When the topic of social media comes up, you most likely think of Facebook, YouTube, Instagram or Tik Tok. iFi sees them all as a great form of communication and that is why our experts engage with you on these platforms to answer all your questions and share interesting information with you.
However, with this post, we want to present to you another type of social media we are on – online forums. We will show you why you may find the online forums a useful source of information when building your audio set-up and give you a suggestion which one corresponds best with your interests.
It might be self-evident for some, but first, let’s explain what is a forum?
A forum is an online platform, where any user can share ideas and thoughts as well as ask questions. It is a place where people can hold conversations on a subject that is important to them. The structure of a forum is hierarchical or tree-like. A forum can be divided into a number of subforums and each later into independent topics. Within a forum’s topic, each new discussion is called a thread and can be replied to by as many people as so wish.
Some may probably say that online forums, as the oldest concept of social media, are already outdated. On the contrary, forum communities are getting more and more influential. The reason why forums still enjoy such popularity despite the unprecedented success of the new boys in town, namely Facebook, YouTube, Instagram and Twitter is three-fold: subject-specific-focus, anonymity and similarity.
Forums let us discuss a very specific subject, what allows us to focus only on what interests us. We can ask very specific questions to knowledgeable and experienced people, who would know how to help us solve our issues. We would not have to waste hours, navigating through the internet, only to end up with an ocean of irrelevant information. When you are looking for an opinion on a particular topic such as a comparison between a few DAC chips or the tonality of the U52 Genalex 1950s, 274B Western Electric vacuum tubes you are aiming to purchase, there is a good chance you will find an answer on the forum.
With the rise of the ubiquitous data collection mechanisms on the internet, anonymity becomes increasingly important. You can choose what information or content you want to share. Private details remain undisclosed, what in turn allows the users to share more honest opinions than in ‘real life’. Therefore, many users treat forums as a valuable source of information about topics that would otherwise undergo filtration, such as opinion about a brand.
As the old proverb goes: birds of a feather flock together. Given the nature of the forums and the fact that they are often subject specific, they attract people with common interests. Vacuum tube lovers can talk to other vacuum tube enthusiasts. Solid-state fanatics can share their passion with other solid-state lovers. People within a forum community feel a shared connection, a sense of trust and understanding often leading to real-life, off-screen friendships. Given that the forums are limited by no geographical restrictions, letting you connect with people from all across the world, it is likely someone struggled with the same question you are having and already found an answer you are looking for.
The majority of the forums we are on are audio-specific or audio plays a significant part there. However, as the main focus area of the forums varies, every forum has something different to offer. Whether you have just started planning to embark on the audiophile journey or you are an advanced audiophile aficionado, you will find a forum or a topic corresponding with your interests. Check out our profiles and choose whichever you like best!
Head-Fi is without a shadow of a doubt the biggest audio-related forum on the internet. Although this forum is heavily focused on headphones and associated products, it also features sub-forums related to DIY, stereo setups, accessories and multiple non-audio hobbies. You can find an unbiased opinion on virtually any audio topic there is. That is why it is recommended for beginners, hobbyists and professionals alike. Moreover, Head-fi.org is the place to learn about the headphone industry’s latest news and releases, get familiar with multiple reviews, and hunt for good deals in its classifieds section.
What’s Best Forum Founded in 2010 What’s Best Forum invites intelligent and courteous people of all interests and backgrounds to describe and discuss the best of everything. The focus of this forum is placed on advanced and sophisticated audio systems. It is best recommended to life-long hobbyists, audiophiles and industry professionals who enjoy learning about new things and value spirited debates.
AVForum is the only non-US based forum on our list. This forum invites people interested in Home Entertainment Technology, TVs, Hi-Fi, Movies, Gaming and Computers. To make the forum more diverse, it offers reviews, news and articles. Regarding audio content it is a great place for those who begin their audio journey.
Gearspace initially began as a place for audio engineers to discuss music gear, but it gradually grew becoming the top pro-audio forum. Today, it offers fascinating content for the pro audio engineers, Djs and music production industry enthusiasts. From 2002 until March 2021, the site was known as Gearslutz. The aim for the new name – Gearspace – is to be more inclusive and better suited to home, professional environments and the audio education world.
Reddit is home to thousands of communities, endless conversation, and authentic human connection and although significant audio is just one of them. If on top of being an audiophile you are into breaking news, sports, TV fan theories, or a never-ending stream of the internet’s cutest animals, there’s a community on Reddit for you. It is by far the biggest forum, where iFi has its presence.
You can often find us in anything from /r/headphones to /r/headphoneadvice, and chances are if you mention ifi or ifi audio in your post we’ll follow up with you within a few days. We pride ourselves on going above and beyond to find and support our community members 1:1 and have plenty of great conversations in the process with you all.
SBAF is all about the community, true human connections, and willingness to evaluate audio products in a very broad spectrum that includes listening tests, measurements conducted by forum members, and of course associated entertaining discussions. If you’re after insightful debates about sources and headphones, SBAF is the address.
Discord – You can find iFi reps active and available on Discord, an innovative platform full of live communities that have grown astronomically in number. Chances are you can find a channel/community around any interest here, just name it. We’re generally most around Zeos Pantera’s, In-Ear Fidelity, and Headphone Headquarters, just to name a few. Don’t forget to @ our rep in the relevant server (who you can find via our industry tag) if you need us.
Headphones.com / The Headphone Community – You might have heard of the S-class customer service and distribution provided by our friends at headphones.com, but what you might know is that they also run their own forum! Our reps support our product threads here, but we also love spending time with the community in general following our own relevant interests. The headphones.com staff and community moderation team is wonderful, and have created a super homy atmosphere that doesn’t make you want to leave. Be sure to stop by non-audio threads here as well!
HiFi Guides – You might have stumbled upon HiFiGuides yourself, or found it if you’re a frequent watcher of Zeos! Much like headphones.com, it’s a great atmosphere that’s mostly run by the community itself, but a very small and active mod team. You can find threads on pretty much anything here, and the community will be there to support you at a moment’s notice with headphone advice or any technical questions you may need a second eye on.