Starting to think there is ZERO point of hearing speakers in a store. - AVS Forum | Home Theater Discussions And Reviews
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post #1 of 6 Old 02-01-2013, 09:20 PM - Thread Starter
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So I have been going to audition speakers now for a few weeks. (No, not every day.)

And being an IT type guy I have begun to see that there are a TON of moving pieces to listening to a speaker. (I know that people say to just bring them home, but I feel REALLY guilty doing that.)

When I go to sit down the speakers can be hooked up to anything from a $1200 AVR to a 40k tube amp. The CD player can be anything from a standard DVD player to a dedicated device costing up to $5k....

There are many more moving parts as well... Some of the stores use a billion dollar an inch silver speaker wire...some use plan old copper with no name attached to them. Some use room treatments...some don't. Speakers, Amp, AVR, CD Player, Room, Layout, Room Treatments...some even say super power cords connected to the amp...

If there are all these varatibles how does listening at a store help at all? Is there any benefit to listening in a store if what you hear there may not be ANYTHING like when you take them home?

Also, if you get a good AVR ...which can alter the tonal properties of your there a point to all this... I mean an AVR cant give a speaker more definition that it can handle but it can make a bass heavy speaker be fine or an overly bright speaker sound more neutral...right?
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post #2 of 6 Old 02-01-2013, 09:23 PM
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That's why the best audition is at home using your own equipment. In store, you should probably listen to the speakers you're interested in on electronics you've also been considering.

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post #3 of 6 Old 02-02-2013, 12:59 AM
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there is no point in auditioning unless you do it in a treated listening room because then at least you are hearing them at their optimal sound.
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post #4 of 6 Old 02-02-2013, 08:16 AM
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The environment and acoustics in a store are TOTALLY different than in your own home. Listening there can be worse than not listening at all.

The speakers are also going to sound different with your receiver/amplifier; the match between them is synergistic. Anyone that says different is lacking in experience.

NEVER buy until you have heard them in your own home.

I have found that what works for me is to buy them online from a retailer that will give you a full refund privilege for 30 or 60 days, and try them out for at least one week.

There is no reason to feel "guilty"; you are giving the product an honest chance to please you, and if not....then the retailer takes it back. That is their policy.

Stores may sometimes let you take stuff home for a day or two, but that is really not long enough for a careful evaluation

Sending them back, if needed, is much better than buying something and then being stuck with something that you don't like.
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post #5 of 6 Old 02-02-2013, 03:52 PM
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I think you're over-analyzing this whole thing. Just pull the trigger on some gear and try it out in your own environment. Assuming this is your first foray into HT, and considering your budget (from what you've posted in other threads), I'm guessing you'll be blown away by nearly anything you choose. There is no "perfect speaker" out there, and that's what makes this hobby fun (and maddening). After spending extensive time with whatever you choose, you'll start to learn what you like/dislike about that particular gear, and that will guide you to your next purchase. This cycle will continue until you die, or until you find the Holy Grail of speakers. smile.gif
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post #6 of 6 Old 02-02-2013, 04:08 PM
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Pretty much agree.. Your room could be so different that the room you are listening but I still think it can help to A/B compare numerous brands in a treated room to hear the differences to at least help narrow things down. Buy from a retailer that has a good return policy and factor in the return in your budget when you buy online. It can get expensive shipping speakers back even if there is no restocking fee.
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