Published on

    Demystifying Audiophile Claims

    The amount of snake oil is so obnoxious it annoys me to hell and back.



    Audiophiles... what a term. Hobbyists craving for audio quality and the best reverse hearing aid enjoyer that loves being deafened by majestic sounds of music. The bastion of audio purity and perfect fidelity.

    But all is not well for audiophiles nowadays, too many questionable myths, too many... pseudoscientific claims circulating around the community it reeks of disbelief and utter disappointment.

    In this post, I will pretty much debunk and put a burning rod through the magical, somewhat arcane, claims that surrounds the audiophile community with shrouds of uncertainty and inexplicably confusing ambiguity.

    Bear with me as I embrace my truly coldhearted, thousand suns rage of rants towards many aspects that corrupts the mind of the audiophiles.

    Claim 1: EQ is bad for whatever reasons

    As Crinacle stated in one of his videos:

    EQ is a free upgrade.

    ...and he is right. A proper EQ can make your listening experience a better one. No snake oils, no placebo, no religious dogma, just pure utterly decades worth of tried and tested method of making the sound better.

    If you want more power and flexibility, you can try out doing parametric EQ in tandem of measurements with clearly defined standards (either IEC 711 or B&K 5128 for IEMs and Headphones) or simply tune by your ears using that.

    You really can't do it if you have iPhones cause fuck Apple in general, but for other OSes, you have nice quality options. In Windows, you can use EqualizerAPO, easily the best bet. In Linux, you have EasyEffects (I don't know anything else better than that, really). And in Android, you have just too much plethora of options ranging from Poweramp stuffs, Hiby, JamesDSP, Viper4Android, etc.

    Claim 2: Cables or DACs or whatever changes the sound signature Plain, obvious, scientifically proven, no. Only EQ and the way the transducer is manufactured and tuned actually does. And DSP is... also EQ. Unless your cables are 20 meters long it picks up the hum of someone yanking their baseball bat and has stupid high impedance it won't even make a single dent to the signature. I mean take a look at this article. Now what do you think?

    The fact that audiophiles glorify this stupid myth as if it's their religious dogma kind of propaganda is beyond annoying.

    Sure, AMPs may change the sound signature. But a proper DAC is very, and when I said very, I mean VERY transparent. Like bruh, all DAC literally do is convert your digital signal to analog one, hence the name Digital to Analog Converter, DAC. They are not supposed to change the sound cause they are supposed to provide an accurate, unfiltered, raw, transparent representation of the digital signal in... an analog one. If your DAC change the sound signature, it's because they have a tuned AMP inside or simply a bad DAC.

    Claim 3: I can hear the difference between FLAC and highest quality MP3

    Just... no. You will hear... barely any difference... and that's if you count that there is any difference at all cause there's... none of it. Not that I never used FLAC myself, in fact I heavily use FLACs for my audio files and it's for the right reasons - FLACs are meant to be used as an archiving format rather than your hurr durr muh quality I can hear the difference and everyone saying not is lying.

    Yes, it does have better quality than MP3 or any lossy format. But lemme tell you something - can you even barely hear ANYTHING past 20 kHz? Hell, can you even hear SOMETHING past 18 kHz?

    Sure, sure. More bit depth will provide better dynamic range. But hear me out - can you even barely comprehend how autistically LOUD is everything past 100 decibels? Have you even once suffered from severe tinnitus? Cause that thing will give you one for no amounts of money quite easily.

    Claim 4: Burn-ins help to enhance the sound quality

    Nah, this one is only applicable if you own an ancient speaker and want to loose up the movement of the diaphragm inside. And even then it's not really worth the task done.

    You know what is better than "burning" your audio peripheral? Yes, do those... stuffs directly on your ears with actual music. Your ears are the ones that needs to adapt, not the IEMs, not the speakers, not the headphones, with an added note that all of those... can be tuned by EQ.

    In general, those companies that told you to do burn-ins usually does that to trick you into participating in what I call as the "return window skipping" maneuver. Basically... if your audio peripherals turns out to be shit, you can't send it back for a refund after the amount of time you spent to do burn-ins.


    In conclusion, dear readers, we have embarked on a journey to unravel the elusive world of audiophile claims. We have waded through convoluted discussions of... whatever they believe is the next greatest thing... that promise to transport us to sonic nirvana.

    Alas, the veil of mystery has been lifted, revealing a landscape brimming with skeptical eyebrows and eye-rolls. While some audiophiles may genuinely believe in the power of their expensive, snake-oil-infused cables, let us not forget that scientific evidence and rationality lay dormant in the shadows.

    So, dear audiophiles, as you prod the edges of plausibility with your golden-tipped tuning forks, remember: the true symphony resides in the humble union of logic and reason.