POLL: Do you care about measurements?

For cars, motorcycles, bicycles, kayaks, pontoon boats, and really good blenders, I don’t look at specs. I either feel it or I don’t. For audio gear, specs? Couldn’t care less. No interest whatsoever. My ears tell me everything I question real quick.

The first time I heard the Vivid G1 Spirits I strongly felt “oh hell no!”. Everything was larger than life. Deeply involving but just way too much everything. Like IMAX compared to a TV. Never thought I’d be comfy with it. I was wrong. It has been assimilated and sounds perfectly normal to me now.
Same lying ears.

Maybe I should look at specs??!!


as I have been told many times, in your case I’ll make an exception.

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now that’s a glowing review!


Just curious…

When specs like thd, tin, sn etc reach a certain low level say very low %, or -120 db…

At which point do measurements become a moot point?

Best wishes y’all

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mostly, upon satisfaction with speakers…before, during, or after purchase

though you may care about measurements before, during, or after purchase, eg in evaluating SQ

interesting discovery by measurements of FR20 here, including Paul’s use to diagnose and fix speaker damage for FR20 used in 5/15/23 HFN review

measurements can be quite revealing

Paul’s transparency and mission are PSA’s biggest assets

the poll seems ‘stable’ at 81 out of 512 viewers of the poll

about half of the 81 voters registered that they don’t care about measurements and specifications in their audio equipment, sometimes strongly

given the money spent, sometimes huge, and a focus of virtually all advertising and media/salesperson reviews…I was surprised

component size, weight, technical performance, impedance/sensitivity, materials used for the speakers (eg, carbon, berkelium, paper, aluminum), price, etc were uncompelling to many, even though many of these audiophiles ‘upgrade’ their equipment with better performing parts

I agree with those who report that measurements and specifications get them in the door and that SQ seals the deal.

I for one would be concerned with a glaring bad measurement or specification; it would nag me even if a component provided great SQ, worried that the technical defect(s) would eventually be revealed, particularly after purchase of a new component added to the system.

I am shocked at the revelation that the review pair of the FR20 in HFN this week was damaged and that the reviewer did not notice the significant drop(s) in frequency response, invalidating the review even though it glowed positively. I assume that the FR20 is indeed sweet but conclude that the review/reviewer wasn’t.

See the review

A couple days ago, Paul confirmed the damage and bad measurement, which guided diagnosis and fix. Many of us admire his transparency and mission.

Thank you all for your input and dedication to SQ.


I have a different take, that measurements are not nearly as indicative of what we hear as some think they are.

Even those intimately familiar with the speaker did not hear a glaring problem, even though the measurement looks awful. That is, In this case measurements were critical in diagnosing the problem, but did not predict the subjective experience of actual listening.

As Paul explained:

“It wasn’t until Chris ran his measurements that he discovered the problem. Once fixed we could hear the difference but it wasn’t like this night and day sort of thing (despite how it looks).”

I like measurements and the science behind audio. But measurements are tools, nothing more.



I reckon that when THD+N falls below 0.02% at 1W I am unlikely to hear any further improvement. Other people’s experience may vary.


The specifications come from the measurements…

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one would hope

the marketing department my do differently

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Measurements are a good beginning point, however some things can’t be measured. Thus ultimately it’s the music that matters the most.

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essentially proven when Paul could barely discern a significant drop in measured performance of the FR20 due to tweeter damage

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This is why manufacturers should always publish their own measurements. If PS Audio had done this HFN would notice the discrepancy and investigate. Avoiding the potential loss of sale.

I still stand by my vote. I do care about measurement. Those that say they absolutely don’t care, even if it’s to confirm manufacturers meet their stated specs are lying to themselves imo. If not the case, more power to you guys!

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Yeh look at what KEF produce for new speakers. Some people made comment negatively that JA at Stereophile used LS50s. KEF are serious about engineering and like to show it…

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looks like I should listen to these puppies

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If you were completely happy with your system and then read some review that indicated that the measurements were not as advertised in the specs, would that change your opinion of the sound of your system?

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Yes, it would. I would want to confirm my system is not faulty because it could be that much better. I don’t kid myself that I’m in this hobby and ever be “completely happy” with my system.

That and I don’t support manufacturers that are intentionally misleading or are outright deceitful as a matter of principle.

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Re Ron’s question

Not necessarily but would see if I could hear it’s impact

Feasibly it could be a positive one in a particular speaker, eg lessening excess brightness or bass boom

I agree with falling_leaves