"That doesn't sound any worse"

Wetziker headphone tester


Newspaper article in "Züricher Oberländer" - 09.03.2020 - original german version


David Hahn tests headphones and writes about them. He understands if someone is not interested, but is happy about the opposite.


David Hahn came to his hobby by chance. (Seraina Boner)


On David Hahn's chest of drawers is a small map of Berlin, Friedrichshain. He grew up in Lichtenberg, in the district right next door. But somewhere in the German capital he has lived for almost all of his almost 30 years.


Before he landed in this restored apartment in an old building - dark beams, light parquet flooring - in Kempten three months ago. Hahn, who wears a cap on his head, horn-rimmed glasses on his nose, silver rings in his earlobes and lower lips, does not say "not", " the" and "what", but "ned", "dat", "wat".


For example: "I'm actually ned (not) that badly nerdy." But, hahn's hobby, "dat (this) is a nerdy business."


Actually, the Wetziker says, he's not so nerdy. (Seraina Boner)


"This name is just difficult for the German market."

David Hahn, headphone expert


If you open the drawer under the Friedrichshain map, there are packing boxes of headphones piled up. In the drawers even further down: Headphone boxes.


Drawers full of headphones. (Seraina Boner)


Two years ago, Hahn was the headphone ordinary citizen: he owned a pair. But that broke. So he needed new ones. Normally, he would have gone to Media Markt as a normal citizen with headphones and bought new ones, for example in the price range of 20 to 50 euros. Why he didn't do that two years ago, he doesn't remember exactly. But Hahn then ordered them on the Chinese platform Ali Baba for 8 euros. And he thought: "That doesn't sound worse."


With mom to the recorder, on tour with Sunrise Avenue


Surprised Hahn. He used to have to "go to the recorder with mummy", later he had violin and saxophone lessons, he was in a band for a long time, as an event technician he was sometimes on tour with others (Sunrise Avenue among others, he understands that not everybody likes that, he himself has developed something like a musical Stockholm syndrome, Hahn says), he still likes to strum his guitar.


In other words: Hahn enjoyed a basic musical education. But he was still not quite sure if he was right in his assessment of the headphones. So the sound engineers in his company were called in. "They all thought these were at least 80 euro headphones".


In the meantime, companies send him headphones to test them. (Seraina Boner)


"When companies write things like 'like a still water on a spring day', friends, no, you're fucking with the customer."

David Hahn


These headphones, with which everything began, are little black lumps on copper-coloured cables and lie on the table in front of Hahn: The model ATE-HIFI of the brand KZ - "This name is just difficult for the German market".


Hahn's ambition was aroused, "after that I always wanted better, even cheaper headphones." After half a year he started blogging about his search, on his website Chi-Fiear you can now read 137 tests of in-ear headphones. In the beginning he concentrated on those from Asian manufacturers, in the meantime he has given up both this and the "as cheap as possible" criterion, he is now testing headphones at the other end of the spectrum for 1500 Euros.


"Yes, friends, no"


Hahn's test system works like this: "I unpack them, put them in my ears and I hear what's coming." Then he does that for about two weeks with different styles of music and at different times of the day (this is obviously important, in the evening for example you notice the basses more distinctly, says Hahn), and writes down what he has heard. Too flowery descriptions are not his thing. "When companies write things like 'like a still water on a spring day', friends, no, you're fucking with the customer."


Hahn doesn't know how many hits he's got on his blog. He's never bought a domain. He only sees the first 1000 visitors his site gets per month. It takes five to six days to get that number. This would mean an estimated 5000 to 6000 visitors per month.


"That would just be advertising."

David Hahn


These numbers do not interest him dearly. And he doesn't mind that many people don't care what he does. For example, he has never been able to inspire anyone in his close circle of friends. "That's just the way it is, whether you're interested or not. With cars I also think: As long as it drives."


"that's sweet".


But if someone is interested, Hahn thinks it is nice, "otherwise I could write in my diary. His readership obviously appreciates him, he is contacted several times a week via his website, although "almost always by the same three or four people. When he, busy with his move from Berlin to Kempten, didn't publish anything for a while, someone asked if he was doing well, "that's sweet".


Asian manufacturers are also familiar with him, many models end up in his mailbox without being asked. Sometimes he gets models to test and feedback and "yes, that's free work I'm doing there." But "No I don't mind a bit, it's an appreciation."


What he doesn't quite understand is why they send him things like an iPad cradle. "I asked, I was told it was just a gift." He kept giving them away.


He doesn't accept other forms of payment. "Of course not. That would just be advertising," and he doesn't want to earn money with his blog: "I think that would mean losing the pure. I wouldn't want that."


(Xenia Klaus) - translated by David Hahn


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David Kilchör

Monday, 09. March 2020, 07:14 Uhr





Züricher Oberländer

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chi-fier@gmx.de

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CHI-FIEAR © 2020 by David Hahn