Price vs performance

There is a misconception among audiophiles that price is an indication of performance. However consumers are unaware of the ratio of cost of parts to markup. This ratio varies from one speaker to another.
if a 10k speaker uses 2k on parts and the rest is on markup, and if a 5k speaker uses 4k worth of parts and 1k markup then the costlier speaker is not going to provide better performance. Despite this audiophiles will refuse to believe that a cheap speaker can outdo the more expensive one. 

Speaker companies can set whatever price they see fit. Sometimes the price is deliberately elevated to increase the perceived value and performance. It can just be a game of one upmanship. This has nothing to do with the performance of the speaker. 

It's not as if ALL loudspeakers on the market are put in one room and listened to and then priced according to performance. What actually happens is audiophiles rate the performance of a speaker based on its price, which is the antithesis of what should be happening.

magazines and reviewers alike commit the same fallacy all the time. They will only ever jokingly compare a magico with say a mid priced B&w. All because of the price difference. 

But even if we put all loudspeakers in a room, no two audiophiles would ever agree on the order of the performance anyway. Audiophiles' opinions are therefore unreliable.

Audiophiles use price as an indication of quality because they have no ability to sit in a perfectly designed acoustic environment and then compare every speaker they want to hear and spend weeks or months doing this. 

Audiophiles are not in a position to do a blind test even if they wanted to. Instead we only get to hear speakers in extremely poor demo rooms and only for a few minutes under pressure from the salesperson

Revel have been known to do blind tests. I think these tests proved that there was no correlation between price and performance.

Distortion can be perceived as warmth. wider and deeper stereo images can be seen as better even if it's not accurate. Neutrality can be perceived as cold. 

In conclusion, audiophiles have no clue how to decide whether what they're hearing is good, bad, accurate, or imaginary.

Price is not an indication.


Showing 2 responses by prof

I would submit that the OP is stating something rather obvious to the majority, if not all, the members here.

I doubt anyone here is operating on some simple minded "higher price = better performance" belief.    Who among us hasn't had the experience of hearing some very expensive gear at a show, a shop, or somewhere else, that left us totally unimpressed and happier with our less expensive system at home?   It's an experience commonly shared among audiophiles.

Most of us decide what we want by giving it a listen.  If we like it, and can't find anything we like better cheaper, and we can afford it, we buy it.

Kenjit: There is a misconception among audiophiles that price is an indication of performance.

Reply: I agree that price isn’t necessarily in indication of performance. I’ve heard expensive gear that does not sound as good as the cheaper gear I use at home.

Kenjit: If you didn’t think the more expensive gear sounded better, that’s just sour grapes.

LOL, priceless.

I sometimes get the impression Kenjit’s posts are form of performance art.
One does not engage with the hope of any coherent train of conversation.