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Why are you still buying expensive premium gears when cheap stuff does the same

fin

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A $200 DAC can do almost everything you want in a common playback system. Amplifiers that have enough power and distortion cost less and less, too. Why spend $1K on IEMs when a random Chinese brand can almost outperform most of them under $50? Expensive streamers, CD transport and DAPs are well proved that they can do nothing more. Maybe expensive headphones and speakers can prove them well deserved but there are also many cheap ones performs greatly. ASR can help so many people save a significant amount of money on audio equipment by letting people realize all of these facts.

I think there are many members who are willing to purchase premium, expensive gears knowing all of that, for one reason or another. This thread is not an actual question but rather a survey. To you who are knowledgeable about measurements and blind tests in audio: what are some of your reasons to spend money on more expensive items when dirt cheap ones functioned the same.
 
A survey could need a poll with enough options.

Looks, comfort, durability, materials used, brand loyalty, required SPL and functionality could be deciding factors outside of just measured performance.
Just like bragging rights and having too much money could be a reason to enter the audiophool price range.

Then there is 'believing' devices can do things such as 'magic' or wanting things that are praised into heaven by people that 'know things' or believe advertising nonsense.
 
I guess it depends what you are after.
I understand your explanation and I tend to go for the cheap stuff. But I think it only applies to run of the mill stereo systems with the usual feature set.

But if I go back to your title "Why are you still buying expensive premium gears when cheap stuff does the same". My answer is no, there aren't always cheap alternatives to features that expensive devices offer. Classic examples: Okto DAC, RME interfaces, etc etc. I needed to diy some devices a couple of times to avoid having to pay $$$ for the ready made solution to my needs.
 
Usually about the safety of up/downstream devices,speakers and ears of course.
Looks are important (to me),so is ease of use (I prefer bigger devices,easy to plug/unplug things to without them running all over the place.
(I guess comforting regulations is an absolute given)
 
A degree of perfectionism and a desire to pursue the state of the art to the best of my ability (not that I drop big bucks on DACs).
 
I'll happily spend £20 on cheap decent sounding iem all day, everyday and will not be too upset if they fail in short order or arrive with big channel imbalance.

But I will no longer spend £100 on a well performing headamp that has design flaws that can make it a headphone killer.

There is a place for cheap items that may perform well but have questionable longevity. There are also areas where you should tread very carefully.

I'm not sure where I sit regarding all of this and dongles though. Not aware of any (relatively) low power dongles causing harm. I'll be proved wrong
 
A degree of perfectionism and a desire to pursue the state of the art to the best of my ability (not that I drop big bucks on DACs).
Plus with DACs you really don't need to drop big bucks to get (notional) perfection.

Was trying to explain that to someone who cannot understand why I use an E30 'When you could afford something a lot better.'

in fact I bought the E30 solely because I like the looks of it. The fact that it measures impeccably and is cheap is just a happy coincidence.
 
in fact I bought the E30 solely because I like the looks of it. The fact that it measures impeccably and is cheap is just a happy coincidence.

Funny story. I had lost one set of decently nice wireless ear buds that I had, and have had various reliability issues with them, so I figured I’d just go dirt cheap.

I did my research, and came across these little guys, which cost little about as much as having a pizza delivered to my house (with tax, delivery fee, and a nice tip of course). I reviewed the measurements (not perfect, but hardly shameful given the cost) and purchased. They’re still alive and well months later, with fewer reliability problems than the other ear buds I had owned. The sound is perfectly adequate for most of my needs (I like to listen to clear my head, more than be critical), and my only quibble is the charging cable is short and fixed to the bottom of the included charging / carrying case.
 
A $200 DAC can do almost everything you want in a common playback system.
Most probably your source has analog output or your amplifier has digital input. Or both. You buy a DAC, because it is a hobby, not because you get objective gain.
 
I kind of agree with OP... but many of us are more than fortunate enough to buy gear on a whim

there's heaps of guys here who buy electronics on a whim

DACs are solved technology... you can buy a cheap integrated amp w/ inbuilt dacs that are good enough

spend shitloads on speakers

i dont think anyone disagrees there
 
The statement is very general. The fact that you are reading this probably means you have an interest in actual performance over marketing claims and that is a step in the right direction (as far as I am concerned). Cheap needs to prove itself then I am advocate from then on. I have been let down often enough to know that cheap has often cut corners that won't reveal themselves for months or even years. I am happy to pay for proven quality and on occasion, brand reputation.

I also tend to apply my passion for the equipment side of audio every few years so quite often I find after 5 or 6 years technology has advanced or there are new manufacturers that have "changed the game" so you need to re-calibrate around that as well to make sure you are not over paying for something that was true in the past.
 
Longevity, quality, the company behind the product and a bit of the fair trade line of thinking.
You can buy products that last decades or you can buy products that may fail in months.

In a time when so many are concerned about the affect on the plant not only from piling on at the landfill but resources used in manufacturing and transporting goods, it seems wrong to not consider longevity in purchases. Yet it is rarely mentioned when the next 'best ever' $200 amp or dac comes out and everyone goes crazy when their youtube infomercial host tells them they have to have it.
I my opinion, FOMO (driven by forums and youtube) and cheap, direct from China pricing have lead to massive waste in production, transportation and disposal.
I've seen people blasting small production high end goods as wastes of resources but rarely ever the nearly disposable, 'bargain' electronics produced in mass and then replaced with 'better' (or working) a year later.

Also with so many people being conscious of the companies they support and where even part of their money ends up that is also often overlooked in the electronics world.
 
For the following reasons:

1) $200 DAC may have the sonic performance, but the long term reliability is not always great. And local support is not great either (I'm looking at you Topping and SMSL).

2) The performance can be -150dB, but if that thing is housed in an aluminum foil case, I wouldn't want it even if you paid me to take it.

3) Even for the most trivial features/functions that I WANT, I am willing to pay a premium for it, even if that makes the value not so good.

4) I am fortunate enough to not be that poor college student anymore and with disposable income. I can afford to spend more without choosing between paying the mortgage or buying groceries. At the stage of life that I am in, for a hobby that I am passionate about, a $200 DAC vs. $600 DAC no longer makes any material difference in my life. Yes, I am very blessed, and no, I don't take it for granted.
 
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