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What most consumers want: Bose, Amazon Echo, Sonos, OontZ (Cambridge Audio)???

Xulonn

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Obviously based on the popular goal of "room filling sound", something that is quite different from a typical audiophile quest for "lifelike high fidelity reproduction of live acoustic music", THIS October 23 "Best Home Speakers 2020" article at Rolling Stone covers some popular contemporary examples of what I call "yupscale" consumer home audio. Regardless of one's personal audio goals, I always cringe a bit when I hear people claim this or that is the "best" audio component, because Like the current FLOTUS meme for schoolchildren entitled "Be Best", "best" is a useless term without carefully identified parameters and standards.

OTOH, these systems might work just fine for the family room and outdoor spaces of audiophiles whose families could care less about Dad's audio hobby and his dedicated listening room or the home theater room.

Below are some quotes from the article that don't jibe with my definition of "high fidelity playback of recorded music." The writing style and vocabulary is quite different from audiophile magazines and websites, but it is designed to reach the majority of audio consumers - not those of us among the fringe element who are ardent fans of pursuing "accuracy" in music reproduction.

This first quote from the article shows how different our audio goals can be compared to the world of general, non-audiophile consumers.

It used to be that the only option for a surround sound setup to fully fill your space with warm, enveloping sound required a central receiver, with connecting wires running around the room, and multiple speakers in every corner

Bose:

Anyone familiar with Bose knows that they’re masters of engineering big, rich sound out of compact speakers.

Amazon Echo: (With an interesting take on DSP.)

Built-in Dolby Atmos technology sends sounds in all directions, providing an immersive experience that instantly enriches any audio. The unit automatically feels out the acoustics of a room, and pumps out the best dimensions of sound to fill the space.

Sonos One (Gen 2): I cannot argue much with the descriptors of the sound as stated - much better than "muddy and muffled sound!")

Sonos users who are familiar with the company’s other products won’t be disappointed with the sound that this sleek four-pound speaker cranks out. The quality is crisp, clear, and detailed.

OontZ Angle 3 PRO (Cambridge):

Don’t be dissuaded if you’ve never heard of OontZ – the brand is owned by Cambridge Soundworks, a 30+ year veteran in the speaker manufacturing game, and a legendary contender when it comes to precise audio engineering.

At only 1.32 pounds, this is the lightest of the bunch, but can still get loud. The Neodymium drivers are 40% larger than previous models, giving it a boost of up to 21 watts and 50% more output. Inside, there’s double the airspace for acoustics, and a 30% larger passive bass radiator, allowing you to safely turn it up without the music crackling.
 

PierreV

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Most sites do product placement exclusively these days. There are very few writer recruitment ads currently but when there are, you will usually find that the criteria are the "ability to convey authority when writing engaging product recommendation posts/stories, aligned with the site business goals, on a daily basis". Familiarity with associate programs is, of course, mandatory.
 

JeffS7444

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Most sites do product placement exclusively these days. There are very few writer recruitment ads currently but when there are, you will usually find that the criteria are the "ability to convey authority when writing engaging product recommendation posts/stories, aligned with the site business goals, on a daily basis". Familiarity with associate programs is, of course, mandatory.
So basically a form of advertising?
 

PierreV

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So basically a form of advertising?

You can say so. I have a friend working for one of those large media groups. Essentially, he's supposed (and he is) to be interested in the field he covers and has some editorial freedom. If he writes something like a "back to school special", he's free to pick some of the items he includes in his guide, some other brands have to be there - always -, then his editor might suggest a couple of others inclusions. In a way, he has partial editorial freedom, but the performance of his stuff is tracked by data analysts/scientists, e-commerce specialists.

But don't take my word for it, especially second-hand. Just check the recruitment ads by Conde Nast, PMC, etc... (not many currently)

Example (https://condenast.wd5.myworkdayjobs...enter-New-York-NY/Commerce-Writer--GQ_R-04013)

Conceive of and execute special shopping packages on key trends and events (Holiday Gift Guides, Summer Vacations, Black Friday sales, etc.) that are popular with readers and align with the site’s business goals.

A less blatant job description would be "Service Journalism" where you'd provide a "guide", a "how-to" (the service) to users. Full of affiliate links of course. And that is the top of the pyramid, where they still care somewhat about the quality of your writing and/or your expertise. Below that, you have content farms where a subject such as "The 7 best portable speakers for Summer" is submitted to a pool of freelancers, 3 or 4 are selected and made available to a market of buyers. In that case, the metric is mostly traffic.

In the current context, this site is really special. :)
 

blueone

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Looking for audio equipment advice in Rolling Stone... it never would have occurred to me. Of course, I see people buying vinyl and that never would have occurred to me either.

Far and away the best home speaker I've ever heard (I don't own any, but most people I know seem to have them) is a stereo pair of Apple's HomePod. Totally not bad at all.
 

HiFidFan

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And all the XX,XXX 4.8 star reviews on Amazon for atrocious products prove that it works.
 
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