This slightly snarky essay should bring a little chuckle into your day especially if you’re a frequent review reader.
“Always laugh when you can. It is cheap medicine.” Lord Byron
An Audiophile’s Speaker Review Formula
Step 1: Some story about equipment you listened to 30 or 40 years ago.
Step 2: Assert your relevance and tell people how you’ve learned so much in that time.
Step 3: Feign surprise about the delivery of this new product you’re testing. Note how expensive it is – to deter others from buying it and posting a review. Complain you don’t get paid enough to actually buy it.
Step 4: Compliment the company that sent you the samples. Pretend to be neutral to the company by eluding to some past product that wasn’t perfect. Name drop the company president.
Step 5: Describe the fit and finish. Acceptable words (pick 3): craftsmanship, beautiful, modern, classical, solid, heft, teutonic, clean, elegant.
Step 6: Use the word “transducer” and if you’ve accidently used the word “speaker”, replace it with “loudspeaker”.
Step 7: Describe how you connect equipment together. Never use the words “wire” or “cords”, use “interconnects” and “mains”.
Step 8: Initial impressions. Always be surprised at how good it sounds. Always.
Step 9: Pretend to hear something problematic.
Step 10: Move your chair and remark how the problem subsided. Blame the room, not the product.
Step 11: Brag about your reference system. Complain that the soundstage isn’t the same. This section should be around 30% of your article.
Step 12: Play in your basement for a bit while you listen to (actual listening optional):
-A female vocal song that has no lasting appeal. Describe the song and how it was engineered but accredit the speakers instead. -A song with saxophone, piano, and brushed snare. Must be slower than an athlete’s resting pulse. (This step is often combined with the above.) -A current pop song to prove you can relate to your grandkids. Awkwardly mention dubstep. -A whole album from a 1970s rock band. Mention how it’s different from DSoM, credit or blame the crossovers.
Step 13: Mention how accurate they are.
Step 14: Say they’re bright but laid-back.
Step 15: Say they don’t need a subwoofer unless you want a subwoofer. Remind all readers that subwoofers are for frequencies below x0htz (change this number from the last set of speakers you tested; use the F3 value you Google in step 21).
Step 16: Describe the midrange by repurposing a metaphor normally used to describe scotch. Bonus points if you fuse a scotch metaphor with argots from oil painters (watercolour if you’re writing a review on Focal). Use the words “form factor”.
Step 17: Say they’re “forward” but “not fatiguing”. Insist they’re “balanced”.
Step 18: Remind people about all the awesome gear you have, while evading critics by mentioning your rare or one-off equipment. This will cover you in case someone has a differing opinion.
Step 19: Agree with the price point and market position. Note a few competitors; choose 1 mainstream brand and say they’re worse, then choose 2 more obscure models and say they’re comparable. Be vague or you won’t score more free swag.
Step 20: Complain that you have to return the samples to the vendor.
Step 21: Google the specs and retype them (metric to imperial, imperial to metric). Optional: Include price only if it’s expensive as all hell.