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Binaural blind comparison test of 4 loudspeakers

Which loudspeaker sound do you personally prefer?

  • Loudspeaker A

    Votes: 7 13.5%
  • Loudspeaker B

    Votes: 42 80.8%
  • Loudspeaker C

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • Loudspeaker D

    Votes: 7 13.5%

  • Total voters
    52
  • Poll closed .
OP
thewas

thewas

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I was also thinking : would it be interesting to get a long term spectrum of each sample, at least to know how they comparatively differed ? I'd like to see if some interesting correlation could be found with the actual on-head measurements I can make of the HPs I used to play them back.
Would be of course interesting, but please if someone does it, only upload it here after the results have been published.
 
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thewas

thewas

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First, the original recording matters a lot. Not big news, we all know that. It is also a matter of taste. I focus on the "being there" feeling, which a decently recorded live version clearly satisfies better but I can see how someone focused on the execution of the music would maybe prefer a studio/non-live "perfectly executed" version.

Second, given the big differences between recordings, I can see how people could prefer "bright boxes" (say the archetypal house B&W curve) on what sounds like duller recordings to me. On the other hand, on a recording that is intrinsically brighter, people might prefer a more pronounced downslope in the FR. There are recordings I like a lot musically but are technically awful (again, to my subjective hears) that I can only listen to them on my lower-end speakers, out of the sweet spot, because they don't magnify the technical issues.
The biggest problem currently of audio according to Toole, namely the audio circle of confusion definitely always plays unfortunately a significant role on all preference tests (also the Harman ones with their playlists) unless pink noise is used, on the other hand studios and recordings seem per average getting better and more neutral, at least outside of radio chart music.

Also about the influence of the duller recordings, from the voting till now it doesn't seem to affect as much the preference, contrary to what I would have expected myself too.
 

RHO

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I didn't like any of these speakers. But I voted for the one I disliked least.
I can hear why other voted on a different speaker. It had some characteristics where I liked it a little better than the one I voted on.
 

komhst

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In both tracks I was between two loudspeakers. One of them was a common choice for both tracks, so I voted this although it was not my first choice for both tracks.
 

gags11

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Haha, interesting…
I was also between 2 loudspeakers for best sounding for both tracks, and one of the loudspeakers was distant 4th.
 

Haruko

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2 of the speakers have probably some kind of crossover problem
 

MediumRare

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Excellent exercise! Thanks for doing this.

So interesting how the two tracks provided two distinctly different sets of differences, in other words, they demonstrated different strengths and weaknesses. I'd love to hear these same speakers with some of the more challenging tracks I use to test speakers. Alas, we are limited to what recordings are available. (Oh, how hard it is not to mention the things I heard!) :p
 

Pdxwayne

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Lets see how the preferences of our community are when listening to binaural recordings of four loudspeakers.

Of course this is not a test according to scientific standards and has also significant methodological limitations like for example how well can binaural cues capture and recreate the three-dimensional sound field of a listening room, but at least the tonal differences (which as we know play the biggest role in the preference of sound reproduction) are captured quite well.

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, although I won't answer questions like for example what kind of loudspeakers I chose or details about the recordings to keep bias as low as possible. I decided to give the option for even two votes in case you have two strong favourites where its very hard to decide on one, but hopefully this won't be too often the case.

After that when the results will be revealed I still won't name the loudspeakers for few days but the discussion of the preference results and perceived sound differences will be welcome so it also won't be biased.

And after that as final stage the loudspeakers will be revealed.

There are 2 (same) known track samples for each loudspeaker included in the uploaded zip file, the audio format is FLAC (not that it really matters), I personally would also have preferred different music styles, but we have to live with the material we get, hope you have understanding.

These are binaural recordings so best to be listened via neutral or EQed to neutral headphones.

Hope you will see it just as a fun rough community experiment, as said it has several limitations (like most such experiments, even the Harman ones), so please don't take it too seriously! :)
Should I assume all speakers in recorded in the same room, using the same chain?
 

LTig

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In both tracks I was between two loudspeakers. One of them was a common choice for both tracks, so I voted this although it was not my first choice for both tracks.
Same with me. I listened with the HD800 and the K371, both EQed with my RME ADI PRO fs. Ranking them from #1 (best) to #4 (worst) I preferred #2 a bit over #1 with Bach, but #1 more over #2 with the Beethoven. After casting the vote I saw that I'm not alone with my choice of #1 and #2.

With the other two speakers, one sounded horrible with Bach and the other with Beethoven, so difficult to rank - and no need, they are both much worse than #1 and #2.
 
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thewas

thewas

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Same with me. I listened with the HD800 and the K371, both EQed with my RME ADI PRO fs. Ranking them from #1 (best) to #4 (worst) I preferred #2 a bit over #1 with Bach, but #1 more over #2 with the Beethoven. After casting the vote I saw that I'm not alone with my choice of #1 and #2.

With the other two speakers, one sounded horrible with Bach and the other with Beethoven, so difficult to rank - and no need, they are both much worse than #1 and #2.
 

Blumlein 88

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I listened to these over speaker this evening. The recordings seem of better quality that way than over phones to me. Using this instead of phones I chose the same one as my highest preference though one of the others seemed much closer.

The 2nd preferred one had something weird in the middle of the mid range going on. The other two seem rather muffled across the mids to upper mids to me. All seem lacking in real treble. Or the source recordings are from a rather distant perspective.
 
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thewas

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I listened to these over speaker this evening. The recordings seem of better quality that way than over phones to me.
Interesting, just out of curiosity which headphones and loudspeakers did you use?
 

Thomas_A

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I used pairwise listening using my "reference" headphones (Beyerdynamic DT150 using DT100 velour pads). The winner was challenged against the next one. I made my decision after a single session, using "specific cues" that I will not reveal now.

I wonder if the music is known (version etc) if I want to try these at home?
 

Thomas_A

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All survey takers should use the same model of headphones or results are meaningless.

I think we will know whether it is meaningless or not on Monday.
 

PierreV

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I used pairwise listening using my "reference" headphones (Beyerdynamic DT150 using DT100 velour pads). The winner was challenged against the next one. I made my decision after a single session, using "specific cues" that I will not reveal now.

I wonder if the music is known (version etc) if I want to try these at home?

See above in the thread. I believe the Bach motet is the 1980 version by Harnoncourt. Not 100% sure though as there could be similar versions I am unaware of, different mastering of the same recording, etc... If someone with a better musical ear than mine could confirm this... :)
 

Thomas_A

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See above in the thread. I believe the Bach motet is the 1980 version by Harnoncourt. Not 100% sure though as there could be similar versions I am unaware of, different mastering of the same recording, etc... If someone with a better musical ear than mine could confirm this... :)
Thanks, I searched briefly in Spotify and found 1239 results named "Bach Cantatas - Harnocourt and Leonhardt". I have to refine this search somehow...
 

PierreV

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Thanks, I searched briefly in Spotify and found 1239 results named "Bach Cantatas - Harnocourt and Leonhardt". I have to refine this search somehow...

That one?

 

Blumlein 88

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Interesting, just out of curiosity which headphones and loudspeakers did you use?
Phones were Sony MDR 7510 and speakers were Revel F12 in my video system. I also would remind everyone I've generally found binaural recordings not to work for me.
 

Pdxwayne

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Should I assume all speakers are similar in size and freq response range? Or, are there a mix of various size 2 ways bookshelves and 3 ways towers?

Anyway, it looks like so far my preference is similar to majority of voters.....
 
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