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YouTube Loudspeaker Demo Videos - Yes No Maybe?

Rednaxela

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When reading about a certain loudspeaker here or elsewhere, I often find myself searching for and listening to YouTube videos that demo the speaker in question. Most of the time this is through an iPad Air -> Apple USB-C dongle -> Sony MH-750 earbuds chain.

I understand how there are a number of things in between the maker's experience when recording the video and mine when listening to it. Still I imagine that despite of this, quite a lot actually does get through. At least well enough to get a first impression.

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For instance, I love the sound in this video but I do think to hear a certain honkiness to the singer's voice.


Is it reasonable to expect this to be the case in real life too with these?

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Another example is Genelecs in a domestic setting. Most of the videos in this genre I struggle to sit out, as much as I would love to love them all.

Is this YouTube failing to get across something essential? Or is it the available videos themselves that are lacking? Or are the speakers in this application indeed just not for me?

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What are your thoughts? Do you listen to speakers on YouTube? To what extent do you allow yourself to draw conclusions from what you hear? Have you ever met the speakers in the flesh afterwards and been surprised, pleasantly or otherwise?
 

Doodski

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Definite NO. I do not listen to speakers on YouTube. The room acoustics and microphone frequency response are changing the speaker sound. What you hear is not what the speaker will sound like in your room.
 

Martin

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I’ve always thought listening to speaker demos on YouTube to be similar to watching fireworks on tv. You are listening to the recording and playback chain, not the speakers.

Martin
 

Chaconne

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I'll take the liberty of repeating something I posted on a similar forum in response to a similar question:

On Stereophile's first test CD, there is a recording of J. Gordon Holt reading an article of his. The recording microphones are changed every so often as he reads. The vast differences in the sound of the different mics astonished me. They are STARKLY different, even on a solo voice. When you consider the variability of the mics that might have been used for YouTube videos, the recording chain and the wide variabilities of our own playback systems, I personally don't rely on the recorded sounds of hifi gear at all. To me, they are worse than useless. I'd much rather listen to or read a review of the gear in question.
 

Digby

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I think it really depends what you are looking for, a single speaker playing on its own tells you little (too many variables), however a well done comparison video can tell you a decent amount. It can't tell you exactly how a speaker will sound in your room, but it will give you a good idea of the general character of a speaker.

This is a particularly good channel for comparisons. He shows the in room response of both speakers and plays tracks back to back, so you can hear the differences for yourself:

 

VintageFlanker

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Is it reasonable to expect this to be the case in real life too with these?
Absolutely not.
Do you listen to speakers on YouTube?
Nobody actually listens to speakers on YouTube. What you do listen is: YT compression - ADC - Mic - Room and, only at some point, what's left of the speaker's "sound"...
 
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Rednaxela

Rednaxela

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On Stereophile's first test CD, there is a recording of J. Gordon Holt reading an article of his. The recording microphones are changed every so often as he reads. The vast differences in the sound of the different mics astonished me. They are STARKLY different, even on a solo voice.
So much so that you doubted it was still the same person speaking?
 

Doodski

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I think it really depends what you are looking for, a single speaker playing on its own tells you little (too many variables), however a well done comparison video can tell you a decent amount. It can't tell you exactly how a speaker will sound in your room, but it will give you a good idea of the general character of a speaker.

This is a particularly good channel for comparisons. He shows the in room response of both speakers and plays tracks back to back, so you can hear the differences for yourself:

Not to be snooty but a hard no to that. It is not a good comparison because of the room acoustics and microphone used. :D
 

Digby

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Not to be snooty but a hard no to that. It is not a good comparison because of the room acoustics and microphone used. :D
Why does it matter? The room acoustics and microphone remain stable. The comparison will give you a general idea of the speakers characters.

It is not the last word in resolution, but it still offers useful information. The JBLs and Genelecs in his videos resemble the sound I have heard in my own room.
 

tonycollinet

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Why does it matter? The room acoustics and microphone remain stable. The comparison will give you a general idea of the speakers characters.

It is not the last word in resolution, but it still offers useful information. The JBLs and Genelecs in his videos resemble the sound I have heard in my own room.
It won't do anything close to what yo are thinking. The way the room interacts with the two speakers might be vastly different. The positioning of the speakers might be perfect for one, and a disaster for the other. The mic might be sensitive to flaws in one speaker, and insensitive to the flaws in another. Similarly your reproduction system might mask the flaws of one or other speaker, or mask the perfection of either.

Utterly pointless trying to listen to speakers on youtube.
 
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Rednaxela

Rednaxela

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I’ve always thought listening to speaker demos on YouTube to be similar to watching fireworks on tv. You are listening to the recording and playback chain, not the speakers.
Shouldn’t this read as well as?

To someone who actually witnessed the fireworks, one would say: I saw it on TV. Would be a bit strange for the person to answer: no you didn’t. Right?
 

Cote Dazur

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Still I imagine that despite of this, quite a lot actually does get through
You can imagine all you want, but the short answer to your question is no, those video are absolutely worthless, except on one aspect, getting clicks that might be worth something to the person doing the posting.
Funny to read some post, here on ASR, from people somehow thinking that they might have value. They probably be happier on subjective forums.
Your question neverthe less is very valid, as from a less experienced perspective, I can see how the you tube process might be seductive, as evaluating speakers is never easy.
ASR evaluating is the most relevant and even then is far from exhaustive as room interaction will deeply influence what you end up hearing.
 

Digby

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It won't do anything close to what yo are thinking. The way the room interacts with the two speakers might be vastly different. The positioning of the speakers might be perfect for one, and a disaster for the other. The mic might be sensitive to flaws in one speaker, and insensitive to the flaws in another. Similarly your reproduction system might mask the flaws of one or other speaker, or mask the perfection of either.

Utterly pointless trying to listen to speakers on youtube.
I don't disagree, save the last bit. I think utterly pointless is an exaggeration.

How is it possible (and it is) to hear the general character of a speaker, given all the variables at play. Speakers should sound completely different (and randomly so) compared to how they would sound in your own space, but they don't (given enough attention is paid to the setup for the Youtube recording).

A KRK speaker should sound like a Genelec in one video or a JBL in the next, but they don't. Given a reasonable attempt at recording, there is a continuation of sound character. If the sound of x speaker can be identified, then it stands to reason that there is transferable information available.

KRK speakers sound similar to how they sound IRL, as do Genelec and likely every other brand (given high quality, repeatable recording technique). There is useful information available, it is more a question of how far the information transfers.
 
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