Where to audition loudspeakers

August 18, 2021
 by Paul McGowan

12 comments on “Where to audition loudspeakers”

  1. I don’t certainly believe you can choose speakers(or any component) based on a review But I do think you can sometimes get a good idea what’s going on IF:

    1. You know your self well, what you like and don’t like sonically and especially what must be there and maybe more what faults you can’t stand.

    2. You’ve read a reviewer(s) many times. You can read between the lines of what he writes. And,of course, you’ve found that when you’ve heard a component whose sound he describes, you agree with it.

    3. You’ve read multiple reviews of a component and they are very consistent.

    And then it’s still best to listen to it at a dealer, better in your home. But if what I’ve described above is met you can probably greatly reduce how many devices you need to audition.

  2. Man is this true. I bought a pair of Dynaudio’s that I fell in love with at RMAF18. I have never been able to get that sound at home. No mid bass at all. Granted, they were running an Octave amp and I’m using a Parasound but I didn’t think it should be that different. Very disappointing.

  3. What I’m about to tell everybody in this grate lovely family we have here, I know from true real life experience.
    A dealer’s room, is not gonna sound like your room.
    And your room, is not gonna sound like the dealer’s room.
    There have been some cases for me over the years, that my living room sounded better then the dealer’s room.
    Yay thoe, he let me borrow the same speakers, just so that I could try them out, in my room.
    I found a lot of times, those speakers sounded a whole lot better in my room, then they did in the dealer’s room.
    Your mileage may very.

  4. Perhaps the key is to observe the reality that the ROOM has the greatest impact on a system’s performance. If we pay more attention to the room, we can describe the setting we hope to use the speakers in and perhaps adjust our search and review research accordingly. ie: perhaps an overly damped room would work well with brighter speakers and vice-versa.

  5. Stereophile gives great reviews. And yes if something is not great they will say it. I can get decent sound out of any good speakers in any room if I take the time to experiment with room positioning and I’m willing to first find the best place for my speakers and the room furnishings come second. Our rooms at home are generally not large enough and with high enough ceilings to sound like they do at a show room or dealership. But you could get them to sound good if you experiment. It might be best to have a pair of mini monitors with subwoofers in some rooms versus floor standers.

  6. Speaker positioning matters…LESS than listening position.

    First: Find the seat where the bass is most even because it varies a LOT moving even inches. Spanish Harlem is good with all the bass steps.

  7. ‘Pain in the arse (ass)’ or not, if home audio is important enough to you as an individual, then you’ll make the time, effort & money to futz around with the listening, the electronics & the set-up…& even the quality of the recordings, in your own listening/living room.

  8. Join an audio club. Go to home meetings. As Paul said it won’t sound exactly like that at home

    but it will help you focus on what you must have, on what would be nice, and what you can do without.

  9. Hi
    Together with my wife Mary-Ann and son Jules, I run a high end audio shop in Brussels, Belgium.

    To us, buying speakers or other audio equipment is not about getting a pair or two at home, setting them up, listening and deciding whether to buy them or not.
    Not everybody enjoys reading hours or even weeks of reviews or watching web casts. Surely not everybody believes the in general positive message that is btw always oriented towards ‘audiophiles’.

    To us, it is a journey!
    Most of my customers want to be guided. They want to explain their requirements and constraints. They want to be heard and helped by a professional to find the best solution for them.
    They want some custom-fit proposals that they can see, hear and feel in the shop. They want the chosen systems/components properly installed by the professional at their home. They want to have the time and support to evaluate it in the real world environment… and finally decide.
    To us, that is the added value of a high end audio shop. It’s a place where you can get professional help/consultancy on audio equipment.
    Stores/vendors that sell high end audio equipment without this service are not high end audio shops. They are just places where you trade money for (high end) equipment.

    So, if you are a true audiophile/expert that has been following reviews and webcast for many years… Feel free to go to the nearest high end shop to have that listening test. Fine by me. You’re welcome at our place. Even if there’s a big change that you don’t have the intention to buy anyway or will just buy via the internet straight from the manufacturer.
    But if you are a person who wants help and guidance, than get the best high end audio consultant: It’s a fun and passionate journey… and I’m sure you’ll endup with the best fitting audio system

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