Rationally-sensual choice of complex household appliances from approximately the same alternatives

Published on February 18, 2017

Rationally-sensual choice of complex household appliances from approximately the same alternatives

    In technical forums, there are very often situations when someone finds it difficult to choose from several approximately similar, similar options. For example, in one photo club forum there is a separate section “Help me choose”.

    Complaints, as a rule, are approximately the following: “I want to buy NN, I chose several models, re-read all reviews, specifications, shoveled forums - but I cannot make the final choice”.
    This material will outline the methodology for such a choice on the example of high-quality headphones for listening to music.

    In the course of the presentation it will become clear why they were chosen as the object. Hereinafter, I will use the common slang term “ears” as a synonym, simply shorter.

    Formation of technical specifications (TZ)
    I know many cases where serious organizations enter into contracts for assistance in the preparation of TK. Since they themselves can not formulate.

    When applied to an individual, the term “TK” is more often used than the term “to realize what you want.” This is indeed a very difficult task, for which the individual must, as I usually say, “mature”.

    Cheap earplugs are often included in the complete set of mobile phones, so a modern person begins to exploit headphones, sort of like “spontaneously.” Headphones are already quite decent for some phone models, so some people may not realize at all that you can and should buy better quality headphones. This is the first step: to realize that there are not enough ears.

    Then you need to realize where your ears will be used. If on the street and in noisy rooms - they can be with active noise cancellation. If in a living room, then you need to understand whether the music will interfere with others. If yes, then the choice comes down to closed headphones. If not, then it is better to take the open ones (I will not explain here why).

    Then you need to think about constructive. Headphones can be inserted into the ear canals, hang on the ears, put on the head. The latter type is divided into two subspecies: presser (when the headphone cups are pressed to the ear) and covering (when the ear is completely covered by the cup). Everyone has their own choice, I prefer covering open headphones. About them further and will be discussed (just as a concrete example).

    There are still a lot of questions, including the budget that you are ready to allocate for this matter. The more fully and precisely you formulate the TZ, the more likely it is that you will like the result (headphones).

    Market Review
    At this stage, you need to decide which market we are targeting (available to us). If this is Russian retail, then you need to go to the Yandex market and choose open covering models in the price range of interest.

    First of all, it is necessary to exclude from consideration those manufacturers who do not know how to make ears. There is such an English term “core competence”, which means that a manufacturer has the entire set of competencies necessary to produce truly competitive products of a certain type. I will give examples: Xerox can make cool copiers, Canon - cameras, Panasonic - microwaves, Olympus - voice recorders and cameras. High-end headphones for listening to music can do (in the sense that it has been repeatedly proven and reliably known) by those firms that are included in the table below plus a few more: Sony, Shure, Philips, is approaching this level of Fostex. The list of companies is very easy to make by reading the thematic forums. It is important to understand that headphones from Bosh or Asus (they are in our retail) to include in consideration does not make sense, despite the fact that the company is very famous. But they are known in other areas, they have no competence in releasing ears. More complex cases are Logitech or Plantronics. They know how to make computer ears and headsets. But listening to high-quality music is better with the headphones of the above manufacturers.

    Here the first important point arises - you need to decide what quality of sound you want to have. Variants of the sea: from a cheap smartphone with inserts for 3000 rubles. for everything - to isostatic headphones for hundreds of thousands of rubles and a stationary set of audio equipment for millions. The key factors determining choice are:

    • Your physiological ability to hear. In the network there are tests by which you can determine the sound of what tone you can perceive. For example, I realized long ago that I cannot hear sound above 14 kHz. So buying ears that can reproduce 25 kHz makes no sense to me. (I specifically formulate it somewhat vaguely, since it is not completely clear whether the psyche reacts to those subliminal signals that are not formally perceived as sound in their own organs of hearing.)
    • Your subjective desire for a particular level of audio playback quality. This thing is subjective. Someone can spend all his life on the built-in sound card of his computer with cheap Chinese ears. And someone suddenly this is not enough.
    • Your budget. The price tag for high-quality open covering ears starts at 10,000 rubles. If you do not have them, then you need to revise the TK.

    Yes, the important point is how to understand what quality of sound you want to achieve. This requires the ability to evaluate this quality. Those. a certain “listening” experience in listening to the material of your favorite genres. The very same assessment (any, which is why this is an important point!) Is always made in the coordinate system from -1 to +1 (or from 0 to 1, this is unprincipled). Yes, this is our favorite “black and white”, “good-evil”, “the worst and the best”.

    First about the worst sound. In headphones, it’s easy to understand how bad the sound can be. It is enough to take a cheap smart and penny inserts. But in principle, the task of clarifying where the point "-1" is located should be given serious attention. For example, it seems to many people that their life is a complete guano! But when they have the opportunity to see how badly others have, they realize that, by such standards, their life is still nothing.

    It is crucial to try to understand, find and hear the perfect sound. Those. put a point "+1". By the word "ideal", many treat with a grin. But the problem is that without an understanding of what is ideal in this area, it is impossible to make a conscious choice. Fundamentally important procedure. First you need to escape from "all the little things of household" (c), forget about the budget and other problems - and hear really cool ears on the best equipment. Fortunately, now it’s enough to go to a good store, where you can listen to different headphones.
    So, first you define an absolute ideal. It doesn't matter that it is almost always unavailable, the point of reference is important. And only then you can begin to impose restrictions (set the boundary conditions of a specific task).

    The more accurately you set the reference points "-1" and "+1", the more accurate your comparative measurements in these coordinates will be.

    Matrix of choice
    So, you have a certain experience of listening to musical material, realized what kind of headphones you want to have, decided on a budget and got acquainted with the current state of the market. As a result, 3-5 models should remain in your list of candidates for purchase.


    And here comes the turn of rational thinking with the help of the so-called. selection matrices (other names are “Pugh matrix” (Pugh), “weighted average selection matrix”, etc.).

    However, before you start building a matrix (table), you need to understand what we will have in the columns and what is in the columns. With columns it is clear - there are those 3-5-7 ear models that you selected. But in the rows should be the names of the criteria (technical characteristics of the models) by which you will evaluate these models. (Columns and columns can be swapped, this is a matter of taste and habit.)

    The problem is not to find these criteria, they are listed in the specifications of the headphones. The problem is that you decide which ones are most important to you. The degree of importance is given to the so-called. "Weighting factor" that you assign to the criteria in your list. You should choose the range of such factors yourself: for example, from 1 to 5. Let me remind you that these are not just numbers, they are a numerical expression of your assessment of the importance of this factor. In other expressions, this is the formalization of your holeyok.

    For the ears, among the most important ones, “frequency range”, “sensitivity”, “resistance” can be distinguished (remember, we already decided that these would be covering open headphones, so these characteristics are not included in the matrix). Then begin the subjective troubles with which everyone understands independently: the length of the cable, the ability to disconnect the cable, the material of the cups, the material of the ear cushions, the weight, the duration of the warranty, etc. Further in the course of presentation, some of these criteria will be considered separately.

    As a result, you should get a table of the following form:


    After that, you dig deep into the specifications and fill the table with numbers from 0 to 10. For example, the ears, which I now have a description of on the second monitor, have a frequency range from 4 to 120,000 Hz. This is very cool, so the number "10". If the other ears have 20-20000 Hz (this is actually a standard, the bottom bracket, from which high-quality headphones begin), then they can be given a "5". It is important not to dissemble and set these figures as objectively as possible, precisely on the basis of manufacturers' specifications and reliable reviews.

    In this case, in brackets next to the number, you immediately write the total value, taking into account the weighting factor. If we assigned a rating of “5” to the frequency range of these headphones, and the weighting factor of this factor was also estimated at “5”, then 5x5 = 25. This figure is your final assessment of this model for this criterion.

    After that, you just need to sum up the values ​​in the columns. The model that scores the most points and is the first bidder for the purchase.


    Separately, I will explain that there are different ways to assess. For example, there is a widespread method when they give marks not from 0 to 10, but 3 or 5 values ​​according to the principle “-; 0; +” (if the values ​​are 5, then “-” and “++” are added. Then there will be no the sum of points, and the sum of pluses and minuses (I remind, plus a minus give 0), taking into account the weighting factors. The score "0" in this case is set according to all parameters of a single model, which is chosen as the base. What to choose for "base" - your business. The most rational, in my opinion, is to assign all the zeros of that model, about which you already have a preliminary positive opinion. same with respect to it to compare competing solutions, confiding their feelings real figures characteristics.

    I want to emphasize that the method described here is not my invention. I only popularly and briefly present it as part of a more general method of rational-sensual choice.

    One more thing to remember. The very process of deliberate thoughtful filling of the matrix - it, firstly, contributes to a more complete assimilation of information. Secondly, it has a certain psychotherapeutic value (especially for highly excitable people, who often find it difficult to make a choice).

    Sensual choice.
    So, we have selected 3 models that are obviously good in characteristics from recognized manufacturers of headphones. But I specifically describe the method on the example of the ears - for them dry numbers are certainly not enough.

    Therefore, next we go to the company store selling a wide range of headphones (this shop is well-known to Muscovites-audiophiles, but I don’t call it here, so as not to do advertising). Our task is to touch the chosen models with our own hands and to feel what emotions and feelings they cause in our soul. As "in kind" look, dry figures of sensitivity or bends of AFC appear.

    At the same time, the rational component is also maintained, although the truth is already subjective. These include, for example, the landing of headphones on my head, incl. how much they put pressure on it (it depends on how comfortable you will be sitting in your ears for long hours). Do my big ear cushions completely embrace the ears, etc.

    But the main thing, of course, is the sound, the impression of listening. It is assumed that a high-quality demonstration record of a genre close to you is used on the same high-end amplifier. In the cabin mentioned you can bring your notes.

    Here I want to make a retreat. The main idea of ​​this material is that no choice is ever completely logical and 100% rational. It is important to understand and accept.

    The problem is usually that people (especially men) consider dry rationalism, pragmatism and iron logic as integral features of homo sapiens. Those. they consciously crush sensory perception in themselves, believing this to be a huge disadvantage.

    However, here it is necessary to remember that the process of thinking proceeds 99% unconsciously. In consciousness, only some fragments are manifested. And the feelings that arise when testing headphones (or another object of choice) - they result including. and from this implicit process in your subconscious. Those. it is not something shameful, it is part of your Self. And it must be taken as the norm and learn to use.

    Therefore, when testing, emotions and feelings should not be ignored - but, on the contrary, to listen, distinguishing the finest nuances. Pressing at this moment you need to try to “calculate rationally” something, it distracts from the main thing.

    The final result is most often expressed by the phrases “this is mine”, “falls on the soul”. Or they do not express in words, but they feel distinct positive emotions.

    Since the subjective emotional-sensory assessment is addressed not so much to the mind as to the soul (in a concept that is close to the concept of the Self), then you need to pay attention to the little things. For myself, I call it “folding” or “not folding”. Successful acquisitions are made on days when things are going. The tram / trolleybus approached in time, the sales consultant was competent and benevolent, the demonstration composition evoked positive emotions, etc. Those. the whole (or most) aggregate “will accept” indicates that the process is positive. Although, of course, the presence of these coincidences does not guarantee anything.
    Here the other is more important - if the process did not go well in the beginning, “it does not go on,” then you do not need to drill a drill until complete victory over common sense. I call this state “decision / choice not yet ripe.” These signs most likely mean that the thoughts that have emerged in your mind from the depths of the subconscious are not yet optimal and inconclusive.

    When the choice is ripe, the final decision “pops up” easily and clearly. If it is not, then it is better to send the thoughts back to the subconscious (this is not my joke, this is the real recommendation from smart books on thinking technologies). Those. literally forget about the problem, switch to other tasks.

    Thus, the main goal of the sensory stage of selecting headphones is to hear the feeling “this is mine” in your soul, to feel that I want to possess this thing, I like it!

    Separately, I’ll make a reservation that if it’s a question of choosing a thing that’s not as intimate as headphones — and, for example, a refrigerator or a slow cooker, then at this stage it’s better to release your combat friend. Women make such a sensual choice much deeper, faster and thinner than men. And we feel calm, because we were insured at the stage of drawing up the matrix of choice (in an amicable way, she had to participate in this work). Those. the girlfriend chooses not from anyhow, but from obviously satisfactory alternatives.

    The choice of the seller (place of purchase)
    Buying ears in the cabin where you listened to them is far from the best option. The purpose of the visit was not the purchase, but the final selection of a particular model of headphones. Now the challenge is to select the seller and / or place of purchase.

    If we talk in principle, here it is necessary to repeat the above procedure for creating a matrix of choice. Only as criteria, select items such as price, delivery price, warranty, etc. Therefore, I will not describe this stage in detail. I will mention only a few important points.

    Firstly, the Russian market is very peculiar. If some groups of technically complex products are sold at prices close to or even slightly lower than in foreign stores, then other groups are sold at a 2–3 mark-up. And since the price of the issue (high-quality ears) is high enough, we should not limit ourselves only to our market. For example, sometimes it is easier to fly to Milan for quality clothing than to overpay wildly in Moscow.

    This question is not the easiest, because when you buy equipment abroad, as a rule, the warranty is lost. And this is the second important point when purchasing durable goods.

    I purchased my digital-to-analog converter (DAC) with a headphone amplifier in Germany. A SLR camera and 3 lenses to it are in the USA. Moreover, one lens was the category “refurbished”, i.e. "Restored". The meaning of this approach is that the same product in Russia and in Germany can be very different. For example, my wife in Germany enjoyed Ritter Sport chocolate. And when I bought it here, in Moscow, I screamed indignantly for a few minutes. So it turned out to be unlike the German version. A similar situation with the Chinese technology. In my experience, for some reason, even cheap Chinese goods in the USA or Germany are better than formally the same goods in Russia.

    Those. If you take these points into account, it is quite possible to refuse the warranty when buying in a reliable foreign store.

    Another point - the purchase of used equipment. This is a more subjective question, many people are disgusting about such moments. However, if this is not critical, then purchasing second-hand headphones (with the subsequent replacement of ear cushions with new ones) is a good idea, since for the same money you can purchase a higher-end model.

    Thus, the choice of the place of purchase and the seller is a separate independent task of choice and optimization. And it needs to be clearly understood.

    The act of assignment
    If you think that with the acquisition of headphones, the method of rational-sensual choice is successfully completed - then this is a mistake.

    The problem is that many people cannot stop in time and continue to harass themselves with thoughts and “chuystviyami” on the topic “but have I not been mistaken?” Or “I don’t like something here”.

    The situation is as follows. On the one hand, you have invested your mind and soul in choosing your own beloved headphone. And here they are in your hands. On the other hand, it is an object alien to you, which you see for the second time (if listening to it is the first) in life. Non-native, alien. The task is to commit, as I say, the "act of appropriation." Make it yours. Or merge with him into one. To headphones included in your "inner circle" and become an integral part.

    There may be different psychological nuances and situations. For example, when I turned on an inexpensive computer audio system 2.1 for the first time, I was struck down by the sound level. Yes, it was a long time ago and my level of sound perception was different. But I’m talking about something else - it didn’t take any effort, I immediately fell in love with this system and use it so far (since I have the best sound in my headphones). On the other hand, a situation where you, after having thoughtfully performed the entire procedure, bought something that you cannot live with - this is strange and unlikely.

    The most realistic option is usually that some features of the acquisition will be perceived by you as incomprehensible, unusual, inconvenient. Naturally, amid the general joy of buying long-awaited ears.

    The recipe for such situations is known long ago. It is formulated in different ways, one of the options sounds like “endure - love”.

    Pushkin said it much more gracefully:

    “The habit from above is given to us: It is a
    replacement for happiness.”

    E. Onegin

    That is, the point is that you should not get excited and rush to conclusions. You need to give yourself time to get used to, adapt to the new details in your near circle. To the features of the purchased headphones. The highest adaptability is one of the strongest features of the human race. With a probability of 99.9999% in a few days, if you do not fall in love, then get used to your new ears.

    The worst thing you can do in such a situation is to regret your choice. This is not a male behavior. A man makes a choice - and then, if necessary, he is ready to answer for him. But do not regret! (Actually, I believe that the above applies to women. But I cannot speak for them, because I am not a woman.)

    Violations of volitional regulation
    As I mentioned, if the factors do not add up and the situation is not ripe, then it would be more correct to postpone the choice, give it's time for him to ripen. The ability, the ability to think again, slow down or even reverse is a sign of a mature personality.

    However, there are people who are pathologically unable to make a choice in various life situations. Those. acts of lack of will are repeated time after time. The word "pathologically" is not accidentally used. This behavior is beyond the norm, and the person needs the help of a psychotherapist. They even have all sorts of interesting terms like “Abulia” or “apraxia”.

    This is me to the fact that the implementation of the above methodology allows for a deliberate and heartfelt choice to the vast majority of people. (The emphasis here is not on my method, you can use another one, but the ability to choose something in principle.) But if you repeatedly fail to choose different objects with different objects, this is a reason to think seriously.


    • The human choice is never 100% rational, it is always rational-sensual. This should be taken as an axiom and learn to hear your emotions and feelings. Use this information to make decisions. And in any case, do not try to crush emotions, suffering from stupid pedantry and perfectionism.

    • The complete selection method is described here. It is desirable to learn it to automatism, so that most of it is performed in the subconscious "on the machine". This is the process of improving your thinking machine. The answer to the question whether it is necessary to carry out a complete procedure in this particular case or not depends on the specific case. In general, it can be said that the more complicated and non-obvious the choice of the available alternatives, the more useful the implementation of the most complete method.

    • The field of application of the method is the choice of complex subjectively high-value objects in the presence of approximately equal alternatives. Moreover, the assessment of the object is largely determined by emotional and sensual factors. If you switch from scientific expressions to a simple language, the method can be used not only to buy headphones. With it, you can select, for example, candidates for work in a company, choose a place / country of residence, etc.

    • This article does not contain a novelty of principle. All components are separately known for a long time. Important and valuable is the methodical approach, which provides a meaningful synthesis of the rational and sensual. Adults usually already understand the difference between “say” and “do”. What is written here is easy to say. But learning to really perform this set of actions with quality is difficult.