What speaker could safely be ordered without hearing it first?

Hi everyone,

I’m in the midst of my speaker search and curious about something.......as noted above. There are some brands I would be interested in based on reputation, reviews, looks etc but may never be able to hear first.

I’m curious what the collective group thinks would be a safe choice having never heard them first. I know there are variables as in size of room, current gear etc. Just want to see what people would suggest. The one I would note based on what I have read is Joseph Audio. I’d also be curious if people would say the same about Borresen.

So it may be a frivolous exercise but I’ll ask the question anyway. Let me know your thoughts.


I love headphones and have a great headphone system as well as a 2-channel system.

Headphones will never, ever, sound like speakers and speakers will never, ever sound like headphones. They're not meant to, and most people who use headphones do not expect them to; they are two entirely different ways of experiencing music. 

I would say any speaker that is returnable for a reasonable amount of time.  You must be willing to lug the speakers back to the store or to a shipping center, and possibly pay return shipping and/or a restocking fee.  FWIW, I bought my current speakers, Ohm Walsh 2000s, without hearing them first.  I based my decision on carefully reading the lengthy thread on Ohm speakers here on the 'gon.  As I read, owner's descriptions kept pushing all of the right buttons for me.  So, with Ohm's 120 day return option, I took a chance.  Plus, since I don't live too far from Ohm's Brooklyn, NY, headquarters, if I wanted to return, I could bring them back by car.


That was in late 2009.  Once they broke in, I fell in love.  Still have them, and have never had a desire to upgrade.  To do better, at least IMHO, I would have to spend way more than I could possibly afford.  Plus, over the last dozen years, they have responded quite well to upgraded electronics, tweeks, and cable upgrades.  Life is good.  Having more time to listen would make it even better.

@mtbiker29 , no. Just no.

As others have mentioned, there is no substitute for auditioning candidate speakers. Case in point: I was intrigued by a certain open baffle speaker vendor's product. Reviews are mostly positive and the quality seemed to be good. Then last year I heard a pair at PAF and was sorely disappointed in what I heard. And it wasn't just the room. They just didn't sound good to my ears.

The moral of the story here is, if you do order up some speakers, I'd be very clear on what the return/exchange policy is.

Good luck and... Happy listening.

None can be ordered “safely”.  Speakers are part of an audio chain whose job is to create “subjectively” pleasing music.  I’ve spent years demoing the best speakers I could find, then tried to replicate the favored sound within my budget.  

If the OP is asking for the the best choice without trying, then maybe it’s a probability question aka maximizing the probability of success by choosing a popular seemingly universally appraised speaker.