Your Favorite YouTube reviewers

The fact that they can shut down a channel without any explanation is frightening. So sorry to hear, Crin.

Google can not only shut down a youtube account but they can shut down your entire business (or very actively harm it) if they want by suspending / banning you adwords account / business account. They do not give a warning and they do not give any reason on why it happens. You just have to guess and hope that you guessed right when you appeal.


Indeed - pretty wild. That’s a lot of unchecked power they’re wielding…

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I spent way too much time watching YouTube the past year (pandemic stuck in the house all too often), and really appreciate the crew of YouTube reviewers. Thorough and transparent, and zero shtick. And also, just generally friendly folks whose well-articulated comments feel honest (and honest about taste and biases, too). Steve Guttenberg’s videos are a hoot, and Darko is also very enjoyable … even though he’s not as granular, I guess, in his headphone coverage as the array of reviewers. Nearly anything else is unwatchable, to be honest, or else it’s advertorial. (John DeVore’s YouTube Channel I love a lot, as well as some of the vinyl Boomer dudes, but those don’t deal with headphones).

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Top five reviewers:

#1 Zeos on Z-Reviews shares and creates more product hype than anyone else. So he has to be my all time favorite. Yes, I bought a buttload of horrible sounding crap because of him, but he has covered almost every single item that I own.

#2 Passion for sound. Man this guy covers every single detail of a product He is so calming that I end up hypnotized by his smoothed trance educing delivery.

#3 Resolve on theheadphoneshow is the most relaxed just hang out for a few hours reviewer. In true Canadian form, he somehow maintains cool and is able to patiently address’ everyone without offending them. Resolve is responsible for that huge wave that spiked members here at community forum. I rode in on that wave too.

#4 Metal571 If I want the details and specifics, I turn to Metal571.

#5 TylersEclectic covers lots of good gear in a sensible manner. Closest thing to a forum conveyed into video that you will find.

Nouvraught! What do you get when you cross Napoleon Dynamite with ASR and a DT990? You get hundreds of entertaining videos, “GOSH!” Watch Nouvraught, referred to as “The DT990 guy” on all forums.

iiWi Reviews! When iiWi opens his mouth I usually do not agree with what comes out. However, he has introduced me to products that I would not have considered and they have turned out wonderful.

Currawong! If one seeks out comparisons of Schiit to other products then you turn to either Currawong or Darko. Slight nod to Currawong.

DMS. Check him out. His videos have gotten a lot better lately.

Joshua Valour, I really cannot stand any of his videos. It seems like each of his videos are a commercial, but with nothing of value comes out of his wet lip. He seems like a nice guy but I have yet to hear anything insightful or entertaining from any of his videos.

Math problem #1. I count how many Chinese products that are reviewed on that channel. I divide that number by the number of reviews done by that reviewer and my quotient represents the likelihood of shilling.

Math problem #2 I count how many products are reviewed that are manufactured in other countries other than China like USA, Germany, Ukraine etc… I divide that number by how many reviews and the quotient represents the likelihood of honest reviews.

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Nouvraught has openly said many racist things and isn’t worth mentioning in any post.


Dude they shut down his entire Google account, not just his YouTube channel! :frowning_face:

Oh, I watched Zeos for awhile, both fascinated and horrified that his videos even existed … and that anyone took him seriously, since he clearly didn’t. But he does function on some weird level of entertainment, as if indie filmmakers came up with a character for a subs-Clerk comedy, shot from the POV of the character, who sort of reviews head-fi but really spends most of the time bumbling around his basement and free-associating whatever nonsense comes into his head. On that unintentional (?) level, it’s kind of brilliant … but a little boring after awhile. The biggest shocker was when he moved out of his grotty apartment decorated in Early Serial Killer and landed a spiffy suburban lair … Still trying to figure that one out, but I reckon he must actually generate some small fortune with his media empire.


I am not quite sure how these maths work but…

As someone who reviews 90% Chinese made products, that makes me more likely to be a shill?

Also, count the total amount of reviews audio products not manufactured in China and divide it by the total amount of audio products, I think it would be difficult to review only non-chinese manufactured products (not that I understand why the country it was manufactured in makes any difference).


Chinese are ruthless and deceitful in business. I have been to Chinese factories. The men that run them abuse their workers sexually or they don’t get paid. The owners of these factories are ruthless and everyone is only looking out for number one. You cannot get a lawyer like you can here in the USA, the lawyer we met and hired was actually working against the company that my friend had in China. Once you understand the cutthroat nature of the battlefield, it is easy to accept that the rumor’s about China subsidizing reviews to be true. You can’t actually believe that they are made up, do you?

Yes, that puts you on my radar. Especially when so many reviewers are giving some of the crappy Chinese products a standing ovation. So, do I think you are a shill? Maybe, but at least you are on my radar and I can now see if you are one of the fools stating that some of the crappy Chinese amplifiers are the best you have ever heard. Once I have looked through your videos, I will let you know.

“amp/dac has developed an issue and I need to return it.”
“The issue for which I am sending this unit back under warranty probably should fall under “Functionality” as it is relative to the DAC Micro USB port. Over the last month or so, the port has developed a “looseness” which means that if the unit is moved then connectivity is lost with the source. This is not only irritating because the connection fails, but it also means that whatever source is playing usually either pauses or stops (depending on the device) and in the case of the M0, it means that the track will start again from the beginning if you press play.”
I don’t see how one can recommend Topping when they are such garbage.

“I would certainly recommend this unit to power some speakers in a secondary position, or even as a unit to place on a desk at work, as it is quite competent for casual listening both with speakers and headphones. I would not recommend this as an only unit to someone who wants to do more in depth listening, although, at the price, there aren’t too many options that can do all this.”
Evaluated using Bose Freespace DS 16, and your dialog implies that you did not take audiophiles into consideration.

I went back to your earliest reviews to start. I have only gotten through the first two. So, I have many more to go but I just wanted to share with you the first two so that you get an idea of my shill math. I will get back with you after I have completed all of your DAC/amp and amp reviews. So that I might answer your question with specific numbers.

There aren’t that many DACs or Amps as I haven’t reviewed many. Other than Schiit and JDS Labs, all of them will have been made in China.

In total, I just did the math for fun:
88x made in China
7x not made in China

So I guess that settles it :wink:

Seriously though, I still don’t understand what the country of manufacture of a product has to do with whether the person in question is a shill or not. Or maybe we have different definitions of shill.

(Btw, this is not meant as an argument, more of a curiosity)


Regardless of your thoughts on a country’s business practices, reviewers do not get paid by manufacturers for a review. They may have affiliate links or they may get to keep the unit for free (both of which they have to disclose) but they are not paid by the manufacturer.

What defines a crappy Chinese product? Made by Topping? Made by Moondrop? Made by Linsoul? Made by Dunu? Made by Hifiman? You know that most American manufacturers are sourcing their parts / products from China which is why supply chain issues are so prevalent. It’s also why almost any American manufacturer can not put “Made in America” on their products.

I can tell you that we have never had a Chinese company call or email us about a negative review of their product. But we certainly have from North American manufacturers. It’s why you see that we no longer carry certain North American brands that we did in the past.

There are certainly some reviewers out there where their livelihood depends on getting free products from companies and they know how to make money and may be more inclined to give positive reviews to products. But to lambast every reviewer with the same brush because they liked quality products that happen to be made in China is a terrible way to look at things.

By the logic of terrible business practices, it would mean that anyone that uses an Amazon affiliate link must be subsidized by Amazon.


I am curios too. Haven’t you been offered money by Chinese companies? I know you would turn it down, but I am very curious if they have offered you money?

A conversation of national origin isn’t going to end well. Many international vendors (e.g., Primaluna, B&W, etc.) choose to build in China because of quality for price. This follows similar quality from Japan and its reputation built over decades.

Take each vendor on its own, as some are solid while others are maybe not.


I have not, I struggle to get products on loan nevermind a check :smiley:


That is very interesting to hear first hand!

They sort of are shills at that point to some. The biggest indicator of shilling being rampant are the inflated amount of positive reviews. Crinacle covered it in detail here: DON'T TRUST THE RATINGS - YouTube his video really reveals much with specific numbers and he names the worst offenders on the web. I recommend everyone watch that video. It is his best.

There are certainly companies that do this, mostly companies that are from the old days of Audio and still think print magazine is relevant. This doesn’t dispute the point that Amazon workers are working in deplorable conditions. The reviewers in Crin’s video also review mostly European or North American made products that are sent to them by the manufacturers. I’m still unsure where the Chinese subsidies come in.

There is a whole section in that video on why you shouldn’t trust Crin either or “objective” reviewers. Ultimately it’s your judgement to choose who you want to trust or not.

I just wanted to make sure factual inaccuracies were cleared up. Those are the kinds of things that people see, scan it briefly, share it around and then it becomes a narrative from nothing.


Well, I wouldn’t say from nothing. The manufacture cutting costs makes Topping garbage. To have them receive glowing reviews from some without mentioning the quality problems does not make sense to me. I don’t know how reviewers can do this. Maybe a portion of them are being compensated just as the American companies that you experienced had tried to influence you.

What quality problems? Here is an American company that experienced quality problems. WARNING: Schiit Magni 3 / Modi 3 / Jot are overheating - Headphone Amps - HifiGuides Forums. I do not see that mentioned in reviews?

If a reviewer does not experience it, it does not mean it does not exist. But reviewers can only speak from their own personal experience.

Your favourite American companies source parts from China to cut costs.