As this site rolls along, I'm seeing a lot of answers coming from Wiki and similar sources. I understand that the majority of SE sites are fact-based and rely on fact-based questions, but it's looking like that structure is going to limit the growth of MF.

What do you think about allowing opinion-based questions/answers on MF? I'll give an example:

How far from your TV should you be in order to get the most from your home theater system when watching a concert DVD?

There's obviously no factual answer to that question, but there are valid suggestions which could help the OP in their plight.

What are a good pair of speakers under $400 for a 100w receiver?

Again, no factual answer exists, however good suggestions can be made.

IMO, this information is useful for music fans, as long as they're written well and with some clarity. i.e., just asking what are a good pair of speakers is too wide open, but clarifying a price range and output level keeps the answers realistic.

Please discuss and not just up/downvote, I'd like to get some chatter going. This is everyone's site, and input is vital for it to grow.

  • 3
    You are wrong about the good pair of speakers example. An objective answer can be carved for that one. Things like the transfer function and total harmonic distortion can be measured and compared, then arranged by general criteria. If you want transparency look at this group, if you want bass look at this group, and so on. Why not use actual examples from this site to make your point clearer?
    – NPN328
    Apr 23, 2015 at 8:00
  • I'm fairly confused: Is appreciation necessarily subjective? I know you can take a course on "music appreciation" in university, but I don't know how "hard" these courses are. This question does work to help clarify the points. Nov 5, 2019 at 7:05

2 Answers 2


I think it's pretty much already been decided that certain types of opinion questions definitely are on topic.

For example, is pretty much pure opinion (unless the author of the song has written a detailed essay explaining the song, which happens pretty much never).

Hardware questions and recommendations regarding specific products is something I think we should probably try to avoid, though, as the market changes too quickly for them to be meaningful in the long term. Questions about desirable or useful properties in hardware and/or how to make good hardware choices are relatively timeless and should be welcome.

The other question is backwards, as the optimal listening distance is a function of the speaker arrangement, which is usually a function of available space. However, I don't think that questions eliciting explanations of how to determine these kinds of things would be a bad thing.

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    I don't think the equipment used to listen to records changes that rapidly. Similar to the Music SE, re-using this reason from the other sites doesn't work. Apr 22, 2015 at 20:41
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    I know I'm copying something from Music SE here, but I like how this is managed there. Hardware recommendations are on-topic unless they are overly localized, which is what would make them prone to expire, but more general hardware questions should be more than welcome, as it is a pillar of music listening. Example: Should I buy Sennheiser x model headphones or this Shure y model headphones? Off-topic. What to look for when buying new headphones? On-topic.
    – NPN328
    Apr 23, 2015 at 8:07
  • 2
    I have refined my answer to reflect comments.
    – Donald.McLean Mod
    Apr 23, 2015 at 13:15

Yes, I think many types of at least somewhat opinion-based questions should be allowed here; more precisely, I don't think being 'opinion-based' should in itself be a close reason unless the question is so subjective as to be personal.

So "what is the best reggae song" is off-topic, because there's no generally-useful definition of "good", or "best" - it's an entirely personal judgement.

On the other hand "who were the most influential vocalists in the development of reggae?", while not necessarily a brilliant question, IMO should fall on the 'allowed' side of the line, because being 'influential' is a concept that is to some degree commonly understood.

People might disagree on what exactly it means to be 'influential', but there can be meaningful discourse there (which would be an aspect of the answers), unlike the "what's the best..?" example.

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