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?
63% (126 votes)
11% (21 votes)
27% (53 votes)
Total votes: 200

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?

mook's picture

JBL monitors with cubist-grid foam grille in strong colors (1970s). Good sound (with the grille on), but too visually "bright" for the average (my) living space. Got EPIs instead (sounded better, a little less expensive, less obvious in the room).

Jim Tavegia's picture

My long-gone Teac 350 cassette recorder. It was way deeper than tall. The cassette door on the top with some slighly slanting VU meters and input faders rather than knobs. For its time, it sure brought a smile to my face and brought high-end (? )audio into my vehicles.

Dejan's picture

I love Dynaudio sound, hate their complete lack of style.

ChiDave's picture

The old silver and gold Musical Fidelity. It would be hard for me to buy ARC, even if I could afford it.

Jim G.'s picture

I would never buy McIntosh because of that crappy faceplate that always looks like it's falling apart. Also the meters, the very idea of a blue meter, the hardest color to focus on, just shows that this equipment is made to impress people with more money than technical knowlege.

Ugly Betty's picture

Yes, a B&O system. It looked too good to be good.

conrad's picture

One product in particular comes to mind. I forget the name of the product and brand but it was a DAC that had no case and it was simply laid out on a piece of wood and powered by a car battery. Also, some speakers (eg, line arrays) I removed from consideration because they were too large for my listening room.

Ron Ramsey's picture

In 1978, I and my Europhile friend were listening to his Sonab OA-12s. With the tops off. I suddenly became convinced they were "Twonkies," sent by an predatory alien intelligence to conquer the Earth. Before they could take over my mind, I fled. Own them? I would never set foot in the room with them again. It was worse than a bad acid flashback. Luckily, there were Hill Plasmatronics, sent by the friendly forces from the Pleiades, to help the human Racerdefeat the Twonky Sonabs. Many an audio salon was leveled in the ensuing battle. The secret government has kept this covered up.

Tristan's picture

I have Blue Circle—.and I will not buy anything in the green line. Musical Fidelity is vulgar Anything in black, or packed with buttons..

Steve Walters's picture

Would you buy a car that performs great , but looks horrible? I wouldn't.

Watermad's picture

At the end of the day, it's about the music. However, an imposing speaker that is visually unattractive might break the rule.

ch2's picture

Many. I'm a big one on esthetics. Gotta sound good too.

Fabio Tosti's picture

I try not to focus on look when evaluating audio. I love the look of blue indicators but did not buy them. I did not like Audio Note's looks, but loved the sound.

rpeluso's picture

The gradient loudspeakers, for one.

Dave's picture

There are some makers that have products with styling features that would prevent me from buying those products. However, I've never been remotely tempted to buy such a thing.

C.  Healthgut, M.D., FACS's picture

I almost passed up a brand new pair of Klipshorns because my (then) wife of two years thought they looked ugly. Nearly 40 years later, those same ugly horns grace our living room as a part of our audio system. We have to occassionally laugh.

Bob Camba's picture

Aesthetic design matters, in audio as well as in cuisine.

David Price's picture

Chord CD player

sam's picture

I hated the gold Conrad-Johnson equipment. Bought the PV-10 preamp anyways.

Gabriel's picture

I like good design, but I'm not prepared to pay 10X more for it. Bang & Olufsen need not apply.

Steven Bell's picture

I have seen some very cheap looking audio equipment lately. And have passed on it for that very reason!

Bill Eames's picture

If it sounds good, and better than others at a similar price, I buy it.

Vitor's picture

Many times I have picked form over substance. The good-looking products are not always the very best, but I sure favor them.

Jer's picture

I could not bring myself to buy the Focal 837V speakers. I loved the sound, but I want real wood for $2700, not an ugly sticker.

Don's picture

Only how it sounds matters.

JEAN's picture

Never. Sound is all that matters.

uglyduck's picture

Obscene pricetags turn a lot of things quite ugly quite quickly.

chris's picture

I have never regretted not buying ugly equipment: later iterations usually addressed sonic deficiencies that I would have noticed only at home, but didn't have to, because the ugly design put me off in the first place.

Will's picture

All Naim products. Not a fan of their esthetics.

Paul Payne's picture

If no thought is given to the outside then more often than not why should you believe in the quality of the inside? Would you eat dinner off a dirty dog's bowl even if it was perported to be cooked by a Michelin-starred chef?