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.  




Not to defend Fremer, but walls of records, edge on, are a damned good start for treatment of the generic room.

To much may not be a good thing.

Cardboard can absorb sound waves. To much cardboard can absorb a lot of sound waves.

I remember several years ago being in a medical records room with several rows of medical records stored in cardboard folders. Just going from memory each row was about 40ft long.

I was stranding at one end of a row and a fellow worker at the other end of the same row. I asked the worker a question at a slightly elevated speaking voice due to the length, distance, we were apart from one another. I could see his lips moving but did not hear anything. To make a long story short when hollering at one another neither of us could hear the other. The sound waves of our voices were being absorbed by the cardboard file holders.

What frequencies are most easily affected?



To much may not be a good thing.


No, it certainly isn't.

No one wants to listen in an anechoic chamber.

Nowadays a lot of careful thought goes into the building of music auditoriums.

As far as I know the science behind such things is terribly complicated.

A reviewer has a working system. They change things out a good bit. This means nothing is fully optimized. Toss in bias and I consider reviews interesting and entertaining but not definitive just opinions.


As much as I distrust magazine reviews, and no longer believe anything the reviewers write, I still love audio magazines.

A few years ago I got rid of 90% of my collection (mostly tons of Hi-Fi Choice, Hi-Fi News, Hi-Fi World - and a few What Hi-Fi’s etc) but there were certain issues I couldn’t part with.

It’s difficult to say just what it is about these magazines that made me keep them, but it isn’t the veracity of the reviews.

Sometimes it could be a main feature eg a show/nostalgia piece or an interview with an audio luminary, sometimes it could be the music reviews and sometimes it could be a feature on some readers system.

I still have a few copies of the notoriously opinionated mid 1980s Hi-Fi Review. It was a riot to read but as I later discovered, it was also totally useless as consumer information.

Chris Frankland, the one and only, would regularly try to convince you of impossibilities such as that a Linn Basik arm was better than a SME, or that the Linn/Naim 6 pack was the bees knees etc.


The Flat Response Magazine by Tom Tom Audio Nov 28, 2017

I designed my home to have 3 audio rooms of varying sizes. All have dedicated outlets and their own AC service and mains transformer all rooms are shape optimized. And are dead quiet and acoustically inert. I need this to design loudspeakers in. But honestly, you don't need such for average system playback. My main room is so quiet it makes you nervous to sit in if nothing is playing. But you will defiantly hear what the loudspeaker or system is doing. Would I be able to suggest audio gear for others based on what I hear in my rooms? maybe but it would be better to review in average rooms like most audiophiles have. And I do final listening tests in such spaces.