Chi-Fi and lemons.

In US English, a lemon is a vehicle (often new) that turns out to have several manufacturing defects affecting its safety, value or utility. Any vehicle with such severe issues may be termed a lemon and, by extension, so may any product with flaws too great or severe to serve its purpose.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lemon_(automobile)

Anyone who visits this blog knows I love and try to elevate Chi-Fi the best I can because in my opinion everyone should have access to good audio no matter their economic condition.
Sadly there’s a problem the community rarely discusses and that’s the “lemons” and other QC problems/variations one might get when buying Chi-Fi directly from Aliexpress or similar eCommerce platforms.

For example I once bought two Senfer XBA 6in1, one of them had a dead balanced armature making it pretty much trash worthy on arrival.
Also it doesn’t matter if the seller says they are gonna refund part of your money, for all intended proposes you just lost money on a defective product that you waited at least one month to have on your hands.
This is bad quality control at it’s finest. It’s also rather awful from the point of view of someone with less monetary resources, not all of us have the same disposable income for hobbies.

Now “lemons” might look nice at first glance but will have intermittent audio on balanced armatures/drivers, connectors that will fail if you look the wrong way at them, cables that pick up radio stations from Russia and shells that will open up, a nice thing if you are eating clams but a bad thing when your IEM’s literally brakes apart on the first day.

Lemons are problematic and are often defended by Chi-Fi fans as the price they must pay for cheap gear. I understand the point but I don’t agree with it.
I think any Chi-Fi brand should strive to at least test their gear before sending it out to the wild. I’m not talking about measuring rigs, I’m talking about actually using the gear daily to see how it fares under daily use.

That’s also the main reason why I’m slowly trying to find good quality on more established brands, there are just way too many problems with Chi-Fi especially now that any hyped product will sell by the ton and companies can’t keep up with demand.

Most reviewers test gear in the short run, meaning they will use it for a week or less and after that only take it from storage to compare it with other products from time to time.
That’s the usual way of reviewing on a fast paced world, I won’t criticize them because it’s actually hard work doing reviews on a constant basis, but sadly that means no long run tests are made in a daily use perspective.

As an enthusiast I intend to test some every day carry IEMs for longer periods, I might do a fast review but I’ll update it with some of my thoughts regarding resistance to daily use, etc.
It’s more than obvious I no longer review gear on a monthly basis, I have other hobbies and my family takes precedence, but I still want newbies to have fun on this hobby.

Let keep lemons in the lemonade.

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