Folklore #3: Blind Testing
Ever wonder who first uttered the dreaded words “Blind Testing” in the audiophile community? Of more importance is who will be the last person to mention this same topic in a audiophile discussion?
Unfortunately we will never know who is the first, and it is unlikely we will ever see the last. There is a very good reason why the blind testing idea will never go away - it is a defense raised only for argument’s sake only. And it is a brutally efficient defense at shutting down or degrading any audiophile discussion.
The case for Blind testing is a trolling technique and has nothing to do with Science.
The guy who first discovered this trolling technique has set the audiophile community back so much. Instead of sharing and discussing the love and power of music, we ended up in a broken community where people are split into various factions.
And this blind testing a myth!
It really is.
Comment from: A fellow audiophile Visitor
Comment from: Agent Kith Member
I don’t buy the argument that if others can’t hear the difference it must be because their equipment, hearing, or appreciation are not up to snuff. If you make the claim you should be willing and able to prove it if challenged.Proponents of blind testing should focus more time and attention to show the world how this discipline is applied in everyday hifi decision making, not just for winning arguments.
In the case of OS, the challenge is already issued. Try out Snakeoil OS and see for yourself if it’s better than what you have right now.
The thing is I cannot <em>talk</em> you or anybody into anything. e.g. my version of "better" is only for me and for me alone. My "better" cannot be forced upon you, all I can do is show to you what my version of "better" is. Whether you accept that is up to you, your comments and opinions is only personal to you. With Snakeoil OS I do encourage people to stray beyond the default settings and explore what their own "better" is. This is why Snakeoil OS is so openly configurable, and not locked down like almost everything out there.
Another reason why I even call this Snakeoil OS - the word itself automatically sets a audiophile up on a bias, trigger a flight or fight response. If you are willing to download the OS, willing to install the OS to test it out, willing to sit down for a minute and listen to the music. Those acts alone will set you apart from most audiophiles I know of. That’s the kind of fight response I’m looking for.
Arguing for blind testing typically on the forums is actually a flight response in my books, only meant to degrade the discussion into "winning" and "losing" and nothing more.
OK, I appreciate the effort you put into this argument but you are wrong. If someone claims, for instance, that one OS sounds better than another OS, then in a proper ABX listening test - where they are given the exact surroundings and all the time they need - I expect them to pick out the OS they said sounds better every time. Otherwise, don’t make the claim.
There are too many non-audio factors at play here to simply take these claims at face value:
I don’t buy the argument that if others can’t hear the difference it must be because their equipment, hearing, or appreciation are not up to snuff. If you make the claim you should be willing and able to prove it if challenged.