Right on. Thank you.
Since @Torq found out that we can’t have special characters in tags (for price ranges), how about maintaining one official index thread (stickied) for each type of component (e.g. DAC or Heaphone) with price noted in the table? I see an example here: DAC - Index, but it hasn’t been updated in a while.
This would make it easier for anyone on the forum to look up products based on their price brackets (which most consumers use). It would be even more appealing to newer members looking to get into the hobby.
Bear in mind the Index threads are intended to be curated content, not simple indexes to each product or its official thread.
If there’s no formal review, or higher quality impressions post (proper pictures, formatting, reasonable comprehensive), then there won’t be links in those indexes.
And yes, even then, they’re still in need of updating …
I was suggesting index threads just to link to product discussion threads directly, whether they have quality reviews in them or not. Oftentimes, it’s useful just to read through a discussion thread as is.
I like the idea.
It’s a question of who’s going to set it up and then maintain it.
For those suggesting new “Official Threads” for electronics or headphones, you’ll get a much more timely response if you:
Include a couple of paragraphs introducing the product (and I do mean a couple of paragraphs), state the selling price, include a suitable picture, and a bulleted list of the main specifications, like this.
The first paragraph should include a link to either the manufacturer’s main website page or the appropriate “brand” thread, and a separate direct link to the product itself.
If there is no existing brand thread, including a suitable intro for one of those would also be helpful.
Links should be of the embedded form shown above, not just the raw URL pasted into the text.
Alternatively, you can create a thread in the “non-official” categories in the above form, and then just drop a note here with a link to it and one of the moderators can move it and update the title.
This will result in MUCH faster attention to requests.
Would you mind if I copied this post into my initial post?
Of course not! Go right ahead!
How about this for a start for Headphones? I’ll add more as I find time.
The list is sorted by most activity. Not sure how to create sortable tables in Discourse.
|Headphone||Manufacturer||Fit||Wired / Wireless||Driver type||MSRP|
|RAAL-requisite SR1a||RAAL||Earfield Monitor Open||Wired||Ribbon||$3500|
|Massdrop Sennheiser HD58X||Sennheiser||Over Ear Open||Wired||Dynamic||$150|
|ZMF Vérité C||ZMF Headphones||Over Ear Closed||Wired||Dynamic||$2500|
|Focal Elegia||Focal||Over Ear Closed||Wired||Dynamic||$900|
|ZMF Vérité||ZMF Headphones||Over Ear Open||Wired||Dynamic||$2500|
|Focal Stellia||Focal||Over Ear Closed||Wired||Dynamic||$3000|
|Audeze Mobius||Audeze||Over Ear Closed||Wireless||Planar Magnetic||$400|
|Focal Clear||Focal||Over Ear Open||Wired||Dynamic||$1500|
|Campfire Audio Andromeda||Campfire Audio||In-Ear Monitor||Wired||5 BA||$1100|
|Campfire Audio Solaris||Campfire Audio||In-Ear Monitor||Wired||3BA + 1DD||$1500|
|Focal Utopia||Focal||Over Ear Open||Wired||Dynamic||$4000|
|Campfire Audio Cascade||Campfire Audio||Over Ear Closed||Wired||Dynamic||$800|
|MrSpeakers Ether 2||Dan Clark Audio||Over Ear Open||Wired||Planar Magnetic||$2000|
|Audeze LCD-X||Audeze||Over Ear Open||Wired||Planar Magnetic||$1200|
|Sennheiser HD 820||Sennheiser||Over Ear Closed||Wired||Dynamic||$2400|
|Rosson Audio - RAD-0||Rosson Audio||Over Ear Open||Wired||Planar Magnetic||$2600|
|Focal Elex||Focal||Over Ear Open||Wired||Dynamic||$700|
|Campfire Audio IO||Campfire Audio||In-Ear Monitor||Wired||2BA||$300|
|Campfire Audio Comet||Campfire Audio||In-Ear Monitor||Wired||1BA||$200|
|LB-Acoustics MySphere 3||LB-Acoustics||Floating Over Ear Open||Wired||Quadrangular Dynamic||$4000|
|Etymotic ER4XR||Etymotic Research||In-Ear Monitor||Wired||4BA||$350|
|64 Audio U18t (U18 Tzar)||64 Audio||In-Ear Monitor||Wired||18BA||$3000|
|Campfire Audio Vega||Campfire Audio||In-Ear Monitor||Wired||1BA||$1299|
|MrSpeakers AEON Flow Closed (DISCONTINUED)||Dan Clark Audio||Over Ear Closed||Wired||Planar Magnetic||$800|
|Audeze LCDi4||Audeze||Open-back In-Ear Monitor||Wired||Planar Magnetic||$2500|
|Final Audio D8000||Final Audio||Over Ear Open||Wired||Planar Magnetic||$3800|
|Audeze LCD-3||Audeze||Over Ear Open||Wired||Planar Magnetic||$1950|
|Sennheiser HE 1 - The New Oprheus||Sennheiser||Over Ear Open||Wired||Electrostatic All-in-one unit||$60000 (yes that’s correct)|
|ZMF Auteur||ZMF Headphones||Over Ear Open||Wired||Dynamic||$1600|
|Campfire Audio Atlas||Campfire Audio||In-Ear Monitor||Wired||1DD||$1299|
|Sennheiser HD 6XX / 650||Sennheiser||Over Ear Open||Wired||Dynamic||$200|
|AudioQuest NightOwl Carbon||AudioQuest||Over Ear Closed||Wired||Dynamic||$700|
|Hifiman Ananda||Hifiman||Over Ear Open||Wired||Planar Magnetic||$1000|
|Audio Technica ATH M50X||Audio Technica||Over Ear Closed||Wired||Dynamic||$150|
|Campfire Audio Polaris||Campfire Audio||In-Ear Monitor||Wired||1BA + 1DD||$500|
|Audeze LCD-4||Audeze||Over Ear Open||Wired||Planar Magnetic||$4000|
|Hedd Audio HEDDphone (COMING SOON)||Hedd Audio||Over Ear Open||Wired||Air Motion Transformer||“Well Below €2000”|
|Meze Empyrean||Meze||Over Ear Open||Wired||Planar Magnetic||$3000|
Sweet. Thank you!
It’s a nice start.
My following comments are not meant to dissuade you, nor to be negative for the sake of it. I understand there are limitations in all platforms, and that different people like to consume and find information in different ways. But this is all fighting how this particular platform (Discourse) is intended to be used, and as a result will be very manual, and possibly more work than it is worth.
There might be an add-in that does it. The problem with add-ins is that they often break when the platform upgrades and that causes major problems, and is one more thing that has to be administered and managed.
So the best way to order the list, for the broadest number of users, is likely to simply be alphabetical by manufacturer then model.
Beyond that … and I say this with a deep background in taxonomic systems, information management, organization and presentation, library science and other related topics (@pennstac has also done extensive work in these areas, I believe) …
Tables like the above, whether manual or system-supported, are useful for browsing a list of items to see what might be there. They’re extremely inefficient for organization and directed discovery, however.
Discourse is a “metadata and search” driven tool, with a bias towards fluid discussion rather than information presentation.
It is most effective when used in that manner, and that’s why it was picked as the platform for this forum, vs. something like XenForo (which is an excellent platform, but biased in the opposite direction to Discourse).
And what that means is using the Search function, rather than trying to impose other structures on top of the platform itself. This is a model I am very used to, but it’s less common on audio forums.
This means that when I want to know about a specific headphone, I type its name into the search box and hit enter. Doing that will generally get me exactly what I am looking for in the top three links. If I have to start browsing for things, then I’m going to be clicking multiple times and manually scanning tables to find the item to click.
And then with indexes like this, on this particular forum, you cannot pin all of them and still have the platform work effectively. So you’ll wind up with ONE pinned post that will contain links to the un-pinned indexes, which means you’re three clicks + browsing/scrolling from what you’re looking for, instead of two clicks and finding what you want at the top of the page.
The next problem is that a manually indexed model is a lot of work. It’s time consuming to setup, and people have to remember to update it otherwise it becomes actively counter-productive.
And by “actively counter productive” I mean that, if it isn’t current, all the time, then some subset of users that use those indexes to see if there’s something posted for what they are interested in are going to go to the index, not see what they’re looking for, and consequently think it isn’t there at all.
For the more static, tabular, model I think the Wiki-based “database” model that Andrew and the other mods are working on behind the scenes is a better fit for what you’re trying to accomplish here.
For me, I still find doing a search for what I want to be faster, more precise and much easier.
The index is meant for those who don’t know precisely what they’re looking for. What if you don’t know that something called a Hifiman Sundara exists within your budget of $500? But you know you want an open back in that range. Searching in discourse is going to do nothing for that person. There is also no good single resource anywhere else for this style of search.
Sure that can be done. Unfortunately, the forum itself doesn’t seem to support this, so I went with most replies for now. The final version can be alphabetical.
It won’t be much of an issue with this style of post. Once an official thread is added, it is never replaced with another one for the same product. Same with company threads.
Also, official threads can only be started by a select few. We can just put it as part of the run book to add a link in the index thread (only one index per category) once it’s created.
I’m curious to learn more about this.
True, but this is very much a subset of what headphones are available in general anyway, so there’s still going to be a ton of stuff missing vs. going to headphones.com (etc.), choosing “shop all”, and sorting by price.
That said, it is one of the things better addressed with the Wiki/database model that Andrew is playing with.
In theory that’s fine.
In practice it’s asking volunteers to do more work.
As one of those volunteers I, and I’m the one that setup the existing review-specific indexes, find that I already don’t have time to maintain them (though I may do a bulk update of them today if things go as planned), even when making a new review post.
And, again, the moment it isn’t current and properly maintained, it starts to become counterproductive.
I do like the general idea, and what you’re trying to address. I’m just way too familiar with how these things tend to go, think there’s a better solution (but it’ll take longer to get to), and don’t personally have the time to manage it (other’s are welcome to chime in on that).
Probably a good time to chime in
I haven’t talked about it publicly, but we’ve been working on a “Headphone Wiki” that would live in its own section of the forum.
The idea is to create that canonical database of headphone facts with each topic taking the form of a single-post thread.
The important distinction is that wiki threads would be only facts, and the discussion threads (that we currently have) would be for facts & subjective discussion.
The wiki’s would also be editable by anyone with a sufficient trust score.
Ideally, every prominent headphone model, accessory, company, prominent individual and glossary term would have its own wiki page.
@Xgatt: This is where something like price could live because MSRP is a “headphone fact”
We would then link to the related wiki thread from the first page of all “official” threads.
If you wanted to get factual information on a headphone, you would just have to append your search term with “wiki” and the wiki post will be prioritized in discourse search.
This sounds excellent, and it would fulfill the purpose I was shooting for. I’ll be interested in contributing details whenever that’s up.
I’ll be starting another thread to talk about the details of the wiki.
I’d like to point out that Discourse’s search does contain an advanced search tool, accessed by using the OPTIONS link in the search box.
I had been concerned about this subject when we first started to get a multiplicity of topics and threads. However I’ve found that when I know what I’m looking for, I can do fairly well with the advanced search tool, even if the post was obscure.
Adding a Wiki is a good idea, and relatively cost effective. I do not know what systems we are running on, but @Torq is correct about the difficulty of add-ins when the main software upgrades. In my experience manual indexing is best for static content when the index is made by trained expert indexers. (People, not machines). This is not static content.
I was writing more, but it all boils down to - there are things that can improve the situation, but they all become very costly in time and other resources such that they are only used on very large or very high-value systems.
I would like to see some easier ways for novice users to get a feeling for the system, perhaps with some sort of customized page (Like DotNetNuke uses) but given the new users coming in, perhaps we are doing enough.
I think we need to do a better job of onboarding new users to the technical abilities of the discourse platform.
I don’t think we do a good enough job at explaining trust levels, post formatting or thread / forum navigation.
It’s easy for us to forget what it’s like to be new
A note on discourse search: I’ve set the wiki threads to have a lower search priority than normal threads. The thinking is that if you’re looking for a wiki you would just append your search with wiki which would then surface the relevant wiki article. However if you aren’t looking for a wiki, the wiki results will show up below the main thread results.
I don’t know how it could be implemented, but a search with some sort of pricing filter would be nice. A user rating system would also be nice, but again I don’t know if/how that could be implemented.