Originally Posted by Weasel9992
I'd disagree. At most I'd say it's 50/50, if not weighed more heavily on the room side. I mean, a really expensive pair of speakers is going to sound bad in a bad room, but a cheaper pair will sound a lot better in a good room.
Cheap and expensive are not relevant. $200 worth of drivers with flat on-axis response and monotonically increasing directivity will eclipse $2000+ without although they may have less low frequency extension and SPL capability from fewer/smaller low frequency drivers. Cost differences can come from advertising budgets, distribution chain markups, cabinet design and finish, or other non-performance enhancing things that just help the product sell.
Our current understanding of timbre perception is that at higher frequencies the brain identifies the direct sound, things that it thinks are reflections, and combines the spectrums together.
Where you have uniform off-axis behavior, the reflections are more likely to be close in spectrum to the direct sound and suppressing or diffusing them isn't that important. Disregarding the modal region, such speakers will well in most rooms you'd want to live in especially when you stay away from asymmetrical placements. The room doesn't matter that much. Add increased directivity to the equation and you gain tolerance for nearby objects and less uniform reflecting surfaces so the room matters even less.
Where you don't, the room becomes increasingly critical. For instance large planar speaker room and placement sensitivity has a lot to do with avoiding bad combinations of reflections from their multi-lobed high frequency response.
Conventional speakers can't do much about bass in the modal region; although catch/throw planar wave arrays, multiple sub-woofers (Welti/Toole/Geddes; commercially available in products such as the Audiokinesis swarm), and dipole bass (open baffle speakers like the Linkwitz Orion, Audio Artistry series, and Carver Amazing; the new Martin-Logan system which transitions from dipole to monopole at low frequencies) can do a lot to make the room and placement less relevant.