Raidho TD3.8 loudspeaker

In my high-school days, I visited a friend whose well-to-do dad proudly demonstrated his new Quad ESL system for us. First up was a recording of a man with heavy footsteps traversing the space from left to right. Next came a speeding police car, siren engaged, complete with Doppler tail. I found it impressive, and a little lame at the same time. My friend and I, in love with our own artsiness, preferred Fear of Music by Talking Heads and Drums and Wires by XTC, or (in a pinch) U2's Boy.

It wouldn't have occurred to me that I'd ultimately derive frequent joy from listening to sound effects (though in my case they're usually integral to the music, not apart from it). When I hear Yosi Horikawa's bouncing marbles on Wandering, I prick up my ears and smile. A panting dog on Holly Cole's Temptation, an overhead hovercar on the Blade Runner 2049 soundtrack ... bring it on. A babbling river on Andrew Bird's Echolocations; seed pods on Tom Waits's Blood Money; liquid splashes and crinkling paper on Felix Laband's Dark Days Exit ... yes, please. I don't care if it's a little gimmicky. It's also sensual in the original meaning of the word, an aural pleasure.

The Raidho TD3.8 speakers that, after three months, just departed my home, do the trick of conjuring points in space with great acuity. I figured they might after they made a fool of me at AXPONA 2022. Here's what happened: I'd entered the Danish brand's room and taken a front-row seat for a brief audition. Suddenly a deep-voiced man spoke up, just to my right: "You guys ever heard of the Purple Man?" Puzzled, I looked in his direction; no one was there. Being from Maine, I wondered if I'd somehow ended up in a Stephen King horror flick.

A millisecond later, my brain clicked into gear. The voice was on the recording (nine seconds into Natalie Merchant's "The Peppery Man," from Leave Your Sleep). Cheeks flushed with embarrassment, I realized that I'm apparently no smarter than my dog, who sometimes barks at other dogs he sees on TV.

At this point, I was deeply intrigued by the Danish duo and hoped to do a review. It would be another 10 months before the speakers, in a premium burl walnut finish ($117,000/pair), arrived chez moi, accompanied by US importer Bruce Ball, who, for an afternoon, kindly oversaw and tweaked their setup.

Before Ball even had them dialed in, I heard and enjoyed the forward-projecting effect again. On Roger Waters's "Perfect Sense Pt. 2," from Amused to Death (24/192 FLAC, Columbia/Qobuz), the dialog between the sportscasters that starts at 1:35 comes from the left speaker—seemingly not just several feet outside it but pushing so far to the front that it seemed as if the duo had taken up residence on the leather couch that's 5' from my left knee (footnote 1). The vast majority of speakers I've auditioned paint the soundstage left-right-and-back; they don't tend to place sounds into the room. By contrast, the Raidho TD3.8s sometimes render two-channel mixes with imagined Dolby wizardry—as if there were auxiliary speakers on the sides. It's almost too cute and coincidental that Raidho is headquartered in Denmark's Jutland.

Speaking of: Can we just take a moment to marvel at the country's 100-plus-year rise as an audio powerhouse? In 1915, Danish inventor Peter Laurits Jensen and his American partner Edwin Pridham produced the world's first moving coil loudspeaker (footnote 2). Jensen's pioneering work seems to have fed a petri dish of hi-fi innovations in his homeland. According to the 2015 e-book Danish Loudspeakers (footnote 3), "Danish companies manufactured more loudspeakers per capita than any other country in the world" in the 1960s and '70s. Today, Denmark's hi-fi industry includes AudioTechnology, Bang & Olufsen, Børresen, Buchardt, DALI, Dynaudio, Gryphon, ICEpower, JAMO, Lyngdorf, Peerless, Ortofon, Raidho, Scan-Speak, Scansonic, Vitus, and more. That's stupefying for a population of just 5.7 million people—about the same as Minnesota—and for a country that, in terms of land mass, is half the size of Maine.

Fast as a bullet
4'8" tall and lanky, the TD3.8 does a better job at softening its visual dominance than other tower speakers I've had in my room recently, including the Focal Maestro Utopia EVO and the all-beryllium-driver version of the Tekton Moab (reviews of both forthcoming). No, the Raidhos don't exactly disappear from sight, but their front baffle (slightly curved concavely in the vertical plane and convexly in the horizontal one) is only 10" wide. Viewed from directly overhead, the forward-sloping tops of the three-way speakers have a pronounced bullet shape as the flanks swoop sharply backward to end in a wedge-shaped rear (the bullet's tip). The TD3.8s are much deeper (23") than they are wide. I'm sure that all design decisions regarding their enclosures were made for acoustical reasons—time alignment, minimizing diffraction, subduing standing waves—but it doesn't hurt that the speakers ended up looking aerodynamic and fast. And fast they are, transient-wise, which starts with the high-frequency drivers.

Raidho's proprietary ribbon tweeter, mounted in an MTM array with two 5" midrange drivers, is 3" tall. It's a planar magnetic with an 11µm-thick foil membrane that weighs just 20mg, equivalent to maybe a dozen snowflakes.

The purple prose on the company's website explains that Raidho's bass and midrange transducers (8" and 5" in diameter, respectively) are no slouches in terms of speed and other virtues. Each combines strong neodymium magnets with underhung titanium voice coils. The magnet systems and the baskets that contain them are turbine-shaped, claimed to counter reflections that would otherwise smear and colorize the sound. The diaphragms of these midrange and bass drivers consist of layers of aluminum, ceramic, and tantalum topped off with a 10µm-thick deposit of artificial diamond. These tantalum and diamond layers, which give the TD series its name, are applied in "highly specialized machines [that] pump in argon gas and fire particles at lightspeed, thus fixating the atoms to the membrane," the website says.

The TD3.8 is fourth from the top in the series—after the $250,000/pair TD6, the $156,000/pair 4.8, and the $146,000/pair 4.2. At this level, nothing is off the shelf, Raidho says. "No essential part is picked from a brochure. All is custom made" to achieve "unique creations." The drivers are designed and built in-house in Pandrup (population 10,000), the company's home in northern Denmark. Within its stepped-slope crossovers, Raidho does use third-party materials, including Mundorf components connected with Nordost wire. Bass frequencies up to 400Hz are handled by the TD3.8's double 8" woofers; above that, the dual 5" midrange drivers take over. On yonder side of 2.4kHz, the ribbon tweeters fire.

Pairing is caring
For a week or two, I did my listening with the fabulous all-in-one HiFi Rose RS520 I reviewed in the July 2023 issue. Judging by retail prices, this should have been a dicey matchup. The Rose, a streamer, preamp, tuner, and class-D stereo amp in one, costs only $3695. That means you can buy 30 of 'em for the price of the Raidhos and have money left over for a bacchanal or two at a Michelin-starred restaurant (or half a ticket to a Taylor Swift show, footnote 4). In reality, the Rose+Raidhos combo wasn't as Oompa-Loompa-meets-the-Hulk as you'd expect. I enjoyed everything I played, although it fell short of world-class performance in terms of absolute resolution and midrange fluidity.

Next, I gave my Krell FPB 200c stereo amplifier a whirl, fed by an Auralic Vega DAC. Crispness and bass authority increased, and with the further addition of an Audio Research LS16 MkII preamp, I also had a winsome midrange, bending toward mellifluousness. Nice.

Ultimately, these were just warmups—a form of delayed gratification. I hadn't forgotten how supple and seductive the TD3.8s sounded at AXPONA 2022, where they'd been married to a pair of Margules U280 SC 30th-anniversary-edition tube amps. The same amplification had driven the $46,500/pair TD2.2s at the Florida Audio Expo in February of this year, producing such synergy that it became one of my top three systems at that show. "Pure and surprisingly 3D in a way that turns off your brain and connects you to the music in seconds flat," I wrote in my wrap piece.

Footnote 1: This song, like the rest of Amused to Death, was recorded in Qsound, a 3D-positional sound-processing algorithm that renders a binaural image from a two-channel system, enhancing such spatial effects—which takes nothing away from the Raidhos' impressive rendering.—Jim Austin

Footnote 2: They later started Magnavox together.

Footnote 3: Free at

Footnote 4: See

Raidho Acoustics
15 Bransagervej
9490 Denmark
+45 98247677

DougM's picture

Horribly executed and shoddy engineering on a $100K speaker! This is the great Raidho that's been hailed as so wonderful? I think not! What a joke. A $1000 pair of KEF, Elac, Wharfedale, Dali, Polk, or Monitor Audio speakers will yield a far better designed and far more enjoyable speaker to listen to than this overpriced piece of garbage.

RvB's picture

When, where and how long did you listen to the Raidho TD3.8s?

You did listen to them, right?

Ortofan's picture

... the $5K Revel Performa3 F208, can provide outstanding subjective sound quality as well as "textbook" objective technical measurements, what is the incentive to seek out a speaker that is more than an order of magnitude more expensive, yet can't provide (at least) the same level of performance?

DougM's picture

I don't have to listen to a speaker with a huge 5db suckout between 2 and 5khz to know that it's a poorly designed and flawed piece of shit that will sound like crap, only exacerbated by the treble that is also 5db too hot. It appears to have been designed for showroom appeal which impresses in the short term when compared to better speakers, but fails miserably at home long term, just like everything made by B&W since the early 2000s and the original Nautilus series, the last B&W speakers that were any good. If you think this is good sound and good value, then I pity you and your judgement is too flawed for words.

Glotz's picture

These speakers are endgame amazing. I've heard these and they rock the heavens. More Luddites sitting at home and not visiting audio shows for their own experience. Theory trumps their ears every time.

They keep pretending that they understand speakers so well, that measurements tell them everything. They, laughingly, do not.

laxr5rs's picture

You're calling people luddites who understand what a severely bad frequency response means. I take it measurements tell you nothing?

Glotz's picture

Because I've heard the speakers and they defy any anomalies you Think are in the speaker.

Spend some time at any audio show, listen to the actual speaker, and then give your Informed opinion.

Only listening tells the real result. And they are amazing speakers.

What you assume from measurements can be two things as the culprit- test limits and assumptions of the test results from looking at these graphs.

The numbers do point to behaviors. This does not mean they are absolute.

Not to even discuss what can be corrected in-room, whether with with placement or room treatments. Note the many room treatments the author uses.

Your results may vary, but you don't have any results as you haven't heard the speaker in real life.

Glotz's picture

Of Raidho speakers. They are out there and again with reputable sources.

These writers have no reason to lie to you.

But perhaps you didn't read or believe the review either? That just leads to thinking everyone is lying to you...

beave's picture

Four comments were deleted today, including one or two from the author of the review. Why?

aRui's picture

Most hi-end speakers have bad measurements and 'crazy' (or rather stupid) impedance swing. But there are always excuses from the reviews/reviewers.

bhkat's picture

The measurements seem indicate that they are "voiced" for the older audiophile crowd.

Anton's picture

Well done.

georgehifi's picture

This review was never going to shine with these amps

Two of the amps used were no no's into that kind of impedance and epdr loading.
And then the Krell had the grunt and current but was never a great sounding one from them.

Cheers George

John Atkinson's picture
georgehi wrote:
This review was never going to shine with these amps

Two of the amps used were no no's into that kind of impedance and epdr loading.

The Margules monoblocks have a high output impedance, >5 ohms. If you look at the impedance of the Raidho speaker (fig.1 in the Measurements sidebar), the amplifier's output impedance will tend to fill in the lack of energy in the presence region.

John Atkinson
Technical Editor, Stereophile

Ortofan's picture

... two "wrongs" in the hope of making a "right"?

Shouldn't a power amplifier have a sufficiently low output impedance such that the resultant variations in frequency response that will occur, when connected to a speaker with a non-uniform impedance, will be inaudible?

KEF used to include a conjugate load as part of the crossover network in order to make the speaker impedance appear nearly constant across the full frequency range.

Likewise, a very low amplifier output impedance will appear, as close as possible, as a short-circuit to the back-EMF from the speaker.

MZKM's picture

You’d think for >$100k that they’d be able to hide the baffle screws. Revel fails to do the same thing.

Nirodha352's picture

No excuses possible when talking this kind of money. However, can be worse… think big Wilsons

Anton's picture

When I first see a product or review, I try to guess the price of the device.

Usually, my guess is about 50% under.

This one, I guessed 7-10,000 dollars, but figured I would be wrong and it would be 12-15,000.


Reminds me of a Pretenders song:

I went back to my hobby, but my hobby was gone.

All my favorite pieces, inflated by decimal spaces.

Ay, oh, way to go, Raidho.

Kodak805's picture

A former dealer told me the retail mark up on all Raidho loudspeakers is 70%.

Homer Theater's picture

Ah... the promise/premise of that big-commission sale--that never happens. When the dealer "gets" 70% of an MSRP sale, it's kind of implicitly saying, it shouldn't be difficult to get a 20% discount on the MSRP. Of course somebody has to think highly of these to buy them in the US where their appearance doesn't really say "You couldn't possibly afford these speakers." That keeps them off the short list of at least 50% of the people who purchase speakers in this price range. For those buyers, they may want the function/performance to be at a high level, but if the speaker doesn't make an obvious visual statement, this sort of buyer is just not interested. Selling very expensive items without market-awareness of the brand means the product can be a hard sell in the high-income market for speakers. Especially when it doesn't look-the-part.

teched58's picture

I am playing Kreskin today, and what I see in the future is: Stereophile reviews will one day in the not-too-distant future begin appearing sans John Atkinson's measurements.

John's measurements of actual performance are now semi-regularly undercutting the favorable subjective musings of the reviewer. When even normally polite and supportive commenters are pointing this out, we are at or near a tipping point.

Glotz's picture

Rather they will keep the measurements, and get rid of the comments section. Note HFN&RR.

Jim Austin's picture

Neither--removing measurements or comments--is currently anticipated, but removing comments is far more likely as long as so many continue to be ignorant, irresponsible, and anonymous. I know it marks me as seriously old-school, but I still think of such things in terms of risk and accountability: Are you (and obviously I don't mean you, Glotz, personally) willing to stand up for what you believe in, to stand behind your own views? Or do you--does one--choose instead to yell insults out the window of a car that's quickly moving off into the distance?

Despite the whining of our less well-informed critics, we are working to expand, not contract, measurements. See our most recent turntable reviews, for example.

Jim Austin, Editor

teched58's picture

Hi Jim-

I don't think you're old school. And I respect the heck out of you because you have a doctorate in physics. (As an EE, I've crossed paths with many physicists. Though not Oppenheimer, who was before my time and above my clearance.)

What I do think is that you (for want of a better word) are triggered by any criticism of the high, high end. This is understandable on its face, since this is Stereophile's bread and butter.

However, I put it to you that Stereophile is not going to be hurt if you are a little more tolerant of readers who want to vent occasionally. I would also be so sharp as to venture that evincing a sense of humor is more appreciated than being a scold.

Oh, and "lamb chops" is two words. The copy desk at Science would've caught that one.

Thanks for listening.

Anton's picture

My wine forum has a real name policy, works wonders.

Just require real names here in order to post.

I’d add my last name, no problem.

DansingFool's picture

The job of an editor is to reduce word count and increase the precision of word usage.

Here is a suggestion:

Removing measurements or comments is not currently anticipated. Removing comments that are ignorant, irresponsible, and anonymous is far more likely.

Are posters willing to stand up for what they believe in? To stand behind their own views?

DansingFool's picture

This website does not provide a "delete" option for your own comments?


Why does it say to "save" a comment when it really means "post the comment?"

Is English a second language for the people operating this website?

jimtavegia's picture

The measurements do leave much to be desired, but if someone who auditioned them loves them and wants them it is fine, but it is clear that many speakers under $20K perform measurement wise better. Maybe it is not just bling, but some other thing that drives this very high end market.

I do find it shocking that an amplifier of high price and quality could/should not drive this speaker properly. Is the damping factor or load the reason this is happening? Maybe the crossover in not quite optimized, but that should never be an issue at this price.

My hearing issues over 6khz have driven me to headphone over 95% of the time and I have studied the Harman curves until I am tired of looking at them. The speakers might have me not understanding the lyrics of poor recordings most likely, but the high end would probably work only for me in my house. I think many of you would feel the same with excellent hearing.

I really need to go audition a pair of KEF LS50 Meta's and and see what JA1 finds so great about them.

Ortofan's picture

... listen to the R3 Meta to determine whether, or not, the addition of a separate woofer might make a worthwhile difference to you.

jimtavegia's picture

I will try and do that. Appreciate it.

jmsent's picture

is not a Danish company. It is located in Moss, Norway.

John Atkinson's picture
jmsent wrote:
is not a Danish company. It is located in Moss, Norway.

Corrected, thanks.

John Atkinson
Technical Editor, Stereophile

dcolak's picture

If I wanted to play with EQ I'd purchase an EQ. Is this for real? 1ohm swings on top of it all?


Glotz's picture

It is laugh out loud absurd to think these speakers are anything less than world-class and among the best 10 speakers on the planet right now.

It is clear none of you have had the experience of listening to them. The TD 3.2's are very impressive as well. Not hard to hear them for yourselves!

'The rice in this tapioca pudding is substandard!!'

Ortofan's picture

What do you consider to be the other nine speakers worthy of inclusion in that group?

Sunlit Uplands's picture

I think that i will stick to my much cheaper but amazing 8030C Genelec, also of Scandinavian origin. Not only they measure infinitely better, as proved both by JA1 and Amir measurements but they truly bring the presence region to life.

Anton's picture

Those speakers need two more decimal places in their price before you can say they sound that good.

I've heard this Raidho speaker, they are fine, but do seem to have a bit of that ol' 'smiley face' frequency response going on.

In wine terms, loads of oak and acid, but little to fill the middle, for me.

Glotz, I bet your ears would tell you a different story over time. I found them a bit fatiguing, which seems to happen more frequently than I would like for these types of products.

When people mention this as 'exit level' speakers, I get it; they make me want to exit.

But, then, perhaps all they need is a bespoke type of screw and screwdriver.

But then, then... have also heard the Raidho D5 and was surprised to find I was in agreement with TAS! " I pointed out in my original D-5 review, all was never completely well with Raidho’s flagship. It is one thing to claim that your speaker has a built-in frequency response that is “designed for the ear”; it is quite another to stick such a speaker in an average listening space, where room modes cause sizeable dips and peaks in speakers that measure flat, much less those that are (deliberately) engineered not to measure like a ruler."

So, it's not just JA1 being 'wrong' all alone.

Pardon my cynicism of late, I'm seriously trying to work out a decent map of my hobby. I think this Amir person is often wrong, but find he is never in doubt. I think he 'under listens.' And I find strange things also happen with the 'high end' crowd....there is a progressive fragrance of Sonic Stockholm Syndrome to, me, as someone stuck in the middle.

I see it with wine, too. Reviews will gush over some 25,000+ dollar Burgundy with the kicker being at the end: 120 bottles made, so no way a normal person has a way to get hold of this and taste it, so if you disagree about a wine being worth 25,000 bucks, you're a philistine who can't discuss value unless you have some. It becomes a cycle.

At least with cars, there are objective parameters of performance, and the rest can simply be put down to luxurious appointments and false scarcity without feeling like you let the cat out of the bag.

Glotz's picture

Excellent insights. I know of several audiophile and music lover friends that love the warmth curve delivered in their DACs, speakers and amps. Nothing wrong with that, and with a very linear system, I could see many saying 'just right!'. It's all perspective and ancillary components. Thanks for the levity here, not bile and outright contempt.

When enough respectable audio journalists bring up Raidho as best of show or even great value for their money, I know they are not lying to me (or even misguided). After 40 years, I know these writers. Their experiences match mine almost always. If Jonathan Valin or RVB says they fucking rule, they fucking rule. I implicitly trust these people because they follow scientific method in their listening approach, nomenclature to explain their observations and they have integrity to prove it over time.

Raidho might not be my taste of first choice in that price range, but Magico or MBL sure would be!

There are thousands of products that everyone can enjoy. Pursuit of the state of the art can only help all of us 5, 10 or 20 years down the road. Graphene as a material can and will prove that. Magico to... who know where else?

I'll call it- the next material to be used in high-end tv's of organic LED origin, will use... graphene. We will also see it replace silicon in top end PC workstations. For people to decry the high-end audio market place in asking people to fund their next invention seems silly. To those that can afford it, they enjoy state of the art right now- Ala Magico speakers. I can't, but I can appreciate it.

Jason Victor Serinus's picture

I love your comment, Anton. Thank you,


RvB's picture

"Reviews will gush over some 25,000+ dollar Burgundy with the kicker being at the end: 120 bottles made, so no way a normal person has a way to get hold of this and taste it, so if you disagree about a wine being worth 25,000 bucks, you're a philistine who can't discuss value unless you have some.

The beauty of well-reproduced music is that it's not a finite commodity.

Buy a case of great wine and it will soon be gone if you use it as intended. Buy a great stereo system and bliss will always be on tap. Share the experience freely; no matter how many people enjoy your rig, the beautiful music they hear never runs out, never needs replenishing. This is what audiophiles have over oenophiles: we can afford to be generous. It costs us nothing.

Speaking of which: Raidho has a number of dealers in the United States, and the brand and its products have been present at just about every audio show I've visited —- sometimes in multiple demo rooms, where all are welcome.

No wine dealer is going to be sharing even one drop of 1947 Domaine de la Romanee-Conti La Tâche Grand Cru with you. You must buy in order to sample. But pricey audio equipment? It's not unduly difficult to listen to a good Raidho setup. Deciding to do so may make a believer out of naysayers. Or, of course, it may not. But at least those who've actually auditioned the speakers I reviewed will have earned the distinction of being qualified to weigh in; not just on how the TD38s measure, but on how they SOUND.

Glotz's picture

Of Truth.

Ortofan's picture

... US Raidho dealers?

RvB's picture

True to tradition, we published the manufacturer's and importer's info, including their websites, in the review, under "Specifications." You can find out dealers' details on those websites, or by calling the phone number that we provided as well.

Ortofan's picture

... website and failed to find a dealer listing - aside from the fact that the importer seems to double as a dealer.
Where on the website did you find the list of those 15 dealers?

beave's picture

I couldn't find it on the importer's website. But I did find it on the Raidho website, with link here:

kelven's picture

With regard to wine, it probably needn't be said, but consuming alcohol (or any drug) will alter one's senses.
The glass of wine or "edible" might seem to help take the edge off and have one think they are better able to tune-in to their listening experience, however, the intentional altering of one's senses only serves as an additional source of distortion--and the second "dose" exacerbates the condition.
The moment a reviewer talks about their chosen alcoholic beverage before sitting down to listen, they disqualify themselves as capable of providing a clear-headed review.
Meditation could serve as a healthier preparation.

beave's picture

From the review text: "the all-beryllium-driver version of the Tekton Moab..."

Not ALL beryllium, is it? Surely the 12" woofers aren't made of beryllium.

Anton's picture

Not the woofers!

hb72's picture

Admittedly, I typically first look at measurements in Stereophile's component tests as I am in technology professionally, nevertheless, I have a sound system that is carefully grown around listening to music and not to experience components of excellent measurements.
I suggest to listen to John Darko's podcast (June 10, 2020) with Darren Mayers (ex PS-Audio, now Parasound), who has experience to share in context of measurements vs perceived quality of musical reproduction (think: joy, intensity of being moved, touched, feel like dancing, all the good stuff). He says, in the course of the development of a quality phono stage, he had a perfectly measuring sample which alas didn't sound as involving as expected, so he went back to his desk to completely re-design the device and came out with something that measured a bit less good, but was involving like a dream.
Point is: what is a comprehensive set of measurements that enables us to draw RELIABLE conclusions on perceived SQ? static frequency response curves measured at 50" straight in unechoic room perhaps is only one puzzle piece to the full picture, and I wonder whether the inclusion of in-room response in listening position would have raised less questions (and hairs). Looking at the bass: some might think this isn't going to sound well: the hump, the early decline.. but in-room it might just do the trick: the port resonance frequency of 20Hz is indeed very low, meaning everything above 35Hz ish will be done in sealed box manner, i.e. fast in onset and stopping of bass energy. Marcus Miller's bass might come out more nicely than expected (fast & powerful), provided the right power electronics is in use.


MhtLion's picture

A great review. Although TD3.8 is not designed by Mr. Borrensen, I think it shares a lot of design philosophies applied by Borresen on earlier Raidho speakers. Namely, there is a lot of focus on the driver materials, components and the driver housing. However, when it comes to the enclosures - not as much? I never had a critical listening session. But, on my casual auditions, I felt throughout the range they have superb dynamic and transparency. In some sense, I personally think Raidho speakers sound like open baffle speakers in someway. Perhaps that's why they don't pay too munch attention to the cabinets. Or they are paying a lot of attention but just do not have the right expertise in this area? Anyway time and time after I thought Raidho sounds great but has a characteristic, which contributes to the house sound regardless of music because of the cabinets. Anyway, I think TD3.8 looks the best in the series.

deone's picture

These speakers clearly indicate the discrepancy between what we hear and what we measure: the qualitative review says "Mindbendingly good" while the measurements indicate problems.
Isn't this an opportunity for Stereophile to look more closely to find out if we are missing something in measurements? Perhaps there is something else that we could measure that would support the "mindbendingly good" listening experience? That would be an awesome analysis.

Kal Rubinson's picture

Perhaps there is something else that we could measure that would support the "mindbendingly good" listening experience?


deone's picture

Hi Kal
Do you mean there is nothing objective that we could measure (without requiring large numbers of human subjects) that would make measurements more predictive of listening experience?

Kal Rubinson's picture

Do you mean there is nothing objective that we could measure (without requiring large numbers of human subjects) that would make measurements more predictive of listening experience?

Not that I am aware of. There are some other measurements than can be performed but they would not resolve this particular discrepancy.

Ortofan's picture

... tests and measurements used by the BBC in the course of developing their monitor speakers.

Kal Rubinson's picture

Perhaps a review is in order of the various ...... tests and measurements used by the BBC in the course of developing their monitor speakers.

Do you mean this: ?
I believe that it is more about development and engineering than about performance analysis.
Toole's work is more recent and relevant.

I reviewed the first edition of his book ( and the greatly improved 3rd edition is currently available. I know that, among may of us, John Atkinson is familiar with it.

Ortofan's picture

... specific speaker models, authored by Harwood and/or Hughes, from about 20 years prior.

Kal Rubinson's picture

Good but very old stuff.

Glotz's picture


Anton's picture

I don’t care what your damn measurement ruler says, those lines are curved. We need a better system of measurement.

Sometimes, sonic taste trumps what gets measured. It’s not that the measurements were wrong.

Would we be having the same argument if those speakers had no frequency response below 120 Hz, yet a reviewer called them stentorian in the lower registers? No, we’d call it an oops and not double down, I think.

Kal Rubinson's picture

Sometimes, sonic taste trumps what gets measured. It’s not that the measurements were wrong.

I can live with that although I'd probably re-order the two sentences.

Ortofan's picture

... wrong, can the listener's sonic taste also sometimes be wrong?

David Hafler's accurate versus pleasant debate lives on:

Anton's picture

Canned peaches?

hb72's picture

The author of the test has provided listening distance which is rather large vs the 50" measurement distance and toe-in was relatively small, so that I bet the high frequency surplus on-axis is quite a bit lower when measured in-room at more distant listening position, off speaker axis.
Perfect speaker positioning w.r.t to walls, and (de)coupling vs floor might go hand in hand with flattening (def. not aggravating) the bass-hump, if perfect speaker positioning means transparent bass (that is what it means, right?).

I have the feeling we have seen before somewhat unusual "near field" frequency responses that improved a bit when measured in-room. B&W? worth checking...

laxr5rs's picture

You can throw that bad of a frequency response at people, and they think the measurement must be "wrong." heheheh. Sorry for laughing. They can't get the frequency response anywhere close, and they want $100K? Really. I'll take a Corvette. Don't tell all the major studio monitor manufactures that frequency response doesn't matter, because measurements very much matters to them. I have ruler flat low distortion Neumann monitors. They don't have a huge suck out of any kind, anywhere, and they are way cheaper, and subjectively, I say better.

Indydan's picture

I believe Rogier when he says these speakers sound good. I also believe the measurements don't lie.
The Raidho could very well "sound" great. The quality of the drivers and crossover parts, plus the sturdy cabinet can account for that.
But does it sound accurate? According to the measurements it DOES not.

Rick McInnis's picture

Must inflame folks that a loudspeaker can cost silly money judging by the unbridled emotion here.

As one who uses an MEH loudspeaker I am not the slightest surprised by an image that can also be projected forward of the loudspeaker so I had to listen to this PEPPERY MAN when I finally got a streaming setup working. I was underwhelmed but then I went back and read that he was in the FRONT ROW when he thought the fellow was sitting next to him - certainly not twelve feet back where he auditioned the speaker. If I was to give him a hard time about the review it would have been about this.

As far as the 5 dB high tweeter level I have to assume the RAIDHO folks have found a way to disperse this energy into the room. With a microphone 4 feet away it is going to be concentrated but have nothing to do with what one is actually going to hear in the room. Certainly in a damped room.

I was intrigued by the mention that RAIDHO pays attention to what the microphone hears at the listening chair. My speakers are my own so I have taken measurements at all sorts of distances from the loudspeakers (they are large) and I have found the listening chair comes closest to making sense with what I hear. One meter measurements are great fun if you want to show the speaker can reproduce a square wave ( well, sort of).

No question almost every recording these days is very shy in the bass so an exaggerated response there is helpful. Of course, most loudspeakers are incapable of exaggerating the bass response since there is basically none there to begin with. I would bet RAIDHO made a choice based on what really happens in a room.

The company's website says they are in Denmark yet the indispensable Mr. Atkinson agreed with the poster who said they are made in Norway. This is very confusing.

As far as Mr. Atkinson's measurements - they are the second reason (music mentions and reviews come first) that I subscribe. I have learned immensely from his loudspeaker measurements. Measurements without listening are next to useless and listening without measurements follows closely behind. Without correlating the two you are lost.

Sometimes van Bakel's enthusiasm can be almost too much but I think he has become a good reviewer. It is obvious he has a love of music and this is the most important attribute - a love of music and an appreciation of how it is supposed to be presented. Even though I will never understand what one learns from rap recordings. The mentions always seem like virtue preening to me. Same with heavy metal for that matter.

John Atkinson's picture
Rick McInnis wrote:
The company's website says they are in Denmark yet the indispensable Mr. Atkinson agreed with the poster who said they are made in Norway. This is very confusing.

The Raidho speakers are made in Denmark; drive-unit manufacturer SEAS is Norwegian.

John Atkinson
Technical Editor, Stereophile