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The Role of Critical Listening in Evaluating Audio Equipment Quality

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Subjective critical listening can reveal aspects of audio equipment quality not exposed by traditional objective methods. Subjective listening impressions, however, are often unfairly dismissed as mysticism, even when conducted by conscientious, technically oriented practitioners. This paper outlines the methods and underlying philosophy of professional critical listening, explores the reasons why subjective listening is rejected by the scientific audio community, and draws the distinction between serious listening and pseudoscientific claims.

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AES - Audio Engineering Society