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Who would buy a speaker without listening to it?

Would you buy a speaker without first listening to it?

  • Yes, but only if I had no way to audition it

  • Yes, if I trust the reviews and measurements

  • Yes, if it were inexpensive or could be returned

  • No


Results are only viewable after voting.

Adi777

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lets enjoy whatever we have and not ponder much about it :)
Yes, it's good idea :)
My only point is that when I listen to, for example, Genelec or Neumann and I do not like their sound - and this is possible, I will just keep looking for speakers, and I will not force myself to like them. Boy, this isn't normal.
 

Steven Holt

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If there's a good return policy, and if the price is right, I'll order over the internet. Come to think of it, if I order something and don't like it many times I don't return it. I hate returning gear. Thankfully, most everything has worked out.
 

sergeauckland

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Hmm, okay. So you would prefer speakers with very high fidelity, but which you would not like, rather than speakers that fare worse in measurements - but not weak! - which would "charm" you?
BTW, personal preferences are important, someone likes horns, someone likes a bookshelf with subwoofers, someone likes large loudspeakers. Why should I bother with loudspeakers - Genelec, Neumann - that do not suit me in terms of sound. Just because they are great in measurements?
PS I did not listen to Genelec and Neumann, this is only example.
Yes, because if the measurements are good, then I can get used to the sound, knowing that my possible dislike is my failing, not that of the loudspeakers.

S.
 

Adi777

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is my failing
Or you prefer a different sound. No, I don't mean objectively wrong, just different, something like, I don't know, horn speakers vs traditional ones. After all, both may be good at measuring, but sound different. Do you really want to be a martyr? :p
PS I just remembered that I ordered a pair of JBL M2 for a cinema room without auditioning :facepalm:
 

SoundGuy

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Im a little shocked that so many people are ready to buy a pair of speakers before doing any listening.
I wouldnt do that.

At first:

You need two speakers to judge the spatial quality with your brain/ears ( never tested, cant be tested with measurements ) .

Second - you really need to listen to your speaker in your own room , and doing set up correctly.

Third : Amirms measurements only gives about 70 % clues how the loudspeaker will sound for real.
+1 this is insane. Electronics do sound very similar but speakers never do. This idea that a few measurements tell you all you need to know just shows a lack of experience.
 

srrxr71

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Dr. Toole research back then was about that, and it showed that most people (75% or 85% I don't remember) preffer those speakers that have good measurements, in a blind test. So for one to be 100% sure what he really like, the right way would be to do blinds tests between different speakers, which is not feasible, so lets enjoy whatever we have and not ponder much about it :)
I think that 15% remaining have preferences based on what they grew up with.

Some people really like sound that is bandwidth limited. If one grew up with such a system they might prefer it.

Maybe they grew up with a radio in another room and that’s just how they enjoyed music.

Lucky folks. They could just get a Bose wave radio and call it a day.
 

ahofer

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You need two speakers to judge the spatial quality with your brain/ears ( never tested, cant be tested with measurements ) .

Second - you really need to listen to your speaker in your own room , and doing set up correctly.

Third : Amirms measurements only gives about 70 % clues how the loudspeaker will sound for real.
First point is not widely accepted here. Third point is…oddly near agreement with Amir.
 

eddantes

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I think one can probably make a successful career doing shows where confident subjectivists undertake a properly designed DBT. Just watching the oh faces and listening to the copium would be salve to the soul.
 

DSJR

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Yes, because if the measurements are good, then I can get used to the sound, knowing that my possible dislike is my failing, not that of the loudspeakers.

S.
Serge, I really don't know, even after fifty odd years around and about this industry... Yesterday, I heard three pairs of speakers and was gratified my bionic aided ears can still tell differences between them. I knew the rooms they were in so that was one variable to put to one side in this purely subjective impression. The weakest one for me by far was the Dynaudio Special 40 which sounded bass light in a pretty 'bassy' room and well, 'paper-flat,' in terms of dynamic contrasts and perceived imagery - fine laterally but 'squashed up' in perceived back-to-front perspective. The basic 'gear' and cables were the same so no doubts there for me. off axis, I felt I could hear the kind of slightly cold 'peaky' upper mids I remember from their traditional drivers with hard centre 'dustcap-domes' of old. Looking at Stereophile plots, I'm not sure I could pick this up from measurements alone, although the comments of 'congestion' possibly due to the resonant cabinets may give a clue (the very expensive Confidence 60's this dealer favours are clear and almost stark to a point).

Anyway, in the position of choosing a new pair of speakers, I'd still always like the chance to mooch round a dealers to see what new man-toys they have :D
 

JeffS7444

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I wouldn't mind a good demo before buying, but usually it's not a practical option. I got a dealer within walking distance, but the offerings are mostly audiophile-type box speakers with passive crossovers, which seems kind of limiting.
 

fpitas

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I bought the gf JBL 305s way back when, without hearing them, based on reviews I trusted and some measurements. We're both happy with them.
 

NiagaraPete

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D&D 8c, Neumann KH420, Genelec 8361
 

Weeb Labs

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I have never listened to a speaker prior to purchase and have never been dissatisfied, given a complete set of measurements.
 

Steve Dallas

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I suppose I will jump in here...

I have purchased a lot of audio gear without auditioning it. In fact, of all the equipment I currently own, only the Revel F206s were purchased after listening.

A few things have been returned for various reasons, but for the most part, measurements and subjective reviews of build quality tell me what I need to know.

Here are some examples:

KEF R3
KEF Q100
SVS SB2000 x2
Peachtree Nova 300 amplifier x2
Schiit Modius DAC x2
Denon AVR-X4700H
Monolith USB DAC x2
Schiit Modi 3 and Magni 3 stack
Various IEMs and headphones
 

NiagaraPete

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I’m pretty confident in saying I’ve owned +- 25 pairs over 50 years.

Without listening first:

Chartwell LS35a
Genelec 8050b
 
OP
Peluvius

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What I get from reading this thread, is that choosing 'speakers is a matter of taste, choosing by whether we like them or not.
I would like to propose an alternative, that is to buy 'speakers that measure well, then get to like them, as the 'speakers will be right, our taste may not be.

Buying 'speakers that measure well means that the sound in the room will be as good as the room is capable of, objectively measured. As we can get used to many (most?) things if we put our minds to it, why buy something that is wrong, just because we may like it. To me, much better to get something knowing it's right.

S.

This is pretty much where I am. After punting around happily for years I came to the conclusion that I really didn't know my arse from my elbow when it came to truly judging whether a speaker was excellent. And I mean Revel Salon 2, Genelec 8361, D&D 8c excellent. The room, the source material, the sales guy, the model availability ....... all variables if you go down the audition route plus I have no training in listening to speakers (I learned this was a thing a few years in). The missing piece for me in terms of making sure I did actually end up with something that would be excellent was some reference quality speaker reviews (that were based on science, not poetry) and these were/are based on a combination of measurements and the listeners perspective.

So having decided that accuracy was what I wanted I bought a reference system using Genelec 8030c's as a foundation (without listening). Unsurprisingly this sounded fantastic and I have never been happier with my system. I have able to relax knowing that and find I listen to music a lot more now.
 

Blumlein 88

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Nice of them to set up such a room.

I'm thinking, if seated right in the middle of the room, I suppose the listener may be pretty close to a strong room mode, and may encounter some serious nulls or peaks in that position.

Doesn't really matter when comparing two speakers to one another, I think. Although it could happen that the one with lower bass extension may sound worse if it excites one more mode that the other set of speakers doesn't.
I did not think so at the time, but yes being halfway in a room is not optimum for smooth low end response.
 

RobL

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I have 8361a’s on order. There’s no way for me to audition them, no one here has them in stock, in fact I have been waiting a month now and it now appears the delivery date will be pushed back to ???.
What else to do but rely on detailed reviews and the feedback from owners on sites like this one.
 

Vacceo

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This is pretty much where I am. After punting around happily for years I came to the conclusion that I really didn't know my arse from my elbow when it came to truly judging whether a speaker was excellent. And I mean Revel Salon 2, Genelec 8361, D&D 8c excellent. The room, the source material, the sales guy, the model availability ....... all variables if you go down the audition route plus I have no training in listening to speakers (I learned this was a thing a few years in). The missing piece for me in terms of making sure I did actually end up with something that would be excellent was some reference quality speaker reviews (that were based on science, not poetry) and these were/are based on a combination of measurements and the listeners perspective.

So having decided that accuracy was what I wanted I bought a reference system using Genelec 8030c's as a foundation (without listening). Unsurprisingly this sounded fantastic and I have never been happier with my system. I have able to relax knowing that and find I listen to music a lot more now.
When some argue that those speakers are "dry and boring" I always think that perhaps they should listen to sources that are not dry and boring.
 
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