Originally Posted by sdurani
Sure, but I think the skepticism is one of the better aspects of this thread. The more Sean has to explain, the more I learn.
To that end, I was disappointed by posts that spent more time piling on Gregor Samsa rather than refuting the points he raised (variety of material, number of listeners, mono downmix, etc). Maybe it was his tone.
Anyway, I do realize this was just the begining of these type of tests, not something all encompassing and conclusive. More listeners, different genres of music, and surround playback would be nice to see in future tests.
These test have been going on for decades. Maybe not for room widgets, but for other research Harman, Sean, Floyd and others have been conducting listening test for years. They have been over the objections for experimental error due to these types of issues many times. Many more times than I would have the patience to handle.
The people who argue either have not read the research, or they don't want to agree with the results for other reasons. Peer review is so that the results can be verifiable, so that other researchers can catch experimental error, or they can add more and different research to augment what has been done. Peer review is not having commercial marketing wars where you win a popularity contest among a population of people who don't have the background to understand the context of the material.
Often companies like Harman use research as a marketing mechanism. They hope to gain credibility and sales based upon the work they are doing. That is a good thing, as long as the research is real and not just a marketing stunt. The problem in audio, is that it is filled with snake oil and nonsense and an amazingly large population of people who believe in marketing campaigns and confuse what they see and read, as science. Consumers often don't know where that line is and they don't know who to believe. Real science looks like marketing, and real marketing looks like science. One has the objective of revealing objective truth, the other has the objective of separating you from the money in your wallet.
In my opinion, Harman does real research, and they use it as a commercial advantage. I have no problem with that as long as the research is good, and the science is not tainted to the point where it has no real value other than as a marketing weapon. As someone has pointed out earlier in this thread, anyone who has the desire, including Harman competitors, can take advantage of the research. It is not hidden information kept in the Harman vault of knowledge. It is free for everyone to analyze, and use as they see fit. For that... I respect the work they are doing and I find it of value to the entire industry.