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The fact that folks have already "purchased" an entirely unproven tech, with no FR range graphs, third party reviews, says a lot about the "audiophile" community in Massdrop.
Although true, I do have to say that MEE’s higher end options have been great thus far. If the sound signature is similar to those in their Pinnacle series, I’ll be a happy camper. If they, down the line, offer custom ear tips on this (as they do their Pro models) that’ll be pretty cool as well.
You're buying comparing to headphones which are using proven technology (either BAs or standard breathers or hybrid therein). Here you're talking about a new tech which is completely unproven or world-tested. You're blindly trusting their marketing and sales tactics.
I'm trusting that they are engineering a product that sounds as good as their current offerings or they wouldn't sell it. I'm trusting that they have some prototype and have some idea of how it sounds. So yeah, I'm trusting the that the tech they are using will sound like I expect it (regardless of whether it's new or not) or they wouldn't try to sell it. This is a manufacturer that I do trust and have had great relations with. It's not like it's a no-name brand that grew out of nothing overnight.
And what's inherently wrong with that? Sometimes, a gamble pays off. It's also not as if you can't sell them on the used market if worst comes to worst. Technically, you're always taking a gamble with anything you haven't heard with your own gear and two ears as impressions and FR graphs only tell you so much of the story.
I think you said it yourself: it's a gamble. There's always risk when buying things based on technical and graphs (w/o auditioning). But you also have trusted third parties with review integrity which would not embellish a product based on sponsorship and attest whether the technical description and charts hold up or not. Also "worse comes to worse" you're left with a dud as no one will buy a product known to not be performant -- at least not w/o taking a good hit in price.
as long as you don't mind losing $150 it's fine. I'm guessing you don't buy anything new that comes out on massdrop then. since most of the stuff they come out with are stuff that are not on the market
That's the beauty about sound and hearing, what sounds bad to someone else may not be the same with another. I can't think of a headphone that is so bad it's price is just astronomically terrible. Hell, I have not seen a single MD headphone item not sell close to their sell price, used, on a place like eBay. Being out a few bucks to try something new isn't much of a turn-off to me considering the price of admission here. By your logic, the HD 650/6XX should be the best thing since sliced bread based off reviews but I can aptly state it has been one of my top headphone letdowns after getting off the hype-train. While competent, it is not the pinnacle that so many make it out to be. All just my opinion, of course.
Still, 3rd party reviewers can only do so much. Yes, they can give you an accurate description of what they hear (and think about it) but unless it's your same gear with the same tracks, you can truthfully only go by your own ears. On a different note, what headphones or IEMs have been outright duds? I'm genuinely curious as I honestly can't think of any that are so bad EVERYONE hates them (notwithstanding the super cheap budget stuff, obvsiously.)
Someone has to or no new products would ever get released.
So you're paying for the grand privilege to be a beta tester. Got it.
The issue is that they have tested it, otherwise they wouldn't be selling it. This is under the assumption that the company in question isn't scum; judging by my previous interactions with MEE, they aren't. You may be paying a small premium to cover their R&D, and being MEE it is small, but for the most part, it should have quality in line with the rest of their products offered at this price point.
And to be honest, their driver design isn't so radical. It's intuitive, but it's not radical. It looks like a single-sided planar magnetic (those exist, see HiFiMan) attached using a surround (which is from dynamic drivers). The main mechanism looks quite planar (single-sided) to me.
" On a different note, what headphones or IEMs have been outright duds? "
IME in recent memory NuForce EDC3. Technically decent, subjectively pretty damn awful sound signature. If I could get, say, $70 for my barely used pair, I'd happily part ways with them. eBay isn't an option as the ebay+paypal tax lose another 12-15%.
" By your logic, the HD 650/6XX should be the best thing since sliced bread based off reviews but I can aptly state it has been one of my top headphone letdowns after getting off the hype-train "
This is a logical straw man. You're conflating hype trains, which I agree wrt HD 6XX it's a bit nuts, with I don't know just about any headphone worth its salt out there without that much hype. Just to give you a very concrete example: you recommended the AQ NightOwl and explained why and the type of sound it produces, plust your personal preferences. I did some digging on my own and reviews more or less backed up your claims. I bought them and I got exactly what I was expecting and so incredibly glad I did. Without your recommendation and the corroboration from other third parties, I would have never dared to fork $400 (or any significant money on a pair of cans).
If you're OK with paying $150 to be a beta tester -- which to be clear, this is what this sale is -- that's fine, but it's not a logical decision: you're basing your purchasing decision on gut feeling and can't really compare to anything out there given the new driver tech.
OK, I'd have to call shenanigans on the EDC3. it was (and is) far from a dud and not being panned negatively by the community at large. You may not personally have found it the most appealing (neither did I) but there's no way I can call it a dud. There are many others (my wife included) who really enjoy it's signature, ergonomics, etc.
In regards to the 6XX, my point still stands about your statement regarding "listening" tests and verifiable reviews to build context for an item. The 6XX was my real-life example of this. That was my point. For something as heralded as the 6XX with no shortage of information in the world, with my gear and ears, it was lacking compared to all the high praises it gets. They were just OK and not the 2nd coming of Jesus as many seem to indicate.
And really, I wish you'd quit saying "beta test." By definition of the term, that's not even what is going on here. Nor are people going off a "gut feeling." This product isn't expensive by any stretch of the imagination, the tech sounds interesting, I like the looks and form factor, and MEE/Massdrop are two companies who have made products I have enjoyed in the past (MD+ and PX). For $150, I could do a lot worse and literally piss it away on a nice bottle of wine or scotch. As I stated prior, if you hated them that much, you can sell them (eBay, Amazon, headFi, Craigslist, etc.) and recoup most if not all of your monies back since this is a unique item that isn't off-the-shelf.
OK, I won't pile on top of you much scorn, though I expect there will be others who are going to be more than willing to do so...
Let me help you with two concepts:
1. Those who are on this drop are more likely better known as early adopters - beta testers usually get their product free for test and feedback during design stages, while early adopters purchase in advance of the crowd and the accompanying reviews and write-ups. This is a very well known phenomenon, and has to do with how risk taking / adventurous someone is, how much they enjoy the chase of a dream, and their financial tolerance.
2. There is really something wrong with someone who would go out of their way to spend time writing posts deriding people for their purchase decisions. Those people I suspect may have an empty hole in them that they fill with negative emotions and tearing others down rather than fill that space with positive experiences. I am not qualified to pass any judgement on you but I do suggest that you go find joy and happiness in something more constructive than criticizing the decisions of others that have no impact on you.
Your comments reveal more of your own shortcomings than the "purchasers" of these iem's.
Really? We're doing amateur psychoanalysis on people we disagree with over headphone purchases?
Here, let me try. I'm not qualified to pass any judgement on you, but you sure seem like a condescending, sanctimonious, blowhard.
Geez man, what's your deal? There's new tech out that looks cool and may actually sound pretty good. I love planar magnetic headphones, and this seems real interesting to me. I like MEE, and their products. I'm a beta tester because I trust them, and want to help them grow as a company? I'm not blindly going in to this, this is an educated guess that it will most likely sound good. There are FR graphs, and honestly, this isn't that expensive. The audiophile community also has a lot of people in "the hobby" of listening to different types of headphones, even at a loss. If one of your favorite restaurants has a new item on the menu, and you try it because you trust the restaurant and their previous dishes... How would you be a beta tester? Why should someone try and scold you for doing so? Hey off your high horse and relax man... It's not even your money. This is how the website grows and how it can bring better selections out in the future. If you don't like it, fine, keep it to yourself, I mean what are you even doing in here?
To be sure, my response to the poster was only a thinly veiled rebuke. A rebuke of someone who criticized those who purchase this item. What in the world is he doing on this thread criticizing the choices of others? Yeah, I think he needed a bit of a metaphorical slap. Glad to see you had the two working synapses it took to see what I was doing. Good for you!
Now, I think that your completely rude and openly hostile response says a whole lot more about you than I could possibly ever say. I won’t even try thinly veiled criticism with you, because I doubt you would get it.
Are you REALLY going to criticize? Go read your post to your parents and employers. Let them tell you what you are.
But…you just complimented me for getting thinly veiled criticism. I was hoping you might throw a bit more of it down to me from your high place, that I might learn and grow. Then you take away my hope by not even trying more with me?
Alas, left to my own devices, I took your advice and asked my mom what she thought.
She said I forgot “pretentious”
Not sure why you have chosen to turn the metaphorical “guns” in your name on me, as all I did was call out someone who was acting like the southern end of a northbound horse when he criticized others for buying these earphones. Yes, I did it in a very thinly veiled sarcastic way, but I think more than merited for how he was treating the group in general, and probably more gently than he/she deserved.
In other threads I have advised engaging people who can add value to your life - even, and especially, when you disagree with them because those are the ones you can learn from. But I also advise to avoid those who only bring poison to the discussion. I am pretty certain there is nothing I will gain in my life from continuing to engage you. Not because you don’t know things that will help me in my journey through life, you may well indeed, but because you come across - read that, COME ACROSS - as pure poison.
Nothing veiled, nothing pretentious, nothing subtle. I have nothing against you as I don’t know you, but I want nothing to do with the brand of poison you are bringing to me. Rant on as you wish, no further responses from my end.
Since you seem a rather literal chap or chapette, I'm happy to share what drew my attention. There was a legitimate debate going on, with one arguing that it's foolish to buy unproven tech and the rest of the group arguing the merits of taking a chance on a new technology because they trust MD and MEE. Appropriate, on-topic, and nothing more offensive than "beta-tester" and "shenanigans" being thrown around (coincidentally, right up there with "balderdash" on underused but civil terms of disagreement).
But you drop in with a pedantic discussion of the difference between beta-testers and early adopters (at best, insulting the intelligence of the group - everybody seems to have gotten the metaphor) and go on with the whole "empty hole in them that they fill with negative emotions..." nonsense, as if you have a clue about anyone on the other side of the screen. You unironically preach positivity while you insult somebody.
This is the only online community I participate in, because people here are generally knowledgeable, helpful, and real. Your kind of stuff (along with political blather) is pretty rare. I'd like to keep it that way.
So if you think that's poison, I'm cool with that. Pesticide, poison - same thing, different perspective.
I'm still waiting for the "early adopters" to test this out before I start putting money down for some entirely unproven drivers