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Binaural blind comparison test of 4 loudspeakers - II

Which speaker comes closest to the original recording?

  • Speaker A

    Votes: 7 25.9%
  • Speaker B

    Votes: 4 14.8%
  • Speaker C

    Votes: 3 11.1%
  • Speaker D

    Votes: 13 48.1%

  • Total voters
    27
  • Poll closed .

ctrl

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Since the discussion on the last vote about the sound quality of speakers via binaural recordings was so harmonious, I thought it would be a good idea to repeat the whole thing with other binaural recordings of speakers.
And that's why I just plagiarized the thread title (and more) from @thewas ;)

This time the original recordings are included. For each of the four speakers there is a sample file, with three short pieces of music.
Your task now is to evaluate which speaker comes closest to the original recording. You can only select one speaker and you can't change your vote - don't slip with your finger off the (computer) mouse.

As was the case with the previous poll:
To keep mutual bias influence as low as possible the results won't be shown till Monday when the poll is closed and till then I would kindly ask you to also not post comments about your preference or what differences you perceived. Of course you can still post other comments about it.

No exotic speaker concept is included and no speaker shows obvious flaws in the measurements, such as strong resonances or the like.
The binaural recordings were made in an acoustically optimized listening room.
I have nothing to do with the recordings, all sources are freely available on the Internet.

If you know the sources please do not post any information as long as the poll is still running. When the poll is ended, I will link all the sources here in the thread.

UPDATE:
There is now a new file called Short_Samples.zip. It contains all four speakers. For each of the three music samples, the original piece of music is first played briefly, followed by the binaural recording of the speaker.
Since our "audiophile memory" only lasts a few seconds, this makes the comparison much easier in my opinion.

So the structure of each file is as follows:
Short_A.mp3: original-sample1, binaural-sample1-speaker-A - original-sample2, binaural-sample2-speaker-A - original-sample3, binaural-sample3-speaker-A

My recommendation would be to download only the Short_Samples.zip file first. This is the easiest way to perform the comparison.
If you need longer music samples you can still download the individual files.

As always with binaural recordings, listen to them with a good pair of headphones.
 

Attachments

  • A_.zip
    2.4 MB · Views: 105
  • B_.zip
    2.4 MB · Views: 78
  • C_.zip
    2.6 MB · Views: 81
  • D_.zip
    2.4 MB · Views: 75
  • orig.zip
    2.6 MB · Views: 77
  • Short_Samples.zip
    4.9 MB · Views: 112
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ctrl

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Some additional information about the speakers - which do not make the ratings any easier at all.

They are not bookshelf speakers and the price range is from "okay" to "are you f... kidding me" - i.e. expensive.
Sensitivity is in the range [email protected],83V.
 

Blumlein 88

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So these are in MP3 format?
 
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ctrl

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So these are in MP3 format?
Yep, as a flac file the samples would have been three times as big.

Maybe I should simplify the comparison to the original source and create short orig_A, orig_B,... samples, since our audiophile memory only lasts a few seconds.
 

Thomas_A

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Another fun experiment. Can it wait a little more with revealing the speakers? I would like to give it a try but my weekend is busy with other stuff.
 

maty

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Clearly the original sounds much better.

* With foobar2000 1.6.8 beta3 (to JRMC): ZZZ and XXX. YYY is the worst.

* JRiver MC 28.0.49, best sound: XXX. YYY is the worst.

Then XXX is the choice.


foobar2000 with output: KS : JRVAD Wave
JRiver MC with output: Kernel streaming

All sounds in W10 go through WDM Driver (virtual audio driver) -> JR MC

With my modded KEF Q100 coaxial loudspeakers (with bass-reflex closed, convolution and PEQ). Nearfield.
 
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ctrl

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I have just expanded the initial post and provided another file with direct comparison of short music samples from the original source and binaural recording of the speaker.

For each speaker there is now a file with the following structure:
original-sample1, binaural-sample1-speaker-A - original-sample2, binaural-sample2-speaker-A - original-sample3, binaural-sample3-speaker-A

In my opinion, this makes the comparison much easier. After listening to the comparisons, even my favorite speaker has changed.
 
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ctrl

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Then XXX is the choice.
Please don't name any direct favorites yet so as not to influence others - see my opening post.


Clearly the original sounds much better.
It would probably be the end of Hifi if it were the other way around ;)
 

oivavoi

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I did not read this comment when I realized there were spoilers, but I managed to see which speaker you chose. This is going to bias my listening in some way or the other. Please edit the comment, as the author asked people not to say such things in order not create a group bias.
 
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Thomas_A

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Did my fast A-B comparison between speakers and took the winner to the next round, took me 20 minutes this time. No female voices made it a bit more difficult. No comparison the original track; I only went for the piano part, different volumes using my "own" inner reference. :)
 
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ctrl

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No female voices made it a bit more difficult.
Unfortunately, there is little emphasis on human voices in these binaural recordings, and the selection of music tracks is not very challenging for the speakers - Elevator music lilting along.
Would have liked a challenging jazz sample (hard trumpet, saxophone,...) and a death metal sample to really challenge the speakers.
 

Thomas_A

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Unfortunately, there is little emphasis on human voices in these binaural recordings, and the selection of music tracks is not very challenging for the speakers - Elevator music lilting along.
Would have liked a challenging jazz sample (hard trumpet, saxophone,...) and a death metal sample to really challenge the speakers.
As an old concert pianist I can do with piano as well, but female voices are the best.
 

Zvu

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@ctrl Please don't close it on monday. I left my headphones at my job yesterday :)
 
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ctrl

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As an old concert pianist I can do with piano as well, but female voices are the best.
To judge the overall sound of a loudspeaker I have a hard time with piano, but to detect resonances and distortions in certain frequency ranges hard piano keystrokes are very good - IMO.
That's why I included the piano-only piece of music.
 
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ctrl

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Please don't close it on monday. I left my headphones at my job yesterday
I am always ready to fight for every vote ;)
Unfortunately, I don't know what happens when the Checkmark is removed from "Close this poll" - do all votes remain, can a new date be set,...

1634386444388.png
 

oivavoi

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I am always ready to fight for every vote ;)
Unfortunately, I don't know what happens when the Checkmark is removed from "Close this poll" - do all votes remain, can a new date be set,...

View attachment 159390

I am not saying that this vote is already rigged, I'm just saying that every vote should be counted!

On a serious note: Tried now. I have to admit that I find this test setup to be difficult. I find that I struggle to keep all of these different versions of the tracks present in my auditory memory and compare them, particularly given that all of these loudspeakers seem somewhat ok.

I think it could be easier if there were files with the original version of each track, then followed by each of the four speakers?
 

oivavoi

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Ok, as I said this one was hard, but after listening a whole lot I managed to end up with a preference for one of them in the end. As for me I found out that the third track was most revealing, for some reason, so I just went back and forth on that track until I was able to decide. I do expect however that there will be more spread in the results this time, as it was a more difficult "test".

I have a suspicion that the acoustic conditions related to loudspeaker setup/placement has an impact on all of the loudspeakers here... can say more about that when the results are revealed.
 
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