The advent of fibre, video streamers and huge content repositories has meant that many of us are spending more time watching YouTube than we do watching ‘normal’ TV programming. Us audio-nerds will of course trawl this medium to get our info fix. Which site is best? AVInside investigates and gives rampantly subjective opinions on some of the sites out there…
Andrew Robinson – AVInside Rating : 7/10
Andrew Robinson has kind eyes and a soothing voice that makes me think of that popular teacher at school that didn’t need to yell to get the kids to listen. He also happens to operate one of the larger Audio/Video review sites on the www.
Andrew describes himself as a recovering audiophile, and justifies this by poo-pooing some of the audiophile choices we make. While he may have a point, this puts my nose out of joint. He then proceeds to make strange decisions like including Wilson Sophia as one of the 10-best speakers of all time, but ignoring the Watt Puppy. Hmmmm….
Overall, Andrew’s channel is slickly presented, ever so slightly quirky, and has a great range of products. There is a bit of clickbait presented to get you to watch, and he is a little too ‘safe’, but overall hats off to you, Mr. Robinson.
Zero Fidelity – AVInside Rating: 4/10
There was no incentive for me to find out the name of the guy that presents the Zero Fidelity channel. His obnoxious opinions and generalisations immediately turned me off (ironic, seeing as I am espousing a similarly obnoxious opinion).
Luckily, I don’t seem to be alone – the rather small viewership of the channel is at odds with the tasty range of products that are reviewed – from Unison Research to Accuphase, Harbeth and Rosso Fiorentino.
Zero Fidelity seems to be able to access some amazing kit, and generally they get their shots in focus. Other than that I can say, well, Zero.
Thomas and Stereo – AVInside rating: 7/10
Thomas and Stereo is so uncool it’s cool. The site should be called Thomas and friends because Thomas is forever borrowing, lending and referring from and to his buddies. Thomas gives excellent subjective ratings, and being on the fringes of the industry he appears to have very little bias.
Thomas and Stereo also does interesting things like blind tests, looking at the diminishing returns from high-end equipment, and road trips to audio stores. Thomas views the world through an enthusiast’s lens, and while the channel could be accused of being somewhat bland (this is defs not one to watch with the significant other), Thomas’ love for audio is infectious.
Jay Soulsik – AVInside rating 8/10
Contrary to online accusations, Jay Soulsik is not a Crazy Rich Asian, but rather an ultra-passionate young guy with rich experience in the audio industry. He started off his YouTube career by appearing in the Audio Excellence (an ultra high-end store in Toronto) videos, and since returning to studying he has developed his own channel.
Jay’s style is passionate and competent, and he is able to give really excellent advice in an objective way. Yes, he can make some controversial calls, but overall he is able to balance his recommendations with logic and a fair bit of education.
This is definitely a channel to browse and subscribe to for those that enjoy edgier content, and want to learn more about this amazing hobby of ours.
The Audio Couple – AVinside rating: 6/10
I sill be honest – I admit to being biased in favour of The Audio Couple. Nimrod and Theresa are just nice people, doing an incredibly difficult and unusual thing, in the heartland of deepest Africa.
Nimrod’s style is explanatory (sometimes overly so) and fair. While the productions lack finesse, quality has improved over time. The closeness between the couple is sweet, and the fact that Nimrod is able to present much of his own equipment is admirable.
Well done to The Audio Couple for taking initiative and producing local content that is becoming more with every episode – now to get you to stick to a 10 minute limit!
Steve Guttenberg Audiophiliac – AVInside rating 8.5/10
Despite being senior to the other YouTubers here, Steve’s infectious youthful enthusiasm is only matched by his experience. Originally a high-end ‘smous’ at Sounds by Singer in Manhattan, Steve was a prolific contributor to Stereophile in its heyday.
Steve is credible and excited about audio. He reflects on where products work, and strengths, rather than taking a snobbish approach to his reviews. His features (such as a walk around Nelson Pass’ home) are top notch, and I love that he showcases viewers’ systems.
Other than production quality that mirrors what is obviously a limited budget, my only criticism is that Steve typically reviews a relatively limited number of brands. I would be great to see him spend time with more offbeat equipment.
In a feature like this, there are always other examples you wish you included. We recommend you take a look at a these sites if you are bored one evening.
Any sites you’d recommend? Link the in the comments below.