I've listened to a lot of speakers over the past thirty-odd years, and I can tell you this, they're all imperfect.
No hi-fi or home theater sounds like live music, and not a single one of the most exalted high-end speakers has truly flat frequency response.
Of course, everyday speakers are less accurate, which is why just about every receiver sold today has a calibration system that corrects speaker anomalies and tames room acoustic problems.
That's all fine in theory, but most speaker calibration systems only change rather than improve the sound of a hi-fi or home theater. So I'm a bit of a skeptic about the benefits of this type of processing, but I finally heard a correction system that delivered the goods. It's the DEQX HDP-Express. I listened to it over a very high-end system (owned by DEQX's publicist).
The sonic transformation was at once subtle and dramatic. I first listened to the system without any correction, and the sound was excellent. The speakers were large floor-standing towers (Focal Utopias). I played a few recordings I know well, and the sound was beautifully balanced and natural.
Ah, but then my host switched on the DEQX speaker correction, and the sound of the "Wynton Marsalis & Eric Clapton Play the Blues" CD snapped into focus.… Read more