What do you guys think of Audio Science Review?

I’m just asking.

After auditioning a handful of the "best measuring" DACs and headphone amplifiers from ASR, I found the impressions based on measurements alone to be heavily lacking.

One example: The Drop + THX 789 was akin to turning up the volume on a computer sound card. Really. There was hardly any weight behind the bass. And what was there just sounded congested. And yet, it received top marks in terms of measurements. There are some others online who agree with me on various forums about this particular headphone amplifier.

And one Chinese DAC with a claimed 0.00000000000002 THD or (someting like this) and dymaic range well above the audible spectrum sounded terrible. I strongly believe it’s just Chinese companies competing with eachtother to produce units that measure very well. But unforuntately, that seems to be their only focus. Looking inside one of these units makes me vomit in my mouth, a little.

Here’s what I think: Pennys on the dollar (inexpensive parts, or lacking design topologies) that otherwise achieve amazing measured results, but at the cost of the things we really care about in audio/music.


Looking forward to knowing what you guys think.


- Jack


ASR is a necessary evil. Assuming his measurements are correct, he’s done a great job at putting some manufacturers on the spot. The testing of PS Audio’s power regenerator was one that really made me scratch the brand off my future purchases list (I have a powerplant in my rig) PSA posted a weak response to the test and then choose to just ignore the subject. Pretty obvious (for me at least) that ASR proved it’s point on this one. ASR’s testing of ethernet switches is another subject I’ve found validating. Other than that it’s hit or miss or just entertainment.

My favorite was Digital Trends. But this was back 10 years ago. I had purchased a Denon top of the line home Theater piece. Man was it anemic. But I had read tons of personal reviews on sites like this, and people raved about it. Sadly, a couple months later I discovered a review on Digital Trends that said "don't buy this because it ...is thin sounding, lacks punch, so and so forth. I bout fell over. Why didn't I stumble on this before I purchased it. ! You just don't get honest reviews that tell you if something is just so so .. They all seem to sugar coat it with specifications. I wanna know what it sounds like ..

I quit reading ASR after some weird reviews on Schiit stuff that claimed dangerous electrical hazard, on equipment that used a wall wart to generate the DC supply.

It seemed as if there was a real bias against Schiit gear. The slavish measurement focus seems a rechanneling of Julian Hirsch. I have read commentary that takes issue with their measurement techniques as well.

ASR Appeals to those who constantly jump in and say “It’s Crap” without every using the products.