10 Biggest Mistakes When Shopping for Speakers (Part 1)

It’s hard to know what you don’t know. Shopping for speakers isn’t something that most people do more than a couple of times in their lives. If that. Most people start shopping by either making an impulse buy and sticking with it, or with many misconceptions they’ve picked up along the way. That’s okay! We all have to start somewhere. If you are starting to shop for speakers, here are (the first five of the) 10 of the biggest mistakes we see people make.

1) Setting a Budget Before You Begin

Most of us have bought a car before. If not, we at least have a general idea of how much they cost. It would be unimaginable for someone to walk onto a car lot and announce that they want to buy a car but their budget is $500. The staff would shake their heads in disbelief and wonder where they got that number.

They don’t know. It just seemed like the right amount for a car to them. The fact that it is a completely unrealistic number doesn’t matter.

That’s how many people shop for speakers and it is one of the 10 biggest mistakes they make. How can you set a budget for something when you know nothing about how much it costs? While it might seem like we are saying that your budget should be higher, we’ve also seen it go the other way. Do a little research first and you’ll have a better understanding of how much speakers actually cost.

2) Buying Based on Reviews (even ours)

“They were the highest-rated speakers on Amazon,” is never something you should say when describing your purchase. Online user reviews are especially unreliable. Buying speakers based on user reviews will often leave you disappointed and full of regret.

This isn’t to say that you shouldn’t take reviews into account. A product that has lots of good user and professional reviews is probably a decent product. But you should never buy a product solely on reviews. While they may have loved the speakers, they aren’t you, they don’t have the same room as you, and they don’t have the same ears.

3) Listening to the Internet (Part One)

The Internet is full of people with very strong opinions. If you find yourself online researching speakers, you’ll likely fall into one of the many sites with enthusiasts posting advice. These sites are full of good and bad advice and it is nearly impossible for the uninitiated to differentiate between the two. These sites are rife with people that will get very excited by a product only to decide that it is not worth buying a few months later. Depending on when you are researching, you may find yourself on either end of that advice. Buying because some enthusiasts online told you a product was “the best” is a straight line to regret.

4) Believing the Marketing

Every manufacturer out there wants you to choose their product over all others. This is how sales work. They have all sorts of psychological tactics to get you to buy their product. They’ve won awards. Their speakers are the most…pick your adjective. Dynamic, impactful, rich (bass/treble/midrange/whatever), random certifications. The list goes on. It’s easy to buy into the hype. Good speakers sound more alike than different. This isn’t to say that you won’t prefer one over another, but the marketing claims are rarely universal or even true.

5) Placing Too Much or Too Little Emphasis on Aesthetics

When people shop for speakers, one of the 10 biggest mistakes we see them make is in relation to aesthetics. Some people place way too much importance on aesthetics, and others not nearly enough. Neither option will lead you to a good speaker selection. If all you care about is aesthetics, then you will pay more for a speaker that is lower performing simply because of how it looks. If you place too little emphasis on aesthetics, you will end up with a speaker that sounds great at a great price but will eventually cause you to regret buying it because of how much it sticks out in your home. Aesthetics are important. Surely there is a compromise in there for you.

Wrap Up

Coming up with just 10 mistakes people make when shopping for speakers was hard. There are just so many! What about you? Any mistakes you feel people make often? Let us know in the comments below! The next five mistakes can be found here!

1 Comment on 10 Biggest Mistakes When Shopping for Speakers (Part 1)

  1. Pablo

    I’ve been hearing for 30 years the same advice about choosing the speakers by trying them before, but that’s unrealistic for far too many people in the world.

    I live in Madrid, Spain, and I can try to go to a listening room of a very expensive reseller… Or I can buy and return a few speakers from Amazon. I guess Barcelona will have a few expensive resellers too, but the rest of Spain will have to choose based on reviews.

    So you either have a lot of money to spend on these expensive resellers (if you live in a big city or make a dedicated trip to one) or you just read a dozen websites and pray.

    Maybe every little village in America or the UK has a listening room where you can choose. Maybe resellers there are happy to lend you a dozen speakers sets for you to try at home. Otherwise, how do you expect the average user to choose their speakers? Realistically?

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