Crutchfield's Speaker Compare

Hey everyone, for those in the market for new speakers, Crutchfield now has something called "Speaker compare", in which you can select up to 4 speakers and make sound comparisons online using your computer and a pair of headphones. Although not all the speakers models are available for audition at the moment, a lot are, and I think it’s a great alternative for those (like me) who cannot audition speakers in person. You can compare several songs at the same volume or at the same wattage. I am not associated with Crutchfield at all. I think it’s a great tool and a good start!
Cheers y’all!

Showing 12 responses by luciano33

@glupson. I did not have any of the headphones on the list, but it did not matter. I chose one of the same brand as mine and the tests I did comparing the speakers I have at home resulted in very accurate results in terms of speaker characteristics. I don't think choosing a headphone will affect much the results. Pick the one closer to the one you have...or run the comparisons with different headphones from their list and see what happens. not everything has to be perfect, IMO.

I was half kidding as well. That's sort of how the mind works. I am a scientist and we actually have to train our minds into not being bias and let the results speak for themselves. Why are we by default biased? I am not's not my field. I have to confess that before actually listening to different speakers through this tool I thought their sound was going to be way off...and what I experienced was completely different. It actually surprised me. I guess I had a null hypothesis in my mind and tested it without being fully conscious about it? :D
I am with you, I can't understand those saying they can't hear sound differences among speakers because they were very obvious to me. Cheers!
Yes, this is similar, but they have a lot of speakers to compare. Also, they do it in a much better way I think. Read how they do it I actually like speaker comparisons online. That's what they're for: to compare some characteristics of speakers. They're not for critical listening. For instance, you can tell how laid back Wharfedale sounds compared to B&W, etc..I prefer than to listening to the opinions of a reviewer. 

Indeed!! And what Crutchfield did, I think it's better, since in many of the Youtube videos you can't really compare. 
I see your point.
Funny thing, last night I compared the speakers I have at home with others to see if Crutchfield's tool is able, at least, to reproduce the characteristics of the speakers I know well and listen to at home almost every day. Well, I can tell you the tool is pretty accurate. For instance, I own the Elac UB5, Definitive technology D11, and KEF Q350. I compared them among each other using their tool for fun and that was pretty much what I hear at home. The warm sound of the Elacs, the super extended highs of the DT11, the deeper bass and laid back mid-range of the KEF...etc. I never found myself saying "oh, that's way off". Try it yourself for fun and see. It's fun at least! :D
All of the above. One thing is not enough in my opinion. I'd use all the resources available.
@cedargrover. There is quite a bit of science and technology behind this online tool. I would not call it a parlor trick. That’s why they have PhD’s working on it. What you call filters are actually models. They take a lot of measurements from the speaker playing different music in an anechoic room and put that empirical data into a model that mimic the sound of a particular speaker, and adjusted to your headphones. I would not call that silly at all. I think it’s brilliant just for that. Now, is it the same as auditioning speakers at home? Not at all. However, those folks who cannot audition speakers in person or don’t know where to start when it comes to speaker sound signatures, this is IMO a great starting tool. My two cents.
Nobody ever said this is the same as auditioning speakers at home, not even Crutchfield said that. In fact, they state that this is not like audition speakers yourself. Take it as it is, which is a good way to compare speaker sound characteristics. It works well for that. For instance, it really helped me to see how soft the Elac UB5 sound compared to the Klipsch 600, and how much bass the KEF Q350 have compared to the Definitive technology D11. It's a great tool IMO. It also helped me to compared how the speakers I have at home compare to others. it's a comparison...a relative comparison. As simple as that.   
@ rocray. I think you are right. They lose money when people audition speakers at home and return them...and the cycle continues. Some people take advantage of that and overdo it. If costumers use this tool before buying, they may reduce the number of returns, I guess. Good move indeed!
@ tom8473. We all have different ears, so maybe yours could not detect differences in sound among speakers. As discussed above, the tool is best for relative comparisons among speakers.