I was reading some of the comments on Sprout and noticed one poster suggested it couldn't be considered high end because it uses a 3.5mm connector for the analog input. This got me thinking.
It's a well known fact people have little to judge quality and purpose of gear without an intimate knowledge of either what's inside or how it performs. Typically we judge a piece of kit from its exterior. There's the "knock, knock" test. This is where you test to see if the top cover is solid or flimsy. Then there's the "audio by the pound" test. This is pretty common, and involves picking up a piece to judge its weight: heavy and it is high quality, light and it is perceived as cheap. Next is the "audio jewelry" test. This is perhaps even more common than the weight test, wherein a product is judged by the outward appearance of its connectors, fit and finish: low cost or too small, must be be low grade.
There are a number of reasons for these seemingly irrelevant measurements we use. Fact is, most of us don't have anything else to go on without listening to it. We choose our food and our mates in much the same way; judged on outward appearances first, if they pass the initial test, we dig deeper to see if the rest matches. Human nature.
Of course we all agree that keeping it real would mean ignoring the outside appearances and judging solely on its merits. That's a very lofty goal. I remember my mother lecturing me about "beauty is only skin deep" and I should look beyond what I see to appreciate the true beauty of people from the inside. Great advice. Only I never took it, probably not many of us do.
I only wanted to date cute chicks. Go figure.