" ... Love the sound but hate the look "

Hi ! i have found the comment in the title in this very nice forum.
My question is ... how much the vision can distract from listening ?
could listening in the dark or blindfolded be a better way to evaluate a playback system sound ? do you do this ?
I have listened in the dark with all lights covered ... it was very nice.
Kind regards, gino
 

Galu

Member
2018-04-17 6:50 pm
The senses of hearing and sight appear to be very much linked together.

For example, you hear the snap of a twig in a forest and you immediately look in the direction of the sound.

In hi-fi, the simple act of placing a non-working loudspeaker between two working stereo speakers can sharpen up the central image - the visual cue seems to be take precedence over the audio cue.

Same with watching television, the speakers can be some distance from the screen, but the watcher's eyes will insist that the spoken words come from the mouths of the people on the screen - the visual cue takes precedence over the audio cue once again.

Therefore, to focus solely on the audio cues, it may be best to listen in the dark in order to eliminate the visual cues.
 

AllenB

Moderator
Paid Member
2008-10-18 11:31 am
IME we can hear the shape of a speaker that diffracts at its edges or of the reflections of nearby objects. It is difficult to separate while its happening, and more noticeable when you remove it.

Needless to say, over time my creations diffract this way less. I also cover my speakers now. I feel that I'm better at keeping the two things in their own place.
 
The senses of hearing and sight appear to be very much linked together. For example, you hear the snap of a twig in a forest and you immediately look in the direction of the sound.
In hi-fi, the simple act of placing a non-working loudspeaker between two working stereo speakers can sharpen up the central image - the visual cue seems to be take precedence over the audio cue.
Same with watching television, the speakers can be some distance from the screen, but the watcher's eyes will insist that the spoken words come from the mouths of the people on the screen - the visual cue takes precedence over the audio cue once again.
Therefore, to focus solely on the audio cues, it may be best to listen in the dark in order to eliminate the visual cues

Hi and thanks a lot for the very interesting advice.
So the vision wins.
And i am sure it can mar the audio experience.
What i find amusing is that actually one of the very best compliment for a speaker is that it disappears :rolleyes:
I tend to prefer speakers less imposing visually ... but the people can have different priorities.
I think that listening in the dark can help in recreating also the virtual soundstage.
I have to try something.
Thanks again.
 
We are visual creatures and as such if sound and vision disagree the brain automatically dismisses the aural input.
IMO this has incorrectly led to the opinion that speakers on the wall provide no depth of image.
I find critical listening almost impossible with eyes open

Hi very interesting indeed.
Once i had a quite puzzling experience listening to a pair of huge JBL 4350 like these in the pic

maxresdefault.jpg


it was very strange because from cold the sound was coming quite clearly from the speakers. But with warming up at certain point the speakers started to disappear sonically but of course not visually and my brain was a little confused. :boggled:
The sound was clearly coming from a plane behind the speakers.
I am sure that if the speakers had been in the dark (i.e. not visible) the listening experience would have been more comfortable, lets say.
I also had the evidence that also big speakers can give a nice soundstage and not only minimonitor.

IME we can hear the shape of a speaker that diffracts at its edges or of the reflections of nearby objects.
It is difficult to separate while its happening, and more noticeable when you remove it. Needless to say, over time my creations diffract this way less.
I also cover my speakers now.
I feel that I'm better at keeping the two things in their own place

Very interesting. But i also think that the contrary can work. For instance listening good music in the car distracts from the driving.
When the music is very good and well played-back it can be very dangerous.
I will try to listen with lights off ... and also the tv off ... much more difficult :eek:
 
Last edited:
Hi ! i have found the comment in the title in this very nice forum.
My question is ... how much the vision can distract from listening ?
could listening in the dark or blindfolded be a better way to evaluate a playback system sound ? do you do this ?
I have listened in the dark with all lights covered ... it was very nice.
Kind regards, gino

I occasionally watch "The Voice" (FR) with my wife. For a start, the "judges" watched the performance directly. Later it was turned into "blind audition" where the judges only watch the singer(s) when they have decided on their talent because the visual impression is very important in a complete appreciation. I am pretty sure that if you present speaker drivers in a cabinet with a really good finish, it will have a higher appreciation than if the cabinet is just raw MDF. We assume the slick finish to entail better tuning.
 
Last edited:
Hi very interesting and this is where the makers of so called high end speakers put big efforts. To build exceptional pieces of furniture that please the eye.
And i have the feeling that they do this just for that ... to provide a feeling of quality. It looks good ? it must sound good as well.
I instead like black plain cabinet speakers ... like pro monitors.
The only concession to the look would be a piano black finish ... i love that.
Someone see speakers like furnitures more than music generators.
 
Not only speakers. Really high-end amplifiers and CD players, evt. turn-table players have a finish that astonish anybody. Inside such amplifiers, the components are arranged like if it was a Lamborghini or Ferrari. Ultimate physical aesthetics and a price that cannot be explained even from the superior craftsmanship. If too lightweight, heavy materials are used to leave the impression that you really get something for your money. The electronics are indeed high quality but if really superior is arguable. You clearly need to have a superior budget to buy such and many with such budgets are not really audiophiles.
In a previous thread it was discussed if humans always act rationally and common sense prevails or if they are easy victims of "snake oil". I believe in the latter. Most of their friends cannot say if the sound is very good or exceptional but most can see that the craftsmanship is in the top and the price wasn't cheap. That's sufficient.
I adore high quality craftsmanship but I would never spend my money on that. At a maximum, I would buy at Neurochrome for the excellent sound performance and reasonable price for "western" components and production. As an engineer, I am most persuaded by genius in the sense that little delivers a lot. This is why Chris' and others efforts with LM1875 is most interesting for me.
 

mchambin

Member
2011-03-13 8:21 pm
I do not watch at speakers when I listen to music.
I am usually busy at something else.
IMO sound quality has about nothing to do with parts quality.
Decent quality, suitable for electronics is all that is needed.
Audio grade parts is likely snake oil.
 
Last edited:
Buy studio monitors where the money goes to performance not aesthetics. Engineers dont care how it looks, and use there ears not eyes to decide how it sounds. They also have budgets and if an ugly speaker means another mic guess what they will buy. This and the competition usually means the mark up is reasonable, not like some hifi speaker makers that believe ( which is true ) that some people will buy there speakers because they look fantastic and cost ridiculous prices no matter how they sound.
 

Galu

Member
2018-04-17 6:50 pm
Daniel Kish lost both eyes to retinal cancer before the age of two and has no memory of vision. Undaunted, he has taught himself to 'see' by using his ears.

He makes clicking sounds as he moves through the world, and his brain uses the echoes to create a 3D image of his surroundings.

These images, he says, are rich in shape in texture. Daniel Kish: Man who is blind but can see like a bat - BBC News
 
Not only speakers. Really high-end amplifiers and CD players, evt. turn-table players have a finish that astonish anybody. Inside such amplifiers, the components are arranged like if it was a Lamborghini or Ferrari. Ultimate physical aesthetics and a price that cannot be explained even from the superior craftsmanship. If too lightweight, heavy materials are used to leave the impression that you really get something for your money. The electronics are indeed high quality but if really superior is arguable. You clearly need to have a superior budget to buy such and many with such budgets are not really audiophiles.
In a previous thread it was discussed if humans always act rationally and common sense prevails or if they are easy victims of "snake oil". I believe in the latter.
Most of their friends cannot say if the sound is very good or exceptional but most can see that the craftsmanship is in the top and the price wasn't cheap. That's sufficient.
I adore high quality craftsmanship but I would never spend my money on that.
At a maximum, I would buy at Neurochrome for the excellent sound performance and reasonable price for "western" components and production. As an engineer, I am most persuaded by genius in the sense that little delivers a lot.
This is why Chris' and others efforts with LM1875 is most interesting for me

Hi thanks a lot ... i also like some units that look like pieces of art. :worship: But their prices keep me far from them :eek:
For my choices i do not rely a lot on look ... even if i like units that gives a feeling of solidity ... like a stone. Wadia ... old Pass Labs units ... heavy grey or black pieces Reliable and neverending
 
I do not watch at speakers when I listen to music. I am usually busy at something else.

Hi ! how is that ? when i listen seriously to music i cannot do anything else. I am completely absorbed by the experience.
For instance i stopped to attend audio fair because people was chatting during the demos. I could not stand that behaviour. Very rude. Any noise distracts me from the music and i want to hear the most i can to get some kind of realism. I have noticed that listening with the lights off helps a lot.

IMO sound quality has about nothing to do with parts quality.
Decent quality, suitable for electronics is all that is needed.
Audio grade parts is likely snake oil
Define decent :D i mean what is decent for you could be very top quality.
The level of decency is variable i guess ... when i was invited from a friend to try my diy preamp (a Pass design called Bride of Zen, not very well put together i admit ) in his middle high end system he was reluctant. Then we started to listen and he changed is mind completely. He was surprised by the sound.
 
Buy studio monitors where the money goes to performance not aesthetics. Engineers dont care how it looks, and use there ears not eyes to decide how it sounds.
They also have budgets and if an ugly speaker means another mic guess what they will buy. This and the competition usually means the mark up is reasonable, not like some hifi speaker makers that believe ( which is true ) that some people will buy there speakers because they look fantastic and cost ridiculous prices no matter how they sound

Hi and thanks very much for the valuable advice. I am not convinced that put amps in the speaker is a very sane idea. I would prefer some kind of multiamp. And actually i am heading in that direction. I am buying an amplified speaker for cannibalizing its electronics and then used them for another speaker i am putting together. With better drivers of course.
 
Probably your system needs improving if you have to close your eyes :whip: ;)

Hi my point is that listening without seeing the system (listening blind) can help to evaluate better a system. The look can be deceiving.
I have noticed that if i put a sleeping mask on i hear the sounds more ? is it possible ? because the brain is free from the work of processing video images ?
 
Not all manufacturers of high end speakers let you see what's actually inside their glossy statement pieces, and often for good reason!
It's What's Inside the Loudspeaker that Counts | Audioholics

Hi ! thanks for the link ... very very impressive. Actually i am leaning towards active speakers because impressed by the sound of some cheap active speakers lately. I think that the concept is very sane.
Usually the drivers used are at the very bottom of the quality ranking ... only more expensive monitors have decent drivers ...

Even when perceiving speech your brain trusts vision over hearing.
This phenomenon is known as the 'McGurk Effect' and is demonstrated in this short BBC video: YouTube

Very very interesting video. However i am hearing two slightly different sounds.

Daniel Kish lost both eyes to retinal cancer before the age of two and has no memory of vision. Undaunted, he has taught himself to 'see' by using his ears

very moving and impressive story. I will try to listen again wearing a sleeping mask very easy. I am quite sure that i will like my system more ... is not looking very nice.