Thoughts about the "Cheapaudioman" on YouTube

This gentleman has stirred up some controversy in the audio world over on YouTube. I personally, find him very interesting.  What are your thoughts?


I’ve seen some of his videos.

If you’ve never heard, nor owned quality equipment, or are just starting your audio journey, he’s worth a watch.

Unfortunately, I’m sort of "way beyond" most of the garbage he seems to peddle/advocate/review. (I’m not trying to sound snobby, but when he tells me that a hybrid tube amp for $139 off of AliExpress is the best thing since sliced bread, well.....I can pretty much guarantee you it’s not.)

Most of my cables cost more than the equipment/gear he reviews.

IOW, I don’t really find his advice useful, (nor very accurate).



How can you evaluate cheap components without the context of valuable components? This cheap component is better than this cheap component isn’t really much of a comparison. At the end of the day if a component isn’t competitively priced it won’t sell and will fall by the wayside. If I were to step into that arena I would have to define cheap and match the brand that way. The "less than $100 audioman" or $1000 or whatever. Check the EISA awards, they call it "best value" and contrast it with "high end":

I see cheapaudioman as an audio reviewer for the blue collar guy, maybe the average audiophile. There are plenty of reviewers for the white collar guy (who has a bigger cash wad to spend). And of course the ridiculous reviewers who rate $20k cables. I say to each his own.... and just enjoy the gear and the music.

Sounds like maybe he is just trying to help the everyday man get better sound.... not undermining "audiophiles"?


I would assert you do NOT have to be an audiophile these days to get top notch sound. Future Fi gear like all-in-ones solve most all of the system building problems for people. Then its just the usual things, tweaking the sound in the room, choosing speakers, etc. to one's personal taste. Most people are not in the hifi olympics looking to win gold medals at any cost.


I’ll take a look if I get a chance and see.


@mr_m having seen the material, what is your assessment?

I enjoy watching Randy's videos for stuff of interest - I like his personality. Although it's kinda silly that he is not allowed to pronounce the name 'Schitt' as it should be. 

I think his videos are great for beginners or those on tight budgets.  The info he provides can also be useful to seasoned audiophiles/ enthusiasts just looking for some budget friendly gear when putting together secondary systems, gifts for others, etc.  I don't think we should be gate keepers to new people or those with limited budgets.  I've seen this in other hobbies, as well, unfortunately.  

If he's a reviewer of affordable gear, more power to him. However, if he thinks a $300 loudspeaker sounds better than a $5000 loudspeaker, he's not facing reality. 

I will say he is very entertaining. Much like OCD Mikey but I see more value in some of the OCD guys videos. 


I find him pretty funny and I enjoy his commentary. While I have no interest in any of the gear he reviews, I watch some of his stuff anyway. Strictly for entertainment.


I find him entertaining. I think he has a good grasp of inexpensive value oriented equipment simply because he reviews so much of it. I believe he is a good place to start if you are new to this hobby. He is respectful of other peoples opinions, (usually).


He has another channel called the cheapwatchman, although his ideas of value of watches seems to vary quite a bit from them as opposed to audio equipment. 


@mr_m ,

Interesting you brought that up (the cheap watch channel). I'm also "fairly" into watches (and you think audio can be expensive, lol). I saw his watch channel come up in my feed, but I haven't had a chance to check it out yet. If it's about AliExpress watches though, lol... He seems like a likeable enough guy. I appreciate his dry sense of humor (most of the time). I just don't have a lot of interest in most of the stuff he reviews. But I also understand his channel isn't necessarily intended for me. IOW, I'm probably not his target demographic, and that's fine. My only suggestion to him (not that he's asked for it, lol) would be to probably spend some time with some reference grade gear in a good room. It would probably change his mind on some stuff, or at least enlighten him a bit on what "good" actually sounds like. 


He's entertaining and is my go-to guy for advice for family and friends who want lower budget new stuff that I haven't kept up with at all. 😎

I like what he's doing. 

I've heard some relatively inexpensive gear that challenges much, much more expensive gear... so my own niche in audioland has been and remains practical gear that overperforms its pricepoint.  Thus, I hear where the man is coming from.

So, if he can turn people on to some bang-for-the-buck overachievers and help people get great sound without destroying their bank accounts, I'm all for it.  

(... although I say this as I have another live thread currently in which I'm looking for commentary comparing the Technics SU R 1000 amp with the Accuphase e-480... so lol, it's all good 😊 )

he praised the Denafrips Ares 2 and rightly so. not cheap, but within many peoples budget

I consider Youtube reviews to be irrelevant opinionated egotistical jackass garbage. I prefer Amir and online magazines although I still take them with a grain of salt.

I don't care how much money a person has if you pay $20 to $40,000 for a piece of wire you're getting scammed, there's nothing that they can do to a piece of wire to make it worth that much sorry you got too much money and not enough common sense LOL

Some cable are indeed better than others. It's all about the quality of the shielding and the quality of the wires. Take USB for example; the data certainly needs to be shielded from the power.

I think he'd gain some credibility - as would most reviewers - if he had a reference setup and just substituted the component he's reviewing into it.  Most reviewers have so many variables floating around every time they listen, who knows what's causing the sound?  But, he's an entertainer.

He does have some interesting playlists on Spotify.  You might find some new audiophile tracks you like in there.  I did.  I copy them over to Qobuz.


Watched for a while. Eventually unsubbed something about his personality. Ohh well, there's lots of reviewers out there.

I can't get past his video titles to actually watch something. He looks mostly annoyed and ready to shake his fist at the kids in his yard. Anyone can get a YouTube channel.

All the best,

Cheap audioman is helping people to get right box than boomboxes.His reviews give buyer confidene when online market flooded with options. plenty of audiphile grade gears out there which are not covered by stereophiles TAS... elite High brands of Western side of globe. I decided try USD40+30(same products priced more US market) is power amp + Power supply which cheapaudio man claimed equequals Japan Brand 1k amp.  I was astounded by clean sound  soundstage.

I enjoy his channel quite a bit. It's his channel and he's entitled to his own opinion. I enjoy hearing other's  reviews regardless if I can afford the product or not. I'm sure there are plenty of folks (including myself) who enjoy watching reviews of 6-figure Wilson speakers knowing darn well you'll never get them.

There’s a lot of the fallacy that more expensive = better in this thread, to no one’s surprise.

I like that he frequently emphasizes that to "his ears" something sounds good or bad. Too many reviewers seem to think they if they like something, you should too, and that’s not the case.

His channel is great for those who don’t have much money for stuff or people new to the hobby. I say good for him, keep it up, and disregard the "audiophile" snobs.

Mr. Randall Messman, cheapman audio, is a hard working fellow who has a passion for his work-Building his youtube following. Morphed from an original max of $600 MSRP to who knows what now, he works the system and provides info to those who someday may move up the chain. If you missed his first video-done in tandem with Ron of New Record Day- you have something pretty hilarious awaiting you. Now Ron has faded as Randall has ascended. 

Cheapaudioman is very entertaining but he does push a lot of garbage which I feel is a disservice to those who are working with a tight budget.

Something about that dude Ron’s vibe completely turns me off

+1 @jeffseight 


I support Randy. He is honest and hard working. He may wind up reviewing higher end stuff as time passes.  I don't buy entry gear so his advice isn't stuff I would buy but he is HONEST.  I find that a great virtue these days. He is also entertaining.




You are a perceptive fellow. Ron made some bad choices which continue

to haunt him. I won't go into details.


I like Jay's Audio Lab but again not in the market for the gear he recommends!  Just find him entertaining and like to hear about hi end gear and low end gear



@pedroeb "I consider Youtube reviews to be irrelevant opinionated egotistical jackass garbage."

Hm, but I guess your opinion here is stellar.

And, btw, Amir is all over YouTube as well... thus, so much for your theory.  lol.  

I like Randy. I don't agree with everything he says, but if I did, I wouldn't have any reason to watch him. I like how most of the stuff he reviews is more affordable even though I may have more expensive stuff in some cases. Sometimes I am curious about lower priced stuff out of curiosity to see what is out there. I like other reviewers on YouTube also, but I can only handle so many reviews of items that I might not ever even be able to be in the same room with never mind purchase. One day, maybe, but with two kids at home right now, I gotta keep things reasonable.

Randy is fun to watch, I like him as more audio tongue in cheek entertainment, and I do watch a good deal of his videos. He’s kind of like my "Scrubs" of audio review shows. He’s a guilty pleasure that I do find humorous value in, and I know has an honest and genuine love of HiFi.

He’s not the first source that I go to when seriously considering equipment. I have however recently purchased my first product that he has reviewed himself personally. More coincidence than anything else, but now I can at least say I own something that he has given his opinion on, and I for the most part disagreed with him on it (Schiit Aegir vs Vidar). Maybe because I went the mono route with the Aegir, but I digress...

Again I like Randy... He’s great for people on a <$500 budget and I’m most impressed by his wealth of product reviews and his near encyclopedic memory when it comes to specs and speakers and such.

Also love when his kids come in and mess up his videos.

I think most of the people on this site have never heard cheap audio. If you had, you would be shocked at how good "mid-fi" has gotten in the last 20 years

"This gentleman has stirred up some controversy..."


What is the controversy that he has stirred up?


That was more tongue-in-cheek on my part. I think the audio snobs out there believe he can't possibly have anything to offer the hifi enthusiasts or newbies with the caliber of equipment he chooses to review.

I think that could be considered a controversy. 

In all honesty, Randy has surpassed 100,000 Subscribers in just over a year of being a YouTuber. Ron helped him out A LOT in the beginning and they are still friends. Ron’s helped my channel too when he was still here in AZ.

I don’t like how he pedals all that cheap Chi-Fi crap but sadly, there’s a huge untapped (until Randy’s channel happened) market out there for all that Shyte.

I do watch his channel for entertainment purposes only. But never take anything he says with a grain of salt. He works hard to promote his channel and the Video quality and the YT click bait preview gifs (which I hate on all YT channels BTW) obviously work for him.

My own YT channel has been up since May 2019 and will probably (hopefully) crack 1000 Subscribers by the years end. I don’t take my Channel seriously and make no money from it. But I have a following however small it is. I charge no money for “advice” and peed off the Deer Creek folk by giving away my miniDSP files for Series 1 & 2 Bose 901’s. Where they are charging serious money for an unadjustable miniDSP box. Not cool. People have bought stuff based off of my reviews which scares the crap out of me. But they are happy with their purchases while I make no money off of it.

I am a self proclaimed Schill for Orchard Audio and don’t hide that fact. I believe my system has finally reached “Reference” level and friends come over and enjoy it.

“Joey G’s Audio Channel”. I curse A LOT on it. So don’t say I didn’t warn ya ! 😂.







I moved on from him and OCD Mikey very quickly. Both can be entertaining, but   Their schtick got old really fast.

+1 @curtdr 

I too look for that certain value proposition in equipment that stretches far past the price point, and Randy has brought some very well designed components and speakers into mind’s eye. He also encourages the diy journey as a means to kits that challenge many makes that are double/triple the price. 

Personally, I’ve heard very expensive setups, in thoughtfully treated rooms that sound amazing. But then have taken the time to put together a comparatively modest system in a small room - with careful attention to positioning and treatment-that sounds so good to me, I could easily enjoy what I’ve got over those other systems. There are so many factors to a good system when considering synergy, voicing, music you prefer…it can be dizzying. But Randy is among those that takes many of those concerns into account to bring a great experience to anybody. 

All that said, my upgrade bug does still bite me, and my current setup goes above price from a lot of what her reviews! However, I’m still considering speaker kits thanks to his taking the time to demonstrate his experience with them 🙏🏼



As many have already mentioned, I think you need to consider his channel from the perspective of his target demographic... if you do, you'll be able to appreciate the value he brings to the hobby.

I disagree with the suggestions that he should spend time reviewing or listening to higher end/reference/end-game gear because it wouldn't provide any value to his followers... if anything it would be a disservice. Imagine if Edmunds only carried reviews for Rolls Royce, Bentley, Bugatti, and Maclaren, etc. The average Joe would have a hard time knowing if Ford, Toyota or Honda have any redeeming qualities ... all the while being constantly reminded of all the great features they are missing out on. The vast majority of us have a budget and there is probably gear that we would love to try but can't afford. Imagine if that unobtainable gear was the only gear being reviewed... it would be really frustrating. 

People like Randy help the average Joe understand how they can get the best performance out of their budget. Just like people are able to upgrade their car, scotch, wine, and food preferences as their budget increases, so it is with audio equipment. Randy is helping people traverse the lower end gear so they can be more informed and enjoy the hobby the best they can.


I have owned Klipsch Heresy and Forte's, Buchardt's, Focal, two Zu's and the NSMT 100's are end game no upgrade needed and justified unless you spend $20K and up to get better sound. I love playing with this stuff just saying my speaker search is over and holy toledo are they fracking amazing!  Now I just play with electronics.  

Best JH

I've watched him near the beginning of his channel's launch. He does a good job just evaluating gear based on what he hears. Most of it sub-$1000 stuff, but he occasionally does "better" items like the Wharfedale Linton, ELAC Uni-Fi, KLH Model 5, Klipsch Heresy, Denafrips Ares 2, Tekton Lore, source gear like iFi Zen stuff, Fluance turntables, cartridges in the $200 to $300 range, etc. 

He does cater to people starting out on this journey and that can be a good thing. Everyone has to start somewhere and many won't spend $5000 or more on a system for their first rodeo. 

My only complaint is that for a while he was hung up on cheap Chinese Class D amps suitable mainly for use on a desktop (if at all).

Do note that his own "real" system consists of vintage McIntosh, so there is that. 



I don't know how to PM you but offering invite to you and anyone who can make it to Indianapolis area come hear my NSMT's.  I have no affiliation just spreading the word


I am ok with him and appreciate his work.  Like any reviewer, one should take whatever he says with a grain of salt.  Much of what he does is for entertainment!  Although I have several components outside his normal price range (McIntosh, Focal, Klipsch La Scalas, etc.) from time to time I am looking for something special.  For example, I wanted an inexpensive open-back headphone to use for online music lessons.  (I already have some expensive headphones for music listening.). An internet search led me to his recommendation of Emotiva.  I then conducted independent research, which supported his recommendation.  I purchased the headphones and they have delivered exactly what I wanted.  His review is what led me to them.  So, thanks to him!


Man…I wish I could come by and hear those! All the way down in Jax Fl, unfortunately. I remember checking those out via their affiliate company website - Role Audio - when ordering some plinths for some totem arrows I had a while back. 

Those model 100’s look amazing with some very high praise. Even at that low 5 digit price point, seem worth every penny. 

All the NSMT speaker offerings seem exceptional for the $. 

Thanks to all who have responded to this thread. Great responses from all of you!

+1 @fstein "you would be shocked at how good "mid-fi" has gotten in the last 20 years"​​​​​​

I like the Cheapaudio guy. When I first started to listen was using a pair of Pebbles speakers of my gaming computer and I have been tweaking and upgrading ever since. I have become addicted to HiFi gear and it will probally need a 12 step program to stop. Anyway Randy is fun to listen to and he will tell you he's not an expert audiophile guy, and probally doesn't have the wallet like most of the account holders here do and neither do I. It's alot of fun pursuing that next level of sound.

FWIW, I just checked out his Cheap Watch Guy channel. LOL. JC, and I thought some of the stuff he reviewed on his audio channel was junk.

More power to you, Randy, but again, not for me. 


Although it's kinda silly that he is not allowed to pronounce the name 'Schitt' as it should be. 

He is allowed to…but he is worried that the video will be de-monetized. He did the weird mispronunciation in front of Jason Stoddard on a live stream and Jason looked at him like he was crazy. He said, “you can say it it’s our name.”

Anyway, Randy has become a panhandler of sorts. Always asking people to donate money to him. I think technically he is not a reviewer, but an affiliate marketer. Anyway, I enjoyed him as a hobbyist before he sold out.