Best Forum to hear experienced audiophiles exchange thoughts?

I don't want to say I have outgrown this site but I do know

I want more. 


There are many other sites but where are the forums where people

talk about new gear? What's Best is terrible to try to maneuver thru.






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if you take away people’s bragging and criticizing others and completely missing the original question and just going off on tangents about their obsession with their love or hate with some issue or vendor or brand, there is not much left (*here*). But what’s left is pretty freaking valuable despite how rare it is, still.

I blame it mostly on the OPs, many times they disappear and so does the thread in some crazy, irrelevant rabbit hole.

Something different, but better? You have to decide.

Whats Best Forum and Audio Aficionado

I have tried other sites, for better or worse, this is the best one. I agree with @grislybutter - some people today are just not tolerant of a different opinion and drag a post into the dirt. It took a while, but I have finally learned to move on and not respond to them. Better for my mental health.

Lots of really good people and info on this site, just don't get dragged into the mud. 

Some of the technical threads on PS Audio’s Forum are interesting. Avoiding threads with disappearing OPs seems like good advice.

I’ve been a member in this site for many yrs ,  this site long time ago allows arguments connected to topics, respect is still there,  this is the time when Albertporter , Jadem6, Swampwaler. Sean, Today some members they don’t answe r the thread and the question correctly, because they always stir it to the gear they own. And when they don’t like the opinion of others? They easily get offended. For me Audiogon is still better than others.

If you have more focused interest in Audio you can also join Facebook groups for them. I'm a member of several including Luxman and Magnepan. Just do a search on groups.

Audio Afficianado is a great site. Really friendly with extremely knowledgable people with high end systems. 

It’s an imperfect world. That includes hifi forums. I’ve found this one to be most informative even though the signal to noise ratio can be fairly low at times. That’s because, succeed or not,  the “high end” users here do tend to strive for the best. The tricky part is always to synthesize as much info out of the chatter as possible in order to learn.

Here is my viewpoint. I’m someone who thinks that room acoustics are > 50% of the sound and that boutique cables are way, way, way down on the list of things worth spending money on if good sound is your objective. I just say that so you know my perspective.

  • Audio Aficionado is smaller and polite. It seems to have a greater fraction of participants for whom price is not much of an obstacle. I used to be a member, though I’m not in that group. The owner/moderator Ivan is a dealer of many lines and a great guy. You won’t find much debunking of crazy stuff there, just as you won’t find it here, but the moderation leads to more courteous and productive discussions IMO.
  • Audiogon Forun is interesting, though sometimes I wonder why I read it. Typically, someone asks a question, there are 100 widely varying answers, very few people consider that their experience might not apply to everyone and every room, and there is not much productive back-and-forth. It can and does happen, but IMO it’s not the norm.
  • Steve Hoffman Forums is more (not entirely!) LP focused and reasonably polite. People there are less likely to recommend crystals or gongs and are less likely to be fabulously wealth. Again, its moderation stops extreme comments, which is helpful. I enjoy it.
  • If you're in the minority interested in room correction or other DSP, you might look at AVNirvana and AVSForums.
  • In the end, once you have a good system, all you can do is get hints from reviews and conversations and then decide if a piece is worth auditioning. Ten audiophiles, twenty opinions. Figure out what you want. For example, do you want to hear the original venue or have a lot of "ambiance" caused by reflections? Both are valid goals, but IMO not compatible. Similarly, which do you consider more important: accuracy, a beautiful sound, or extreme detail? Once you know what you want, it’s easier to find your way there.


Mapman +1. An open mind and some good old fashioned critical analysis can result in something meaningful here. But it's work! I've always been fond of the thought for a questioner, with all the answers that a post might get, if you don't already know the answer, how will you know who's right? That's were the work come in. This is not a forum for folks who are, primarily, plug and play types. :-)


I’m someone who thinks that room acoustics are > 50% of the sound and that boutique cables are way, way, way down on the list of things worth spending money on if good sound is your objective.

Agree with you 100%. Many just either can't or don't want to go to the trouble of dealing with room acoustics. A bad room is in direct collision with what good sound actually requires. The result is that many are forced into bad faith -- in other words, they insist that this or that factor (or component) makes a big difference, when in fact they have excluded the room and just become more emphatic to compensate.

Very well said @mike_in_nc I love the Hoffman Forums but find more hardcore gear talk here so I frequent and enjoy both.

Thanks to all who responded. No one mentioned the AGon Private

membership (paid) option.  Anyone tried it?


Now Let me change the question slightly.

What do you subscribe to in terms of magazines?

Which YouTubers do you subscribe to?

Which shows do you attend?

Which retailer do you find to always give good counsel?

Where else do you go to learn what is new?




When I lived in L.A. I'd try to get to every audio show within a hundred miles. I made myself a nuisance at every high end dealer in the area, and purchased gear at nearly every one. For a while my wife worked for Todd Garfinkle of MA Recordings and I'd be able to tag along to the gigantic trade show in Vegas (what was it called again, CES?). When I was a kid I'd go with my dad to the yearly High-Fi show in Downtown L.A. It was there where I first heard Stereophonic Sound and later Quadraphonic.

What can I say, I have a genuine jones for well-recorded music.

audiokarma and vinyl engine offer quality of discussion far superior to what i find on this forum and a membership loaded folks with a great breadth and depth of hifi experience.

ive used polk audio forum, steve hoffman (which is good), audio circle, USAM CAM forums, audiokarma, vinyl engine, audio science, hifi haven, audiokarma, this one and probably a few others.

too frequently the discussions on this audiogon get overrun by folks with no manners, no sense and nothing to offer but their pet obsessions and BS attitudes. too many here to sabotage sensible discussion or at least clutter it up over and over. often its the same people over and over crappin in the sandbox. and theres no block feature.

Most recently my actual purchases have been influenced most by what hifi and Darko websites in that I find the info provided by both to be consistently both practical and reliable. 

This is an interesting topic for discussion. Kudos to the founders of this forum as they have been able to Bring together a very diverse, very technically proficient and helpful community.

Where else can you find a place for discussion where everyone is on equal footing. No doubt, given the money involved with various systems, the spectrum of wealth represented herein is very broad. Extremely wealthy people are amongst us, they are people just like us. A lot of us spend a ton of money, and then have a willingness to talk about it, and ask questions, and all this, so you can spend even more money.

Wealthy people are just as confused as  the rest of us searching out for attention and knowledge. And also for those with vast knowledge about extremely technical matters, a willingness to offer encouragement and support and time to help someone. Also, The depth of System pictures available on the site I don’t think exists anywhere else, it’s quite remarkable.




No offence, but anytime you ask a group of people a question, you are going to get a range of responses that will run the gamut from helpful to hurtful.

To think that some site will have only like-minded and like-mannered people participating in discussions is unrealistic.

Oops. My mistake. I forgot about the Audio Science Review forum.

Audiogon used to be but not in the top 5 anymore. I rate agon a step up from ANA. 
As far as magazines, they all are pretty bad. Have you ever seen a review in the last couple of years that haven’t ended with it stating:

1) using this reviewed component my system has never sounded better?

2) the reviewer is just a mouthpiece for the manufacturer. If a manufacturer comes up with a new acronym, the reviewer praises this new technology without really validating it.

I like HiFi+ especially when I can get it pretty cheap. Got rid of TAS, since I can get stereophile for the cheap, I have a few years left before they get cancelled too. 


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“Experienced Audiophiles???”


Oh!! You mean HYPER OPINIONATED” audiophiles!!

How many sites do you want? 20? 30?

What can I say? I have what seem to be endless print subscriptions to both Absoluto Soundo and Stereo Fool. Enjoy the heck out of 'em, too. I'll tune to Idagio or Qobuz, open up a mag, and read 'till my eyes get blurry. A blissfully wasteful existence!

Money and toys and egos seldom make good omelet



And then someone thought an engineer brain would improve the taste. 

People with experience and knowledge tend to write in a way that exhibits that. I've started many threads here, and when my OP was carefully worded, the responses would typically lead to a coherent and informative exchange of views. This does not always happen but it frequently does. Check my threads to see what I mean.

The other thing an OP can do is to steer conversations back on track by restating the question or by summarizing what's been said that answers it. 

In other words, a good thread takes work and some minding by the OP. When people throw a vague question out there and then find they're in the middle of a food fight, that's not totally their fault but there's some need for additional due diligence.

If you want to talk about mostly HE and New gear, I would suggest run by the owner of Suncoast Audio in Sarasota.

Audio forums can be tough on several fronts. There’s all the usual conflicts of humans discussing something. Audio topics are especially subjective, and very personal. There are many different views and variables going on, and some people see only one possible way for something to be acceptable....their way. If you’re happy with your system, you’ve succeeded in audio, but there will always be someone who thinks maybe you’re really not happy, or shouldn’t be happy.

Add to the human and preference differences the fact that we’re at different places in our audio journey. I’ve enjoyed every system I ever had for some reason or another, even though they weren’t as good as what I have now. Some people buy a system, like it, and enjoy it for as long as the components keep working. Other’s are prone to swapping and moving on to the next best thing. So it’s possible to be "into audio" for 25 years, yet do very little experimentation, where much of the learning comes from.

There’s also a strong emotional element that influences our opinions. If you associate a particular piece or a system with positive experiences, you’ll have fond memories of it even if there’s nothing special sonically to justify the emotion. We’re human.

It’s simply very difficult to gauge where someone is on their journey, or to explain in objective terms what you’re subjectively hearing...I suspect that’s one of the reasons people lean on measurements, which brings us back to the many variables and perspective involved in audio.

I wish I had a good answer about where best to discuss audio with an experienced crowd.  It can be a moving target and is something that we sort of each need to define and discover on our own.  Any forum is only as good as the current discussion, and the particular folks influencing the discussion...and that is another variable that's not even necessarily audio related.


I think many members have described well the things that makes this site a good community, as frustrating as it can be when some of the (typically) regulars who’re b***h**es feel compelled to interject their own brand of insanity or somehow derail what started out as a productive thread. Unfortunately, some folks around here are so easily offended by the ding a lings that they let them drive them away.

My two cents is: sometimes you gotta have some thick skin around here, but so what.

Especially in this crazy mixed up world we’re living, in these days you have to be good at weeding out the BS to maintain your sanity. But again, so what. I read in a post one time years ago an analogy about how not only does it tend too be kind of clique-ish around here, the character types tend to be real similar to the types I remember from junior high and especially high school. Back in the day, anyway. I’m sure I’m not as old as some of you guys, but I’m definitely talking about back in the day. I can only imagine what kind of freakshow I just described going on presently.

I, personally, (oh my gosh, should I really say iy like this, because it may open the door for someone to turn this into a political rant) am a big believer in free speech and understand the value of hearing everyone’s option ... even the d**kh***s. After all, it’s a personal choice to let those idiots into my head(space). great pun. A dear friend of mine taught me he concept many years ago of giving someone free rent in my head. I guess when you get that piece it’s a lot easier to put up with the nonsense.

Anyway, like others have said, you kind of have to take the good along with the bad around here. But overall it’s a great community.

@hilde45 offers some good counsel on how to produce a good solid thread. But, yeah, it takes a little work to maintain it once you get it going. I was a lurker for many years before I even stepped up and responded. And I would imagine some of the nonsense prevents some from ever wanting to post. That’s OK. I learned a lot from just reading all those years.

I'm convinced that if you don't cop to the idea that boutique cables, esp the seriously expensive ones (ie: Nordost), can (but not always, I guess is the way I'd say it) make a subtle but huge difference, then it means you either don't have synergy in your system or you haven't spent enough on your toys to realize the benefit. But, again, that's my own take on the situation.

@jpwarren58 I think this statement is kind of an instant classic:

"money and (expensive) toys and egos seldom make a good omelette."

Lol, I mean, come on isn’t it true? ha ha ha ha

P.S. people like @jasonbourne52 , who obviously don't get it (lol) even add to the atmosphere around here. You just have to be lighthearted and let everyone have their own take on things. 


 I come back after 10 months ...( health problem and a new house then no more acoustic room going back reluctantly to headphone but happy ending described  in my new thread : going back to headphone )

I missed the human dimension discussions... For knowledge i learned a lot in these threads discussions...

This forum is like real life, good and bad, but good exceed bad at least for me..,.

My deepest salutations to all people here ... I missed everybody....

Welcome back, my friend.     : )

Not sure if you read that thread someone started about you ... that some dip***t wound up getting deleted ... hopefully you did, because I think it made it abundantly clear that you were pretty dearly missed.


Audio topics are especially subjective, and very personal

If I were a speaker maker, it would be. But as a user, buyer, I don't find it personal. If I had A speaker and B and someone said here that they suck, I couldn't care less. I care about what I hear. But I see the tribes here I just don't get it. Maybe they are selling stuff and it hurts their marketing. 

Welcome back, my friend. : ) Not sure if you read that thread someone started about you ... that some dip***t wound up getting deleted ... hopefully you did, because I think it made it abundantly clear that you were pretty dearly missed.



It seems i dont remember how to import a quote here... :) How did you import a quote?


Thanks for your kind words....

Sorry, I don't know either. 

In case anyone can tell us the steps, I would also love to upload a picture of my system.

My apologies in advance for my ineptitude.


@mahgister Did you get to read that thread before it was taken down?

I just remember how to make quote.. :) you use the mark » above...

I have no idea what you spoke about ... I just came back today ... And i lost my password here 10 months ago,i loose even my mail adress for a while, and anyway i was ill,not in the mood to discuss here, and in the process of preparing my move to another house, very complicated business , then without my speakers/room to add to my sadness ...

It was anyway a benediction in disguise, because i discovered probably the best designed headphone ever made... Now i enjoy a minimalistic system which give me the best sound quality i ever heard, speakers or headphones... Then i am in sonic heaven and no more sad for the lost of my speakers/room...

And to answer those who will say why did you claim that this AKG K 340 was  one of the best design ever made, i discuss with a Russian headphone designer, and they say that they did not succeed to create a hibryd headphone as the K340, too hard and too costlyv to design it right... That speak volume...

I'm so sorry to hear about your situation. It does not sound like it was good.

Isn't it interesting how we're sometimes able to have such a nice silver lining when we face a hardship. So glad you're still able to enjoy the healing power of music.

I'm so glad you're back. And that you're OK now.

People sort of came out of the woodwork, saying kind things about you. How cool is that?

Yeah, there were a couple of people who made digs on your esoteric setup ... but as you probably know already, they were some of the usual suspects. And who cares.


I loved everybody here , even those with whom i disagree...

I love to discuss, even when we are not on the same page...

Life is short, arguing without insults is fun and we learn...

Back in the day, before the Internet, we used to do listening sessions among friends. Some were associated with audio clubs --not so easy to find unless you are near a large metro area--and some were entirely informal--just a hang at someone's house, spending time listening, chatting, maybe a meal. Different hosts had different systems and occasionally (more often with the formal audio clubs) equipment was brought in for evaluation. That's one way to scratch the itch.

I also like to do a lot of primary research. For example, if you are a member of the AES, you should be able to get access to their archive, which is extensive. There's lots of good info, particularly on vinyl LP manufacture, which is informative. There are also secondary sources that can lead you deeper into historical and antiquarian designs- e.g. Lansing Heritage. Some have user fora. Others, like Hi-Fi Heroin, explore antiquarian equipment but do not to my knowledge have a forum function. The London Jazz Collector is a good site for a self-explanatory topic.

Is there one user generated content site that has it all? Not to my knowledge. One of the reasons a general topic audio board like this one seems chaotic is that it covers a lot of ground. But if there are specific brands or areas of interest, you may find some depth, e.g. Klangfilm. There are, as mentioned upthread, some Facebook (I know) pages dedicated to topics like horn speakers. 

One thing to consider is starting your own blog to address the things that interest you. It may attract others. NB- I did this starting in 2015, mainly to talk about LPs and record care-- it does take time and effort but scratched an itch for me and in the process I learned a lot from others. 

Good luck,

Bill Hart



my deep salutation to hilde45 who did not  loose the habit to be spot on...

Agree with you 100%. Many just either can’t or don’t want to go to the trouble of dealing with room acoustics. A bad room is in direct collision with what good sound actually requires. The result is that many are forced into bad faith -- in other words, they insist that this or that factor (or component) makes a big difference, when in fact they have excluded the room and just become more emphatic to compensate.

I like Audiogon especially because of some of the regulars who are knowledgeable, helpful, and offer their expertise to the rest of us graciously. I also appreciate the site moderators who have done a good job clearing out trolls over the past year or so. If you look back a couple years and read some of the content posted, a lot of it was pretty hostile No so much today where Audiogon is for the most part very pleasant and enjoyable.

I’ll have to give Audio Aficionado a look see. I enjoy Steve Hoffman which is relatively a more "blue collar" audio site so to speak. I like this site to hear about what the more well heeled (not me) can afford and occasional recording specialists and audio engineers offerings. I also like there are a lot of old guys on this site, having joined their ranks over the past few years..