Has there ever been an audio product that you did not buy because of how it looked?

Stereophile's picture
Judging by last week's results, industrial design clearly matters to many readers when it comes to audio products. So it raises the question: Has there ever been an audio product that you did not buy because of how it looked?
Has there ever been an audio product that you did not buy because of how it looked?
Yes
63% (126 votes)
Almost
11% (21 votes)
No
27% (53 votes)
Total votes: 200
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Comments
Scot's picture

I have Revel speakers and was very interested in buying the new Salon 2s—until I saw them. No way am I paying 22k to put those in my living room!

Rich Chicago, Il's picture

The short-lived Kenwood Soverign line of HT equipment was about as ugly as they came. Sounded very good, but I went with a Denon because, all else being equal (or very close), it looked much better. The Denon actually cost more, but I just could not look at that Kenwood every day.

jpeters's picture

Are you kidding? Sound. sound, sound!

Al Earz's picture

Speakers. At the time I really was intrigued by the Vienna Acoustics Bethovens. But they were not available in cherry. They are, after all, something you live with for a long time. And about six months after I bought my Revels, VA offered cherry. Go figure!

Krell nut's picture

There are a lot of well-known names on the market these days (and, BTW, in the olden days as well), that I wouldn't even think about of buying. I remember during the '80s and for most of the' 90s there was a craze to put as many buttons on the front as possible just to show off the amount of functions any particular brand was stuffing into their devices. I hate that. All flashing LEDs and blue-hued displays and what have ya'. Horrible. For me, that's a good indicator that they pay less attention to how it sounds. Who can remember those 15- or 20-channel graphic equalizers? Why wolud you want to put your signals through that kind of torture? No, just keep it simple. Nicely uncluttered fronts with only those buttons and knobs that you use every day. During the '90s they did this, especially with CD players, where they hid the less-used buttons behind a retractable door. Nowadays, it's not so much too many buttons, but the mostly incomprehensible menus on home-theater systems with manuals that are just as tough to go through. That's the reason why i have shied away from these. I don't want to spend 30 minutes setting up every time I want to look at a movie.

Teresa's picture

I don't care for ugly looking components, for me they have to be pleasing to both my eyes and my ears.

Oliver's picture

Sound matters, not the look.

Johannes Turunen, Sweden's picture

All those that are in silver only. My gear is all black and preferably with blue lights.

Neil D.'s picture

While looking for a cassette deck many years ago, I came across a Nakamichi wedge shaped unit. It looked "goofy"— so I bought the 700 instead.

KJ's picture

One word: WAF. A product's performance would have to be absolutely overwhelming to overcome heavily negative WAF. This means that very good but perhaps not outstanding equipment never even gets through the door. I look forward to getting a dedicated listening room, after which vanity matters not a jot. However, *useability* remains a major consideration, and I recommend adding that one to next week's vote!

bingo's picture

High-end speakers that cost $20k with (drum roll) paper cones Come on !

DG's picture

Nope. I'm still listening with my ears.

audio-sleuth@comcast.net's picture

Looks are only skin deep. I don't want to be judged by my looks, so I don't judge anything or anyone by looks. OK maybe sometimes, but what happens in Las Vegas....

Joey's picture

I never liked how the Salon2 looks—until I heard them during full swing. I have to have them..

Jimmy's picture

I leave it to others to view and/or purchase them.

Lila's picture

No, but I have seen a bass horn that I couldn't imagine buying, possibly even if it was most suitable in sound.

Jim M's picture

That is easy, DarTZeel products.

Ken Anderssen's picture

Yes, definitely! I have passed on some gear that sounds perfectly acceptable but was available only in black. I have no tolerance for soulless black boxes. I have also passed on gear where some functions could not be accessed via the front panel, only via the remote control. I also have no tolerance for remote controls. Don't get me started on that!

C Baldwin's picture

If it's not beautiful, I don't want it.

M Jarve's picture

Contrary to my vote in the previous poll, there was an instance where something was just too "differently pretty" that I nearly had to pass on it. It was a CD player that was as utilitarian as an Austrian Pinzgauer. Remote had 1.5-million same size/shape/color buttons. But it bowled me over with the sound, and endeared itself to me. It was a daily runner for almost five years before I upgraded.

BeeJay DeeJay's picture

McIntosh components, for example. Even though they sound great, the looks are a bit outdated in my opinion.

David L.  Wyatt jr.'s picture

I'm too poor to be that picky. You should have seen the homebuilt, badly antiqued Bozak symphony speakers I had in college. My friend Mary came over and said if I married her, I'd come home and find them gone. I told her she'd have ended up dead in a ditch.

Jacques Sergerie's picture

Audio, it's for your ears.

Martin Petersson's picture

As an audiophile, the sound and performance is number one. Of course, there is some nice looking equipment that tickles your eyes, performs very well, and has that extra "0" at the end of the tag.

denisov_g@rogers.com's picture

Only the sound is important.

Dismord's picture

Anything with those hideous yellow mid-range drivers a la B & W speakers..also electronic components that suffered a brief flirtation with the curved look that somehow managed to make them appear as though they'd suffered a hernia. Oh, and a hideous Mission preamp that had the company's name chiseled deeply in three dimensions on the front panel. And all those stupid valve amps that have ridiculous bits of curved wood glued to the front of them. What's that for? Off cuts from the local furniture factory they don't have to pay for? And turntables made mostly of massive chunks of transparent acrylic a la 'La Luce'. And anything that has flashing lights indicating power output YUK! Music should be heard and not seen!

harold's picture

WATT/Puppies just scare me. Have you ever seen one from the side in the middle of the night?

Dave Scholefield\'s picture

No, although a product's aesthetics can influence my perception of it and thereby my decision—to some degree.

amey01's picture

Yes, there are plenty I would not purchase because of their looks. If I find the look offensive or gaudy, then no matter how it sounds, I will not buy it.

Justin's picture

I like well-engineered products.

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