Why Do So Many Audiophiles Reject Blind Testing Of Audio Components?


Because it was scientifically proven to be useless more than 60 years ago.

A speech scientist by the name of Irwin Pollack have conducted an experiment in the early 1950s. In a blind ABX listening test, he asked people to distinguish minimal pairs of consonants (like “r” and “l”, or “t” and “p”).

He found out that listeners had no problem telling these consonants apart when they were played back immediately one after the other. But as he increased the pause between the playbacks, the listener’s ability to distinguish between them diminished. Once the time separating the sounds exceeded 10-15 milliseconds (approximately 1/100th of a second), people had a really hard time telling obviously different sounds apart. Their answers became statistically no better than a random guess.

If you are interested in the science of these things, here’s a nice summary:

Categorical and noncategorical modes of speech perception along the voicing continuum

Since then, the experiment was repeated many times (last major update in 2000, Reliability of a dichotic consonant-vowel pairs task using an ABX procedure.)

So reliably recognizing the difference between similar sounds in an ABX environment is impossible. 15ms playback gap, and the listener’s guess becomes no better than random. This happens because humans don't have any meaningful waveform memory. We cannot exactly recall the sound itself, and rely on various mental models for comparison. It takes time and effort to develop these models, thus making us really bad at playing "spot the sonic difference right now and here" game.

Also, please note that the experimenters were using the sounds of speech. Human ears have significantly better resolution and discrimination in the speech spectrum. If a comparison method is not working well with speech, it would not work at all with music.

So the “double blind testing” crowd is worshiping an ABX protocol that was scientifically proven more than 60 years ago to be completely unsuitable for telling similar sounds apart. And they insist all the other methods are “unscientific.”

The irony seems to be lost on them.

Why do so many audiophiles reject blind testing of audio components? - Quora
artemus_5
jjss492,655 posts05-03-2021 9:27pmskypunk under new username

so little time, so much bile...

unfortunate
If you're referring to me, you would be so wrong. 

Probably not the first time.
Measurements often can be irrelevant because a component or cable that measures great can sound awful, whereas distortion may sound quite pleasing. In the final analysis, all that matters is what you hear and enjoy.


Is an audio system more analog to a voltmeter or to a violin?

Asking the question is answering it....

No violonist reject string instrument makers and their test save when playing it themselves...




@elapid

a reasonable man, shown data that destroys his beliefs will change his beliefs to fit the data.
audiophiles are not reasonable men.
not many people can be counted on to accept they’re wrong.
they kick, scream, call you names.
doesn’t change the facts.


If audiophiles are not reasonable are you any more reasonable for being here? Your account can be easily erased since you are new w/ 3 posts so far.
The rest of the dribble is just more psychological projection. If you want to blind test then do it right. But waste your own time not mine.
@rlb61 

  Measurements often can be irrelevant because a component or cable that measures great can sound awful, whereas distortion may sound quite pleasing. In the final analysis, all that matters is what you hear and enjoy.


One of my worst purchases was a piece which had great measurements. I couldn't wait to get rid of that piece.