Can Audiophiles Embrace Science Over Religion For The Hobby To Have a Future?

Pogre

Pogre

Audioholic Overlord
I put a sentence in bold for context. Im sorry this is so difficult. I dont want to monopolize this convo. I am going to step back and suggest you research these matters. You will likely get a better grasp of them from another resource.
I think I understand just fine. I think we are pretty much on the same page, yet you seem to disagree somewhere about something but I still don't undersand the point of this post...
uhm, its 2021. the world has never been as educated or as science based as ever before.

what is new, from the last 10 years, is the ever increasing frequency of people diminishing the position of others by stating that science is on their side. Hogwash.

Scientific method 101 - Observation. Observation is subjective. Testing is objective. Testing a singular variable in a system in laboratory conditions does not make for an accurate test. The relationship between all the variables is not captured. The reason for the observed phenomena can be missed. Specially the inter relationship of all the variables.

Testing a piece of wire to prove or disprove its effects in a complex system is lazy science. There is published scholarly articles out there, one with statements from Floyd Toole himself saying some cables do make a difference. Mr. Toole opined that the difference has to be overlooked (speaking as a speaker manufacturer) given the infinite combinations that could be present. It just doesnt make any sense for a speaker designer to do anything about it.

As a user, given time and opportunity, its something to experiment with, within reason. It doesnt make much of a difference, but to some, it matters. Im good with basic well made cables. Im not good with zealots.
 
T

Trebdp83

Audioholic Field Marshall
You marked a bunch of my posts dumb then tell me we are aligned... c'mon man. I was genuinely trying to have a civil discussion without the ad hominems...
Well, that was your first mistake.;)
 

Peguinpower

Enthusiast
You marked a bunch of my posts dumb then tell me we are aligned... c'mon man. I was genuinely trying to have a civil discussion without the ad hominems...
That is my mistake. I have been speaking to you and saw one mine marked dumb. I mistakenly assumed that was you and returned the favor. It turned out to be someone else.

I am trying to figure out how to talk it back. I was mistaken.
 
Irvrobinson

Irvrobinson

Audioholic Spartan
That is my mistake. I have been speaking to you and saw one mine marked dumb. I mistakenly assumed that was you and returned the favor. It turned out to be someone else.

I am trying to figure out how to talk it back. I was mistaken.
If you go back to those posts you marked Dumb, there should now be a Remove button you can click on.
 
J

JengaHit

Audioholic
But I will take exception to the Beats critique in one sense: yes, Beats for ages sounded like crap if one sought a neutral headphone. But they also didn't cannibalize conventional headphone sales. Rather, they increased the size of the market and conventional brands kept pretty steady sales figures.... and the end result was a nice two-fer where lots of people discovered headphone listening and the idea of paying a premium for something better than the cheap stuff, and now the Beats sound has been tempered a whole bunch and is far more neutral.

So while I would agree that Beats were an insult to music lovers in lots of ways, the impact of Beats was overall pretty positive. It made the idea of spending more to get more palatable to lots of folks.
Actually I think the Beats business case exactly underscores my and some others' point that the editorial is really beside the point, if the issue is identifying new markets and growing them, instead of obsessing about older niche markets.

Regardless of what audiophiles think of Beats' sound quality, Beats disrupted a traditionally stodgy headphone market (premium, over $100 on-ear/over-ear segment) with very savvy marketing and brand intelligence, chiefly stemming from its recording-music-industry founders' (Dre and Iovine) understanding of youth marketing and the power of celebrity-endorsement marketing. They made headphones a wanna-have lifestyle and fashion product for millennials, and grew the market segment. Moreover, they persuaded millennials to pay comparatively premium prices for Beats when they probably aren't spending comparably for traditional audio equipment--and they persuaded consumers that they were a company all about sound quality, whatever traditional audiophiles thought. Every millennial I know owns Beats (and AirPods). I've tried introducing them to Sennheiser and Audio Technica, but Beats and Apple brand loyalty are incredibly strong; their products are devices consumers want to be seen wearing or using.

And it's also telling that Apple, who purchased Beats for $3B, now with Beats, dominates the overall earphone/headphone market with wireless capturing ~76% of the earphone/headphone market. Yes, that's a technology company--not a traditional audio company--dominating and growing an audio segment. Like Beats, Apple has persuaded consumers to spend top dollar on trendy products, and create brand loyalty. It's also instructive that their products seem to comprise the primary audio medium for their customers' consumption of music and entertainment. (And let's not forget other technology players like Amazon and Google.) So does that mean their customers will only spend top dollar on streamlined, compact, user-friendly products like AirPods or Beats, but not on complicated traditional 7/5.1 HT set ups? I'd like to see data on that.

I'm not saying that making all audio equipment fashionable and trendy will save the audio industry. But audio manufacturers do need to understand what motivates their potentially NEW customers, how to develop products for them, and how to market to them, rather than looking inwardly at a stagnant niche market. They could learn from Beats.
 
nathan_h

nathan_h

Audioholic
Actually I think the Beats business case exactly underscores my and some others' point that the editorial is really beside the point, if the issue is identifying new markets and growing them, instead of obsessing about older niche markets.

Regardless of what audiophiles think of Beats' sound quality, Beats disrupted a traditionally stodgy headphone market (premium, over $100 on-ear/over-ear segment) with very savvy marketing and brand intelligence, chiefly stemming from its recording-music-industry founders' (Dre and Iovine) understanding of youth marketing and the power of celebrity-endorsement marketing. They made headphones a wanna-have lifestyle and fashion product for millennials, and grew the market segment. Moreover, they persuaded millennials to pay comparatively premium prices for Beats when they probably aren't spending comparably for traditional audio equipment--and they persuaded consumers that they were a company all about sound quality, whatever traditional audiophiles thought. Every millennial I know owns Beats (and AirPods). I've tried introducing them to Sennheiser and Audio Technica, but Beats and Apple brand loyalty are incredibly strong; their products are devices consumers want to be seen wearing or using.

And it's also telling that Apple, who purchased Beats for $3B, now with Beats, dominates the overall earphone/headphone market with wireless capturing ~76% of the earphone/headphone market. Yes, that's a technology company--not a traditional audio company--dominating and growing an audio segment. Like Beats, Apple has persuaded consumers to spend top dollar on trendy products, and create brand loyalty. It's also instructive that their products seem to comprise the primary audio medium for their customers' consumption of music and entertainment. (And let's not forget other technology players like Amazon and Google.) So does that mean their customers will only spend top dollar on streamlined, compact, user-friendly products like AirPods or Beats, but not on complicated traditional 7/5.1 HT set ups? I'd like to see data on that.

I'm not saying that making all audio equipment fashionable and trendy will save the audio industry. But audio manufacturers do need to understand what motivates their potentially NEW customers, how to develop products for them, and how to market to them, rather than looking inwardly at a stagnant niche market. They could learn from Beats.
Exactly. Beats shows how a new market can be made that doesn’t steal customers but expands the number of customers.

And ironically Apples headphones like the air max pro are now largely following the Harman Curve based on what Sean Olive measured.

Its still possible to get a better sounding headphone for half the price, of course, from AKG, etc, but there is something fun about the whole thing.
 
J

JengaHit

Audioholic
Exactly. Beats shows how a new market can be made that doesn’t steal customers but expands the number of customers.

And ironically Apples headphones like the air max pro are now largely following the Harman Curve based on what Sean Olive measured.

Its still possible to get a better sounding headphone for half the price, of course, from AKG, etc, but there is something fun about the whole thing.
The market data I was able to find (without spending the typical $3-4K for a professional market-research report) is revealing. For the global headphone/earphone market total 2020 market value is $34.8B. Estimates are a projected CAGR (compound annual growth rate) of 20.3% from 2020-2027. And this data was compiled pre-pandemic. If anything, the pandemic has probably juiced these numbers. I think the Apple/Beats factor dominating the headphone market isn't trivial here. Apple/Beats has jump-started competition and imitators in this space. And wireless is the primary driver of that headphone/earphone growth, according to Grand View Research. Wireless is increasingly value-added for fitness as well as HT applications, as well as a growing professional market for headphones that integrate with industrial, commercial, and military VR uses.

By comparison total 2021 market value of the smart-home entertainment space is $11.295B. (This market includes smart-home-connected multi-room sound systems, AVRs and streaming devices like Amazon FireSticks, but not "dumb" or non-connected AV equipment.) Its projected CAGR is 8.35% from 2020-2025.
 
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highfigh

highfigh

Audioholic Overlord
"I found a set of 5 Shunyata Diamondback powers cords on Craigslist for 30 bucks each." "Did I hear anything, no."

Even at $30 each, you still got taken.

"Diamondback Platinum possesses a natural, organic tonal character and presents sound and visuals with incredible depth, dimension and background silence. Diamondback will engage you with pace, rhythm and timing and a surprisingly high level of clarity and dynamic range. Our highest recommendation!"

Good grief.
Organic? GMAB!
 
highfigh

highfigh

Audioholic Overlord
Comments have been made about CD’s.

If I may elaborate on my interest in them:

Absolutely equivalent not better sound is available in other ways but that is not why I like CD’s.

I like them for cover art and liner notes which have nothing to do with sound quality and I would not direct anyone to them for audio quality. For example, my best of Bob Seger has some nice photos, wonderful commentary on how and why the songs were written and the lyrics. I also like them because buying a CD, especially used ones are often more affordable then a digital download.

The author has absolutely right that we should not be directing people with potential interest in audio to CD’s.

I am just saying my interest in them comes from a rational, informed viewpoint that while in a minority is valid.
Many people complain that the photos/artwork and information that comes with CDs is too small and the notes are difficult to read- even with glasses, it's not the same.

CDs are a newer technology that does some things better than LPs- one of the most noticeable is the lowered noise floor, which can't be matched by a stylus that's in physical contact and providing an analog signal. If the vinyl was much smoother, it would be less noisy, but because they contain highly abrasive Carbon Black (same stuff that makes tires black), they're noisy.

Would you ever consider creating something that would produce income for every piece sold?
 
highfigh

highfigh

Audioholic Overlord
Yes, it's a factual claim. The claim doesn't make it fact tho.
It seems that you haven't seen politically-based posts on Facebook. For some people, allegations are proof.
 
M

mearly

Audiophyte
As a young guy who is obsessed and fascinated with good sound, this is good news for me ;)
 
Eppie

Eppie

Full Audioholic
The market data I was able to find (without spending the typical $3-4K for a professional market-research report) is revealing. For the global headphone/earphone market total 2020 market value is $34.8B. Estimates are a projected CAGR (compound annual growth rate) of 20.3% from 2020-2027. And this data was compiled pre-pandemic. If anything, the pandemic has probably juiced these numbers. I think the Apple/Beats factor dominating the headphone market isn't trivial here. Apple/Beats has jump-started competition and imitators in this space. And wireless is the primary driver of that headphone/earphone growth, according to Grand View Research. Wireless is increasingly value-added for fitness as well as HT applications, as well as a growing professional market for headphones that integrate with industrial, commercial, and military VR uses.

By comparison total 2021 market value of the smart-home entertainment space is $11.295B. (This market includes smart-home-connected multi-room sound systems, AVRs and streaming devices like Amazon FireSticks, but not "dumb" or non-connected AV equipment.) Its projected CAGR is 8.35% from 2020-2025.
I have gear that is both quite old and very new but the one trend I dislike with new gear is designed obsolescence. My 40 year old integrated amp is still great for music listening and all it would take is a bluetooth receiver or streamer to play modern formats. AVRs and wireless headphones/earbuds OTOH are destined for the trash. Just look on FB Marketplace or Craig's List and see all of the old AVRs with no HDMI connections. Yes, you could use one in a music only setup, but it's easier to sell a vintage Pioneer or Marantz stereo receiver than it is to sell a used AVR with component and S-VHS connections. Hopefully we will see enough backward compatibility with HDMI that digital gear won't become obsolete as quickly, but I don't foresee reselling my Denon with no 4K and only 1080p support unless there are still enough 1080p displays in use to bolster the used market.

Most wireless devices are also destined for the trash because the batteries are not user replaceable. My corded earbuds/headphones will work for decades but when those expensive wireless Beats fail to charge, they'll get chucked into the trash, and manufacturers love that kind of repeat customer. I would like the wireless trend even more if manufacturers designed products with replaceable batteries but that all comes down to consumer demand and so far people seem content to throw their devices in the trash after a few years when the next trendy device comes along. It's a little more palpable with AVRs because many municipalities have set up electronics recycling depots so the steel, aluminum and rare metals get recycled, but with wireless products that are mostly constructed from plastics I would prefer to see a trend that still drives innovation but is more sustainable from an environmental standpoint.
 
3db

3db

Audioholic Overlord
Wow.. Puffy the Penguin comes on and trolls this thread and throws out dumb posts like a slut offering BJs in dark alleys? I hate it when that happens.
 
J

JengaHit

Audioholic
I have gear that is both quite old and very new but the one trend I dislike with new gear is designed obsolescence. My 40 year old integrated amp is still great for music listening and all it would take is a bluetooth receiver or streamer to play modern formats. AVRs and wireless headphones/earbuds OTOH are destined for the trash. Just look on FB Marketplace or Craig's List and see all of the old AVRs with no HDMI connections. Yes, you could use one in a music only setup, but it's easier to sell a vintage Pioneer or Marantz stereo receiver than it is to sell a used AVR with component and S-VHS connections. Hopefully we will see enough backward compatibility with HDMI that digital gear won't become obsolete as quickly, but I don't foresee reselling my Denon with no 4K and only 1080p support unless there are still enough 1080p displays in use to bolster the used market.

Most wireless devices are also destined for the trash because the batteries are not user replaceable. My corded earbuds/headphones will work for decades but when those expensive wireless Beats fail to charge, they'll get chucked into the trash, and manufacturers love that kind of repeat customer. I would like the wireless trend even more if manufacturers designed products with replaceable batteries but that all comes down to consumer demand and so far people seem content to throw their devices in the trash after a few years when the next trendy device comes along. It's a little more palpable with AVRs because many municipalities have set up electronics recycling depots so the steel, aluminum and rare metals get recycled, but with wireless products that are mostly constructed from plastics I would prefer to see a trend that still drives innovation but is more sustainable from an environmental standpoint.
Me too. I have a lot of "dumb" equipment that still works fine for my 2.1 system, that I see no need to replace: a 21-yr-old amp, a 16-yr-old pre-amp, an 18-yr-old CD/SACD player, 19-yr-old Sennheiser cans, and a 12-yr-old Panasonic plasma. I'm not a total luddite, though. Have two Rokus to make my old TVs "smart", and will probably buy a Bluesound Node 2i. The non-replaceable battery thing is annoying. I used to buy phones with replaceable batteries but now all these smart phones only have embedded batteries.
 
B

bladerunner6

Audioholic Intern
Many people complain that the photos/artwork and information that comes with CDs is too small and the notes are difficult to read- even with glasses, it's not the same.

CDs are a newer technology that does some things better than LPs- one of the most noticeable is the lowered noise floor, which can't be matched by a stylus that's in physical contact and providing an analog signal. If the vinyl was much smoother, it would be less noisy, but because they contain highly abrasive Carbon Black (same stuff that makes tires black), they're noisy.

Would you ever consider creating something that would produce income for every piece sold?
“Many people” is an anecdotal comment that doesn’t have any hard data behind it. In any case because people have been buying CD’s for nearly 40 years I am sure “many people “ do look at the artwork and liner notes. And I can say with 100% confidence that CD inserts are bigger than the phone I am typing this on right now!

I don’t understand the relevance of your comments about vinyl fidelity or what sort of products I am interested in making.

I just stated that my interest in CD’s has nothing to do with any imaginary audio superiority. Rather it has to do with personal aesthetic preferences and demonstrable financial advantages.

I concur with the author that audiophiles need to embrace science and not advocate for technology with mythological audio performance advantages.
 
highfigh

highfigh

Audioholic Overlord
“Many people” is an anecdotal comment that doesn’t have any hard data behind it. In any case because people have been buying CD’s for nearly 40 years I am sure “many people “ do look at the artwork and liner notes. And I can say with 100% confidence that CD inserts are bigger than the phone I am typing this on right now!

I don’t understand the relevance of your comments about vinyl fidelity or what sort of products I am interested in making.

I just stated that my interest in CD’s has nothing to do with any imaginary audio superiority. Rather it has to do with personal aesthetic preferences and demonstrable financial advantages.

I concur with the author that audiophiles need to embrace science and not advocate for technology with mythological audio performance advantages.
CD inserts are larger than your phone- LP jackets often had information on the back, sometimes they had a cover that opened to reveal more info and some even had notes and lyrics on the sleeve covering the LP- what's your point? Do you want photos, to prove these, too?

Well, let me look for all of the studies done to validate my comment. Or, I could post this-

"a large number of persons or things" (from Mirrian-Webster).

"I went hiking with my friend Tim and at one point, he was bitten by a rattlesnake. If I had known the difference between 'antidote' and 'anecdote', he'd still be alive"- Ron White
 

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