The wonderful world of Chinese hi-fi - The Verge


22 bookmarks. First posted by brokenrhino 15 days ago.


When most people need a new pair of earbuds, they’re picking from a pretty small set of brands, usually chosen from Amazon or, worse, the Apple Store. Then there are the outliers, the ones who haunt forums like Head-Fi, who speak knowledgeably about balanced armature versus dynamic drivers, who test their equipment and produce frequency charts. Increasingly, those outliers — a subset of audiophile culture — are obsessed with a wide variety of no-name Chinese brands selling earbuds that often cost less than $25. The outlier obsessives buy these by the dozen from the back pages of AliExpress, write or perform exhaustively researched reviews on blogs and YouTube, and debate endlessly the pros and cons of headphones that cost about as much as a large pizza.
culture_of_online_life  adtech  shopping 
9 days ago by seatrout
It still does, and it’s still better, but just like the flood of cheap high-end earbuds, the MiniDSP is capable, a little weird, and affordable to all.
shanzhai  audio  hardware  ovum 
11 days ago by yorksranter
Dan Nosowitz on the rise of the surprisingly cheap, surprisingly hi-quality "Chi-fi":
<p>Chinese brands cut out all of that [branding/marketing/testing] stuff. Only the biggest and most ambitious of these companies even bother with a website; most of them have little more than a vendor page on AliExpress. Some of these companies buy their drivers — the actual speakers — from the same factories that provide Sennheiser and Beats with theirs. Tin Audio uses Knowles balanced armature drivers for its T3 model; those are the most important thing inside this product. Those same drivers, or at least very similar ones, can also be found in Ultimate Ears IEMs that cost hundreds or even thousands of dollars. The factories that make the drivers don’t care who they sell to; they maintain a certain level of quality because their clients depend on that. And once you’ve sourced the parts, it’s not expensive at all to put them together. “If you have a van and a bottle of glue,” Klasco says, “you can be in the business.”

What you sometimes end up with is a headphone with shockingly high-end internals, meaning excellent sound quality, from a company that has essentially no overhead. Those companies can still make a solid profit — if anyone can find their stuff.

It’s difficult to say how much intellectual property theft is in the mix. There’s rampant counterfeiting going on in these same Chinese tech hub cities, and you can often find homegrown Chinese brands sitting alongside counterfeit Western products at the markets and conventions around China (and on AliExpress and Amazon, for that matter). Klasco told me that he’ll often just ask vendors at these conventions for a tour of their facilities. If they make excuses for why he can’t come visit, the company might be doing something they want to keep quiet — reselling, or counterfeiting, or worse.</p>
china  audio  chifi 
12 days ago by charlesarthur
via The Verge https://ift.tt/1jLudMg Alex Castro / The Verge

The best pair of $20 earbuds you’ll ever buy

Continue reading…
IFTTT  Feedly 
12 days ago by chrisperfer
These brands have names like Tin Audio, Yinyoo, Revonext, and prices range from $10 to $50. Build quality is sometimes shoddy or inconsistent — but the sound is incredible.
audio  gadgets  hardware  china  Chi-Fi  chifi  earbuds  earphones  headphones 
12 days ago by stevesong
These brands have names like Tin Audio, Yinyoo, Revonext, and prices range from $10 to $50. Build quality is sometimes shoddy or inconsistent — but the sound is incredible.
prismo 
13 days ago by thx1138
When most people need a new pair of earbuds, they’re picking from a pretty small set of brands, usually chosen from Amazon or, worse, the Apple Store.
Archive 
13 days ago by kenyob
Favorite tweet:

audiophiles, who usually obsess over $20,000 speakers, are currently going insane over a bunch of no-name earbuds that cost like 25 bucks on AliExpress https://t.co/Pn1w8eClFL

— Dan Nosowitz (@dannosowitz) November 8, 2019
favoritetweet 
14 days ago by laurajnash
I love that audiophiles are obsessed with $20 headphones from Aliexpress
from twitter_favs
14 days ago by jamesbarnes
TIN AUDIO T2
14 days ago by danhon
When most people need a new pair of earbuds, they’re picking from a pretty small set of brands, usually chosen from Amazon or, worse, the Apple Store.
Archive  Pocket 
15 days ago by brokenrhino