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.  




@prof  +1 yeah, nice, a well-used and inviting flexible multi-purpose room 

@bipod72 +1 and yes, agreed... and why some gear, certain speakers for example, might not be "perfect" in a lonely lab room but out in the general living room really come to life with music


I see no reason to denigrate how anyone else enjoys music, be it their choice of room furnishing, single chair or whatever.

If that is the way an individual likes to focus on listening to music, how could that be "insulting" to the music?

One could just as well say that people who spend a lot of time on a place like audiogon discussing gear are in to the gear, not listening to music.

But that would no more be necessarily true than seeing someone's set up which has lots of gear.  This forum has a whole section devoted to people showing off pictures of their gear.  


Reviewers exist primarily to promote product.

Really? I used to review a bit, and have known many audio reviewers. I can’t think of a single one who thinks of themselves that way, or who approach their reviewing just to promote a product.

Does it matter how they see themselves?

Besides I was referring to paid professional reviewers. I find owner/amateur reviews to be generally far more relevant.


I can hardly think of a single review which came close to describing what I later heard in person.

Maybe you weren’t terribly good at, or didn’t put much effort in to weeding through reviews.

I have gradually improved at weeding out reviews which contain sins of commission, but I still can’t account for those which feature sins of omission.

To not mention issues that could prove problematic is a general malaise these days. We see it everywhere from a school reports to employer references.


The great majority of products that received glowing reviews turned out to be crushing disappointments in real life. [fully loaded Linn/Naim six pack was shockingly bad when I’d been expecting near perfection]

Ah, looks like you were maybe to high in your expectations regarding reviews.

So were tens of 1000s of others who were brought up on the UK press in the 1980s.

Time and time again I reminded myself to never again trust ANY reviews.

It’s the oldest adage in audio but you really do have to listen for yourself.

Why did you need reminding?

Once upon a time I took professional reviews seriously. After all, they were written by experienced journalists who usually spoke with a voice of authority.

As has been already mentioned several times in this thread, they are nothing such. In fact reviews are very little more than a rough guide.

This salient fact is not always apparent to those who are new to the big and often bewildering world of audio.

As the OP stated, it can be disappointing for audio novices to eventually discover that professional reviewers are not experts in anything at all.

Far from it.

They just have better access to a wider range of equipment than we do.


@erik_squires     Yes.  There's plenty of self delusion here.

Professional reviewers are paid peanuts.  Therefore even after buying their equipment at deep discount, they still have no money to buy nice apartments or even big rooms.  They collect old equipment and free review media, so their tiny rooms will always be cluttered and way below optimum.  They claim their golden ears are saving them, but perhaps they just have a good turn of phrase?

Best to listen for ourselves, in our own rooms, when we can make the chance.

@prof +1000

Some audiophiles are wannabe reviewers and some still are simply envious of the fact that reviewers get to play with all that gear while they can’t. Audio reviewer bashing has become sport for some, often with an unwarranted level of cynicism directed. Some of the bashing is surely warranted, but much of it is not and, as has been stated, reviews are simply a good starting point to making a good buying decision.