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What is the worst speaker you've ever heard?

dfuller

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We talk about the best speakers all the time. What are the worst you've heard and what made them so bad?

Ed.: I thought I wouldn't need to mention multimedia or PC speakers were probably always going to be terrible so I didn't mention them, but yeah, disregarding those...

For me, two speakers stand out as infuriatingly terrible.

1. Barefoot MM27 Gen 1. Huge presence peak so very harsh sounding (they give a false sense of detail and precision from it), very scooped, messy uncontrolled low end. Also run out of headroom surprisingly fast for how much amp they have.

2. PMC 8-2. Boomy low end, muddled midrange, very very bright.
 
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Dialectic

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Voxativ Ampeggio. Heard them with a megabuck tube amplifier in Singapore. Insane levels of coloration. Hurt my ears.

Verity Lohengrin. I thought they were wired out-of-phase, but they were not. Something went badly wrong with the crossover design of these speakers. Directivity is surely a horrowshow.

Volti Vittora. The terribleness is well-documented.


I've heard other bad ones, but those stand out.
 

thewas

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Doodski

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Some of those old 8track w/ phono players with 1 way speakers and a tone control and maybe bass and treble. Small small PC speakers in white plastic cabinets with a LED in front. :facepalm:
 

Astoneroad

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Yogi Barra

Yogi_Berra.jpg
 

3125b

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Obviously there are many really terrible speakers like those typical 5€ computer plastic cans.

So as far as "surprisingly bad, worse than I reasonably expected" goes:
- Bose Wave (III?) - it's not big so you wouldn't expect too much, but it cost several hundred Euros and it's just a travesty. Literally only low mids, nothing else. Worse than my (at the time) 50€ ghetto blaster.
- Tefel Concept E??? - that's a 2.1 system with small satellites for home entertainment. Granted, I didn't expect too much, but for 400-500€ at the time it was worse than it should have been. Ok bass output from the sub, but those satellites were no better than aforementioned 5€ computer speakers.
- Behringer B??? - I don't know what I sould expect of a cheap full-range PA speaker, but I sure know I'd not be getting much. It can play loud but sounds terrible doing it.
 

Purité Audio

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Zu, Devore, Audio Note U.K. listening you can almost recognise a familiar tune.
Keith
 

sergeauckland

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Three in my case:-
Linn Kan, Lowther Acousta and Audionote, whatever was their top 'speaker some years ago. All three were nasty, coloured and unpleasant to listen to. They were 'different', so I suppose they could be sold on the basis that they're right and everyone else is wrong.

S
 

Vacceo

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Logitechs. The absence of bass was terrible.
 

MCH

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The ones in my new dell laptop from work. They distort way too much. I complained, and surprisingly the IT guys told me i was not the first to complain and they will fix it with some sort of software update. Looking forward to hear if it is true and if yes what the hell was wrong.
 

alex-z

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In terms of outright worst, a tie between Micca MB42 and Polk T15.

In terms of speakers which were "audiophile", the B&W DM601 S3 is probably the biggest disappointment in person. $500 USD around launch, and I literally thought the designer had hearing damage when I first tried a pair.
 

Tonehenge

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Three in my case:-
Linn Kan, Lowther Acousta and Audionote, whatever was their top 'speaker some years ago. All three were nasty, coloured and unpleasant to listen to. They were 'different', so I suppose they could be sold on the basis that they're right and everyone else is wrong.

S
Linn is a cult. Several years ago a label owner insisted I mix an album on a set of Tukan’s. I then insisted he remove my name from the credits.
 

Mario Sanchez

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The speakers under my display - These have non-circular (racetrack) full-range drivers, points almost perpendicularly away from my ears toward my desk, has feeble amplification rated at unknown distortion levels, and even has non-removable plastic grille in front of the drivers thrown in for good measure.
They’re fun to fiddle with as a pastime though, and with extensive corrections can be made to sound like a bland speaker lacking extension and headroom instead of the resonance-riddled nightmare it is in stock condition. Also makes one really appreciate the finer offerings from more sophisticated designs by professional manufacturers.
 

SIY

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Don't remember the brand, but they were being shown at AXPONA a few years back in the @atmasphere room. Gigantic, very retro looking, and absolutely unlistenable. I had been touring the show with my doctor (who is also a good friend), immediately texted him to come downstairs to this room to hear "something interesting." His reaction after about 15 seconds of listening: "Is this on purpose?"
 
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