Forum Topic: Has there been any improvement in Hi-Fi speakers in the last 30 years?

Are we being audiophooled?

by hodg100 Jun 9, 2017 at 7:51 AM


  • This is a potentially controversial topic but AVForums member, rogercr, is keen to know if you think there has been any real improvement in loudspeakers in this last thirty years. He’s even added a poll and there’s already multiple pages of discussion on the matter
    In Roger’s words, disappointing as it sounds, generally speaking, it has been his experience that Hi-Fi speakers have not improved at all for 30 years or more. There have always been differences between different models, some small and some large and with different manufacturers but rogercr contends that manufacturers, today, have copied the best designs and components of the past and whilst they might make small changes to the materials used the designs of the components are similar to those used years ago.

    The manufacturers struggle to make improvements but, he feels that in order to promote sales they often just change the appearance of the cabinet. They might change the drive unit but it won't sound dissimilar to some made 30 years ago. There are differences in sound, due to size and different manufactures but it’s Rogers’s belief that the best sound of 30 years ago has not been improved upon.

    Non-coincidentally, rogercr’s speakers are over 30 years old and he decided he would treat himself to some smart looking new ones. Some sounded great in the shops and a friend with him decided on a pair. He was about to follow suit but didn't want to spend money unnecessarily and so took his speakers to his friend’s home. It was remarkable, said Roger, as they could not distinguish the difference between his and his pal’s. His friend’s lounge is slightly larger than his and the speaker placement in his home is better arranged so, consequently, roger’s speakers sounded better in his friend’s house than his own. Roger has now made adjustments to his own set up at home and feels he has saved a lot of money.

    Has anyone else come to the same conclusion, or the opposite?

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