The Listening Room Reality

Don’t buy new speakers – The listening room reality

I just bought a pair of speakers… fairly expensive ones, in fact.

Nothing really interesting.

The point is: was it money well spent or just a waste?

Sounds like a silly interrogation, doesn’t it?
In fact, it’s not, not at all.

Do you really think it is your speakers you’re listening to?

Here is a nice video (about 30 minutes) which tackles a reality not always understood, or ignored, by audiophiles.

There are loads of videos of that kind on the Internet, but this one is rather nice and enlightens my point.


I really don’t care what Darko thinks so I haven’t wasted 30 minutes of my life listening to a self-appointed expert.


What a swift judgment. If you had tried the first 30 secondes of the video you certainly wouldn’t have said that.

Give it a try.


OK so it’s not Darko wittering on, despite having his avatar on, but it’s just as tedious.
What bit is supposed to be interesting?

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Given that you have spent the best part of £30,000 on your speakers I’d have expected you to be able to answer your question, or perhaps rather not feel the need to ask it at all. If you had thought it was a waste of money surely you wouldn’t have bought them? If you like them, it doesn’t matter what anyone else thinks.


Well, the whole thing in fact. But if only want the final conclusion jump to:

Unless you already know the subject you’ll miss some interesting stuff.

Yes, I’m pretty satisfied with the speakers.

I decided to buy them only after I was sure I would enjoy them. My room is heavily treated. I wouldn’t have bought such expensive speakers otherwise.

It’s not a common approach : treating the room first then buying the speakers.


Thanks - I see where you are coming from now. I’ll take a look at the video at some point.

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I have listened to some systems where the acoustic treatment was killing the life of music. It was clean, transparent, but too much linear.
Some rooms are too much treated, other not enough, and other badly.
Personally I tested different components to treat my room and preferred with only very little treatment.
I don’t think it’s the best idea to treat first the room and buy speakers after.
The treatment must be adapted to your system and interactions of the speakers with the room. It must be done step by step.


I should have added of course « in my humble opinion « . It’s only my feeling.


Not sure I get the Darko hate. He takes a refreshing approach. He’s accessible and he likes to demystify. Can’t imagine why anyone pursuing this hobby would be dismissive of that. Equally difficult to comprehend why the self-appointed experts on hi-fi fora get to disrespect that. Is there some formal appointment process I missed? Could it be he got to where he is because he didn’t have a closed mind and sat down and listened? Perish the thought eh!

Not sure the thread title especially helps the cause but you’d have to have an especially closed mind to reject this. Rooms impact. Sometimes you can do something about it and sometimes you can’t. I love some of the rooms on the System Pics thread but many of them with room treatments don’t look they’re occupied by actual human beings or like the poster has a family.



I guess you misunderstood the aim of the thread. The thread’s title might be misleading.

Darko produces indeed some interesting and, yes, refreshing videos.

That specific video points out two things. Sometimes we (me included) tend to focus on electronics and/or speakers upgrades and forget the one main limiting factor of an audio system: the room.

The video is a nice start for a discussion around that reality and the compromises we accept (or not) in terms of room treatment.

As for me, I had to heavily treat my listening room, which was a disaster. The result was astonishingly good and certainly worth each euro/pound/swiss-franc :smiley:


Excellent video of a much disregarded subject. Talks a lot of sense.

Treating my room was one of the best things I have done. Luckily I have a dedicated listening room so complete freedom of quantity and positioning of acoustic panels. Treated with advice from GIK and trial and error.


I will never sell my D38’s - they will just be moved into another room. However, I might get the new K8’s in a couple of years, but only if we get a new house with a larger room size.

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It’s very positive that all work perfectly for you now, including your new speakers and top 500 system.
But how do you know that the acoustic treatments of your room have not to be adapted now to your new speakers ?
Certain configurations can work for one speakers and not the best for others.
Too heavenly treated room can also be a disaster or negative impact on the life of music.

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Indeed, the room is generally the most ignored part of a system - which is rather surprising when you consider the amounts many people spend on the main components, quite apart from speakers.

This post describes the absence of room effect:

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GIK give free advice - and they can take measurement files from REW to remove the guesswork, really seeing what your room is actually doing.


REW + calibrated mic + time_and_work = well balanced frequency response.

Are you sure that measurements give always the best indications?
My dealer treated his main room by a specialist, REW…mic…etc
However 2 years after my dealer took off some panels because the sound was too anemic. ( aseptisé). The measurements couldn’t show that, only the feedbacks of customers who were listening.

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That’s exactly why I ended up with a bit of trial and error as to how many panels I used.

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