Some famous reviewers have atrocious listening rooms!

It’s almost sad, really.  Some reviewers I’ve been reading for decades, when showing their rigs on YouTube, have absolutely horrible rooms.  Weird shaped; too small w/o acoustic treatment; crap all over the place within the room or around the speakers; and on and on.  

Had I known about the listening rooms they use to review gear in the past, I would not have placed such a value on what they were writing.  I think reviewers should not just list the equipment they used in a given review, but be required to show their listening rooms, as well.

Turns out my listening room isn’t so bad, after all.  





I recall posting a reference to a thread about "simple tweaks" to our systems and mentioned one of the easiest tweaks for people who normally wear glasses was to simply remove them ! Apparently the idea is still met with derision judging by this post in the current thread about reviewer’s listening rooms.


You just can’t take anything a reviewer says seriously.

We have no idea whether their hearing isn’t damaged or irregular in some way.

We don’t know the acoustics of their rooms.

We also have no idea whether they know anything about the way the human hearing system works. Or whether they even care.


A fair bit of sound, particularly at volume is heard via bone conduction slightly before our brains can register it.

Removing a pair of glasses is bound to affect the way sound is perceived by the listener and not least because of the lack of reflections.

Since vision competes with hearing for attention at all times music will always tend to sound clearer in a darkened room/ late at night or with ones eyes shut.

I usually notice a slight increase in the precise placement of voices and instruments immediately when I close my eyes.

Give your brain less to do and it will usually do it better.

Noting that the reflective qualities of Michael Fremer's record collection could be responsible for his listening environment, I don't see that a pair of glasses being regarded as a reflective surface only inches from our receptors [ears] wouldn't make a meaningful difference as well.   I wonder if the engineers who designed the famous Neumann KU-100 microphone in the shape of a human head ever considered a special model wearing eyeglasses ?

Try it even if you don't regularly wear eyeglasses and if you don't hear a difference may I suggest a visit to a hearing specialist ?  It definitely makes a difference 

What if you wear John Lennon specs? You are not the first to make this recommendation as Jim Smith makes it in his book but there is no way on Earth a reviewer's perspective is skewed off base due to failing to remove eyeglasses. What's next, mandating a uniform size and shape of ears? Augmenting or reducing the size of the schnoz? What about beards? Yarmulkes and Taqiyah? 

I use reviewers inputs as simply a jumping off point. If I have met them and have some respect I may take their opinions with a grain of salt. Otherwise I simply ignore all the blather and do my own research. My ears are clean and my listening room is decent. 

Listen to the music not the gear. 

And sometimes “the room” is just voodoo.  Long living room and dining room,,38x16,,divided only by brick fireplace that’s centered, with peaked ceiling at 16 feet,,open on both sides of fireplace.  Last week I’m working on placing tongue and groove pattern board on the ceiling.  I’m up on a scaffold with my head at @15 feet, behind the fireplace.  Music playing in the living room, on the other side.  I love my system, always sounds wonderful.  Up at the ceiling, the music sounds 3 dimensional, floating.  I climb down, it sounds normal great.  Back up on the scaffold it’s wow.  I love that kind of stuff 

cracks me up the fashion critic fails to lead by example……by… ahem…. posting pictures of the system…their…system…