No, sorry, not worth it is my bet, if sound is all that matters. Of course there's also easy of use, durability, looks, cool level meters, etc., etc..
I fully endorse home testing but only if under blind conditions and if carefully level matched, otherwise one is bound to deceive themselves as is discussed here
. I will be posting a video teaching people how to do proper blind testing on their own, but it could be weeks away.
People also often accidentally fool themselves because we perceive subtle volume level differences, called "loudness differentials", as if they are quality changes and not simply a change in volume. This is a classic audio trick dishonest salespeople use. They can secretly play a system at an ever so slightly louder level (not that the visible volume indicators show this) to fool people that the louder signal they want to push is "better" because that's how we all hear it, even
people who know about the trick! One cable vendor was caught doing this in one of their video demos not too long ago.
If sound is one's top priority I always recommend people focus on:
- the room acoustics and decor/treatment (rugs, drapes, plush furniture, professional panels)
- speakers' placement and angling for optimal, tightly focused imaging
- the media used (Stay away from noisy analog sources and compressed digital formats like MP3, at least with low bit rates.)
- the recordings (Remember: "Garbage in, garbage out" meaning the music you buy is often the weakest link in the chain.)
- room correction technology, if used [They usually can be bypassed by using "pure direct" modes if they have artifacts which bother you.]
The things that hardly matter, if at all, are:
modern day, class A/B power amps driving loads they are rated for (although they need to be strong enough for the SPL desired), AC power cords, AC line conditioners, USB cords, RCA and digital interconnect wires, speaker wires (although they must be adequate gauge for the task), green magic markers to encircle your CDs.