By Thomas J. Norton • August, 2007
Loudspeakers may not be the hardest things in the world to shop for (cars win by a landslide), but the search hasn't gotten any easier in the past few years, as the decline in dealers offering serious demonstration facilities (particularly the big-box, warehouse stores) has reduced the opportunities for an ears-on audition. A good demo remains the gold standard, however, and there are still dealers who offer one. We think it's money well spent if you pay more but get the speakers that are best for you. If you can't arrange for a serious demonstration, your chances of finding a speaker system that meets all your expectations will be sharply diminished.
But before you start visiting dealers, make a list of a half-dozen or so speaker systems that seriously interest you. The list might come from past experience with the brand, hearing the speakers in a friend's system, or product reviews.
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