We often get letters at Home Theater asking about our lab tests for audio products and why we perform them. In the simplist terms, our lab trials serve two key functions. The first is to warn you, the consumer, about any false or misleading claims that manufacturers might make about the performance of their products. The second is to add objective insights to the reviewer’s subjective observations about the sound of a product, and most important, create verifiable criteria on which to compare similar products. Our goal is to provide the most pertinent audio technical information and present the data in a consistent manner over time that allows for easy comparison, even over a wide range of model sizes and prices and over the span of many years. Here’s how we condense a day’s worth of measurement data into a few salient points in what we call the Audio Measurement Box.
Oh for the simplicity of days of yore, when a home-entertainment system came entombed in a massive slab of French Provincial furniture, with the television tube in the middle and built-in loudspeakers flanking it on either side. There was little decision-making as to speaker placement, usually boiling down to which wall of the living room was equipped with the twin-lead connection to the aerial on the roof. With this simplicity and lack of flexibility, there was little one could do wrong (or right, for that matter) in terms of speaker placement.