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 20%. 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.