So many YouTube clips to evaluate sound quality. Why???

There are several audio gear Youtubers chronically playing clips displaying speakers and amplifiers and even cables to have YouTube listeners evaluate sound quality.  And then they go to shows and display music clips from the very small Hotel rooms.  And yes I watch a few and some can be interesting. It's gotta be tough for these manufactures to go to these hotels all the time and deal with all the people. Basically, it's a mixture of all kinds of higher end components and somehow it's possible to appreciate what individual components sound like. $200,000 speakers surrounded by lots of other high-priced gear. How does one charge anything?

Are they trying to fool people with sound comparison music clips? What is the point and why are they wasting their time?  Maybe headphones might detect something.  I fail to appreciate why these individuals do this, and why do they dedicate so much time to this.  Are they being paid to promote speakers and amplifiers?  And then reading the comments where all these people seem to really believe they hear differences.

Time might be better spent explaining technical merits of the gear and opinions on how it sounds. And why their recommended gear is so expensive.  



This has been beaten to death over the years. It’s all to do with getting a taste, or a glimpse.

I dont see it any other way than marketing sellings pitch, with sincere audiophiles really hearing DIFFERENCES if not most of the times , very often... I myself hear differences... 😊

But there is in audio circle a fetichism of the gear to some point which hide deep acoustic ignorance...Variation of sound for the better dont means we are on the right road ... Anyone can buy a costly upgrade which upgrade could be without acoustic knowledge a dead end even if it is an improvement... You cannot replace acoustic by purchasing speakers or a tube amplifier over a S.S. one or a turntable instead of a dac or the reverse...

You can buy a 20,000 bucks amplifier or speakers but you cannot buy acoustic experience and knowledge...You must learn it... i discovered it the hard way...

And the audio vocabulary anyway is meaningless by itself without a more deeper language using concepts based on acoustic and psycho-acoustic experience where subjectivity is put in charge but under control...

I agree with you emergingsoul about the time spend...

Now anyway i am so pleased by my musical and sound experience i came here more for friends and discussion with my grain of salt than for audiophile search for the optimal soundfield... I am already way over the minimal threshold of S.Q. but for sure with a 600 bucks system under the absolute optimal threshold... I cannot claim to beat costly product implemented well in a dedicated room.. But i am pleased so much with what i experince i dont give a damn..

The only things that matter is the way we must learn HOW to listen using acoustic simple basic concepts and listenings experiments to figure out how we will work further to reach the optimal S.Q. /low price ratio POSSIBLE with the specific components we had chosen in the scale...

The rest is neurosis for me...


My best to you...

It’s pretty dumb imo ,I can see someone explaining the speakers attributes 

but trying to do a A to B comparison through a tablet is a waste of time.

just like Synergistic research showing a comparison of a $600 master fuse AB vs a 

purple fuse , pure waste of time , they just ramp up the DB level a bit vs the other model and it stands out , not worth even doing .

I agree, totally useless to try to "hear" differences via 1/2" speakers in a laptop. Total waste of time. 

They all sound like the tiny speakers on my laptop...can't figure out why.

I have no problem with them posting them and people watching them.  


I suppose people who post this are trying to get views. I understand that if you get enough of them, you receive money.

...and it's Still difficult to be a heretic in the eyes of ones' peers...
Given the history of how 'they' were treated....

"Here, just clamber up onto this pile of gas-soaked logs...  Yes, a bit slippery...

Now, we're going to tie you to this post, so you don't fall off. 
Tight, but one can't be too lax when 'safety' is paramount. ;)

For sure, the crowd is pretty incoherent and loud....just enthusiasm....and the torches are here for the cameras....

Now we're just going to make sure you're warm, and not catch a cold...."

....generally what happens when one strays....😏
My humour 'bout it all is a, a lot oblique....

Follow your muse towards the music you seek and enjoy by whatever means you employ; end of any day that's what's important.
That's my excuse, and I fall or rise with it.

Oh, and I don't listen on a laptop, or my phone; a smaller version of my walsh' 2 ways in a small room I call an office.  So I can least try to act vaguely fair about listening to anything through multiple layers of digital processing..


If there’s no differences between sound clips, then all sound clips sound the same right? Of course they don’t, and no one is suggesting you’re hearing the same thing as you would live. The people who film on YouTube generally say it’s not the same, but it’s a taste. If you know your system, you’ll understand the differences in sound clips based on your system. That taste is enough to tell you whether you think you would have liked the sound live or not. In itself, it’s as good a metric as reading someone’s description of the sound, and choosing to demo a product based on that.

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@pabs85 , and since they don't, one still is faced with the same 'go/no go' choice(s)....

Case in point:  I've got a 'now ancient' YT post of a pair of an early DIY Walsh pair, with some comments on why they don't sound like they did/do here.

Mono Point/Shoot camera below fluorescent lamps in a commercial space, which was rather 'raw' at the time.

Did I expect kudos?  Not really, just wanted to document my 'sota' at the time.

Can I improve on that?  Sure....if I want to rent a pair of mikes' from Guitar Center, and go through the process of doing a 2 chan digital recording with my puter that drives part of my current the midst of all the other pending projects of a higher priority and time issues.

IOW, when I get a round toit in hand... ;)

And then it's on YT, when I'd rather post to SoundCloud instead....

You tube has some truly exceptional recordings as well as some really crap ones. Be careful as some have been "mastered" with systems that don't go below 40hz and if you have subwoofers you can get some awful bass sounds.

Does anybody know the sound capabilities of YouTube compared with the music streaming services or even radio stations? What are the specs? MP3?

Like Facebook I totally ignore it. I would not even no it existed until it was mentioned here. I have an acoustic image in my head of what I want to hear and I am only interested in getting my system as close as I can get to that image. This usually involves dealing with the technical aspects of reproduction. 

The audio quality of a you tube video is dependent on how much you spend on a good charge cable for your iPhone. 

I suspect that it's similar to the reason that people post jpg files of master paintings.  You can't see the colors, or the detail, or really much of what makes it a master.  But viewers' brains fill in a lot, giving pleasure, and it might inspire someone to go see the original.

Agree in principle but will add that the YouTube demo of Gaia feet was/is impressive.  Also pushed me to appreciate Steely Dan! 

Another example is the people in camera groups posting photos on Facebook and talking about the "sharpness" of a lens when Facebook so horribly reduces/destroys the quality and detail of photos to reduce file size, so no way to really evaluate in such a way. Also that most lenses produced over the past 50 years are sharper than human eyes could ever tell differences yet they argue endlessly... just like audio guys. No way to evaluate sound from a YouTube clip, but the banter about the experience of the listeners in the actual room may be valid.


If you run YouTube through your rig (Airplay), you can get a feel for the sound. If you listen through the 1/4” speakers in your phone, not so much.

Another factor is the quality of the recording itself. Really good recording quality songs sounds great on any system.

The audio Youtubers have minimal views anyway.  It's kind of impressive they spend so much time doing these videos and yet they don't make any money from the videos clearly.

And then you have the backend which is people signing up for additional services for special care treatment Via patreon style marketing efforts which can be rewarding but this is difficult. Seems to be a cesspool and I wish they just spend time speaking about the quality and characteristics of the equipment versus the dribble.  

Also the touting of 100 Thousand dollar systems, $300,000 speakers, $30,000 power cords is absolutely ridiculous it hurts the Industry.


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For whatever it's worth, John Darko has said the primary function of his channel is entertainment. 

I answered my own question, and here is the answer for anyone interested. These are the specs for YouTube quality for audio. Actually, it looks like you can transmit high quality audio given the availability of flak and wave formats, however than the unknown becomes the microphone quality and the recording process. 

Audio file guidelines

The following guidelines are for audio tracks that you provide to YouTube. These guidelines describe the formatting specifications that yield the highest quality for playing audio on YouTube and for matching your audio tracks to the audio tracks of user-uploaded videos. Note that an audio track would only be played back on YouTube if you have opted to include that track in YouTube's AudioSwap program. Generally, we recommend that you upload the highest quality audio possible.

  • Supported file formats:
    • MP3 audio in MP3/WAV container
    • PCM audio in WAV container
    • AAC audio in MOV container
    • FLAC audio
  • Minimum audio bitrate for lossy formats: 64 kbps
  • Minimum audible duration: 33 seconds 

@pabs85 nailed it. You can't discern much from these clips but you can discern something. I find it is usually about the character of the speaker dynamic versus laid back. Plus just looking at them is gear porn.

I used to be completely dismissive about these videos but then I began noticing that you can hear some differences provided the poster has set it up correctly. Obviously no critical listening can happen over YouTube, but, as others have said, you can get a taste of what a particular speaker sounds like and can certainly pick a favorite among two or more that are properly compared. I’m much more cynical towards other equipment, cables, etc. than I am speakers, but who knows, maybe I’ll come around on those someday, too.

I should add that I have a pair of fairly good Audioengine powered speakers connected to my iMac, with very good headphones available if I'm really interested.

Jays YouTube site seems to be most prolific with sound clip vids on speaker that cost like $400,000.

Absurd someone spends this much money on speakers.  My guess these things are on loan since he's got new speakers every other week.  To keep the same speakers means he loses his viewers.



@bruce19 your post is what audio formats YouTube accepts, not what it actually provides on the viewer end. It takes your source files and transcodes them to whatever lossy codec they use as part of H.264 or VP9 video encoding. Knowing they accept lossy files to begin with doesn't exactly inspire confidence. LOL. 

In general I take any so-called sound samples done by YouTubers with a HUGE grain of salt. We have no way of knowing all the variables and there are many. What mics are being used, what preamps, how were the mics spaced and oriented (ORTF, XY, etc.), what the room was like, how loud were the speakers being played, etc., ad infinitum ad nauseum. 

I have listened to such samples though just for fun and have used them to discover good albums such as 
Grace Mahya - Last Live At Dug. 

Sometimes YouTubers will make lossless downloads available for you to listen to via headphones so you aren't listening to two rooms at one time.  Even then the variables are too many to make a valid comparison, but hey, they can still be fun. No harm in a bit of fun. 

Currently GR Research and New Record Day are going this route with some songs done 3 different ways (assume 3 different speaker setups maybe?) and want to get feedback from viewers as to what they heard and why they prefer one over the other. Interesting. 

I was in The SHOW Costa Mesa 2023 last weekend. I thought WT audio (rm #327) sounded noticeably clean and musical. I visited WT room twice to confirm what I heard. Today I watched Youtube videos of The SHOW and they prove I was right. YT is an one way to evaluate the audio system. Visit AJ’s channel to see all videos from The SHOW.

Audiophile Junkie in rm #327 - The Home Entertainment Show 2023

What is absurd is not buying 400,000 bucks speakers so much as putting them in a non dedicated completely tuned for them acoustic room...

This nourrish the complete ignorance of acoustic by consumers...Who think putting panels on a small room or in a large one is enough...

it is not my experience in small room at all..

In general nobody sell acoustic save acoustician... In general acoustic cannot be sold ( panels can be) we must learn it in s specfic room by ourself... it is painstaking and long.... At least it was for me but more fun than anything  with improvement each day or two, and more revwarding than any possible upgrade, no comparison.. Anyway new upgrade must be acoustically integrated ...

Now knowing that most people can do that, it is sad, i recommend headphone...

Anyway most live happy with their speakers in their living room why not?  Only music matter at the end...

But if we speak about audio truth, truth matter  matter , there is no short cut for acoustic, but they are many shrortcut about costlier purchase choices..


Jays YouTube site seems to be most prolific with sound clip vids on speaker that cost like $400,000.

Absurd someone spends this much money on speakers. My guess these things are on loan since he’s got new speakers every other week. To keep the same speakers means he loses his viewers.


I was interested in your historical posts, not many, and you visit lots of shows and recommend speakers.

are you saying you can hear the difference with YouTube and it’s helpful? You saw it in person and are you saying YouTube reflects this accurately?

I did check out your recommended video and it sounded very nice. The junkie guy YouTube video was well recorded, the guy knows what he's doing.

I must be the only one that watches YouTube on my TV played through my main system and my DAC. sounds quite good to be honest and some reviewers take the time to record well. most of the stuff I see is 44khz on my DAC. 

its good if they compare to another speaker, or if they use the same recording set up for all recordings you can get a feel for the differences to other equipment reviewed.

not perfect but a good starting point IMO. 

emergingsoul OP

    @juant71   are you saying you can hear the difference with YouTube and it’s helpful? You saw it in person and are you saying YouTube reflects this accurately?

Yes. YT videos reflect exactly what I heard and felt at The SHOW. ** I listen with $60 Logitech computer speakers.


Nicely put.

YouTube clips certainly do not all sound alike.

I'd go further and say that a well recorded YouTube video will tell you a lot more than any written subjective account ever could.

The difference between any impression gained by the written word and that of hearing it for yourself is fairly significant.

You could say a similar thing about hearing a recording in the studio and then reproduced on CD or vinyl etc but there's nothing like hearing something for yourself.

Presumably, when it comes to YouTube, on a pair of decent headphones.


Criticizing and repeating the obvious is useless...

A bit more information about a product is more fun and help...

I concur with cd318 opinion... Near me there exist only an audio shop a 45 minutes of travel... Youtube is just welcome ...


Insane as recording a video of their systems and tweeks are, YouTube are Paying Them for their content uploads.  And you know what?  We have Watched them.  Youtube not paying us.  Not me anyway.

As for Shows and Salon auditions.  Had gotten to know and in most cases hear Just the system in any environment.  And have come pretty close to what they sound like in my home.  But that took years of brick and mortar visits.  10s of thousands dollars gain that.  So yes, show exhibitions Are very valuable to me.


Audiophiles Are F'ing Nuts.

I’m surprised at the amount of people defending YouTube videos for evaluating speakers. Maybe good for looking at them but the listening part is a fools errand! Ohh and you can’t play music anyone has ever heard or a very small amount of it cause it’s copyrighted. I think? 

God knows.

If they like the YourTube sound they should listen only on that, sell their system, bank the bread and buy a nicer car.

No brainer for a no brain.

You Tube is Fun. You get to see and hear gear that you normally would never even know existed. I don't understand all the complainers. If you don't like YT....don't use it....


Great point.

Fun is usually what initially gets us into this hobby.

Those early years of discovery were certainly exciting for me. It was only much later that a certain amount of world weary cynicism began to creep in.

At the start of it all, it felt like being a kid in a giant toy shop.


I think the OP was questioning the validity of online listening tests via YouTube but that's not the main point of it anyway.

As we always like to say, there's no real substitute for listening in person - YouTube is for fun.

Everyone happy now?

With all the hoopla about streaming, why the heck would anyone listen to YouTube videos thru some tiny set of built in computer speakers and think that's all there is to it?

All the best,

Get a decent pair of headphones and you'll appreciate the time and effort put in by these posters. Like @noromance you can get a glimpse.

"Don't you want a little taste of the glory??...See what it taste like!!" - Nacho Libre (Audiophile)