A Response To Our Most Critical Hooke Verse Reviews On Amazon
If Newton's Principia were published today, it would have 4 stars on Amazon. There would be one cluster of 5 star reviews by people saying it had revolutionized their thinking, and another cluster of 1 star reviews by people complaining it was pointless and hard to read.
— Paul Graham (@paulg) January 16, 2019
If you’ve ever launched a hardware product, you know how crucial Amazon customer reviews are to scaling your business. They can make or break a revolutionary idea. And in a world of vaporware and Kickstarter scams, this can be all a new company needs to legitimize a groundbreaking idea. The problem is, a customer may completely misunderstand your product, use it in a way you never advised them to, purchase for a feature you never advertised and chalk it up as a product failure.
I want to take this opportunity to respond to our most critical reviews on Amazon in attempts to help better inform potential customers. In the end it will make for a more educational buying experience online. When it comes to a revolutionary product like binaural recording headphones, education is key.
December 7, 2018
HOOKE RESPONSE: First of all, Hooke Verse is compatible on computers. Using the included recording cable, any one can plug directly into a desktop, DAW or interface. For more info see here. Secondly, the user wanted to record WIRELESSLY to their computer which we do not advertise anywhere on our site or Amazon. They bought the product for a feature we’ve never advertised and then wrote a bad review, there’s not much I can do about that.
2. James C.
December 30, 2018
HOOKE RESPONSE: I’m not sure what to say here, if the the Bluetooth connection dropped out as often as this reviewer said it did, I wouldn’t have a business. A user’s Bluetooth performance can depend on many factors, how many devices they have remembered on their phone, the area in which they are recording. But they do not just “drop out” as he explains. Truthfully, I don’t even know what that means.
3. Connor Carbon
April 9, 2018
You’re going to lose the Hooke Verse, and Hooke Audio has no way of replacing them or (edit: but they now offer Asurion replacement for extra cost, GET IT!!! I bumped my review to 3 stars from 2 because they added the insurance option. I’m gonna have to buy another pair because it’s still the best option for field recorders/android users) The product falls off of your ears easily while wearing them and if you wear them around your neck they slip off to the left or the right of your neck. This happened to me a few times before finally I noticed they fell off entirely and now I have NO idea where they are. Probably lost completely, or stolen by now, and the company doesn’t give a damn. They told me there’s nothing they can do about a lost item when their item wasn’t designed well enough to stand up to real-world, every day use.
Put a GPS tracker on this $230 headset unless you plan to never let them leave your studio.
On top of the major design flaw mentioned above, there are many other annoyances with their app, its compatibility with phones etc. The microphones themselves so work great and their Bluetooth codec does what it says, but their Hooke Audio app still crashes easily and doesn’t allow you to record above 720 if you’re recording video.
Support said fixes for some of these issues are on the way but when they told me their easy-to-lose product can’t be insured or stood for after it jumps off of your head when you’re not looking, then I’m officially dissatisfied, and probably paying $230 to learn the lesson.
9/15/2018 Update: At some point a few months ago I found them again, then lost them again. By contrast, I have (and still own) 3 Trekz Titanium Aftershokz bluetooth wireless headsets over the last 3 years. I know exactly where all 3 of them are, despite the fact that two of them have been broken (and then taped) for 1-2 years already depending on which one you’re talking about. That’s because, even though 2 of them broke, they were designed to stay the hell on your head, and therefore I have lost none of them, not even the broken ones I should probably throw away by now. Just to give you some perspective that I’m not a fool who doesn’t know how to keep headphones on his head or in plain view. The Hooke Verse is a slippery, floppy, fragile little bastard that feels like owning a slippery frog when you get them out of the box, so, again, they do their function well, but do NOT let them out of your sight and I mean LITERALLY.
HOOKE RESPONSE: Honestly, this is one of my favorites. This guy lost his Hooke Verse, demanded we replace his lost unit for free and wouldn’t take the discount code we offered to purchase a new unit. In the history of selling Hooke Verse I have never seen such a ridiculous review and demand as this one. Imagine some one lost of their AirPods and then wrote a review like this, because that’s all it is.
4. Philip Young
December 20, 2018
HOOKE RESPONSE: Our drivers definitely do not vary in amplitude by 80%. Again, this is a pretty egregious claim that would put me out of business if true. Yes, the mics can be a bit noisy, especially when recording quiet environments but they are comparable for the price of the unit. This is not a $900 microphone despite some customers expecting so. It’s true, there could have been some issues with the unit. We offer a 1 year full warranty on parts and labor, meaning he could have just sent to us and we would have fixed and returned for free. He had no interest which is a bit alarming.
5. Jeremy E. Schultz
August 21, 2018
I give the product quality four stars, but the app one star, due to its inability to quickly record 4K video. Let’s say 2.5 stars if Amazon allowed it. If the app and corrected the issues noted below, I will repurchase and re-evaluate the product, because it has potential.
I like the company – they were responsive to my emails and helped me enroll in the beta program on iOS, which unfortunately did little to solve their software issues. I wanted to use this in conjuncture with a gimbal to take immersive, stabilized video. Seemed like the perfect match, with Bluetooth connectivity, I would be unencumbered of wires while walking around theme parks.
But the app, which is the only way to record binaural audio/video on the iPhone, feels unfinished. The worst issue was any 4K video recorded needed an equal amount of time to save, so if the 4K video was ten minutes long, an additional ten minutes is needed to save it. If the app crashes or anything happens with the phone, the video is lost. Because the codec was unique and other app developers did not want to work with Hooke, you’re stuck using their app. I tested this on the iPhone X.
HOOKE RESPONSE: This user wrote a bad 2 star review because our videos take longer than standard videos to save and because our product doesn’t work on other apps. Well, it does work on other apps. Also, 10 minute 4K videos definitely do not take 10 minutes to load. They take a few minutes, but that is because the user is pairing lossless WIRELESS 3d audio to their 4K video. Most users shoot 1080 which takes the hooke app seconds to export.
6. French 75
January 30, 2018
HOOKE RESPONSE: Honestly, I have nothing to say here. Just read the comments to this review from other customers and tell me if you think this is a legitimate VINE VOICE review…Connor Carbon11 months ago:
Marked this as not helpful because you didn’t even specify what obviously extremely old Android phones and tablets you’re trying to use. This product is cutting-edge, and a lot of the technologies it needs to function require a phone that has those technologies on board. It’s not this company’s fault if you’re trying to use Android phones that are 4+ years old and were probably mid to low range when you bought them by how it sounds.
I’d strongly recommend posting what devices you’re trying to use the headset with or raising your review to at least 3 stars, or just remove it altogether because it’s an invalid review. “I rated this poorly because I don’t know how to get it to work” is never an excuse to poorly rate a company working hard on delivering new technologies.
I haven’t had any issues like this on my Android thats 3+ years old. How old is your phone?? You might as well knock these guys for not supporting BlackBerry. They’ve made an incredible product and you’re weighing down their ratings because you have a crappy phone? How on earth did Amazon approve you to be a verified reviewer of anything tech??
1. Dropouts occur for very specific reasons and can be eliminated by following the steps on our support page: https://hookeaudio.com/support/
2. Freezes his phone when? How? Wish he would have contacted us so we can diagnosed…Instead just wrote a review on Amazon…
3. You wrote a 1 star review before even testing the other function that makes up for 50% of Hooke Verse’s product features?!?!
4. This sentence really upsets me. He’d rather us just “not bother” and give him a box that is immediately thrown away than provide a fun and sustainable way to re use his shipping box. Give me a break man. “The fake paper head they provide easily rips when trying to assemble – I recommend they send something better, made of plastic or don’t bother.”
I wish this guy would just call us so I could have a conversation with him. Instead he writes a 1 star review with no response….
February 13, 2019
This company’s recoding app is a waste of time and does not function no matter how many different devices I tried it on. The head phones only sound marginally decent and it depends purely on what you are listening to, or recording. I am extremely sensitive to sound – I can hear the smallest glitches in the playback and it never sounded better than my yeti using their app. Tried to use it to record sound for video, it was quite the fail. Maybe this particular pair was buggy but the customer service refused to replace them and got a little snooty when I told them something was definitely not quite right with the playback or the sound. I sent service the yeti recordings and the recordings from their headphone app as well as sampling from my canon camera and never heard back. I would say they have some bugs to work out before they are ready for market.
If our app did not function no matter how many different devices its tried on, I would have been out of business years ago. Also, we offer every customer the opportunity to repair their Hooke Verse in the event of a defect. After analyzing the files you sent us, there was no defect, which is why we didn’t offer the repair. I don’t know what a small glitch in playback means, but if you’re trying to compare this to your Yeti, don’t. The Yeti is a wired mic. If you want to compare Hooke Verse to the Yeti, record in wired mode. You’ll find it’s quite comparable with TONS more features yet costs only $30 more…
May 25, 2019
I wanted these to work, I like to tape concerts and thought these would be a great solution. Unfortunately they didn’t work out.
*Microphones/Android app would randomly stop recording after 30-40 minutes. On the first occasion, I was able to salvage the recording up until the point where it stopped recording. On the 2nd occasion, I lost the entirety of my recording
*No way to dim or disable LED on the headphones – if recording in a venue, I do not want to draw attention with a glowing power button
*Headphone sound quality is pretty thin
*Bluetooth connection would cut in and out if I put my Samsung S9+ in my pocket
*Android App overrides your phones brightness settings, putting it at full brightness even in dark environments. This is harsh on the eyes and distracting to people in dark environments
*I did not get a lot of testing in, but it does not look like these microphones in bluetooth mode record sound above 16-17KHZ. It looks like there’s a hard low-pass filter.
If I could get a solid, uninterrupted recording, I could deal with the quirks, but ultimately it failed at what I needed it to do.
HOOKE RESPONSE: As long as you keep the app open when recording long moments like this, you shouldn’t have an issue. Many things can happen when you’re recording with the Hooke app in the background or your phone asleep that can interrupt the recording.
Also, I will never run a company where we enable recordists to hide the fact that they are recording. Every one should know you’re recording, if you’re so desperate to hide, put black gaff over it. The LED is not bright enough to impede some ones vision at a show.
Headphones quality is thin? Sounds like you’re not using the right eartip. That’s why we included 6 PAIRS OF MEMORY FOAM AND SILICONE, yet we still get comments like these…
Dropouts occur for very specific reasons and can be eliminated by following the steps on our support page: https://hookeaudio.com/support/
You can definitely dim your phone’s brightness when the Hooke app is open.
There is no hard low pass filter, also show me the spectrum analyzed of a Hooke Verse sound wave showing no freq response over 17kHz. Ridiculous.
October 23, 2019
This 3D microphone is absolutely horrible.
1) I’m using a H1n recorder, which by itself has zero noise or hiss. I plug in the Hooke and there’s extreme hiss and howling.
2) The things will not stay on or in my ears. They feel as if I tilt my head left or right they will just fall off. the light fit produces some sort of wind tunnel sound effect too.
3) The blue cable that’s provided for connecting to the field recorder is cheap and flimsy. I doubt it will last long and might be partly to blame for all of the hissing.
I’m sending it back. Buyers beware.
HOOKE RESPONSE: Another situation where the customer never reached out for support/troubleshooting and writes a 1 star review.
1. Yes, the built in mics on the H1N will not produce a lot of self noise since they are contained within the recorder. The Hooke Verse will create some self noise but not enough to destroy a recording. To hear some examples of recording wired to H1N: https://hookeaudio.com/how-to-record-binaural-3d-audio-on-a-field-recorder/ – If you think your recording cable might be defective, I’d be happy to replace it.
2. We provide 6 different eartips to ensure a secure fit. It’s possible that the earbud is not making a proper seal within your ears. To learn how to properly seal the eartips in your ear and to find the best size, see here: https://hookeaudio.com/blog/how-to/how-to-keep-earbuds-from-falling-out-hooke-verse/
3. It will definitely last. Otherwise we wouldn’t have made it! 🙂 Weird that this customer would give us 1 star for what he THINKS the product will be, not actually what it is…
Also, I think it’s worth noting that the Rode is over 3x ($500) the price of the Hooke Verse and depending on the 3dio model ($400 – $2000) could be over 12x price. To compare them at such vastly different price points is not entirely fair.