A New? Way to Buy Loudspeakers??

I'm not saying that this is going to save high end...or that this is the way that most of us will buy loudspeakers going forward...but you've got to give these guys credit for coming up with a new idea that might just pull a few more people into the "hobby" by lessening some of the risk, cost and hassle.

Check this out....and just give it a try for yourself with a decent set of headphones...


just pick some speakers and hit the compare button...then scroll to the bottom and hit the "compare these products" button
on the right....then follow the directions.

What do you think?
Did you notice that their recommended "SpeakerCompare Listening Kit" consists of a headphone/USB DAC combo for $25? So they're saying you can hear the differences between speakers costing multiple hundreds of dollars through headphones that cost less than $25? Color me skeptical.
Ridiculous! I hope an employee at Crutchfield received a bonus for devising this scheme.
I tried it with some $20 KA ZSA dual driver earphones....and what I noticed is that you can definitely hear difference in treble and bass....but obviously not enough to make a serious evaluation as to what to purchase.

Since the younger generation doesn't like going to actual stores...and loves their phones and earbuds....this may actual be appealing to them????
Well that was pretty cool! In no time flat could tell the Polk would be my choice. The Klipsch hype the treble, and the other two are closed in. Plus the Polk is almost as efficient as the Klipsch.

An absolutely dumb idea ... there is no way that speakers can be evaluated for sound, imaging, nuance, resolution and construction in any meaningful way through this method. It appears to be nothing more than a poor attempt at a hi-tech, low-res sales tool.
Quite absurd! Apart from the obvious shortcomings of the DACs involved, any headphones would tend to ameliorate the complete lack of cohesion of speakers that mix ribbons and cones, and tend to blur the lack of frequency extension and muddy bass of British speakers. About the only thing I think you could tell is relative efficiency, which you can read in a spec.

blur the lack of frequency extension and muddy bass of British speakers.

You clearly haven’t heard all British speakers as your comment really only refers to smaller domestic British speakers. Most of the music you listen to is likely mixed and mastered on British Speakers! 

I agree the concept is ridiculous though. 
It's a nice gimmick.👍 I say this because by the time you "hear" the speakers, the sound will be nothing like what It does sound like if you were to actually hear them.

All the best,

When they moved to their flagship store a few years ago, they got rid of real listening rooms and just had one room where you could listen to a digitally synthesized simulacrum of various speakers they sold.  Utterly ridiculous.  This is evidently the "logical" extension of that system.

But that can't have caught on at the B&M store.  Nowadays, one only medium sized room has a whole bunch of speakers lined up on two sides, like suspects in an identity parade, and the punter (aka shopper) is supposed to stand there and audition (no chair provided), while the hovering salesperson pushes the buttons on the multiple-selector device.  Like the worst kind of demo at a regular audio store in the 1970s or 80s.

It's a scam, a sham, a true national emergency. 
You can't judge anything about how they will sound on axis, off axis, about imaging, soundstage and given how crappy your headphones might be, dynamics. Perhaps you can get a hint about tonal balance, but certainly not enough to make any serious conclusions. Cheers,
No doubt, it won't work for serious audiophiles....but is it clever enough to entice the 20 somethings into their first audio system...from which they can move up.  I'm not really sure because the young people today are often pulled or pushed in a direction by social medial influencers....so if Crutchfield could get a bunch of Instagram and Facebook mentions by the right celebrities....who knows?
I reckon you need to use this in a bake off between YG, MAgicos, Avalon Eidelons'...

The only problem with that is in the quality  they may expect .
crutchfield has midfi at best. 
I'm still thinking that if this an entry point for young people who only wear headphones...then midfi is better than nofi....and then later, they can always move up if they really get interested.
Well, it’s clever. And I suppose if your listening room in anechoic, and your budget for speakers matches Crutch’s price range, and your ear shape matches the microphone baffle, it might help narrow down which speakers to order for a home audition. To Crutchfield’s credit, the only real way to buy speakers, which is with a home audition, is possible because of their return policy.

I bought my first serious pair of speakers after exhaustive trips to audition various speakers in dealer showrooms. I was never really happy with my choice. I bought my current (and probably final) pair of speakers after a three month in-home audition, and I couldn’t be happier.
I love Crutchfield for what they do.  My go to for their stuff. Sure beats Best Buy.  That said... nice try on this one.  Takes me hours of listening to decide.   The real question... is it working for some customers.  
Since they just rolled this out a week or two ago, I suspect that there will be some tweaks in the months to come.  Its pretty interesting that they hired two phd engineers to develop this program...and I'm sure a bunch more to program it into their system and then test it and roll it out.

It may not help them with customers as much as they hope for initially...but it may send a strong message to suppliers that they should be distributing their products through Crutchfield and that in itself is pretty valuable.

Given the importance of placing and room characteristics to speaker performance, this makes no sense at all. Fun to play with perhaps, but meaningless.
Reading between their lines, the comparison is performed inside a computer of how each speaker is supposed to sound based upon their measurements. This means you are never hearing a recording of a real speaker. In studios, software can simulate different guitar amps, through which to playback your 'raw' guitar until you hear what you want. Same for simulating different reverb chambers, microphone preamps, various equalizers and compressors. Those processes work rather well but speakers? All the variables mentioned above are not addressed nor can ever be. Bogus.
Very cool if it can actually convey the tonality and dynamics of speakers alone through headphones.  Will give it a try with my phones and some speakers I know and see what I hear.
It's very funny to me!  There is no way you can evaluate how a speaker will sound, hooked up to your electronics, in your room, by using this method.

I have a friend who is a software developer (smart about that), and once told me that he compared "this" speaker to "that" one, and thought "this" sounded better.  When I asked if he'd found them both at his local audio shop, he said "no", it was from watching a Youtube, listening to the results on the little 1" speakers on his laptop.

Very funny!
I can only roll my eyes at this one. I have no doubt that you’ll hear differences but you’re introducing another whole set of "differences" independent of what these speakers would sound like in your room. You’re listening to speakers through speakers. Ultimately worthless. Why waste your time?
Twoleftears above has it right:
"listen[ing] to a digitally synthesized simulacrum of various speakers they sold."Yes. These are NOT recordings of speakers in rooms.
What they have done is to take a real speaker through a measurement session ala Stereophile, with the microphone likely one meter away, in front of the tweeter. There was no measurement made of a stereo pair.

The resulting numbers were given to software to shape/distort the music waveform. This can include "turn up the highs", "pump up the bass", "roll off the lowest bass", "dip the upper voice range a bit". Maybe it will also shift the acoustic phase, which changes from bass to treble by different amounts on different speakers. It might even give you the ringing of a metal cone or a cabinet booming. Regardless, their speaker-measurements are completely insufficient to capture how a speaker interacts with a room AND how it sounds at ten feet away.
This makes their software math incapable of calculating how any speaker ’sounds’ in a room at ten feet away, let alone two speakers. But really, coppy777 and snapsc are very wise about what’s most important: Crutchfield is attracting the attention of those who hadn’t yet thought very much about LISTENING for differences. These shoppers already know they can hear differences or they wouldn’t be looking at "little-known" brands. And they also know most USA specialty retailers are gone, so there’s nowhere to listen. But now here’s a way to listen that Crutchfield believes useful enough to have sunk a lot of money into its development. Crutchfield would be smart expand their range of music samples. In all genres, there are important styles or performances to hear a speaker ’get right’.