Most recent speaker you audited in room and returned? Why did you return it?

Just as the title says, what was the last speaker you got hyped by, purchased and returned subsequently? If you returned it, what did you not like about it in your room? What equipment did you try matching it with?

Hearing about such experiences of unmet expectations could be an interesting topic.


Dynaudio contour 20’s, PBN-B741 scan speak.

Both were way to smooth like @mofojo said. Complete lack of dynamics.

A small part in a long lessen that I still couldn’t groove on low sensitivity loudspeakers (yet)

it’s a fun learning experience (journey) for me, and we all have different taste/perception making the hobby much more interesting!

Always wanted to try a small speaker like the Dali Menuet. Picked up a NIB Dali Menuet SE here in the States, probably the only only left. After what I thought was a reasonable amount of breakin period, I listened and compared to other speakers I had. While it was smooth, had weight and controlled sibilant passages really well, there were sounds in the music that were either so subdued or alltogether missing that I couldn’t accept. In my opinion, it was overly refined. They had great resolution but lacked a commensurate amount of detail. Ended up getting Dali Opticon 1s NIB at half price, also last ones seemingly left at least at discount, and they work much better for me. Not as resolving as the SE but still sufficiently resolving and with the detail I was used to hearing with every other speaker I had or had tried. And works in nearfield or further away in a small room. Vinyl wrapped vs nice wood veneer but works just the same at a much lower price. A lessoned learned.

Returned MA Silver 100 6th gen which was too much in your face and could muddle up the upper middle and high frequencies. Good control of sibilance but got congested at moderate SPLs and at lower volumes, had to constantly adjust volume to hear softer passages but then dynamic swings were just too much. Ended up with Martin Logan 15i and on a sub, gives you the best points of the MA without the issues. Easier to listen with both movies and music but still exciting.

Quad S2, very resolving and detailed, fun with movies but sounding dull with music. It had a a fairly neutral frequency curve after the mid bass hump but I think what made it un-engaging listen for me was the flat stage (totally lacked depth) that made it so. They didn’t disappear in the room and imaging wasn’t all that great, my budget Triangle Zetas were far more desirable with music. The Zetas were far more musical but can have some glare during a sibilant passage noticed mostly with movies. So if a speaker performs well in most areas, I can give up a bit of resolution. Another lessoned learned.

All considered budget speakers and even though I use good amplification, from a Keces E40 to a Hegel h160, doesn’t make sense getting a much more expensive speaker at the SPLs I typically listen too given I have neighbors and no longer want to listen really loud. Not enough to gain for the money, unless I can find something far less than retail.

Sent other speakers packing as well over the years.While better speakers can give more inner detail, texture in notes, finding that in a small speaker is harder to do and as long as tonality is good enough, it works. All three speakers I have are different but nice for me to listen to.  Part of the experience i guess.



Most speakers , especially magnepan , are sensible to amplification and work accordingly but so important amplification must be , the source dac could be too...

All that so impactful it is , compared to acoustics of the room and location , as for all speakers, but especially them, fade into importance ...

I know because i listened already  magnepan 1.7i in a bad room ... I can assure you than it is not better than my low cost active small speakers well embedded ...

Acoustics rule the gear workings and even design, first and last not the reverse .....


Magnepan 1.7i, No matter what I did the mid-range sounded muffled and thin.