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YouTube Audio Reviewer Tier List - Jan 2023 Edition

napfkuchen

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I like the Audioholics guys (Gene and Matthew Poes) for the most part.

I'm not qualified to rate anyone, so there is that. No need to tell me I'm wrong :)
I particularly like their videos about room acoustics and in-depth guides on setting up audio-equipment. They tell you lots of things a product manual won't. Basically they put in a lot of effort and in the end sum everything up in an easy-to-follow format. VERY helpful!
 
OP
IAtaman

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oh boy this is going to be a controversial thread
Since starting this thread, I came to realize everyone has a very different set of people in mind when they say YT audio reviewers.

For me, too - I thought I would have known all the big names, but it seems that is not the case at all.

I thought Crinacle's video on the subject of useless reviews was quite good:
Yes I thought it was a very good video as well. That video is one of the reasons why I said you like Crinacle or not but at least he has a thought through system. It also hit close to home for me as I bought a pair of floorstanding speakers based on whathifi recommendation back in the day. Only had I known almost all their reviews are 5 stars...
 
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Soria Moria

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I was shocked how frail Hans looked in one of his recent videos. He has really aged as of late. Made me think how long I can do this before I look that way!
You're right. Left picture is from 2017, right is a week old. He's looking a lot paler.
Hans.jpg
 

Sgt. Ear Ache

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I actually don't really watch any of them anymore because I have my gear, I know what it's doing, and I know that - given my specific situation and circumstances - I won't notably improve my sound in any meaningful way by buying anything new. If I wasn't in an apartment I'd add a sub. I'm a perfect example of why the traditional audiophile gear industry is so terribly against notions such as measuring gear and doing ABX testing and so forth. Subjectivity promotes sales.

However, I love to comment on stuff and I have watched some of these guys in the past. so...

Cheapaudioman - I find this guy pretty annoying. He's essentially pretending to be someone who "cuts through the audio BS" but in fact he's just another golden ear.

Steve G - I mean...nice guy but come on.

Techmoan - I do watch this fellow. I don't really consider him an "audio reviewer" really. Mostly just an interesting channel about old gadgets.

Joshua Valour - he's an example of someone who's videos are so well done in a presentation sense that I find it off-putting. It comes across as almost professional advertising more than anything else.

I like Alan's bluetooth speaker reviews. He's pretty funny and he does actually do some measuring and so forth. I like bluetooth speakers...its sort of where I've gone to satisfy my GAS a bit. Has nothing to do with actual hi fidelity sound of course...just a bit of fun.
 
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sarumbear

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To expect a guy in a living room filming with a Webcam to think on that level is pushing it, and frankly ridiculous.
I would say anyone technically (i.e. objectively) reviewing a product without the necessary tool(s) is ridiculous. What can anyone gain from hearing someone's view? I like it, no I don't like it, is not a review!
 

JustJones

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I have never watched YouTube as a means of purchase analysis but of learning something. I don't learn anything by watching talking heads babble about their subjective opinions of audio gear. IMO this is a good use of YouTube on audio An oldie but goodie.


ASR provides good videos as well that will actually teach me something useful.
 

Sgt. Ear Ache

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I guess it depends upon one's threshold for information. Think about it. How many U Toobers can afford a Klippel? Could we say in a like vein that anyone reviewing amps without an Audiograph PowerCube or Active Loadbox connected to an AP is doing it wrong, and that their opinions must be taken with a grain of salt?

All this stuff is mostly tools for designers. To expect a guy in a living room filming with a Webcam to think on that level is pushing it, and frankly ridiculous.

YT 'reviews' are mostly clickbait opinion stuff. Don't take it too seriously. You can find the engineering stuff, but almost no one interested in hi-fi as a casual 'hobby' is watching those. For my part, YT is about the bottom of the barrel, for entertainment. FWIW, I never watch anyone with their eye's bugging out, and mouth open, looking like a total moron. What is it with these Y-toobers? They have no self-respect?
If the youtube guy presents himself as some sort of authority on good sound and offers qualitative assessments of the sound quality of devices relative to other devices with the intent that those views might guide viewers buying decisions then yeah, pretty much anything presented without measurments needs to be taken with a big ol grain of salt. A boulder of salt. THe fact that most youtubers can't afford a Klippel doesn't matter...because a couple do have a klippel. The others can safely be ignored.
 

KikoKentaurus

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I have never watched YouTube as a means of purchase analysis but of learning something. I don't learn anything by watching talking heads babble about their subjective opinions of audio gear. IMO this is a good use of YouTube on audio An oldie but goodie.


ASR provides good videos as well that will actually teach me something useful.
Oh that old classic.. love it!
 
OP
IAtaman

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Technical capabilities of a product is obviously important, but for consumer products, I think we would all agree that here is alot more to a product than its technical specs.

There is feature set, build quality, design, compatibility, usability, pre-sales support, after sales support, etc...

Even technicals on their own do not mean much to a consumer really. Data requires interpretation, and even interpreted data requires understanding of the position of the product in the overall market, which requires category knowledge.

So reviewers do serve a purpose in my opinion beyond what a detailed technical reports would do for consumers.

Maybe what a lot of us is meaning to say is that trying to review a product without factual information on its technical performance, and based only on subjective opinions is at best a fool's errand and at worst is damaging to the larger society? Because I'd agree with that :)

Yet it is the norm isn't. We think people who has reviewed a lot of cars do know about cars and a guy who shows up on a video with a lot of speakers and a scope in the background knows all there is to know about speakers. Even worse, I mean forget about people buying a ****** headphone, there are people who give advice on nutrition, on exercise, on health in general pretending their personal perceptions are facts and they actually know shit because they read two articles on wiki and their buddies at the gym agreed with them..
 
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vco1

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I'm missing Dan's Audio Reviews in this thread. Only discovered his channel recently and I think it's very informative. His comparisons of especially IEM's are very thorough valuable. They may not reveal the absolute qualities, but at least you get a very good idea of the relative differences between all kinds of IEM's. Dan seems like a down to earth guy too.
 

nyxnyxnyx

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Zeos is the BEST guy to watch IF one wants to heavily indulge in this hobby's subjectivism and randomness.
I mean obviously yeah, he doesn't really go with any measurements or objective findings, even his purely subjective preferences suddenly change here and there every once in a while. But when talking about the entertainment value, and the way he describes his satisfactions/dissatisfactions in his videos, it's pretty good. He sounds much more passionate and into audio than most of the reviewers I've watched (that are also included in OP's list).

Other than that, if we go with the safe, objective and rational route: I think OP's list is solid.
 

thewas

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One of the first great objective/measurements based reviewer (especially for headphones) with still a very for video suitable personality and sense of humour, I miss his great articles and videos.

 
D

Deleted member 48726

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I actually don't really watch any of them anymore because I have my gear, I know what it's doing, and I know that - given my specific situation and circumstances - I won't notably improve my sound in any meaningful way by buying anything new. If I wasn't in an apartment I'd add a sub. I'm a perfect example of why the traditional audiophile gear industry is so terribly against notions such as measuring gear and doing ABX testing and so forth. Subjectivity promotes sales.

However, I love to comment on stuff and I have watched some of these guys in the past. so...

Cheapaudioman - I find this guy pretty annoying. He's essentially pretending to be someone who "cuts through the audio BS" but in fact he's just another golden ear.

Steve G - I mean...nice guy but come on.

Techmoan - I do watch this fellow. I don't really consider him an "audio reviewer" really. Mostly just an interesting channel about old gadgets.

Joshua Valour - he's an example of someone who's videos are so well done in a presentation sense that I find it off-putting. It comes across as almost professional advertising more than anything else.

I like Alan's bluetooth speaker reviews. He's pretty funny and he does actually do some measuring and so forth. I like bluetooth speakers...its sort of where I've gone to satisfy my GAS a bit. Has nothing to do with actual hi fidelity sound of course...just a bit of fun.
You pretty much summed up the way I feel about the whole YT audio reviewer thing.

I'm settled as well. I can read graphs, I can measure my room and correct frequencies to my liking. I have way too many amplifiers that doesn't need to do much anyway because I also have a large subwoofer. That's just a suffering I have. I like amps.

The speakers I have are the best sounding ones I have within my budget of what I'm willing to spend. They are great sounding, can play loud and look good.
If there's some technical thing that I don't understand well enough, I search for it on ASR and 9/10 times I learn more than I knew.

I used to enjoy watching cheapaudioman. I like the guy but his content are not up to par. I feel a bit sad for that reason because I get the feeling he really wants to do things a bit different. To his credit, I think he has made cheaper amps more visible and acceptable to use in HiFi.
 

nyxnyxnyx

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I find his waifu obsession is a tad bit creepy.
he's like a big anime/manga fan and yeah it can look out of place or awkward at times.
his shooting room (or audio corner?) is like my audio wet dream. Realistically I would never need or be able to use that many headphones, but damn the collection looks more impressive than all the audio shops I've been to.
 

andrewskaterrr

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Trell

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That's not him being paler, that's the lighting being different. Look at the rest of the room behind him, you can clearly see the window shades, window sill, and wall are all brighter in the new video.
Sort of what I thought as well that lightning and/or color balance/white point is different.

Many LED lamps have a pretty poor color rendition and that could be a cause as well.
 

Rufus T. Firefly

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I particularly like their videos about room acoustics and in-depth guides on setting up audio-equipment. They tell you lots of things a product manual won't. Basically they put in a lot of effort and in the end sum everything up in an easy-to-follow format. VERY helpful!
Agreed
 

GaryH

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The trouble is, most reviewers say everything is great and if they do talk about differences its things like air, PRaT, warmth, smoothness, etc. which in the case of cables, amps and DACs, likely don't really exist anyway. If they do attempt to put things in order of preference, it's almost invariably pretty much in price order, whereas objective testing by Amir and others has shown that price often has very little correlation with measured performance. :facepalm:

I thought Crinacle's video on the subject of useless reviews was quite good:

Ironic considering Crinacle's own headphone/IEM 'Technical Grade' ratings are beyond useless, (knowingly) perpetuating pseudoscience and primarily just a metric of his pricing bias.
 
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Palladium

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CheapAudioMan "reviewed" the SMSL D-6 and said it sucks because of "sibilance".

Yes, that from a bloody DAC that's ruler flat like every other one from ASR data.

It was then I knew this guy was a complete doofus.
 
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