My Opinion on HiFi Magazines

For HiFi interested people like me the HiFi magazines are the best available source for information and the quality of the magazines differ substantially. It is nothing strange about this, the magazines have to sell and in order to do that they must cover almost everything from portable radios to the more expensive stuff like Audio Note Ongaku or Sound Lab for instance. Some magazines are more high-end oriented than others and the methods used for the reviews are different. I felt a need to comment some of the magazines and the methods used, and if you are a HiFi reviewer there is no need to shake for any other reason than if the music is making you shake loose.

Reviewing Methods
Basically there are two methods to compare HiFi equipment, listening to them or measuring their performance. Both methods are interesting to the consumer, some basic measurements can sometimes explain why a component sounds in a specific way and it is always interesting to get someone's opinion on the sounding result. In order to know if the comments on the sound are relevant for you, you must know the reviewers preferences and taste of sound. This takes a while to learn and you have to read the same magazine for some time to understand the certain reviewer.

My Comments on Some Magazines
I prefer to read some magazines more than others, here is a list on some that I like and read regularly:

My Comments on Some Reviewing Tecniques
I think  it is too common with comparison tests with verdicts on each item, this can be misleading in that it makes the conclusion certain to the reviewer. Many times it is far better just to get the reviewers reaction and description of the sound. A/B testing is also used frequently and even if this is a good method to find the differences between the reviewed items, it can never replace the in-depth listening where you get the time necessary to find out how well it works in a real environment. Another reviewing method I oppose to is the use of 'ordinary people' panels, because you have no relationship to the members of these and can not relate to their verdict. There is no better alternative to reviewing HiFi equipment than to find a friend with the same sonic taste as yourself who can recommend and describe new stuff arriving in the stores. If a magazine can replace this person it is a very good way to find the kind of HiFi parts you are looking for, and with the magazines resources in measuring equipment and available components to review this can make the magazines very interesting indeed.


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