How important are speakers?

Paul McGowan

Everyone one of us has them. Even if they’re the small and sitting atop your head. Without speakers, everything else is useless for making sound.

But I suppose one could make the same argument about sources or AC power. With nothing to pass through loudspeakers, or clean AC to power them, speakers would be little more than collectors of dust motes.

I cannot think of a home fixture with greater personality. Small, medium, big. Beautiful, whacky, obtrusive. Musical, blaring, God awful. In your car, ear, and living room. Honky, boomy, perfect. Low cost, high cost, absurd cost.

Speaker performance is all over the map. None are accurate. Some come close. All are noticeably flawed. There are seemingly endless varieties of loudspeakers built to match our needs and pleasure our senses.

It is endlessly fascinating how far their cry from perfection is and how deep our love affair with them is. Blemishes and all.

The next time you look at the pair of boxes occupying precious floor space in your home, consider how important they are in your life.

Something most of us cannot live without.