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.  




@jjss49 You can see the full presentation on YouTube - “Reviewing Loudspeakers: Mesurements and Listening Tests”. The tests were conducted at Harmon, where factors such as volume were controlled. I don’t recall much detail in how they trained the Trained Listeners.


Few of us have proper rooms but most of us strive to achieve a better sound after understanding their limitations. The good thing is that it can work both ways, with or without treatments, but either way it takes time and experience to get most of it right. It's nice to have a well treated room, some can achieve even better results with measurements too, but still an untreated one could work just fine. For example, my room is small, peculiar and untreated with tall speakers and a big amplifier, that would translate in a disaster or wrong approach for many, but after some hard work i have managed to make it vanish, so it can be done. Unfortunately there are several variables that affect sound reproduction in a system so judging by pictures alone we cannot get the whole picture but an idea. 


I don’t know about his room, but Myles Astor has zero credibility with me. In a TAS review he stated the open E string on a 4-string bass (whether electric or acoustic---PLEASE stop calling an electric bass a bass guitar ;-) was located at 82Hz. It’s not, it’s at 41Hz. Where did Myles get that 82Hz figure? Ask him! And TAS technical editor Robert Harley didn’t catch it?!

Even worse, he described 82Hz as low bass. Not in this universe. Once again, an audiophile reviewer with no education in any technical aspects of hi-fi music reproduction. Embarrassing.

Just stop. You can repeat something false a million times and it still doesn’t make it true. I’ve written and told you before that I never wrote that statement. Not to mention that despite my request, you’ve never provided a citation to the referenced quote. You have the wrong person. Not to mention I haven’t written for TAS since 1990 and Frank Doris, not RH, was my editor. So you have that wrong too.


Now get your facts right before going online and slandering people.

The way I see it is these reviewers with a large audience, many of whom will use the reviews to make a purchasing decision (hopefully along with more research) owe it to their readers to show them what their work space actually looks like.  Granted, not everything about how a room will affect the sound can be gleaned from a photo, but I would argue a lot could.

IMO, it’s like someone reviewing a Lamborghini writing about its acceleration, handling, braking and comfort, only to find out later that said reviewer never took the car out of their housing area or even first gear.  


Some of these reviewers are long term experts who I think could probably discern audio differences even in crappy rooms & maybe it’s better they don’t have “ perfect” highly conditioned listening spaces because most of us don’t either?

Many of the reviews I’ve read in the past few years leave me w/ many unanswered questions. I just finished Stereophile’s review of the Klipsch La Scala. Obviously we all know they are super sensitive, super dynamic & can crush just about any other speaker out there in terms of pure undistorted volume with not that many good watts. They only compared it to a 60 year old Altec Valencia! How about compared to speakers of a similar price range in terms of high frequency detail, imaging, low end detail ( did mention it cuts off around 50 hz). 

I guess it was just another glowing review for a company’s product that advertises regularly. The magazine took a substantial step down when Art Dudley left us.