Written by 8:39 am Audiophile

The New Non-Review Review

Steven Stone has been noticing an alarming (at least for him) trend lately on the Internet – the non-review review. What exactly in a non-review review? Let him explain it to you…


The other day I googled an audio product I needed to do some
research on and found, much to my surprise, over a ½ dozen “reviews” had
already been posted about it, so I checked ’em out.

What a big disappointment they were. The first three were
basically the manufacturer’s initial introductory sales-sheets printed
verbatum, reformatted into whatever graphic look that particular site favored.
The last three were even less relevant, with only the first paragraph of the
original PR release quoted. I don’t consider ANY of those real reviews, hence
the non-review moniker.

A review, by definition, needs to contain an opinion to be a
legitimate review.

I’ve also seen some Internet publications that are long on
sizzle, but short on steak. I don’t need to read through a rewrite of a
component’s basic operating instructions any more than I need a laundry list of
parts. What I do want to know is how a unit stacks up against other similarly
priced or similarly functioned components. And THAT is the sort of information
that actually requires that a reviewer do some original work. That is the
signal that is buried by the noise of unoriginal copy reposted and reformatted
ad infinitum.

Don’t misunderstand me, I love to read well-written
descriptions by passionate audiophiles’ of their journeys to the outskirts of
sonic satori. Unfortunately few audio writers have the literary chops to make
their listening descriptions anything more than run-on sentences full of lugubrious

So what’s my point? I’m just tired of copy-and-paste jobs
passing themselves off as journalism. I’m also tired of sites that add nothing
to the conversation because they have no opinions. Without opinions we might as
well be back in that mythical time and place when all audio gear sounded the

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