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Old 11-16-2012, 02:52 PM
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Default Confirmation of confirmation bias

I really enjoy "hanging out" on this forum and reading the no-b.s. audio talk. It has already been pretty eye-opening (ear-opening?) in the short time I've been lurking here. Here is a great example...I present my Amazon user review of the Cowon J3 written on March 2, 2012 (which is before I really started getting into this site). Pay particular attention to the italicized line:
"Don't listen to these whackos giving the J3 one star (or two for that matter). They're nuts. Amazon really needs to overhaul and MONITOR their rating system. There are so many low-rated reviews with titles like "Package Never Arrived!!!1" "Item Broken!!" "I'm Too Stupid to be Patient or Do Research!!" But I digress...
As a four-year ipod devotee, I thought most of the folks on the internet raving about the supposedly stupendous sound quality of Cowon products were the same group of folks claiming to be able to reliably hear the difference between v0 mp3s and lossless audio. I really was skeptical, because my ipod sounded fine, and mostly served my purposes. I was always a little curious though, and I thought that one day, when my ipod (6th gen, 80gb) died, I may venture into Cowon territory and listen for myself. Well, one day I found a great deal on a J3 that I couldn't pass up, so I impulsively bought it, even though my ipod was still working fine. I took it home, loaded my favorite album (in .wav) on it and on my ipod, set the EQ on each to flat, and did a little comparison (with Klipsch S4 buds). I couldn't believe what I was hearing! The sound quality on the J3 simply demolished that of the ipod! It was undeniable, immediately obvious, and profoundly better. I was sold from that point on.
The sound quality is so good (never mind the practically endlessly customizable EQ options) on the J3 that it easily makes up for what few relative shortcomings I've noticed. The firmware is a bit of a chore to figure out: it's nowhere near the intuitively navigable system the ipod uses, but I have warmed up to it some. I think some of the initial learning curve was related to getting used to the touch screen (I'd never used a touch screen device for more than a few minutes before). The "user manual" is a bit...uh...non-existent, but it is available in full on their website. What it lacks in immediate user friendliness, it makes up for in simplicity of loading/removing files.
These complaints are so minor that I feel guilty even putting them here. Some more good things: It works exactly like a jump drive, which means dragging and dropping and no itunes or any other syncing program to deal with (you can use Cowon's software, but you certainly don't need it). An excellent video player, a great, BRIGHT screen, tactile buttons on the unit for use when the screen is deactivated. Micro-SD capability (a HUGE improvement over the S9). Sound quality. SOUND QUALITY. I'm still blown away by it (it's been 6 months). Buy one of these. Seriouly, Apple will be fine with their 80% market share of personal music players."

Wow. Just wow. It's hard for me to read that line without cringing now. Profoundly better?! For the record, I actually did do another similar comparison between the J3 and my 6th gen ipod a few months ago, and guess what? I absolutely couldn't tell the difference between them! I know, you're not shocked. Seems I was a victim of confirmation bias! Oh, placebo effect, you are so cunning.

Anyway, I still love my J3, and for me it is the perfect player. The difference now is that I actually understand that there is no magic super-audiophile chip inside that makes sexytime to my ears, just a solidly-built player with the best sound enhancement options I've yet heard.

This is a great site, and y'all's good people. Thanks to all of you regular posters for keeping this place going.

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  #2  
Old 11-16-2012, 03:15 PM
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We're trying to keep it going....but there's not a lot to talk about lately, seems like.

If only some of the people over at Head-Fi could read your post.....of course, they wouldn't believe it anyways....lol.
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Old 11-16-2012, 04:17 PM
skip252 skip252 is offline
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Congratulations. Not many have the courage to make an admission like yours. Very few members here that have been forthright enough to admit their preconceived notions about that magic sounding player was wrong. I didn't post it here but when I made that breakthrough it was incredibly liberating. I hope it feels as good for you.

Just think of all the cash you can spend towards better headphones now. The S4 aren't bad but...
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Old 11-16-2012, 07:16 PM
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I'm happy to read that you had the same earth shattering revelation I'd had. And the balls to admit it. I've even had a reminder recently when Syndrome recabled my Sony MDR-V900HD headphones and I suddenly enjoyed the sq - I'd hated the sound when they had the coiled cable.

Believing the audiophile BS is something most of us never overcome. I'm proud that you managed to get the blinders (ear flaps/filters?) off.

As for keeping ABi alive,...we all need to do it. We're a family,...lets keep it tight!!!
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Old 11-18-2012, 09:44 AM
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dawningistheday dawningistheday is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by skip252 View Post
Just think of all the cash you can spend towards better headphones now. The S4 aren't bad but...
Well, I don't have the S4 anymore. I did like them, but I bought a set of Shure 215 that I like better, but I don't need any more pressure toward "upgrade-itis"...I've been fighting the urge to splurge on a new pair of IEMs lately even though I'm plenty happy with the Shures.

Quote:
Originally Posted by The DarkSide View Post
Believing the audiophile BS is something most of us never overcome. I'm proud that you managed to get the blinders (ear flaps/filters?) off.
That's the thing about the placebo effect. It is REAL and it is POWERFUL. Most people just shrug it off like, "It's just the placebo effect..." as if it's not a real thing. It is real. It is an extremely well established fact. But who knows HOW it actually works. I mean, I clearly haven't done any research into it, but how in the world does your body actually heal when your brain believes you are receiving helpful treatment, medicine, etc. but you're actually not? That's is amazing, and it seems impossible.
I'm going to have to read up on it. It is fascinating.

Last edited by dawningistheday; 11-18-2012 at 09:45 AM. Reason: typo
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Old 11-18-2012, 07:20 PM
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Iím curious have you gone back and recanted your review or edited it?
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Old 11-18-2012, 09:27 PM
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dawningistheday dawningistheday is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WalkGood View Post
Iím curious have you gone back and recanted your review or edited it?
No... I probably should though, not that it will make a difference to anybody.
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