What Blind Testing Shows -- A Data Cache

Tom Martin -- Mon, 03/01/2010 - 09:24

There is significant disagreement in the audio community about what blind testing shows. Some of this disagreement comes from the point of view that it is well known that there are not differences between component (often speakers are excluded from this view). Or, there is the view that many disagreements about what is audible would be solved by ABX testing. To wit:
 
"It can be shown that all amps sound alike when level matched. The differences between components are often influenced by the listener knowing the reputation of the manufacturer, the appearance of the device and/or the price. Take those out of the equation by using blind testing, and the differences between components is often so small as to be insignificant."
 
"I, like many others, am convinced you can't hear a difference [in a blind test]"
 
"Why isn't blind listening tests of products a given in the audio world?"
 
Many posters cite "evidence" for these views, though citations are almost never provided. It got me to wondering what the published evidence of the requisite form (blind testing, ABX testing) actually looks like.
 
 
The purpose of this thread is to catalog instrumented tests and blind observational comparisons of equipment that have been published.
 
The rules:
 
1. Please post only links to tests or (if not in violation of copyrights) actual test data.
 
2. Name the source
 
3. Please be sure state what was tested and when
 
4. No comments, except to articulate details of the test method that you are posting (if you wish to comment, start a separate discussion thread)
 
Thanks.

Tom Martin -- Mon, 03/01/2010 - 09:29

FYI, we have a related data cache on cable differences. That one covers published evidence, both blind observation and instrumented test, for cables only. That may be of interest to readers of this data cache, so here's the link:
 
http://www.avguide.com/forums/are-cable-differences-real-data-cache

CEO and Editorial Director, Nextscreen LLC

Tom Martin -- Mon, 03/01/2010 - 09:31

For those not familiar with the basics of blind testing, here is the link to the Wikipedia entry:
 
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Blind_experiment

CEO and Editorial Director, Nextscreen LLC

Tom Martin -- Mon, 03/01/2010 - 09:33

Also, for those not familiar with the theoretical concerns about blind testing, here is a guest blog that makes this fairly understandable:
 
http://www.avguide.com/blog/guest-blog-its-time-admit-we-dont-know-every...
 
You have to read past the part on USB cables. Start with the eighth paragraph.

CEO and Editorial Director, Nextscreen LLC

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