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Audiophile hobby is a scam?

DLS79

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In that case, how do you decide what to buy? You have to take someone's word for it. That is still rational, but it leads to results that (with the knowledge we have) seem wildly irrational.

Maybe it's the way i was raised, but to me that's not rational!

If i see the going rate for something is like $50 (multiple brands & multiple retailers), and then I see claims about an equivalent item that cost 10 or 20 times more being superior my BS alarm starts going off, specially when no meaningful proof is provided.


Edit: I'm the same way when i see claims that something significantly cheaper than the going rate is just as good.
 

kemmler3D

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Maybe it's the way i was raised, but to me that's not rational!
Well, you're operating with the knowledge you have too, others just weren't so lucky to be raised the way you were! :)

my BS alarm starts going off, specially when no meaningful proof is provided.
I don't think you have to look very far in any sphere of human existence to see that a lot of people were in the restroom when BS detectors got handed out. ;

I'm the same way when i see claims that something significantly cheaper than the going rate is just as good.
For some people, this feeling is why ASR as a whole seems like a sham. Amir's reviews tells them a Fosi Monoblock will sound just as good as a $10K Class A monster with most speakers. If you don't understand or have confidence in measurements... and you have BS detector... it's probably going off at that point.

The definition of rationality I'm using is basically the one they teach you in economics - "People are always rational... more or less" but you have to remember that this is subject to the information they have and their understanding of said information. Obviously a person's knowledge and understanding are often far short of what's necessary to make a decision that everyone would agree is rational.
 
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DLS79

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The definition of rationality I'm using is basically the one they teach you in economics - "People are always rational... more or less" but you have to remember that this is subject to the information they have and their understanding of said information. Obviously a person's knowledge and understanding are often far short of what's necessary to make a decision that everyone would agree is rational.

That's how I was raised different, I was always pushed to learn more, and want to learn more.

my wife always says I'm an abyss of unless knowledge. I always tell her the usefulness of the knowledge is a matter of opinion!
 

ads_cft222

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Grimm ls1be and Dutch & Dutch 8c do not come cheap....
 
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David James

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You just don't get it :) It's for people fascinated by science – "science" like in "science fiction". They don't want to actually "learn science", it would take away the "magic".
Totally off topic from OP, but I heard some parents say to their young child (maybe kindergarten age) in front of some uncanny demonstration in a museum “it’s science” as though the diety named science was looking down and bestowing wondrous miracles. For many people science and religion are just different sides of the coin.
 
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David James

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Only for religious people ;)
Yes. Lol. I thought that was given at audio science review.
I was commenting on the mystification of science amongst the general public which might be a partial explanation for the energy behind the remarks of so many people who come here to take issue with what people do on this site.
 

lashto

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I at least appreciate your commitment to semantics and pedantry. :)
what would science be without pedantry ? :)
I guess for you, "solved" or "perfect" represent infinitely perfected performance, and so those terms should actually never be used. A valid point of view. I don't totally disagree but I think it makes discussion a little trickier than it needs to be.
It surely does. "Perfect" is not supposed to be easy. Many say it does not even exist.
The pragmatic point of view is that for any physical electronic audio circuit,
Pragmatic points of view are for engineers. Totally agree with you and with them too. But their products are pragmatic compromises, nothing to do with "perfect".
noise and distortion can never be zero... at least outside of a lab or a giant void in deep space at ~0K. Quantum mechanics makes such a device physically impossible, among other things.
So at that point you have to wonder if there can be a more useful / relevant definition of "perfect". I think the one most people use here is the one I mentioned earlier... an audio device that has no plausibly audible defect when used for its intended purpose.

Granted, a much weaker definition, but one that gives us permission to stop worrying about irrelevant improvements. For example, bumping amp SINAD from 95 to 105 to 115dB will basically never improve the listening experience.

I do think that considering the idea of "perfection" when it comes to speakers is interesting, though. It forces us to wrangle with what a perfect mix / recording might capture, and how one might reproduce that at home. And, thinking along those lines does make it clear that although stereo can be very nice and is very practical, it's far from any concept of "ultimate perfection" we might care to discuss.
Noise indeed cannot be zero (at least that's what our current knowledge of physics says). So perfect is not possible .. and that's just fine.

For HD, a kind of practical zero may be "fully burried under noise". Or it may be something like this. Or something else. Truth is, we do not even know the definition of (practically) perfect HD.

And that x500 amp is just another engineering compromise, same as any other product anywhere. IIRC, even purifi had some statements about its HD rising with frequency and called that issue a technical compromise. They did not say "amplification was done" and did not go into vacation afterwards.

Long (nagging) story short: serious scientists & engineers should not even talk about "perfect". And consumers should not talk about perfect amps either. The only 'benefit' of such cheerleading/fanboyism are higher prices.
 

lashto

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That's how I was raised different, I was always pushed to learn more, and want to learn more.

my wife always says I'm an abyss of unless knowledge. I always tell her the usefulness of the knowledge is a matter of opinion!
Also got one of those sacks-of-useless and I tell everyone that it's knowledge for the sake of it .. works fine but it's surely not the best way to be popular and make friends :)
 
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ironwolf60

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It is a scam. After reading how good 'hifiman he400se' sounds i bought one but it sounds very bad compared to my Hyperx Cloud Alpha headset.
It has no bass and very fatigating tremble. So i sold it.
Then i bought the akg k371 after reading 'Amirs review'. Well it sounds good but its nothing special, the Hyperx Alphas are just as good, and they dont have build quality issues. I had to return the k371 due to microphonic cable and poor fit / seal.
 

InfiniteJester

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It is a scam. After reading how good 'hifiman he400se' sounds i bought one but it sounds very bad compared to my Hyperx Cloud Alpha headset.
It has no bass and very fatigating tremble. So i sold it.
Then i bought the akg k371 after reading 'Amirs review'. Well it sounds good but its nothing special, the Hyperx Alphas are just as good, and they dont have build quality issues. I had to return the k371 due to microphonic cable and poor fit / seal.

Did you EQ the HE400se?

I have an idea about why you would find things lacking bass.

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ironwolf60

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Did you EQ the HE400se?

I tried the oratory preset but the sound didnt feel 'right'. Anyway its a bad deal to pay much more money for something that absolutely requires Eq.
Lets not forget Eq on Windows is a bug mess that breaks with every windows update. This is the audiophile scam
 

Doodski

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Lets not forget Eq on Windows is a bug mess that breaks with every windows update.
I've been operating my Win10 EQ/PEQ installation for a fairly long time and no issues at all. Very stable and works very good.
I tried the oratory preset but the sound didnt feel 'right'.
Then adjust the PEQ yourself and find what is good.
Anyway its a bad deal to pay much more money for something that absolutely requires Eq.
Other than a DCA headphone they all require PEQ.
 

markanini

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It is a scam. After reading how good 'hifiman he400se' sounds i bought one but it sounds very bad compared to my Hyperx Cloud Alpha headset.
It has no bass and very fatigating tremble. So i sold it.
Then i bought the akg k371 after reading 'Amirs review'. Well it sounds good but its nothing special, the Hyperx Alphas are just as good, and they dont have build quality issues. I had to return the k371 due to microphonic cable and poor fit / seal.
Seal issues will make and break and closed back. Open backs are something I don't prefer myself no matter how good and EQ'd. Have you considered that if you keep looking you will find a closed back of a similar price that you en up liking better than the Hyper X Cloud?
 

Verig

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It is a scam. After reading how good 'hifiman he400se' sounds i bought one but it sounds very bad compared to my Hyperx Cloud Alpha headset.
It has no bass and very fatigating tremble. So i sold it.
Then i bought the akg k371 after reading 'Amirs review'. Well it sounds good but its nothing special, the Hyperx Alphas are just as good, and they dont have build quality issues. I had to return the k371 due to microphonic cable and poor fit / seal.
Pretty much the only headphones I'm tempted to buy solely on review are DC. (But I won't, going to try them first.)
400SE and K371 don't do it for me. Bad treble, build, fit... and HyperX's have way too much upper bass for me. I was raised with non-Harman target let alone more than that. Pretty nice to wear though.
There are always forum price/performance favorites and they usually come with caveats.

Headphones are very individual choice, more so than anything else. It's nice to see measurements but they tell you surprisingly little are you going to enjoy them or not. No scam here, you just need to keep on looking.
 

markanini

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Why look for something else if HyperX Cloud Alpha sounds good?
I assume something wasn't 100% satisfying about the Hyper Cloud X considering he gave AKG K371 a try after all. Probably sound, they are not tuned great even if they have decent build.
 

pseudoid

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The OP's audio hardware scam-concerns seem to be a complicated topic, I'd like to hear his scam- fad-concerns about Atmos (at this ASR post).
 

mocenigo

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Hi Guys!

Please help me understand, because I do not know If I am missing something, or the whole audiophile hobby is a scam.

I have several headphones with different frequency responses (namely: AKG K712 PRO, Grado SR225i, Sennheiser HD559, Sennheiser HD560S, Audio-Technica AD700X, AKG K371). Running them from the OG Atom Stack.

Out of all these, the most natural sounding is the K371 (without EQ). I can notice the difference when it comes to "soundstage", the open backs have bigger soundstage, but outside of that...we could say they have more "detail", but to me "detail" really seem like a buzzword, and in reality we are talking about quirky frequency responses, which create the illusion of "detail".

Any time I pick up the K712PRO for example, I can hear more "detail" from the music, but it sounds off...the 560S has more "detail" than the K371, but it sounds off (timbre is particularly bad with the 560S imho). I can sometimes enjoy these headphones, but they can get fatiguing, and anytime I pick up my K371, they just sound natural to me, and never fatiguing, regardless of genre of music.

So what is the catch here? If we want the best fidelity, we just need a clean amp, a clean dac, and a headphone that has Harman Tuning, and that is it, there's no possibility of getting better science based sound quality? Or my hearing might just gravitate toward the Harman Tuning?

The scam is in telling customers that more expensive stuff must be somehow "better", and that less expensive equipment cannot deliver the same sound quality. While it is true that the only objective evaluation of equipment is through measurements, and that only properly controlled tests can determine whether teo pieces of equipment can be differentiated, it is also true that in some corner cases items that should not be distringuishable can be distinguished in some contrived tests. The subjective folks and the snake oil peddlers use the last fact to try and persuade potential customers that measurements are useless to actually determine SQ.

The hobby is not a scam, but a lot of the commerce and marketing around it is indeed a scam.
 
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