When trust disappears, Reviewers are simply “noise”
Nov 4, 2017 at 8:30 PM Post #136 of 198

Dobrescu George

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You should do both - spend enough time with an IEM / headphone to become accustomed to its signature, and then take regular breaks with a known reference IEM / headphone to ensure that you have a baseline to compare. If you're not doing both (IMO) how can you comment on the signature? It has to be with reference to something - and preferably to a baseline that anyone can understand.

That is correct for us as reviewers. I was thinking about the users, who generally take one IEM and forget. Even when I had boguth ie800, ie80, and Dj One Pro, I'd never switch in the middle of a listening session. After having something U shaped for 15 minutes in their ears, the users might start to think that this should be the new normal.

This led me to develop some kind of personal anti-bias. Basically, I take repeated sample listenings to the same song, different times of the day, different days, different moods. Basically what you do with reseting, but over a longer period of time. I think that doing this leads to a fair result, since I usually also reset my hearing in between. But I wonder, can this increase the error, or decrease the precision?

Or this should be relatively effective?

I'm doing this to avoid the mood affecting my impressions, since maybe one day I am in a good mod and I easily like things, and one day I am too depressed and can't like anything at all.
 
Nov 4, 2017 at 8:41 PM Post #137 of 198

crinacle

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I've always found this to be a kind of touchy subject, straightforward on the surface but not so much when considering a wider range of readers. When I released my 1More Quad Driver review, I called it a V-shaped earphone, and it definitely is in the grand scheme of things, but most disagreed, calling it balanced. So should our tonal comments be relative to competing products or should they be in comparison to a universal reference? Because to someone considering the Quad Driver, it may very well come across as balanced, it is more so or rather, less sculpted than other consumer-orientated models.

"Balanced" is an umbrella term that can refer to anything, really. I can argue that the Quad is balanced (I put it as such in my ranking list but in quotation marks because it's in a weird space of mildly V-shaped and upper mid-centric) but in general that word is a cop-out term for people who don't know how to analyse signatures. Like PRaT.
 
Nov 4, 2017 at 8:43 PM Post #138 of 198
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The most important thing is accuracy - and then its up to the reviewer how to convey that. For me its easier to show that in a graph. If you don't have the measurement equipment - pick your most neutral reference point and compare to that. Here's the point though - I called the EN700 Pro tonally balanced in its signature (but mid-forward) - because essentially it is when taken in isolation (there are a couple of peaks - its not what most people would call a V shaped IEM). And if I compare to my reference (Curve) its quite easy to see that.

I could also describe it as a mild v shape.

Both descriptors would be correct, but you have to have a reference point. I do that via graphs - others may need to do it via text:

eg "the Simgot EN700 Pro has nice tonal balance but I would describe it has having a mid-forward signature, and perhaps a mild V-shape compared to my reference (the Alclair Curve)."

Again the importance is accurate description so that someone reading can get a good idea of what you are talking about, and can apply that to their own preferences.

curve.png
 
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Nov 4, 2017 at 8:51 PM Post #139 of 198
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That is correct for us as reviewers. I was thinking about the users, who generally take one IEM and forget. Even when I had boguth ie800, ie80, and Dj One Pro, I'd never switch in the middle of a listening session. After having something U shaped for 15 minutes in their ears, the users might start to think that this should be the new normal.

That is precisely the reason you have to reset. You're reviewing a new IEM (RE-800 is a classic example). You use it and only it for 3-4 days. Your ears get used to the treble peak. When you come to write your review, you describe it as neutral with smooth treble, or maybe a mild bump at 7kHz, because that is what you now hear), and make no mention of the size of the peak. Someone buys it based on your recommendation - because they are looking for a flat signature, and they may be sensitive to lower treble spikes.

Again I'll use the Curve for comparison - what you describe in orange. The reality in yellow.
curve.png
 
Nov 4, 2017 at 9:15 PM Post #140 of 198

Peti

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I'm surprised to see a thread like this on Head-Fi! A very good step towards the right direction. Unfortunately this website's SNR is way out and the pendulum needs to swing back, else the number of quality posts and the overall quality level shall drop (even more). I don't think that head-fi is inherently evil and greedy though; it's more like that because it's the biggest site for this headphone hobby, it attracts shills (both private and industry) in large numbers. I pretty much quit posting head-fi (save for the classifieds) when I bumped into a notorious shill, who approached an amp maker in a disgusting fashion, which, subsequently got leaked out by the manufacturer.

That did it to me, and I have warned the admins (including the OP) because I could not stomach seeing this shill being active around headfi. I can only imagine how many more "reviewers" like this one has been around here. They also tarnish the rep of other budding, albeit honest reviewers. Due to the sheer size of headfi, harmful living creatures like this one will always be around and I'm doubtful that any preventive measures are available to filter them out on a regular basis.

Head-Fi has launched me on this hobby and there's tons of useful info on this site (especially the older threads and comments) it's just so hard to find them in the noise. I wish something could be done to save it and bring it back the way it was.
 
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Nov 4, 2017 at 9:22 PM Post #141 of 198

TheoS53

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I've always found this to be a kind of touchy subject, straightforward on the surface but not so much when considering a wider range of readers. When I released my 1More Quad Driver review, I called it a V-shaped earphone, and it definitely is in the grand scheme of things, but most disagreed, calling it balanced. So should our tonal comments be relative to competing products or should they be in comparison to a universal reference? Because to someone considering the Quad Driver, it may very well come across as balanced, it is more so or rather, less sculpted than other consumer-orientated models.

I try to include a balance of both relative and comparative tonal description but I'm unsure whether it just comes across as confusing to some people. On that note, I love the technical analysis that writers like you and Marcus do, it's truly inspirational stuff and I hope to write at a similar level in the future. However, at what point does it become inaccessible to the regular reader? When I was getting started in the hobby, I don't feel that I really comprehended your reviews (this was years ago btw), even if it's immensely informative to someone familiar with sound descriptors and FR graphs.

"Balanced" is an umbrella term that can refer to anything, really. I can argue that the Quad is balanced (I put it as such in my ranking list but in quotation marks because it's in a weird space of mildly V-shaped and upper mid-centric) but in general that word is a cop-out term for people who don't know how to analyse signatures. Like PRaT.

That is precisely the reason you have to reset. You're reviewing a new IEM (RE-800 is a classic example). You use it and only it for 3-4 days. Your ears get used to the treble peak. When you come to write your review, you describe it as neutral with smooth treble, or maybe a mild bump at 7kHz, because that is what you now hear), and make no mention of the size of the peak. Someone buys it based on your recommendation - because they are looking for a flat signature, and they may be sensitive to lower treble spikes.

Again I'll use the Curve for comparison - what you describe in orange. The reality in yellow.

Well, there's something else we must consider too...

When we do reviews, what type of person is most likely to search for that review? Someone who is just doing a bit of research, or someone who is already pretty well versed in this hobby and understand the terminology and concepts?

The reason I ask this is specifically when we talk about v-curved signatures and balanced signatures, and also highlights the "danger" in relying on graphs and other numbers.
I think it's fair to say that most people do not know the fact that we have varying sensitivities throughout the audible frequency range, with peak sensitivity around the 2k-5kHz range. As such, for a set of headphones/IEMs to sound balanced, the must measurably have a V (or u?) curve. But that also brings to question the idea of balanced vs natural. Is balanced a signature that sounds as though there is no emphasis in a particular range, and natural would then essentially be measured razor flat (as that would,technically speaking, give the most natural response in terms of how we hear)? Or vice versa?
 
Nov 4, 2017 at 9:35 PM Post #142 of 198

crinacle

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Well, there's something else we must consider too...

When we do reviews, what type of person is most likely to search for that review? Someone who is just doing a bit of research, or someone who is already pretty well versed in this hobby and understand the terminology and concepts?

The reason I ask this is specifically when we talk about v-curved signatures and balanced signatures, and also highlights the "danger" in relying on graphs and other numbers.
I think it's fair to say that most people do not know the fact that we have varying sensitivities throughout the audible frequency range, with peak sensitivity around the 2k-5kHz range. As such, for a set of headphones/IEMs to sound balanced, the must measurably have a V (or u?) curve. But that also brings to question the idea of balanced vs natural. Is balanced a signature that sounds as though there is no emphasis in a particular range, and natural would then essentially be measured razor flat (as that would,technically speaking, give the most natural response in terms of how we hear)? Or vice versa?

The problem here is when reviewers attempt to appease what is essentially the audiophile equivalent of the lowest common denominator. I'm assuming a reviewer would have critical listening ability and will be much more knowledgeable that a large majority of the readerbase. If it's V-shaped on the graphs and you as a reviewer with said critical listening ability thinks it's V-shaped, you write it as such. Getting influenced by the newbies claiming that they sound "balanced" (again with the cop-out word, WHAT DOES THAT TERM EVEN MEAN??? Ask 10 people and you'll get 10 different answers) is one way of destroying your own credibility.

Also, the neutral vs natural debate is a separate issue but you want to discuss it here I'm all for it. It's more technical than subjective though; a lot of talk about target curves, optimal peaks, perceived resonant points etc. that makes the subject more confusing for the layman.
 
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Nov 4, 2017 at 9:47 PM Post #143 of 198

TheoS53

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The problem here is when reviewers attempt to appease what is essentially the audiophile equivalent of the lowest common denominator. I'm assuming a reviewer would have critical listening ability and will be much more knowledgeable that a large majority of the readerbase. If it's V-shaped on the graphs and you as a reviewer with said critical listening ability thinks it's V-shaped, you write it as such. Getting influenced by the newbies claiming that they sound "balanced" (again with the cop-out word, WHAT DOES THAT TERM EVEN MEAN??? Ask 10 people and you'll get 10 different answers) is one way of destroying your own credibility.

Also, the neutral vs natural debate is a separate issue but you want to discuss it here I'm all for it. It's more technical than subjective though; a lot of talk about target curves, optimal peaks, perceived resonant points etc. that makes the subject more confusing for the layman.

Well, this is what I mean when I say that we need to figure out who it is that reads/watches our reviews. We're trying to convey info, that info needs to be accurate and understood correctly BY THE PERSON WATCHING/READING.
So how do we achieve that? Essentially, we want very little of what we say to be left to interpretation.

Would it perhaps help if we set up a particular standard, something that is within reach of seasoned and aspiring reviewers alike? By this I mean that we create a scoring system, and also perhaps pick a "reference" audio system to be used for comparisons.
For example, let's say that we use the new nano iDSD Black Label and HD 650 as a baseline for what we consider to be a great but affordable system, and then use that to compare all other headphones/iems/DACs/amps to. Of course, we could use a more expensive system, but I also feel that it would be relatively important to consider that if we use something that is wildly out of reach for most people, that would lessen the value and relevance of the comparison for those who read/watch the review.

What do you guys reckon, does that kinda make sense?
 
Nov 4, 2017 at 9:53 PM Post #144 of 198

crinacle

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Well, this is what I mean when I say that we need to figure out who it is that reads/watches our reviews. We're trying to convey info, that info needs to be accurate and understood correctly BY THE PERSON WATCHING/READING.
So how do we achieve that? Essentially, we want very little of what we say to be left to interpretation.

Would it perhaps help if we set up a particular standard, something that is within reach of seasoned and aspiring reviewers alike? By this I mean that we create a scoring system, and also perhaps pick a "reference" audio system to be used for comparisons.
For example, let's say that we use the new nano iDSD Black Label and HD 650 as a baseline for what we consider to be a great but affordable system, and then use that to compare all other headphones/iems/DACs/amps to. Of course, we could use a more expensive system, but I also feel that it would be relatively important to consider that if we use something that is wildly out of reach for most people, that would lessen the value and relevance of the comparison for those who read/watch the review.

What do you guys reckon, does that kinda make sense?

That is a good start on the reviewer side of things but not on the reader side. For that to work on the reader side you're also expecting all of your readers to make said reference equipment, else we're back to square one.

That said, I've always told people wanting to break into the review unit to have a reference piece of gear ready. The ER4 is the most accessible but there's also the original UERM and most recently the Andromeda has gotten a lot of attention for being quite a decent reference considering its popularity and relative price-to-performance ratio.
 
Nov 4, 2017 at 9:53 PM Post #145 of 198

ryanjsoo

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Balance should be used to describe the extent of a tonal characteristic, it's not really a tonality. Sure, an earphone might be v-shaped, but as Brooko says, there can be little lifts in the midrange that draw attention to that region. As a result, in subjective listening, the majority of elements still sound relatively evenly weighted despite the earphone not being linear. As for our readers, they will inevitably have their own references, everything is relative to the gear you've had prior experience with and as a reviewer, it's impossible to guess what the end user will be coming from. That's why I keep around my "consumer benchmarks", the Shure SE215 for instance, is not an outstanding earphone, but one many are familiar with, the same goes for the ATH-M50X. That way at least we can inform the majority of our readers and to those left over, our descriptors should be clear and accurate enough to communicate what they should expect.

That also depends on the price range of the product and its intended market. Obviously, people looking into the Andromeda won't be comparing it to the SE215, some might be coming from it, but that's the vast minority from my experience. Same goes for something like the Rock Zircon, these are built for an entirely different consumer base than the Fiio F9 for instance. The Fiio isn't a balanced earphone but in comparison to the Zircon it may as well be neutral. So the balance ultimately comes down to a few factors. Who are these products for? What other products will these buyers be looking at? And, in the grand scheme of things, how and where does this product place?
 
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Nov 4, 2017 at 10:02 PM Post #146 of 198

TheoS53

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That is a good start on the reviewer side of things but not on the reader side. For that to work on the reader side you're also expecting all of your readers to make said reference equipment, else we're back to square one.

I get what you mean, but my intention was just so that we can get a better standards between reviewers. That alone will already make it easier for readers/viewers as there will at least be a bit more objective consistency between reviewers..

But yeah, I think we need to come up with a review system. We can come up with a catchy name maybe a logo... And the when reviewers score and compare using our system, they can go ahead and attach that logo to their review. I know this thread started off about the trust of reviewers, but I feel that consistency and having a standard would perhaps make it all the more easier to build that trust
 
Nov 4, 2017 at 10:59 PM Post #149 of 198
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I marvel at the display going on in here.

I noted that the site folks were watching the thread as they could be seen in the viewing this thread bar

Did they see?

_______________________________________________________________________________________

TheoS53

But then again, my situation is different to most people. The gear I get are sent to me through a local audio shop. I work closely with them (and in some regard for them), and I get paid for doing my reviews. So the gear I have are either units I have purchased through the shop at a 15% discount, or are units that were sent for the purpose of the review (but not items that the shop sells). But even if the review items are "gifts" front he manufacturers, I still consider them to be loaner units from the shop... If that makes sense.

________________________________________________________________________________________


There has got to be a rule preventing this or accommodating this and I think it is called M.O.T








________________________________________________________________________________________

ryanjsoo

I was also talking to some other reviewers that loved the H3 a LOT, I guess those comments got to me, at that time I was less confident in my own analysis.

And that's the only product that I've covered that I feel was misrepresented
so it's like a big stain on my reputation


_________________________________________________________________________________________

That is peer pressure, real or imagined.
It is not a stain that should be of concern it should be money spent based on your words, and Head-Fi gives you banner space

I started on you after saying the Q1MKII had loose bass. Like George and his "U" shaped DAP.....that is very very very likely a driver issue not an amp/dac. What drivers and what song presented loose bass on an amp/dac?

You admitted you are new and maybe Head-Fi should consider waiting and watching longer before giving prime space to a "reviewer".
This comes from a guy that could not possibly giva less shiii about front page stuff. Who cares?




_________________________________________________________________________________________

George


no copy paste because that would take a long time

Odd statements then personal attacks then oops sorry and then rinse/repeat. This is an observation shared by many but not being said public
There should be no reviews done by this person until issues are sorted out as again...THIS IS A PUBLIC SITE AND INVOLVES REAL MONEY SPENT BUY STRANGERS YOU WILL NEVER MEET AND WHOOOPS DOES NOT CUT IT



_________________________________________________________________________________________


On a site with audio gear used to play music nobody is considering an agreed set of tracks that the reader could easily get in anyway they choose and test the explanation of recessed mids and forward mids using a part of the track to demonstrate.
Same could be done with bloated bass, rolled off treble, spikey treble. Nobody cares about your graphs bruh. They care about what they mean to them, the music lovers they likely are.


i got my badge by speaking to the public in a real guy way, not geek speak. Stop overthinking
This is all about the music.


I am going out to eat good Japanese food and get freaky with my lady. Not interested in replies. Life is too short, folks not saying in public what they say in private and the music is what this is all about and nobody saying that.

Getting a long is great. Being honest with myself and readers is much more important.

Good luck....i think? Trying harder would be better than luck
 
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Nov 4, 2017 at 11:09 PM Post #150 of 198

ryanjsoo

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I marvel at the display going on in here.

I noted that the site folks were watching the thread as they could be seen in the viewing this thread bar

Did they see?

_______________________________________________________________________________________

TheoS53

But then again, my situation is different to most people. The gear I get are sent to me through a local audio shop. I work closely with them (and in some regard for them), and I get paid for doing my reviews. So the gear I have are either units I have purchased through the shop at a 15% discount, or are units that were sent for the purpose of the review (but not items that the shop sells). But even if the review items are "gifts" front he manufacturers, I still consider them to be loaner units from the shop... If that makes sense.

________________________________________________________________________________________


There has got to be a rule preventing this or accommodating this and I think it is called M.O.T I missed it but it was pointed out via PM but nobody is going to fracture a relationship by pointing out a POSSIBLE VIOLATION OF SITE RULES?









________________________________________________________________________________________

ryanjsoo

I was also talking to some other reviewers that loved the H3 a LOT, I guess those comments got to me, at that time I was less confident in my own analysis.

And that's the only product that I've covered that I feel was misrepresented
so it's like a big stain on my reputation


_________________________________________________________________________________________

That is peer pressure, real or imagined.
It is not a stain that should be of concern it should be money spent based on your words, and Head-Fi gives you banner space

I started on you after saying the Q1MKII had loose bass. Like George and his "U" shaped DAP.....that is very very very likely a driver issue not an amp/dac. What drivers and what song presented loose bass on an amp/dac?

You admitted you are new and maybe Head-Fi should consider waiting and watching longer before giving prime space to a "reviewer".
This comes from a guy that could not possibly giva less shiii about front page stuff. Who cares?




_________________________________________________________________________________________

George


no copy paste because that would take a long time

Odd statements then personal attacks then oops sorry and then rinse/repeat. This is an observation shared by many but not being said public
There should be no reviews done by this person until issues are sorted out as again...THIS IS A PUBLIC SITE AND INVOLVES REAL MONEY SPENT BUY STRANGERS YOU WILL NEVER MEET AND WHOOOPS DOES NOT CUT IT



_________________________________________________________________________________________


On a site with audio gear used to play music nobody is considering an agreed set of tracks that the reader could easily get in anyway they choose and test the explanation of recessed mids and forward mids using a part of the track to demonstrate.
Same could be done with bloated bass, rolled off treble, spikey treble. Nobody cares about your graphs bruh. They care about what they mean to them, the music lovers they likely are.


i got my badge by speaking to the public in a real guy way, not geek speak. Stop overthinking
This is all about the music.


I am going out to eat good Japanese food and get freaky with my lady. Not interested in replies. Life is too short, folks not saying in public what they say in private and the music is what this is all about and nobody saying that.

Getting a long is great. Being honest with myself and readers is much more important.

Good luck....i think? Trying harder would be better than luck

It's easy to omit information and twist the truth, this isn't constructive, these are comments of self-interest. I respect some of your reviews but the if the only thing you criticise is other writers because you're a "promoter", perhaps you should consider the responsibility that rests on you as well.

It is clear that you have no intention of offering fair and constructive comments both here and in your reviews, since you only hype things you like, you don't need measurements for that, just honesty, and an honest person doesn't degrade others, their opinion or an admission of fault. Admit fault, learn and move on, we improve by reflecting on the mistakes we've made in the past, not by wallowing in them.
 
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