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YouTube Audio Reviewer Tier List - Jan 2023 Edition


Master Contributor
Forum Donor
Jan 27, 2019
so, no poll then?... ok!...

Once more:

What do you think a poll would solve? How would that substitute for evidence or good arguments?

We could set up a poll in a QANON forum "Is The Government Telling The Truth About Jan 6?"

I presume you agree the poll results heavily siding with "No" wouldn't establish the truth or credibility of the opinions; that would be left to whether there were good arguments and evidence for an opinion, on either side of that question, right?

I've simply asked reasonable questions in regard to how you justify your proposal; shouldn't be that hard to address them if you have good grounds for your opinion.

If you don't...and just want to state it and move on...fine, suit yourself.


Active Member
Mar 29, 2019
So you want to buy a new audio product, you go to YouTube, search "best closed back headphone/dac/amp/studio monitor/IEM under $xxxx", or the name of the product if you are already somewhat honed in on what you want, and you get a list of videos to choose from. But which of these reviewers offer you the best return for your time?

Well I thought it would be interesting topic to talk about, and in a format that is best by test - a tier list.

Here is my suggestion as to how to approach this, feel free to ignore it as much as you want.

I think what would be important in a reviewer would be their:
  • Knowledge : do they know what they are talking about or is it just a repetition of manufacturers' sales pitch​
  • Usefulness : how helpful is the review to make a purchase decision with which you will most likely be happy​
  • Entertainment : how entertaining is to watch them​
  • Quality of Production : lights, mics, camera - action!​
  • Variety of Products : is it all IEMs or whatever their sponsors send them or do we also get a good variety of products​
  • Likability : with some people you just don't click - and it is almost always better to accept that our personal like / dislike plays a role than to try an deny it and pretend objectivity in my experience. Spill it out.​

And here is the list of reviewers I can think of, in alphabetical order. If you are game, you can include or exclude whomever you want, this is for reference only.
  • BadGuyGoodRewiews
  • CheapAudioMan
  • Chrono
  • Crinicle
  • Currawong
  • DankPods
  • Darko
  • DMS
  • Gizaudio
  • Goldensound
  • iiwi
  • Joshua Velor
  • Julian Krause
  • LTT / Linus
  • Precog
  • Resolve
  • Super*Review
  • Zeos

I think most will agree that it's probably best to exclude Amir from this tier list as it does not feel appropriate to go into someones home and rate their "excellence in hosting" during dinner no matter what is your opinion (we will talk about him on Head-Fi ;) )

Lad os gå!

I haven't seen Joe N Tell mentioned on this thread. @napilopez has contributed to a lot of speakers reviews and has a lot of useful information (IMO) and his videos on YT are always informative.
He does his own measurements. Very knowledgeable. I don't know why he's not participating as actively on the forums as before.


Major Contributor
Forum Donor
Oct 17, 2018
As far as I know I never uploaded any videos haha! Did you mean Erin? But thanks for the kind words if any were meant for me.

As for why I'm not around often anymore, it's simply because:

* I was laid off from my old job as a journalist and reviewer and decided to make a career switch. I may freelance meaningfully sometime in the future, but for now I no longer have the access to speakers for review as I once did.

* I've begun studying part time for a degree in Physics (my original degree 10 years ago was in philosophy), so my free time is at a minimum. This was in large part inspired by my passion for audio!

Hopefully sometime in the future I'll be able to contribute with more knowledge in tow.


Major Contributor
Mar 1, 2021
I commented on one of his videos and he replied “I know you, you’re a noob”

I‘ll wear that as a badge of honour


Master Contributor
Forum Donor
Jan 15, 2020
Interesting that he recently digitally fakes his face as if it was a different person compared to his older videos and that such people get 5k subs showing the dangers of modern "information" sources.


Jan 22, 2023

This dude's bloated ego allows him to record an hour-long educational video, yet he doesn't realize that YouTube with its opus re-encoding adds additional artifacts to the LAME example he gave. I am amazed that such an illiterate person can succesfully “own” the public discourse yet still not understand the basics, the understanding of which he boasts so much.

I guess I'm just bad at audio :)



Major Contributor
Mar 29, 2021
I have to admit I have watched only first 5 minutes. Sounds like he is watching Amir and repeating him in an aggressive manner. Definitely a significant improvement compared to his previous videos. Still not interesting.
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Senior Member
Dec 16, 2020
S: Crinacle, Precogvision, Resolve, Super*Review

A: Antdroid, Chrono, FC-Construct, Timmy/Gizaudio, HBB/BGGAR, Oratory1990, Scientific Audiophile, Solderdude, VSG/Tech Power Up, Tyll/InnerFidelty, Wolf/L7AudioLab

B: Amir/ASR, Archimago, AudioLevels, AudioReviews.org (Kazi, Jurgen, etc), Banbeucmas, Bedrock Reviews, DMS, GoldenSound, Home Studio Basics, JayAudio (JAY’s audio memes), Metal571, Oluv, Sean Olive, RTings, Sharur, Side Salad Audio, Paul Wasabii

C: Akros, Andy EF, Brent Butterworth, ChiFi Audio Reviews, ConvinceMeAudio, DankPods, Hi-Fri, Ian Fann, Max Settings, Prime Audio Reviews, RikudouGoku, Vortex, Wave Theory

D: Audiophile Heaven, Currawong, Dan's Audio Reviews, Honest Audiophile, Joshua Valour, Passion for Sound, Steve Guttenberg

E: CheapAudioMan, Zeos, Stereophile (other than Tyll)

F: Darko, Hans Beekhuyzen, Michael Fremer, What Hi-Fi
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Senior Member
May 7, 2021
Here is my take on it.

S Tier
Resolve : I respect his knowledge and perspective, and no fanboy, no fanatic approach. It took me a year to appreciate his style though, so maybe not the most likable guy at first sight but definitely underrated in my opinion.
Crinacle : You might agree with him, you might not, but its hard to dispute he put some thought into what he is doing and he has a system which he tries to keep as coherent as possible in my opinion. Like his F-you approach as well.

A Tier
Julian Krause : S tier reviews all across the board except variety. I watch some of his videos despite having no interest in interfaces.

B Tier
Gizaudio : Appreciate the effort to find something to say after weeks and weeks of "all the same" IEMs. Appreciate the measurement and subjective take on it as well.
Chronos : I like the guy, and we have similar taste in headphones.
DMS : DMS on a good day is A tier and not on a good day is B tier I'd say. Can go either way.
Zeos/Z Review : You gotta dig through a lot of BS to find gems of interesting interesting information.
Goldensound : Mixed feelings I'd say, love his objectivists side and the measurements he does, his work on MQA was very enlightening as well. And then next week he talks about the fuller sounding amps. I like to watch his vides to keep my objectivist side under check. Amir Goldensound joint video review / discussion on an amp would be very interesting to watch.

C Tier
DankPods : Big fan. Super entertaining and very knowledgeable in some areas. I'd not buy expensive products based on his reviews though. HööDöö600.
Super*Review : TLDR - can never watch a video of his in full, a bit too slow paced for my taste.

D Tier
Joshua V. : good production quality, useless and subjective reviews.
Darko : nice style, comes across like his knowledge of the topics he is talking about is very superficial.
Agree with pretty much everything you said. I put value in them all even if for most of them it's just product news and at best, build quality and functionality info. I'd love to see Julian Krause review a greater variety of products. He knows his stuff. ASR should be S tier too.

Deleted member 48726

What a great thread, and as a serious YouTube reviewer who makes money on YouTube because I'm deeply fascinated by this convergence of data and social science, I'd like to share one angle that hasn't been explored: the needs of the viewer. A few points to consider in the context of our criticisms of YouTubers generally:
  • A curious consumer who has little knowledge or interest in anything audiophilia is suddenly very interested because Andrew Robinson has romanticized this piece of audio gear. This consumer begins a journey that will take them through a binge load of youtubers and eventually will find a few they enjoy. More importantly for our hobby, we have a contributor to the economy that births innovation and new gear.
  • A lonely viewer looking for companionship enjoys the meaningless yet warm diatribe of Steve Guttenberg - an old friend if you will. Then when it's time to buy some speakers they can afford, they'll buy something suggested by Steve and enjoy the heck out of it mostly because it feels like you are a part of Steve's inner circle.
  • An ignorant dad building out his man cave looks for information he can act on QUICK because he wants to buy the best $2000 pair of speakers in the next 48 hours while his wife is out of town and finds Zero Fidelity as a suggested video on google search of "best exotic speaker for under $2000" - he goes on a livestream, pays a super chat, gets his questions answered and boom, a pair of speakers are on their way with his wife still out of town.
Regardless of our high standards for objectivity and disdain for blatant consumerism as it applies to our own sensibilities, YouTube would not continue to serve this content if people did not watch the videos for more than 2 minutes. Alternatively, where else would you direct an curious consumer when they want to spend money in the next 48 hours without diving deeper than the time spent to buy a washer and dryer after 5 minutes on Consumer Reports?
That's actually an interesting point of view. I have done exactly what you have described myself..;)

What you can hope for is sound advice from a stranger. -And if this stranger has proven to align somewhat with your own opinions, the advice may not be the absolute best, but it's not a bad advice either. If you share opinions and taste there's a proper chance that it's actually good advice.


Feb 7, 2023
Working on a tier list of reviewers. I'm at 17 reviewers so far! I'll post it when I'm 40. I'm including any tier list or recommendations links that they have, what products they do, and a Science to Talking head score. Also entertainment value (subjective), and a few comments on them. If anyone has suggestions of what to add let me know.


Major Contributor
Forum Donor
Nov 6, 2018
Everyone forgot to mention Streaky:

No measureement data. But he's a professional recording engineer giving his admittedly subjective take of some of the most coveted gear among ASR members.
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