• WANTED: Happy members who like to discuss audio and other topics related to our interest. Desire to learn and share knowledge of science required as is 20 years of participation in forums (not all true). There are daily reviews of audio hardware and expert members to help answer your questions. Click here to have your audio equipment measured for free!

Are speaker demos really necessary?


Dec 20, 2019
If I find a speaker that I like, I'll typically:
  • Look at pictures of it
  • Search for measurements of it
  • Search for a general consensus of it
  • Consider demoing it.
But what benefit would demoing actually provide? If I'm looking to assess the quality through hearing then I'd have to know what to actually listen for.
If I'm listening to determine whether it sounds good, then I'd be making a judgement relative to the sound of my current speakers. But I'd have no frame of reference by which to judge whether my current speakers are producing accurate sound.

This leads me to think that speaker demoing is a bit superfluous. Am I missing something? Only thing I can think of that it would be good for is carrying out measurements where there aren't any already on the internet.

Blumlein 88

Grand Contributor
Forum Donor
Feb 23, 2016
Speakers vary enough from neutrality you can learn from a listening demo. Some may be fatiguing or irritating to listen to. Or they may be veiled and muffled sounding. Or they may be so lightweight they can't support any bass. And you get many possible combinations of problems in different areas. All large enough to listen and get an idea about.

If you've heard some really good speakers you'll have a better reference to judge against. Or if you can try more than one at the same location you can make some judgement about how good something is by comparison to each other.

Having good measurements to weed out the truly whacked designs is helpful and worthwhile. But without those listening can still be useful. It is a lesser level of usefulness, but useful nonetheless.
Top Bottom