Announcing the *new* HEADPHONE Community Preview Program

This sounds like a great program. There are a lot of good ideas in this thread for this program. I would love to be part of this loan program as a YouTube reviewer having the ability to review gear that I am unable to purchase or are on the fence about purchasing would be a nice addition to my channel. I need to work up on getting my rank changed to “member”.

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Bear in mind that one of the requirements to participate is that you post proper impressions or a review here for any items borrowed via this program.

This means more than a one sentence or paragraph summary. You can look at posts by @antdroid, @TylersEclectic, @pwjazz and @Resolve (especially where there’s a YouTube or video component) to see the kind of thing that is expected, especially if you are planning on putting your content for items from this program on other sites/channels.


I totally understand. Thank you for the clarification. I am not much of a written word reviewer but I will give it my best shot.


I would say your review, here, illustrates that you should have no trouble in posting suitable impressions/reviews!


This is great! I’d love to be apart of this. Good way to interact with the community


I have to admit I’m a bit surprised that, even with the much lower bar for participation, a lot fewer people than I would have expected have taken advantage of this program.

To be clear, if you are a “Member” (trust-level 2), which you will be if you post semi-frequently and have done so for more than a couple of weeks, then the only other thing that is needed to get started is to have made an impressions post (or a review) somewhere on this forum.

And I expect with some of the new brands that just picked up, the available gear is going to get even more varied in the next couple of months or so. No better time than to do a couple of cycles and qualify for Tier 1 …


If I lived in the US I would most certainly be as involved in this as possible, I can’t believe that other members aren’t jumping at the chance!??!


For folks to check out if they qualify, this is the link the users who have met “MEMBER” status:

Some new users are already qualified just glancing at this linked list.

And then you just need to post a qualifying impressions or review on this forum and let @taronlissimore or @Torq orq know that you qualify and what preview unit you want to check out. :slight_smile:

correct me if I have any inaccurate info here


Nope, you’re spot on!

And the link to the “Member” list is very useful!

Gotta get this move handled first. Once I come back from my new hire orientation, I’ll probably be jumping into this. Such a good program.


It is a very cool program which I’ve taken advantage of once. Speaking for myself, the headphones which I’m interested in listening to now (Ananda, Arya, several ZMFs) just aren’t on the list. Should they pop up on the list, I’d likely check another one or two out.


I’ll check with @taronlissimore on the possibility of adding the HiFi-Man headphones to the program. I know there’s been at least one set of Ananda that were out for review, though I don’t know if those were subsequently sold.

I’d love to have things like ZMF’s cans available, but at the moment that’s really down to the manufacturer wanting to commit product to the program. There are things afoot that should make that a more attractive proposition to such manufacturers, but right now the active-member-bias is more toward the other end of the market.


The previous Ananda wasn’t actually on loan from us. I believe it was borrowed from a friend. However, on the Hifiman front, we have added the Ananda and Arya on the Canadian side of things. @Resolve will be receiving them next week and after that they can go out to @pwjazz if the timing is good for you.

In terms of gear being added, often times the gear in the program is purchased by us as a regular retail unit and put into the program. Other times it is open-box inventory. The items do sometimes get sold off as well since holding too much gear would make it so we could no longer afford to run the Preview Program. And this is where it gets tricky with gear that we do not sell. In some cases, manufacturers are are more than happy to send gear out. But in others, we would end paying full retail price for a piece of gear. In the case of the higher-tier stuff that people would like added, that is not something that is realistic. But as @Torq said, we are currently working to make the program attractive to manufacturers of the higher-end gear.


That is very cool news… I was going to possibly suggest, if items aren’t on loan from a company that a pool of cash could be collected for preview items. Maybe a buy back program for preview members? this would get complicated though… I would have to dedicate more brain power time to the solution than I have available at this moment. @taronlissimore and @Torq remind me about this because I have been thinking of something that potentially could work but I am no expert and it could be a really dumb/not cost effective endeavor for all parties =)

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I appreciate the program but remain a fence-sitter and haven’t pursued a demo. Here are some reason why I (and perhaps people like me) don’t participate:

  • My day job is brain-draining
  • Business conferences grab my time
  • Planning personal/family travel grabs my time
  • Side professional efforts grab my time
  • Other hobbies (to include absurdly complex drone photography) fill the remaining gaps
  • I have a hobby budget and resale strategy where I purchase new or used ‘test items’ at a reasonable price and then either keep them or resell at a minimal loss or small profit. So, I demo for a few months or a year without a firm time restriction. With care, many hobbies cost close to nothing over the long run. [If one actually sells stuff – the net outcome is similar to the preview program.]

@Torq @generic Probably one of the biggest reasons for many not being in the program is likely related to free time. Though, I’m not completely sure of the cause myself. I just started, and I’m young, so I’ve still got plenty of free time to demo stuff. Geographical location on the other hand is a huge barrier.

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I am interested. JUST got member too. :slight_smile:


And you’ve completed the requirement for posting impressions, I see, as well, with your write-up on the Elegia. So you’re good to go.


That’s what pushed me over the edge, actually! Good timing!


Hey guys,

There seems to be some confusion about The Community Preview Program that we want to help clear up as we would love to have more community members participating and it seems like people are being held back.

TLDR is here

Too Long Didn’t Read

  • Impressions don’t have to be long
  • It’s okay to post a negative impression
  • We’ll ask for your permission before posting your review on the main site
  • If something has already been reviewed you can still review it. It’s great to get multiple perspectives.

Impressions / Reviews don’t have to be longform.

  • They need to be fleshed out impressions that are more than “I liked them or I hated them”. If you want to do a full-fledged review that’s a bonus but it’s not a requirement.
  • The Program is in place to allow access to gear that you may not have access to otherwise but also to provide helpful information to the rest of the community

Negative impressions/reviews are absolutely OK.

  • We understand that there is going to be gear that you don’t like and that is fine. We also know that writing about gear that isn’t enjoyable can be a pain.
  • You are required to write impressions of gear from the Community Preview Program but you are not required to write a full-fledged review.
  • If a piece of gear isn’t up to your standards, rather than just saying that you don’t like them let us know what you don’t like them about them.

Not all reviews go up on the main site.

  • Not every review is going to be going on the main site. Those are picked based on a number of factors (information, writing, photography).
  • A review will not be posted on the main site without the author’s permission. Main site reviews go through @torq who has guidelines that he can send you.

Multiple reviews of the same gear are not only allowed, but are also encouraged.

  • Multiple perspectives on gear is great. There is a lot of subjectivity in this hobby and hearing multiple opinions on a piece of gear is valuable to everybody.
  • You don’t need to choose a piece of gear from the program just because it has not been reviewed yet. The Preview Program is about our Community and if you really want to try something like the Focal Clear even though there are multiple impressions/reviews out there, that’s perfectly OK.

If you ever have questions regarding the program always feel free to send a message to myself, @andrew, @Torq or @Nic and we would be happy to clarify.