Choosing by Ear - Free Guide To Monitor Selection

Dynaudio Professional releases "Choosing by Ear", a practical guide to loudspeaker and monitor evaluation authored by Paul Mac.

Choosing by Ear

There are so many variables to consider when buying monitors and speakers, and so it can be a daunting task for those that are starting out. To help in this regard, Dynaudio commissioned media professional Paul Mac to provide practical tips and to show the current professional practice on how to choose monitors by ear.

Paul Mac is known as the Editor of Audio Media magazine, which he has been servicing for 15 years. Before that, he has worked as a theatre-sound operator and engineer, music and post production technical support engineer, sound editor, programmer, and lecturer. He also worked as a Technical Editor for The Mix magazine. To write this guide, Paul drew from his vast experience with audio technology - and thankfully, Dynaudio is providing this information for free.

The guide was inspired by the current trend in monitor selection process, where in processionals literally use blindfold testing. Recording studios, broadcast productions and sound engineers now do blind tests to ensure that they make the best possible decision based solely on pure audio, without the effect of branding or hype.

The guide starts off by explaining the importance of critical listening when choosing loudspeakers and monitors. It also discussed in detail how professional blind and double-blind tests are conducted, as well as provide practical testing tips - including the use of a blind fold.

Other items described in detail on the guide are the effect of room and speaker positioning. He also tackled DSP and room correction and how these can apply to real-world scenarios. He ends the guide by discussing AES20 - the Audio Engineering Society (AES) standard for the subjective evaluation of loudspeakers. This was first published in 1996 yet it is said to be relatively unheard of and rarely used.

Fred Speckeen, Global Business Manager of Dynaudio Professional, said: "Monitors must be the most overhyped and least understood part of the audio chain. Paul Mac brings together his own extensive experience and the seminal AES20 standard to this paper, providing a practical approach to selecting monitors via critical listening. Inspired by the fact that monitor selection by systematic blindfold tests is increasingly common at the highest levels of the pro audio industry, this paper covers the issues of listening environment, listening material and the listening process. Buying monitors is one of the most critical and expensive decisions each of us has to make in assembling a studio that's a joy to work in. We hope that this paper contributes to making that process a success for everyone."

If you are currently looking to buy loudspeakers or monitors for your setup, we recommend that you sit down and study this guide. To do so, you can head over to Dynaudio Professional to read the free "Choosing by Ear" document.

Related Article:
See our roundup of recommended budget friendly studio monitors!

Share This Article