Do you find the ads in audio magazines useful?

Do you find the ads in audio magazines useful?
Yes, quite useful
22% (26 votes)
Yes, somewhat useful
41% (48 votes)
Only slightly useful
24% (28 votes)
Not useful
12% (14 votes)
Hate them
1% (1 vote)
Total votes: 117

Some like to think that ads corrupt an audio magazine, while others trust the editor and find ads a great source of information on new products and dealers. Do you find ads in audio magazines useful?

Rob Gold's picture

I'm in the marketing business (live concerts), and if I used the obfuscating, over-reaching and downright false information used in a high percentage of audio gear advertising, I'd be out of a job in no time flat. If they were all as informative as, say, the wonderful ads from Headroom, this would be a very different matter, indeed.

Mark D's picture

not only are they useful to me, but they are to you as well, besides the obvious. Every time a friend tells me they have had enough of Stereophile and want to cancel, I point out that for less than the cost of a CD, you get constant updates on what's available—and a lot of that is in the ads. After I am done reading the articles, I read the tech stuff and then I go back and review the ads. Sometimes, they're the best part.

Anonymous's picture

The ads with the Gilmore girl? Veeerrrrryyyy useful. The ones with Andy Singer? Not so much. ;)

Richard Sinclair's picture

I have been interested in one or two over they years, but essentially "no". Of course they have nothing to do with the editor, but are the magazine's life - if they support a good magazine then I support the ads!

Jeremy's picture

Only in so far as I can determine whether a product seen at a show is actually available. The content of manufacturer advertisements is consistently useless. Dealer ads are usually better.

Kevin Magee's picture

I read all of the ads and do not see them as a problem. Often I buy products because I have become aware of them from an ad.

Cihangir G's picture

Only useful for learning about what appeared on the market most recently (mostly derivatives of another products) to suck up your money. Surely revolutionary products really attracts quite an impression but that happens very rare.

Al Marcy's picture

Everthing I know I learned from ads.

Robert's picture

Slightly useful if they are used to introduce interesting or unusual products not otherwise covered in the magazine. Otherwise, not much use at all.

Dimitris Gogas's picture

Not just useful. They are absolutely necessary (to the publisher).

Gerald Clifton's picture

I'm not sure if a picture is really worth a thousand words, but the best ads offer a very good idea of how a product might look in your listening room. That's a start—but not, of course, as important as the sound and reliability. I wish more of them would show dimensions (especially speakers) and MSRP. It is truly an American tradition for all advertising to exaggerate to the tenth power, but anyone who doesn't accept that as a given is either a moron or an alien from another galaxy. My pet peeve is the occasional ad that doesn't accurately give information for follow-up investigation of the product: website, telephone number, distributor info, etc. Nobody likes to play phone tag or wade through a partially or non-functioning website. And the humor is often welcome: Kevin's ads for Upscale Audio make me laugh, and I'll never forget the one that depicts Mark Levinson fondling (dry-humping?) a speaker with an apple on top of it, eyes glazing over, while the naked Eve, in a full frontal assault on Levinson's attention faculties, seemingly goes ignored. From experience, alas, I can tell you that you'll get more pleasure, more reliability, and fewer maintenance costs from the speaker. The best ads are informative, entertaining, and visually attractive, and I wouldn't want to do without them. The worst, you glance at and then ignore.

Jared Gerlach's picture

Ads in magazines are often the first glimpse of products that I may be interested in learning more about. Often, I see an ad for an item that is new or somewhat innovative, then spend some time searching online for information about it (something that I find very enjoyable). While I don't believe that ads alone lower the integrity of a publication, I do find it curious when an ad for a product and a review of that product appear simultaneously.

Nathan's picture

Well, ads pay the fare, don't they? So, ads are useful in making our subscriptions cheaper. Other than that, I can't say that an ad would actually sway me one way or another.

audio-sleuth's picture

I always like the ads that claim their product can defy the laws of physics. The tone arm head shell that had less weight, but more mass. Now that's a good trick, unless they made it to play in space where that would be possible.

Al Earz's picture

It is always great to see what is new. We won't see them in Motor Trend!

Seth's picture

Sometimes it's just about getting your company's name out there to the public and letting them know what you have to offer in your product line

Donald N.'s picture

I like the "heads up" ads give. Some give decent details, but most should be taken with a grain of salt.

Jim GI NY's picture

I find that the ads are actually a highlight of the magazines. After all, how else would we see and learn about what's out there? Perhaps the advertisors would benefit by listing the dealers, by state, as part of their ad. I'd certainly welcome such an addition.

Larry Solomon's picture

I am very suspicious of ads if there's also a positive review of that manufacturer's equipment in the same edition (it makes me totally discount the review). I also find ads of tubes stuck between a woman's breasts, or cables wrapped around them, extremely sleazy.

Mark Gdovin's picture

Often that is the first and sometimes the only place I learn of new products and new manufacturers. I think some are worried that an ad guarantees a manufacturer a great review. I have not suspected this ever in Stereophile though I did wonder why Julian Hirsch, RIP, never did seem to hear a component he didn't like when reviewing for Audio and Stereo Review (both long since gone—hmmm).

Keith Y's picture

It is fun to see the new equipment from the companies.

Jack Clark's picture

Actually, I quite like the ads in the magazine as they open a window on a world that I would, otherwise, never ever see. I would suspect that this is true for most readers. No matter how good your local dealer is there is no way in the world that he can stock everything or even a small percentage of everything so, in sense it's like you're pressing your face against a big shop window looking at all the goodies, even if you can't touch them.

Jon W's picture

If they give info as to where to get more info, such as a website!

Colin Robertson's picture

They are only useful for seeing new product. However, since I would have proabably already heard of it through other channels, they cease to be useful. This is not specific to audio ads. When audio ads really piss me off, however, is when they are filled with blatant lies and misinformation and snake oil. Lamest audio ads I've seen? Anything from that company that makes the super fancy ball bearing component feet that informs us that they are expensive (Van Slych Engineering?), Gilmore Audio's ads, James Audio, anything else that makes itself out to be elitist, and from a graphics standpoint, any ads that have a need to fill every inch of the space with "information." The cool ads? Love the "perfect pair" ads, the one with the power cable on the nude female's back, ads with nice photos of gear and architecture (like Classé), and ads that explain how the stuff works withouy the snake oil (like Vandersteen).

Mike Agee's picture

Generally, yes. They are interesting as graphics and as venues for audio photography. I especially look if prices and accurate specs are given.

Robert Leonard's picture

But only when they are Audio/Video advertisements. For car ads, I will buy car magazines.

C.  Healthgut, M.D., FACS's picture

I must admit that while ads, in general, are boorishly distracting, many of the ads which I come across in Stereophile have proven valuable to me in that they have driven me to hardware or software that I would most likely not have found on my own given my hectic schedule. Ads tend to be a double-edged sword: we love to hate them.

Bard - Atlanta's picture

Only slightly useful. At least most of the pictures are accurate.

Michael Chernay's picture

I love the new audio ads the first time I see them, but when it's the 7th or 8th issue that I've seen the same ad promising the same amazing component, I become a tad pissed, as well as let down that there is nothing new.

David L.  Wyatt jr.'s picture

Ads tell me to see if a product can be auditioned locally, that it's out there. After that it's all in the ears.