Vivid Audio speakers, my experience

So I am sharing my experiences with this company, their product and services for those who may be interested or on the fence.

For those who do not know Vivid Audio, it is a speaker company based in South Africa, founded by previous B&W engineer Laurence Dickie who designed the famous 800 Nautilus series speakers and their distributor Philip Gottentag. Vivid speakers are unique to say the least.

I have a pair of B-1 speakers and they sounded good. While their products work, it is all good and wonders. But I have so disenchanted by my recent experience with their US customer service. I am quitting this company altogether.

The drivers on the B-1 (especially the tweeters) are completely exposed and easily subject to damages from, say, children’s poking fingers. That happened to my drivers. Also, one of the speakers started producing a distortion in the upper bass/lower mid range. I sort of traced the problem to one of the woofers. I contacted Vivid customer service in US about replacing these drivers. They put me in touch with one of their dealers (Supra HiFi, be aware!) who quoted me astronomical prices (so high that is about 70% of the MSRP for the 10 year old speakers). I did some research and found other people got their replacement for way lower prices. So I reached out to the Vivid Audio in South Africa. So it turns out Scott from Supra HiFi quoted me about 5x the correct prices!

So Vivid pointed me to their US rep again who was supposed to get the replacement drivers from Vivid to me. Because Vivid has no service facility in the US, they cannot provide any technical services like diagnosis, let alone repairs. So the customer needed to replace the drivers themselves, which is fine. But because I am not a professional, I may not have diagnosed the full scope of the problem with my speakers. So I asked their US rep Todd whether I could return the undamaged woofer to him in the case if replacing the driver alone does not fix the speakers. He said no because he was concerned about reselling the driver if it was returned. I was shocked. Since Vivid has not service capacity in the US, I though this is the minimum they can do to help. I was so disheartened by this response that I did not reply in a month because I was giving up on this company.

Today, I finally reminded myself to write the email to the owner and their US rep that I am quitting this company.

Anyway, this is my experience. YMMV.




All I can say is the dented tweeters are on you. You need to learn to keep the kids away from the speakers. As for the woofer, I have to side with the manufacturer. How do they know you won’t send the damaged woofer back, keep the good one, and try to get credit for it? You could also have a crossover problem and it may not be the woofer. Do they have a Facebook group that perhaps can help you before you order the woofer?

I personally would not buy something that expensive that doesn’t give any customer support, but that’s just me. 

Yes, that is sad, that a company that charges so much for their products and all the glorious online reviews does not have a repair facility in the USA.

Thanks for pointing that out.


I don’t have many hobbies outside of audio, but the sheer lack of quality customer service in the industry never ceases to amaze me. 

Life happens. You should be able to receive help from a company charging five figures for speakers. 


well what do you expect from speakers that look like ugly bowling pins LOL

or I should have said what do you expect from a company that makes speakers that look like ugly bowling pins LOL

@stereo5 Then in your logic, nothing is returnable, because things can be swapped and the sellers are dumb enough to be not knowing.

Hope you never return things. 

I think that the company should have helped you far more than they did joezz for what those speakers cost, but it does surprise me when I read about audio accidents involving small children. If I had children, which I don't, I would never let them get within reach of my gear.

Still, sorry to hear about your bad experience.

@roxy54 Thanks. I have moved on from these speakers. What I experienced may not be representative of what the brand has to offer. I wrote the post to bring awareness when buying from overseas; be aware of shady dealers and pay attention to the track record of the brand’s customer service. 

I had a problem with warranty service from McIntosh and they are supposedly  a US  company ,so I don't think it's totally a overseas issue.

Why did you not go back to the original dealer who supplied the speakers in the first place?


How do you rate the sound of Vivid in regard to replacing speakers ... that is, will you go in a different sonic direction or try to duplicate?

This is a rough crowd.  This company, brand positions itself as high end, typically in business that translates to outstanding customer service and if the product was bought from an authorized dealer or directly from the company a service level for any issues that goes beyond expectations.  Vivid has a presence in the U.S. and should have a much better plan on how to handle issues, provide the expected level of customer service that comes with gear this expensive. 

The flip side is when making a purchase like this, usually you want to research and understand what that support structure looks like, should play a big role on the purchasing decision.  

Comments to the OP on “Life Happening” is on him, come on, it’s narrow minded comments like that which push people interested in the hobby away.  You can’t have pets, kids, friends, live in a flood zone or go to school on Saturday’s and own high end gear.  Not everyone can put a bubble around their equipment and many have kids, pet’s, grandchildren, neighbors, friends and other things in the environment that can cause an oops.  That’s life and a high end manufacture should provide the service level needed to help you deal with those oops moments.  

A little less “Get off my Lawn” and elitism would go along way.



@missioncoonery I have had great services from Mac even with a 30 yo vintage gears. I guess that shows how one person’s experience may not be representative. 

@blackbag20 Vivids are very transparent speakers. The main complaint I have is that they are a bit too forward sounding and can be bright/fatiguing at times. One of the speakers I got in replacement are from Raidhos, which are on the flip side of Vivid’s. Laid back, darker sounding, extremely smooth highs (well extended and detailed but not bright at all). Both are very spacious sounding speakers. But when you hear it from such tiny Raidho speakers, it was a shocking revelation. Their ribbon tweeter is something special and different from many generic ribbons. I’ll go on a limb and say the Ribbons produces the best high frequencies I have heard. If your ears are sensitive to high frequency graines, I would strongly encourage you to try it out.

My wife would kick me out of the house if I purchased speakers that look like this.  I have never heard of them before.  

In my humble opinion, if Vivid sets up resale distribution in a country, would not/ should not support go hand and hand?

Maybe I have lofty ideals, but I don't believe that a high end dealer should be part of a supply chain with no support state side. 


With that kind of support, you might as well be buying out of the back of a van. much for the broken vivids...I'm interested as I can get them going again 

As a full disclosure, I received a response from the cofounder of Vivid, Philip Gottentag last night. He spent long words saying how Vivid would "bend over backwards" for its customers. Then he suggested that I could send the speakers to their facility in CT for repair. This is shocking because just a few months ago he said in writing that they do NOT have a facility or trained staff to do so. Over the months of communications with them, they have never once made such suggestions. I wrote back saying I was told that you did not have such capacities in the US. And he did not address that clear discrepancies during the couple of back and forths. I cannot even begin to speculate why.

Then he went on to say that he sides with their US rep in not letting me return the woofer if it does not work out. This, in my mind, is exactly opposite to his portrait of them "bending over backwards" for customers. Because in a world where you can return most commodities in its original conditions, the idea that they are the exceptions just don’t jive with their claimed customer service standards. Especially this requires so little efforts on their part and they are taking back the damaged drivers for repair and resale anyway.

So I thought enough was enough, without picking a fight I told them I am moving on.

So my plan is to letting go of the Vivid B-1 speakers to whom interested in taking on Vivid’s offer to send them to their facility for repair. If you are interested and in driving distance to Raleigh, North Carolina, you are welcome to reach out to me. I can let you know the approx costs.


@missioncoonery Hi, please PM me to discuss. Even though the mids and highs are dented, they sound fine. I think most likely the one driver that needs fixing is the woofer. 

The OP was definitely mistreated by Vivid. Regarding kids and audio gear, yes, mistakes will happen, but if you don't keep the kids away from the gear there can be a high price to pay. 

I have some space set aside on my audio rack in the office so my kid can sit beside me on the rack. I will remember those fun times over the gear, which is rather costly.

That’s the heart of what this hobby should be yyzsantabarbara!  Sharing Memories with your loved ones and hopefully passing along a love for music and some magic moments that help everyone else understand why audiophiles spend so much time and money on the hobby.  

I understand them not wanting to take the woofer back. That's common with most things that have current going through them.

So you are saying that they want to charge 70% of the retail value of the speaker for one replacement driver? Did I read that right? Or is this for all the drivers? Or just the dented ones and the bad one?

In any event, I'd live with the dented tweeters and order ONE replacement woofer. If that fixes the issue, you are golden. If it doesn't, then you have a spare woofer for anyone who buys the speakers "as is". Might increase your value slightly.


I am baffled by this. Did you consult your Vivid Audio dealer from whome you purchased these speakers ?



 I haven’t posted on this site in at least a decade. I need to make an exception in this case. I bought a pair of Vivid Giya G1 after hearing them at an acquaintance’s house. I had nothing but blown midranges, This could be a very long post but since retelling it raises my blood pressure, I will condense it. I went through at least six midranges and finally a midrange and tweeter. The waiting time for replacements on average was one to three months. Finally, Vivid changed policy on replacing drivers (I suspect for me only). I also had crossover damage on one occasion. Everything the OP stated about service is correct but it is much worse than that in my experience. All of these problems were experienced with gear that drove several other speakers flawlessly for years. I make this point because the initial response from Vivid (US distributor) was it was caused by something upstream in my system. The new driver replacement policy was they would not replace the driver with a refurbished driver ($500). They needed to “evaluate” the driver and if it couldn’t be repaired they needed to sell a new driver ($1,500). I knew long before this point they were scammers and this was the last straw for me. I believe they designed the drivers to fail. This was a cottage industry for them. My guess is that they used a coil wire diameter that would fail when the speakers were driven beyond moderate listening levels. The drivers were cheap aluminum that could be stamped out like at a machine gun rate. I am a retired tool and die maker so I understand this intimately. I also know many people have had similar experiences with Vivid. I look forward to the day this company no longer exists. It is the Trump University of audio. The full story is much longer and revolting. If you PM me and provide a phone number, I will share it. Now let’s see how long this post lasts before it is taken down It is 100% truthful and accurate.

@posbwp55 Thanks for sharing your experience. I’m sorry this happened to you. But glad that I am not alone in feeling the way I did.  

@joezz, bummer dude.  The way you were treated is lame sauce.  On a side note, you could swap left and right woofers to try to diagnose if it is the woofer.  You shouldn’t have to become a vivid tech and do it yourself though.  I’d sell and move on and Thanks for sharing your experience

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@b_limo Thanks for the suggestion. I had the same idea after making the initial posting. But at this point, I am no longer interested in dealing with this. I would suggest this to whoever takes these speakers. 

Vivid drives are notoriously fragile. In fact, their entire speaker line build quality is subpar, IMO. However, expecting the manufacturer to send you new drivers just to “check” if that fixes your problem and expecting them to take them back (when they are no longer new and perhaps damaged as well) is totally unreasonable. 

@henry201 OK. Let’s reason in your logic. Then is it unreasonable to return an iPhone or any other electronics within the return period? Also, you need to consider this was the only option that was on the table. As for "when they are no longer new and perhaps damaged as well", again people are not stupid, if it was ever damaged in my hands, I would have been fully liable, just as I would if I return a damaged iPhone. How is this situation different? Am I supposed to pay a good sum of money to perform an expensive diagnosis when I was told there was no support any other way? BTW, Vivid takes back damaged drivers and repair and refurbish them possibly for resale anyway.

For people who think like you do, I hope you never have to return anything in your life. It’s also people like you, who encourages these manufacturers in audio industry to think they are "special" and not expected to perform to the same standard as other electronics makers.

Anyway, I have told my story and I have moved on. I know there are not just ordinary consumers on this forum. People can make their own judgement. Will no longer respond in this thread. 

Sorry man, I know you are hurting, but your logic is way off. You bought used speakers, most likely no longer under warranty, you damaged them, and now you expect Apple return policies treatment? You should have read the fine prints first. No other high-end audio "electronics makers" will treat you differently. Regarding not having any service options in the US, I agree; it’s lame, yet it’s on the buyer to verify all that before buying. No one should buy such an expensive product without confirming after-sales support options. I am sure you know; audio equipment does fail occasionally.

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@henry201 You are wrong and you are twisting my words. Since when did I talking about returning the speakers. We are talking about the replacement woofer, which is treated as a new commodity, right? And just in my personal experience, I can name you a handful of manufacturers that do treat customers better. Again, not who you are or what your invested interest might be in, I am not responding to this kind of commentary anymore. And again, hope you never have to return anything.

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BTW, I am giving away the speakers for free if you could arrange for pickup. Thanks, everyone. 


Not twisting anything. No audio company will send you new replacement parts for free to "try out." You mentioned the iPhone, not me. Own your mistake; you bought the wrong product. We have all done that. Telling your story without the 'entitlement' part would have been enough to illustrate Vivid poor customer support.

Again, my point the replacement part is a commodity and is treated like so. You are not very bright, aren't you?

Bright enough not to buy certain products, damage them, and expect free service.

A few months back I had the opportunity to look inside one of the Vivid Giya G3's. The quality of the parts was shockingly poor! The connectors looked like they were sourced from Home Depot! Same for the wiring! The cabinets are also nothing to talk about as far as quality. What is so amazing is that the Vivid speakers sound as great as they typically can only imagine what they would sound like if they were constructed from quality parts and drivers!! 


If I learned one thing from this thread, it is to not ever buy Vivid speakers. Life is way too short to have hassles like described, particularly blowing many midrange drivers and a tweeter.  This is supposed to be a fun hobby to enjoy music, not to have to worry every time you fire up the rig.