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After the hype of Chinese HiFi brands, what is the jury?

Your sentiments on Chinese HiFi brands?


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Mr Vinyl

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Hype? I think they're under-hyped. I just got into 'Chi-fi' at the beginning of the year. Yes I know, I'm late. I got my first IEM and couldn't believe the sound quality and workmanship for $25. Then I got curious at what a $60 or $70 IEM could get me. Well, I was even more surprised than the first time. Then I got two SMSL DACs and a Topping headphone amp that still has me shaking my head in wonder. And more recently, I was at my local hifi store and compared a Grado SR325x, Sennheiser HD600 and an Aune AR5000. The salesperson must've heard me laughing in disbelief when I had the Aunes on my head. I never had such a big smile when taking out $400 cash out of my pocket for a purchase.
 

DMill

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They offer a lot for a little. But do not innovate or offer much beyond optimized an existing design. But maybe I’m too old and have preconceptions? I’ll think on that.
 

Mr Vinyl

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They offer a lot for a little. But do not innovate or offer much beyond optimized an existing design. But maybe I’m too old and have preconceptions? I’ll think on that.
Times have changed. Hifiman and the various IEM lines will give you food for thought.
 

AdamG

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I just got into 'Chi-fi'
Hi Mr Vinyl,

Am assuming that you don't mean this in a derogatory manner towards all Chinese people. We have a Forum specific Policy to avoid this description. Therefore, we kindly request our Members avoid using this terminology “Chi-fi” as it can have negative connotations for such companies and individuals.

Thank you for your cooperation and understanding in this regard.
 

kemmler3D

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They offer a lot for a little. But do not innovate or offer much beyond optimized an existing design. But maybe I’m too old and have preconceptions? I’ll think on that.
The Topping D50 III w/ PEQ review just came out... seems like a winner. Maybe not "innovative" in the sense of PEQ having been a feature on (certain) DACs for years, but they're certainly leading out of the gate in the consumer / low price segment with that.

That said, I tend to agree that Chinese firms tend not to innovate as much. Or rather, they tend not to market innovative products in western markets as much. It's not because they can't, (they have plenty of design / engineering capability and plenty of ideas - which you can see sometimes in the trade shows over there) but mostly because (IMO) it's harder for them to get direct customer feedback / insight from their overseas markets. Language barrier among other things.

They have an advantage in terms of cost / manufacturing and so the safer bet is to lean on price parity and higher performance, or performance parity and lower price.

However, you can see Fosi and others starting to turn the corner on that. They're here on ASR asking members for ideas on features, at least. It's a start.
 

Mr Vinyl

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Hi Mr Vinyl,

Am assuming that you don't mean this in a derogatory manner towards all Chinese people. We have a Forum specific Policy to avoid this description. Therefore, we kindly request our Members avoid using this terminology “Chi-fi” as it can have negative connotations for such companies and individuals.

Thank you for your cooperation and understanding in this regard.
Not at all. I thought that term was a compliment!!! I meant no disrespect, as you can read from the context of my post, and offer my apologies.
 

Graham849

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Hi Mr Vinyl,

Am assuming that you don't mean this in a derogatory manner towards all Chinese people. We have a Forum specific Policy to avoid this description. Therefore, we kindly request our Members avoid using this terminology “Chi-fi” as it can have negative connotations for such companies and individuals.

Thank you for your cooperation and understanding in this regard.
Interestingly some see it as a badge of honour
Cf. https://melbournechifiaudio.com/
 

AdamG

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Graham849

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Interesting is that peeps still like to say the opposite and run rogue on the term. I've seen it in quantity.
I giggle when I see how many big names have their gear manufactured in Asia.
 

JeffS7444

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There's some great Chinese products out there, but they still rely heavily on non-Chinese intellectual property such as opamps, D/A and A/D converters, etc. It's only recently that I've needed to get ahold of a Chinese-designed integrated circuit (TP4056 from Nanjing Top Power ASIC Corp). But in terms of complexity, it seems relatively simple as these things go.
 

Graham849

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I wonder when we will see an Indian explosion in hifi ?
 
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There's some great Chinese products out there, but they still rely heavily on non-Chinese intellectual property such as opamps, D/A and A/D converters, etc. It's only recently that I've needed to get ahold of a Chinese-designed integrated circuit (TP4056 from Nanjing Top Power ASIC Corp). But in terms of complexity, it seems relatively simple as these things go.
Another 15-20 years, they will be making their own semiconductors that will be able to compete.
 

Graham849

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Andreas007

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Well, looking at my RME it was quite expensive. But feature set and service/support (e. g. firmware updates) are still the best.
I‘m willing to pay for that and would never choose the mentioned alternatives. Heck, there were FW updates you thought you got a new DAC afterwards. As long as I have the money, I‘m in.

And don‘t get too upset about political opinions.
It is annoying how nowadays every discussion escalates within seconds because we have forgotten how to speak with each other.
 

TonyJZX

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i get that people want RMEs and that sort but I am reminded of the times I've worked for rich people... hell the times I bought expensive cars and its like... what I am doing in a $100k Mercedes that is substantially better than a $30k Toyota Camry?

some people will just not appreciate what $100k does... some people dont care.. sometimes the manufactuerer is taking you for a ride

at the end of the day people want a product ABC that does XYZ... if it can do that well and reliabily and with minimal human interaction that may well be good enough?

to me a lot of times people will say that wont buy from CHina because of political blah blah.. i get that

but the choice has been taken away from me... i am reminded of the times i see fellow employees who drive $25k Chinese SUVs and trucks... and they could get some friction from people for 'supporting this and that' even indirectly

mate, i just want to get from A to B within my budget

I cant afford a $60k japanese truck or a $70k german seven seat suv.

by the same token i essentially cant afford to buy high end gear supposed made by 'ethical' western companies like hegel and devialet and tekton and weiss and PS audio...
 

aslan7

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Hi Mr Vinyl,

Am assuming that you don't mean this in a derogatory manner towards all Chinese people. We have a Forum specific Policy to avoid this description. Therefore, we kindly request our Members avoid using this terminology “Chi-fi” as it can have negative connotations for such companies and individuals.

Thank you for your cooperation and understanding in this regard.
Just for the record, the idea that gave rise to this expression--namely that Chinese products are all cheap--is completely erroneous. They make some truly magnificent products of the highest quality. Anyone familiar with the history of Chinese porcelain and various utilitarian objects will know that.
 
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