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How did he test the sound with those IEMs on backward? Asking for a friend.
Tech writer Alex Bracetti reviewed the US$99 EarFun EH100 in-ear monitors (IEMs) on a known tech site, only to be ridiculed for failing to do one of the basic requirements of reviewing something: knowing how to use it.
In this review, he claimed that these earbuds are ‘perfect for audiophiles’ as they ‘sound better than AirPods’. But, a glaring mistake in how he wore them left audiophiles in disbelief. Multiple users have pointed out that the reviewer wore the earbuds backward, in the wrong ear, and out of phase.
The oversight called into question his knowledge and credibility as a reviewer, as well as the qualifications of online audio reviewers in general.
‘Wear’ It All Went Wrong
In his review, Bracetti displayed a fundamental misunderstanding of properly wearing IEMs.
First, as photographs showed, he wore the earbuds the wrong way, inserting the right earpiece backward into his left ear. Second, commenters pointed out that he had inserted the leads in reverse, causing the drivers to be out of phase – a mistake significantly impacting audio quality.
Wearing in-ear monitors (IEMs) improperly, such as reversing them or wearing them out of phase, can significantly compromise their performance in several critical ways.
First, sound distortion can become an immediate issue. When IEMs are not aligned with the ear canal correctly, the direction and clarity of the sound waves entering the ear are affected, leading to a loss of detail and clarity.
Noise isolation, a key advantage of IEMs, is also reduced when they do not fit snugly, allowing external noise to seep in and dilute the listening experience.
Stereo imaging, where each ear receives distinct audio channels to create a sense of spatial audio, also suffers. Reversing the earbuds can invert the intended left-right channel positioning, confusing the listener’s spatial awareness.
Despite wearing them the wrong way, however, Alex made a lot of bold claims in his review, particularly on the earbuds’ sound quality.
Reactions from the Online Community Were Swift and Unforgiving
Some commenters on Reddit, like u/Buck-O, were so bewildered by the reviewer’s blunder that they speculated it might be an act of trolling:
Others questioned Bracetti’s ability to assess the sound quality of the IEMs accurately, given how he wore them. This led to skepticism regarding his endorsement of the EH100 as ‘’perfect for audiophiles.’’
A few Redditors like u/neon_overload tried to be more understanding of the reviewer.
However, they could not accept that the editorial team didn’t notice the error before publishing the article.
Critics also questioned the reviewer’s credentials, given the apparent mistake in a field he claims to specialize in.