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Can loudspeaker reviews give relevant information

Of course a review can give valuable information about a speaker. But they vary in quality, and in what and how the information is presented. Some have measurements mixed with subjective listening impressions, some can be quite elaborate, some are short, some seem to be more like an advertisement.

If a review is to give true and comparable information about the sound from a speaker, this has to be done by analysis of measurements - presenting a number or simple picture, that represents the sound. Unfortunately, this does not exist today.

But that does not mean it can not be done. Part from spl capacity, everything is in the frequency response measurement, provided this measurement has sufficient information - resolution, all sound radiated in all directions. It is just a matter of being able to process this information, to be able to visualize it much simpler.

Tonality, frequency balance is just one aspect, and even this is affected by the total radiation pattern, which means defects in frequency response may not always be possible to fix with eq.

Spatial properties attributed to the speaker as sound source can all be determined by looking at this frequency response measurement of sound radiated in all directions.

Spatial is closely related to clarity. Clarity can also be determined from this same measurement set.

Transient response - same. Does a snare sound realistic? Does it have tactile, physical impact? This can be measured.

But reviews with no measurements, only a story of the reviewers impression of the product, can also have value - as a story to read. Even if it obviously can not be a comparable and accurate presentation of the sound. And there will be huge variation - both in presentation style and quality.

Speaking of clarity - there are established metrics for this property. If you look in REW, there is a window named "Clarity". Look up what those metrics are made from, in the REW help.

Here is a picture of this "Clarity" - same speaker, in 2 different rooms. This illustrates just one of many problems with subjective listening evaluation - a reviewer listening in the 1. room will get a very different impression from this speaker, from someone listening in the 2. room: