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Unspeakables — Worst Speakers You Ever Heard, And Why?

Discussion in 'Audio Hardware' started by Cyclone Ranger, Apr 5, 2021.

  1. layman

    layman Forum Resident

    New York, NY
    The Proac Response 2.5 sounded dreadful when I auditioned them. I never could understand how they mananged to freeze dry everything they played.
    The B&W Nautilus 804 sounded extremely disjointed to my ear. I heard severe suckouts at the frequencies where the drivers overlap. So you had bright, hard sounded treble, sucked out presence, forward sounding upper midrange, sucked out warmth and an underwhelming disjointed bass doing its own thing at the bottom. The drivers did not sing from the same page but seemed to fight each other tooth and nail.

    Speakers with BMR or balanced mode drivers (such as the Manger above) irritate my ears. The drivers sound like nails raked across a chalk-board.

    I would say that about 5% of speakers that I have auditioned sounded truly awful, while far more (50%) were just bland and uninvolving, but that still leaves 20% that sounded good and 25% that sounded great.
  2. Simoon

    Simoon Forum Resident

    Los Angeles
    I used to work at a stereo shop that carried the Cerwin Vegas, and believe me, they sucked.

    They absolutely did nothing correctly.
  3. Diapason

    Diapason Forum Resident

    Dublin, Ireland
    I had a pair of Nautilus 804 on loan for a weekend once, and I agree with every word you said, layman. Add them to my list!!
    kt66brooklyn likes this.
  4. Helom

    Helom Forum member

    GE Triton 1s

    Certainly not worst ever but worst in terms of “hi-fi” speakers I’ve heard over the last decade. The entry-level Martin Logan ESLs are almost as bad.
  5. Madison Mike

    Madison Mike Forum Resident

    Cell phone speaker.. There are people at work who actually listen to things that way.
  6. Yeah, like me when I was stuck for months in hospital! Saved my sanity (I think).
  7. nosticker

    nosticker Forum Guy

    Ringwood, NJ
    Gads, those Auratone speakers I used to see at some recording studios and TV facilities. There's a reason they were known as Horror-tones. Repugnant.

  8. ggg71

    ggg71 Forum Resident

    Boston, MA
    I don’t know if it’s the worst speaker I e ever heard, but I bought a Klipsch The Three for Bluetooth streaming in my office. It does make sound, but it’s pretty lame compared to my normal system. Oh well - I think I expected too much.
  9. Strat-Mangler

    Strat-Mangler Personal Survival Daily Record-Breaker

    Weird way of thinking, but OK. o_O
    JackG likes this.
  10. Strat-Mangler

    Strat-Mangler Personal Survival Daily Record-Breaker

    Why not use headphones?
  11. The Pinhead

    The Pinhead SUDACA ROÑOSO

    Cerwin Vega, Bose, Thonet Vander, Edifier (very early model)
    Tim 2 and Cyclone Ranger like this.
  12. Only really like circumaurals and didn’t have any access to those at the time. Sure, the SQ wasn’t great but the music took priority and sure sounded great given my situation.
  13. G E

    G E Forum Resident

    +1 million...

    I found plans for diy speakers using concentric woofer/tweeter drivers from Celestion or something like that. 3/4” plywood, no bracing, I don’t recall using acoustic insulation. Not sure I used screws and glue, just nails.

    anticipation and excitement as I hooked up speaker leads...ohhhh.... this isn’t very good me thinks. I never listened to them again

    they ended up in pop’s garage hooked up to a radio so he could listen to basketball games.
    Dignan2000 and kt66brooklyn like this.

    HIRES_FAN Well-Known Member

    I heard a Klipsch Forte 3 not too long ago at a buddy's house, who happens to be a Klipsch connoisseur. This is almost a decade after i heard a Klipsch....Same poor weak mids and it felt like my ears were being ripped off when he started cranking it up. How on earth is this considered hifi??!! i wondered... I went back home and hauled my Pass amp and Denafrips DAC over to his place. I hooked it up to see if the salvage effort made it better. No dice, it was just awful...still as lousy as it ever was. I guess it works for some folks, not for me. Ugh
    Adam9, Tim 2, Ctiger2 and 1 other person like this.
  15. avanti1960

    avanti1960 Forum Resident

    Chicago metro, USA
    the worst speakers i have ever heard were ( no offense, no deliberate bashing. just honest recollection) a pair of rega floor standers with the side mounted woofers. driven by an elict r amplifier and a rega cd player.
    why are they the worst?
    the imaging was bouncing all about because of the side facing woofers. the tone was midrange forward almost glaring with a fair amount of soft bass. no treble to speak of and transparency was muddy water murky.
    they were quick paced though.
    second worst were a pair of dali floor standers with the hash and static square screen super tweeter.
    kt66brooklyn and Cyclone Ranger like this.
  16. McLover

    McLover Senior Member

    Athens, Tennessee
    Controversial opinion here. Worst loudspeaker I ever tried to like (9 times). Bose 901. Liked the 301, 501 and 601 fine. Never liked the 901 (though great in skating rinks and nightclubs).
    Tim 2, kt66brooklyn and avanti1960 like this.
  17. Sorry you were subjected to that experience. I wouldn’t want to remember something like that.
  18. hifisoup

    hifisoup @hearmoremusic


    Tim 2, Ctiger2, kt66brooklyn and 2 others like this.
  19. Synthfreek

    Synthfreek Drum machines are not inherently evil.

    Peachtree Audio Design 5 on Sanus stands, straight up garbage.
    rebellovw likes this.
  20. bobbradley

    bobbradley Active Member

    Eagle nebula
    That didn’t take long lol!
    Cyclone Ranger likes this.
  21. Are there any ACME speakers? I think they would win hands down.
  22. Partyslammer

    Partyslammer Lord Of The New Church

    One for the Cerwin Vega haters!

    Tim 2, progrocker and kt66brooklyn like this.
  23. rebellovw

    rebellovw Forum Resident

    Sounded like Beavis and Butthead in the video.
  24. rebellovw

    rebellovw Forum Resident

    The did Ratt really well.
    black sheriff likes this.
  25. I guess the Cerwin Vega had the “party speaker” as a target market. They must have sold a heck of a lot of them at one time. Seems like everyone has had them or at least heard them at one time or another. They did “loud” real good. Well, at least they did loud.....
    Tim 2 and McLover like this.

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