Why do people buy "cheaper" speakers but still love them? - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 58 Old 01-21-2013, 08:51 PM - Thread Starter
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I know that sounds like trolling. Sorry.

I just keep looking at speakers on Craigslist, find a brand that isn't totally destroyed, and then look them up. If you go to Amazon or some other place and they speakers get 183 ***** stars and like 2 * one star reviews.

I know people on the forums are in "the hobby," but is everyone's ear really that bad? Is it because they don't know what they are missing? I know many of you have a most discerning ear, more than will ever have.

I go listen to speakers and they sound nice, various prices. I think, yeah, they're nice. Sound good, but are these really $400 better than the brand beneath it? Not usually.

I only feel that "audiophile way" about subwoofers.

I know if I like them it doesn't matter if someone on a forum doesn't affirm my choice. That's not why I'm asking this. I'm not envious of folks that can afford $27,000 speakers (I just saw some today online by Sony, ironically.) If they sound good, I'll get over it that they're not the totl and respected by the initiate. When the music plays and the HT sounds good. So what if they were $70 on CL. Okay, I'm a little ocd about it.

I just don't get how so many people are so-called "wrong," when you get to the forums.

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post #2 of 58 Old 01-21-2013, 09:02 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by likemovies View Post

I know that sounds like trolling. Sorry.

I just keep looking at speakers on Craigslist, find a brand that isn't totally destroyed, and then look them up. If you go to Amazon or some other place and they speakers get 183 ***** stars and like 2 * one star reviews.

I know people on the forums are in "the hobby," but is everyone's ear really that bad? Is it because they don't know what they are missing? I know many of you have a most discerning ear, more than will ever have.

I go listen to speakers and they sound nice, various prices. I think, yeah, they're nice. Sound good, but are these really $400 better than the brand beneath it? Not usually.

I only feel that "audiophile way" about subwoofers.

I know if I like them it doesn't matter if someone on a forum doesn't affirm my choice. That's not why I'm asking this. I'm not envious of folks that can afford $27,000 speakers (I just saw some today online by Sony, ironically.) If they sound good, I'll get over it that they're not the totl and respected by the initiate. When the music plays and the HT sounds good. So what if they were $70 on CL. Okay, I'm a little ocd about it.

I just don't get how so many people are so-called "wrong," when you get to the forums.

Everyones tastes are different. This can be said with a lot of things, all kinds of electronics, foods, beverages etc.

I honestly stop being able to hear a real big difference in speakers once you get past the say ~2000 dollar mark. There really to me is no huge difference between the 1600 dollar B&W 683's and the 16,000 Dollar Diamond series hooked up to a mcintosh amp. Call me crazy but I just don't hear it.. maybe subtle difference but nothing I would call justifiable for me to spend the extra 14 grand rolleyes.gif Then again, i don't hate on someone who does and swears they hear a difference.. everyone is different.

For some its the same between 100 dollar speakers and 1000 dollar speakers. Some just dont care about the difference, so long as it makes noise, thats all they care about. Even more so I think its because people have not had the oppertunity to hear what a real decent pair of speakers sound like. A lot only know the speakers built into the TV, the sony home theater in a box etc.

Theres some guys that like to go spend .25 cents at the local mom and pop gas station to get a cup of 3 hour old burnt coffee and think its the greatest thing since wonderbread, theres other that spend 5-6 bucks for a coffee at star bucks.

Some people just can't justify spending the money on more exspensive speakers, even if they think they sound better. All some care about is that the sound comming out of the speaker is audible and understandable, past they they just don't see the need for it.
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post #3 of 58 Old 01-21-2013, 09:09 PM
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Shady195 hit the nail on the head, anything sounds better then tv speakers. When you get comparatively loud, clear sound with bass you can feel, that's going to be satisfying. Most people think Bose is great, most people don't care about audio.


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post #4 of 58 Old 01-21-2013, 09:20 PM
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Originally Posted by Jay1 View Post

Shady195 hit the nail on the head, anything sounds better then tv speakers. When you get comparatively loud, clear sound with bass you can feel, that's going to be satisfying. Most people think Bose is great, most people don't care about audio.

Most people are also sheeple that buy into Bose marketing.
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post #5 of 58 Old 01-21-2013, 09:30 PM - Thread Starter
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Thanks. I never thought about it in the context of other things like you mentioned. I guess I feel the same way. But I do like the name brand Coke and Pepsi better than that danged Walgreen's, CVS, and Sam's Cola knockoff. smile.gif. I will pay that extra .75. I'm a cola snob. I also like the fountain taste better, so I pay more for less, unless I put less ice in the cup, but I digress...tongue.gif

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post #6 of 58 Old 01-21-2013, 10:06 PM
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If you never listen to anything else than other your $799 HTIB system, why wouldn't it sound great when there is nothing to compare it to?


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post #7 of 58 Old 01-21-2013, 10:45 PM
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If you never listen to anything else than other your $799 HTIB system, why wouldn't it sound great when there is nothing to compare it to?

^This. Ignorance is bliss. Or is it? I had an Infinity HTIB setup for the longest time then a friend offered up his paradigms for the fronts. I didn't think it would make much difference, but the sound was so much better! I had these for a while, then I ended up buying some custom install Tannoy speakers and hooked them up to an Emotiva amp. Again, the difference was night and day - crystal clear sound and so enveloping. I'm sure there is better out there, but at this point I can't afford to go any higher. I think there comes a point of diminishing returns or a sweet spot where you start to spend a lot more and you get very little. Trust me, though, you're missing out if you don't upgrade from a HTIB. Oh and Yosh, grats on surviving Sask. I hear it's frickin' freezing there (I'm from BC). smile.gif

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post #8 of 58 Old 01-21-2013, 10:57 PM
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Originally Posted by blastermaster View Post

Oh and Yosh, grats on surviving Sask. I hear it's frickin' freezing there (I'm from BC). smile.gif

Well its actually warming up as we speak.....a balmy -21C (w/windchill -27C) and getting a few degrees higher as the week progresses.rolleyes.gif

Took me a few years but I'm mostly used to it.....I'm from BC as well (Richmond/Langley)


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post #9 of 58 Old 01-22-2013, 07:51 AM
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In addition to not knowing what a good HT setup sounds like, I think the priorities of the average Joe are the exact opposite of the HT enthusiast. The average Joe spends the majority of his budget on that big, shiny TV, while the audio gear is an afterthought. The HT enthusiast, on the other hand, will spend 2x (or more) on his audio gear compared to his display.

For years (this was pre-HD), I used a crappy 27" CRT for my primary display, but I was always upgrading/tinkering with my audio gear. Although I have much better displays now, I still follow the same approach. I've upgraded my speakers (twice), bought multiple receivers, and upgraded my subs since the last time I bought a new TV (2010).

I also think you reach a point of diminishing returns. Beyond about $5000 for a typical 5.1 setup (AVR, 5 speakers, sub), I think you're either paying for high-end cabinet finish or simply bragging rights. Even with an unlimited budget, I don't think I could ever justify spending $20K for a pair of speakers. Of course, if I didn't have a wife and kids always pestering me to buy them food and clothes, I might feel differently. biggrin.gif
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post #10 of 58 Old 01-22-2013, 07:59 AM
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Most people have no idea.. and don't really care. I have a friend who was looking for "better sound" but didn't want speakers bigger than Bose cubes.. I tried stylish little boxes, like Audio Engine, but no luck.. he only wanted to spend $200 and wanted something small... bought some soundbar from Future Shop (ugh).
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post #11 of 58 Old 01-22-2013, 08:11 AM
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Doesn't this apply to many consumer goods? If everyone was an automobile enthusiast, the annual lists of best selling cars would look substantially different.

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post #12 of 58 Old 01-22-2013, 08:14 AM
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On amazon, most of the reviews are based on the price paid and not the actual product. It drives me crazy. Paying $100 for product A as opposed to paying $200 doesn't make it any better or worse. Most speakers do an adequate job of reproducing sound and people will flock to the lower prices, hence the stellar reviews.

Paying more will result in subtle differences like being able to play louder with less distortion. More expensive speakers tend to use real wood instead of MDF and hence tend to look better and can take a little ding without having a white spot show up.
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post #13 of 58 Old 01-22-2013, 08:19 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JD in NJ View Post

Doesn't this apply to many consumer goods? If everyone was an automobile enthusiast, the annual lists of best selling cars would look substantially different.

I think it's a matter of being an informed consumer vs. going along with whatever the sheeple do. I do a ton of research on nearly every product I buy, but I don't consider myself an "enthusiast" in every area.
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post #14 of 58 Old 01-22-2013, 08:19 AM
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Originally Posted by blastermaster View Post

grats on surviving Sask. I hear it's frickin' freezing there

Ha ha it was -42 here yesterday morning with wind chill. School buses weren't running.

And I agree with the statement that those writing reviews on cheap speakers most often haven't heard anything better. So to them they sound great.

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post #15 of 58 Old 01-22-2013, 08:23 AM
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Yep. Some people buy $25 Timex (4.5 star reviews on Amazon), some people buy $20,000 Rolex (4.5 star reviews on Amazon).

Both tell time, right? smile.gif

Yes, apparently they sell Rolex's on Amazon… !
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post #16 of 58 Old 01-22-2013, 08:24 AM
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Originally Posted by boondongle View Post

Yep. Some people buy $25 Timex (4.5 star reviews on Amazon), some people buy $20,000 Rolex (4.5 star reviews on Amazon).

Both tell time, right? smile.gif

Yes, apparently they sell Rolex's on Amazon… !

The difference there, of course, is that the Timex is likely to perform as well or better than the Rolex at the primary time-keeping function of a watch.

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post #17 of 58 Old 01-22-2013, 10:44 AM
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I imagine most people consider a stereo to be an appliance just like a microwave or washing machine. As long as it's easy to setup and doesn't burn down the house, it has fulfilled its role as The Sound Making Appliance. Bonus points if it has a recognizable brand name badge on it.
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post #18 of 58 Old 01-22-2013, 10:53 AM
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it has fulfilled its role as The Sound Making Appliance. Bonus points if it has a recognizable brand name badge on it.

biggrin.gif lol


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post #19 of 58 Old 01-22-2013, 12:46 PM
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I imagine most people consider a stereo to be an appliance just like a microwave or washing machine. As long as it's easy to setup and doesn't burn down the house, it has fulfilled its role as The Sound Making Appliance. Bonus points if it has a recognizable brand name badge on it.

Best analogy yet biggrin.gif

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post #20 of 58 Old 01-22-2013, 02:57 PM - Thread Starter
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I am noticing my Tsi300 speakers don't sound as nice as I want...What have you guys done to me?wink.gif

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post #21 of 58 Old 01-22-2013, 03:45 PM
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I can't buy into "ignorance". Anyone who has been to a decent movie theater has heard a very good rig. (not that none are better, but it's still very good).

The fact is: A well chosen pair of inexpensive speakers sounds excellent; and diminishing returns kicks in fast.

Heck. With a lot of the recording out there: good gear mostly makes me lament that it's not better recorded.

And yes: an experienced or trained ear will notice (and possibly be bothered by) things that others just wont catch until they try.
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post #22 of 58 Old 01-22-2013, 04:08 PM
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Ignorance is bliss.

Some people are perfectly fine with a steak from Denny's while others go to Morton's.


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post #23 of 58 Old 01-22-2013, 04:09 PM
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To answer the question of why do people buy cheaper speakers and still love them, one must look at the value to performance ratio. If you do not plan to run your setup at reference + levels. Than there are plenty of great sounding speakers out there that can do just that. My personnel goal within this hobby is to find the best sounding speakers at the lowest price. Sure, currently the speakers I like the most cost more than I am willing to pay. But they are a steal of a deal when you compare their performance to anything else out there.

I find the question kinda odd. like why does someone buy a "cheaper" car and still love it? Or anything for that mater. Trying to find the best of anything is an illusive goal.


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post #24 of 58 Old 01-22-2013, 04:41 PM
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I do the above with everything that I can. Find the best value rather than either extreme. My uncle went from a set of Klipsch Forte II floorstanders to a Bose home theater.. ugh.. I didn't understand at the time (still don't actually), but they were just 'too dang big for us'. That's the way it goes sometimes. frown.gif

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post #25 of 58 Old 01-22-2013, 04:47 PM
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Of course.

What time it is, isn't subjective. The quality of speakers is to a degree. Audio is somewhat objective too, I think.

But as others have said, maybe as long as there are four speakers setup in your living room and you've got surround sound…. mission accomplished. Ding 4.5 star review!

I think people have a need to feel good about what they bought. I noticed when I was shopping for tires recently people tend to remark about how good they handle etc. In reality, it's probably pretty difficult to tell under normal driving conditions whether a tire is really handling better.

Then again, if you go from bald tires to brand new tires - in the snow, you'll notice a difference.

I think it's partially just a psychological trick where people want to feel good about what they bought.

Sometimes we buy crap and have to admit it though. smile.gif Ding, 1 star.
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post #26 of 58 Old 01-22-2013, 06:53 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by boondongle View Post

Sometimes we buy crap and have to admit it though. smile.gif Ding, 1 star.

I agree with the "appliance" analogy. If you look at most 1 and 2 star reviews on any electronic product, their usually about the thing being DOA, being faulty in some way, or bad customer service ("NEVER BUY XXX BRAND! HORRIBLE CUSTOMER SERVICE").

The 4 and 5 stars are mostly "Works great!" "Had it for 4 years!"...
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post #27 of 58 Old 01-22-2013, 08:22 PM
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So how much did you guys spend per knife on your cutlery? Why do people buy "cheaper" knives but still love them?
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post #28 of 58 Old 01-22-2013, 08:39 PM
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It's all relative too. For example, I'd give my Plasma TV 4.5 stars because for the price, features, size and picture quality it's pretty dang good. Is it the best TV ever made? No, but as a function of expected value per cost and perceived quality that's how it rates for me.

If it does what it was advertised to do and surpasses my expectations should I give it a 2 or 3 simply because something bigger and or better - which I cannot justify (or get approval from my wife to buy) should I give it a lower rating?

Maybe the people buying the 'crappy' speakers feel like they got their $100 worth?

Boondongle's theory of relativity. smile.gif
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post #29 of 58 Old 01-22-2013, 10:01 PM
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I remember when I bought my Bose Lifestyle18 over 10 years ago it was the greatest thing ever. I was coming from a AIWA mini stereo/receiver that was pure crap. Then flash forward 5 years and I decided to to investigate what was out there besides BOSE. At this time I was watching alot of movies and was never bothered,much less aware of any deficencies with my bose but I decided to check out Aperion audio which is very close to where I live. I then realized the error of my ways in that for the same amount of money I paid for the Bose would have given me a killer Aperion 5.1 system. That was my first lesson. Then an audiophile friend took me to a high end shop just so I could experience something entirely different. It was the first time I saw separates and panel speakers. I was too much of an idiot at the time to appreciate what I was seeing and hearing. Don't get me wrong I could tell the sound quality was top notch but I kept asking stupid questions like "how many watts is this" or "where are the tone controls". I'm sure I embarassed my friend and the shop owner probably thought I was and idiot. Flash forward 5 more years and I decide I want to spend money on something besides Bose. So still remembering my Aperion experience but now wanting to spend too much money I decide on Energy RC Micro setup. Now my room is rectangular, mostly sealed 13X28X8. I thought that the micros were a huge step up from Bose and was pretty happy with how it sounded.....Until I asked others here on AVS about speaker placement and when I was informed about how inept/anemic(jokingly of course) my system must be given the size of my room that I should get bigger speakers, bigger sub, etc. So here I come to my point and that is ignorance is bliss to a point cuz now I have Energy RCLCR as mains and center, Energy Rc10's ans wides and surrounds with some Polk T15's as heights. Add 2 SVS PB12's and you have 9.2 setup with heights and wides. I absolutely love it....until I started reading about Tekton Pendrageon. Upgraditis is a bitch and I didn't have it nor know what I was missing until I came to AVS. Thanks alot guys.biggrin.gif Seriously it's even affecting my 2 channel computer setup. Out with the logitech speakers in with an ASUS Zonar Essence card out to emotiva amp to another set of Energy RC10's.
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post #30 of 58 Old 01-22-2013, 10:15 PM
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How much do I have to spend before I am allowed to "love" my speakers

Am I allowed to "love" my speakers if I got them brand new for appx 30% of MSRP pricing which put them nicely into the bang for your buck budget category?

What happens when when those nice speakers that cost $1500 dollar per speaker gets discontinued and are on readily available on clearance for $800 a pair?

if I spent a Benjamin on an okay set of bookies for a small pc set up am I allowed to "love" them?

I don't need snobs to tell me how to think, thank you!

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