Do you perform blind listening tests when evaluating audio equipment?

In our <A HREF="">foru..., reader Ethan Winer brings up the concept of "listening blind when assessing audio quality." Do you perform blind listening tests when evaluating audio equipment?

Do you perform blind listening tests when evaluating audio equipment?
Yes always
10% (16 votes)
Yes, as often as possible
23% (38 votes)
Yes, sometimes
22% (36 votes)
15% (25 votes)
No, never at all
30% (49 votes)
Total votes: 164

Steve's picture

If the difference is subtle, then yes this can be useful. Just one of the tools in the toolbox.

Ole's picture

It's the only way to be objective while evaluating new gear. But please remember how to conduct a real blind test! All the stuff talked in the so-called audiophile world is 90% myth and 10% truth at its best.

jimmy's picture

However, there's a downside. You're hearing it in a listening room which is different than the one at home.

ch2's picture

There's blind and there's double blind. Very different situations.

Jim Johnson's picture

An emphatic yes! It's the sound, not the price, that matters. The editors for Stereophile have probably forgotten that.

Stephen's picture

Since there are no bricks and mortar dealers anymore and everything is bought over the Internet, it is kinda hard to do listening test until after you have bought something.

OdysseusG's picture

Though my audio shop's very accommodating, I feel uncomfortable monopolizing their time. While the power of suggestion shouldn't be underestimated, it's convenient (and quicker) to have something to focus on rather than listening blind.

fred's picture

This would require at least one other interested and skilled helper to do blind listening tests.

Steven B's picture

How else can you upgrade?

Louis P.'s picture

I actually performed a truly blind test once, not even knowing that I was doing so. When I was lo0oking for a new DAC back in the early nineties, the Theta Pro Basic was one of the models that I was considering. I had auditioned it once, comparing it to a couple of other models, and I went back for a cesond listen. Well, by that time, the Basic was updated to Basic II, and the salesman didn't tell me. Guess what? I could tell the difference a good month later. The Pro Basic II served me well for nearly a decade.

Ron Ramsey's picture

Yeah, I tried that once. Auditioning speaker cable. Can I tell the difference between the $4 a foot and the $2,500 a meter? Had the audio consultant put on a '68 live Grateful Dead CD, closed my eyes. Next thing I know it's two hours later and I find myself wandering the city. Don't know how I got there. Still having an acid flashback. Now I only do home auditions. Bought the $4 cables.