from there by asking more specific questions concerning your sonic preference and intended use.

Thus, despite all of the rather compelling reasons why Head-Fi ought to be a massive database of seemingly useless and impossibly conflicting data that cannot be made useful as information, somehow people seem to be able to make sense of it all, and then add their experiences into the mix to further confuse everyone else!

What do you think?
 
Dec 20, 2007 at 6:15 PM Post #2 of 34

SR-71Panorama

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Yes, most do make sense of it all.

Im a little bewildered why you would create a thread only to kill it off so soon (if ever) aftarwards.

Quote:

Anyone is then free to discredit what I've had to say simply by stating your own conclusion


How can people do this if its closed
confused.gif
 
Dec 20, 2007 at 10:12 PM Post #3 of 34

Kees

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I would like to see the "X is better than Y" run (a lot) longer too!
I think it is a very interesting idea.
I also think there is a lot of consensus on HeadFi about the general order of headphones "grosso modo" .
If I make the following division:
A:
HE90; R10; Omega II; L3000; K1000; PS-1; HP1000; HE60; Edition 9; GS1000
B:
DX1000; W5000; balanced HD650; W2002; Darth Beyer; D5000
C:
HD650; K701; DT880; DT990; PROline 2500/750; K340; HD600; RS1; MS-PRO; SA5000; AD2000
D:
SR325i; MS2i; RS2; SR225; HF-1; A900LTD; HD585; DT770
E:
SR60; MS1; DR150; RP21; ...

I think that makes a big picture that most people will agree upon.
"grosso modo"....
biggrin.gif
 
Dec 20, 2007 at 10:23 PM Post #4 of 34

Mrvile

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Quote:

Originally Posted by Kees /img/forum/go_quote.gif
I would like to see the "X is better than Y" run (a lot) longer too!
I think it is a very interesting idea.
I also think there is a lot of consensus on HeadFi about the general order of headphones "grosso modo" .
If I make the following division:
A:
HE90; R10; Omega II; L3000; K1000; PS-1; HP1000; HE60; Edition 9; GS1000
B:
DX1000; W5000; balanced HD650; W2002; Darth Beyer; D5000
C:
HD650; K701; DT880; DT990; PROline 2500/750; K340; HD600; RS1; MS-PRO; SA5000; AD2000
D:
SR325i; MS2i; RS2; SR225; HF-1; A900LTD; HD585; DT770
E:
SR60; MS1; DR150; RP21; ...

I think that makes a big picture that most people will agree upon.
"grosso modo"....
biggrin.gif



So wait...the DT880, which is supposed to = HD580/600, is on a higher level than the RS-2?
 
Dec 20, 2007 at 10:23 PM Post #5 of 34

Wmcmanus

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Ok, sorry guys! I'll reopen the other thread and bump it to the top. I guess I rushed too much because I wanted to open this discussion thread. But there's no reason that they can't both be open. My bad.

I'd really like to know what other people think about these sorts of issues (that I outlined in my opening post) as well as other issues that you think are connected in any remote way.

I love Head-Fi as much as the next guy, but I often find it somewhat frustrating because of the limitations that come with the turf (in terms of online communication). At the same time, I think there are little things that we all can do to make it a slightly better place, like:

* Ask specific questions, laying out as best you can what you're looking for.

* Answering questions with what the question asker has in mind, rather than what direction you want to point his or her thread in.

* Understanding that opinions will differ and coming to the point where you can agree to disagree with someone, and do so respectfully.

* Keeping in mind your own biases when posting, and even stating them unabashedly, such that at least everyone will know where you're coming from (whether they agree with you or not).

* Being willing to keep an open mind and learning from the perspectives shared by others as opposed to always having to be right at all costs (not too many people come across this way, actually).
 
Dec 20, 2007 at 10:50 PM Post #6 of 34

Kees

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I think a lot of people lack the experience and the knowledge to even ask the right question.
No problem. But because of that they also lack the insight to recognise the right answer. They often go for the easy route that everybody agrees upon instead of taking the time to really investigate.
In short: not a lot of people seem to be willing to make an effort and learn something.
Which makes it not very rewarding to make an effort explaining things.
Some people who really want to know something PM me and the resulting conversation is usually a lot more rewarding than the discussion in the forums.
[rant mode off]

biggrin.gif
 
Dec 20, 2007 at 10:54 PM Post #7 of 34

Fungi

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I think there's just too many similar topics spread out, as opposed to some centralized ones for discussion. Maybe I just have a different idea of what a forum should be like, but I really think there should be some central topics, like "<$100 headphones" "<$500 headphones" ">$500 headphones" since budget really is the huge deciding factor for most people. If these grow large enough, people really have no excuse to not search. Maybe even a template with all the necessary factors, like "their sonic preferences and musical tastes, their associated gear, how they intend to use the item, etc."

Another issue I see is people with limited experience trying to share advice, like "I've only heard the 7506 but I really like it" whereas someone else more experienced could say "I've heard the 7506, HD280, DT770, RP21, and I think the 7506 has the most accurate presentation, but if you need bass go with the DT770" or such.
This can't really be changed without trying to change the mentality of a HUGE portion of Head-Fi users, though.
tongue.gif
 
Dec 21, 2007 at 3:14 PM Post #10 of 34

boomana

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Wayne, I thought you might be up to something when I saw that thread!
redface.gif
I agree with all your points. What I find sad is that the thread in the headphone section, which was meant to inspire reflection on the vacuity of that type of posting style remains active, on first page like the music game, and this thread, which was intended to allow fruitful discussion on the difficulties of online communication and responsible posting in an advice-type forum, has been ignored, with only a few replies, and most requesting the meaningless thread be opened again. Says a lot.
frown.gif


I had my semi-rant a couple weeks back expressing a frustration that some people post about gear without having heard it, but do so in an authoritative style as if they have. Some of that can be tossed off as member enthusiasm and a desire to participate, but people really need to start thinking before posting what their contribution may mean to someone reading (btw, I think many members are responsible and generous with their advice and impressions). In a thread from a couple days ago, a member said that x item was as good or better than others under a certain dollar amount. I questioned which other items he was referring to, and was called "tasteless" for asking. So here's my new beef, and not too off track from the points made in your op here:

If intelligent, constructive dialogs are to be had, if information is to be credible, and if people are even to agree to disagree, the ability to ask appropriate questions, question statements for clarity or additional information, as well as the necessity to challenge seemingly vacuous or misleading statements needs to be happen without people taking it as a personal attack. If I ask for a qualification of someone's experience, it's because I want to know how to weigh their advice. If I'm looking for clarity in someone's wording, I'm simply trying to understand what that person is saying. That's just common sense. It's not personal. If someone can't answer those basic questions, then that's a separate issue.

I vow to quit posting in the gear forums every other day because it sometimes is too frustrating, but I go there because I'm still trying to learn new things from members who have more experience and/or knowledge than I. Fortunately, there's a lot of the good stuff to be had.
 
Dec 21, 2007 at 4:54 PM Post #11 of 34

Kees

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Quote:

Originally Posted by boomana /img/forum/go_quote.gif
... and this thread, which was intended to allow fruitful discussion on the difficulties of online communication and responsible posting in an advice-type forum, has been ignored, with only a few replies, and most requesting the meaningless thread be opened again. Says a lot.
frown.gif



I don't think the other thread is meaningless. If you look at it the right way you can get some interesting information out of it if you let it run long enough.
 
Dec 21, 2007 at 5:04 PM Post #12 of 34

Kees

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I also think there is another phenomenon occurring.
I have the feeling that a lot of people posting are not interested in audio, sound quality or music at all.
They just post to check what kind of gear is "cool" and what they should buy to "belong to the high-end audio incrowd".
They don't specify what they want (audio wise) because they actually only want to know what other people think they should buy.They will go with what the most "cool" people tell them to do.
It is impossible to get any meaningful audio talk out of these people.
 
Dec 21, 2007 at 5:21 PM Post #13 of 34

boomana

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Quote:

Originally Posted by Kees /img/forum/go_quote.gif
I don't think the other thread is meaningless. If you look at it the right way you can get some interesting information out of it if you let it run long enough.


What information? Half, if not more, of the people posting haven't even heard what they're posting about, and people like agile_one, who has owned all of headphones mentioned by others, posted a purposefully absurd response. Is it interesting that people believe a certain headphone is the best, though they have zero experience with it and others as well, and are willing to post declarative statements without qualification attesting to that fact? That's old news, and in the context of an audio forum, where such crap should be questioned at minimum (I believe one of Wayne's points; correct me if I'm wrong), it's boring and frustrating as hell. What would be interesting is the reflection this thread could provide on such posting practices, but there seems to be little desire to do so (so far) by members posting in that thread, though Wayne pointed them to this one. What does that say?
 
Dec 21, 2007 at 5:28 PM Post #14 of 34

Kees

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Quote:

Originally Posted by boomana /img/forum/go_quote.gif
What information? Half, if not more, of the people posting haven't even heard what they're posting about, and people like agile_one, who has owned all of headphones mentioned by others, posted a purposefully absurd response. Is it interesting that people believe a certain headphone is the best, though they have zero experience with it and others as well, and are willing to post declarative statements without qualification attesting to that fact? That's old news, and in the context of an audio forum, where such crap should be questioned at minimum (I believe one of Wayne's points; correct me if I'm wrong), it's boring and frustrating as hell. What would be interesting is the reflection this thread could provide on such posting practices, but there seems to be little desire to do so (so far) by members posting in that thread, though Wayne pointed them to this one. What does that say?


No information about headphones, but information about the opinion of the people posting. They formed some kind of opinion, by experience or otherwise and they believe they are right. This way you can see what the general beliefs on headfi are. I find that interesting.
 
Dec 21, 2007 at 5:34 PM Post #15 of 34

boomana

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Quote:

Originally Posted by Kees /img/forum/go_quote.gif
No information about headphones, but information about the opinion of the people posting. They formed some kind of opinion, by experience or otherwise and they believe they are right. This way you can see what the general beliefs on headfi are. I find that interesting.


Tell me one thing you've learned about people's beliefs that you didn't already know.
 

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