Why Most Hardware Specs Are Total Bull



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Anybody else notice the racist remark?

"The only information that dynamic contrast ratio can relay is how much brighter the whites can be than the blacks."


Sorry, that was in bad taste.



The reason that I hate shopping for TV's.

I walked in to the local best buy and asked if they knew what impute lag was and they had no clue.

All I want is a 19"-26" TV for playing console games on because that's the platform that 90% of my friends play on.



If you want to hear a good example of this first hand just go to Best Buy.



Is it just me or does anyone else out there really want 44Ghz buttons now?!



Hey Guys -

  Listen Up! Can You ??  I doubt it ?? Stay away from any audio articles will you. If I remember - it wasn't that long ago that you wrote about how to make "lossless" MP3s - or something to that effect. The watts matter - the dynamic range matters - the numbers matter - BUT to a point.  Top quality audio is fast becoming a lost quality of our newfound digital dumbed down life.

  When CDs first came out they sounded like Sh*t comared to vinyl   on a quality turntable. So they finally got better & better .... Ever hear the difference between a $100 Sony CD/DVD player and a $350 Yamaha?  Well if the rest of your audio system is up to it -- you will.  Otherwise you won't.  It's a really sad state of affairs. If I pump most any downloaded stuff (Zune 192K WMAs) from my computer to my "Pretty Damn Decent Stereo System" it sounds like some sh*tty CD.  Even my own CDs ripped at WMA Lossless / Apple's Lossless / Wave / Any way you want -- Do not hold up. MP3s are a total wreck. Yes - I've ripped them with Exact Audio Copy - Top quality. Been doing that for years with all sorts of codecs and settings.  Forget it.  Something is just not there. That's coming off a monster machine with an Auzentech Bravura soundcard - Optical out.  Somehow - that intangible something is missing.  It's the MUSIC that's missing.

  One company's watts do not equal anothers'.  There are boxes of woofers & tweeters - and there is a soundstage.  There is a loud color of paint on a wall - and there is music.  And there is a huge difference. 

  I'll take 50 watts of quality over 500 watts of garbage any day.  Can you hear me now?


PS Stay away from audio articles cause you guys are way outa your league. The rest of the article is 'OK' !




Keep drinking that vinyl kool-aid.



This is a Gizmodo article that we've reposted since we have a content-sharing agreement with them. We try to only pick articles that will be of interest to our users - but don't blame us if the Giz pieces aren't Maximum enough!



There is nothing wrong with this article, including the audio portion. The article isn't saying that things like frequency response and dynamic range aren't important. What it is saying is that most manufacturers advertised specifications are so inflated that its almost worthless to look at them. Posted specs often can't begin to describe the difference between a $50 walmart special and a top of the line piece of equipment. On paper they can look very similar, but once you experience them first hand it is a whole different story.



The real problem with "watts" in audio is that it is supposed to be based on the input/output voltage of an amplifier. (Technical stuff: Transistor amplifiers work - transistor has 3 pins; audio in, power in, audio out. The more power in, the more power is given to the audio out. This is the basic principal of the transistor amp) Watts is supposed to equal the wattage input into the audio signal via transistors/vacuum tube.

PMPO (peak music power output) is VERY ARBITRARY and is unspecific enough to drive a truck through! MFR's can say almost anything they want and be accurate, and more watts sells better.

See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Audio_power for more info.

PS - High end pro-audio equipment NEVER uses PMPO.



While generally for computers, it can be quite often the case that wattage might just be something to slap on to a speaker to "up the specs", power and wattage can very, VERY much be an important spec when scooping up audio gear. When dealing with various sizes of spaces, you need to have the power. Yes, the quality of the speaker is arguably important. But if you need to fill a room for an audience of 100 or more, you will not want just 20W speakers. The power CAN be a very important spec, it just depends on the user's needs.

In the reverse case, many small systems (like portable speakers, headphones, and the like) have very small amounts of wattages. They limit their total output. Again, quality is also essential (ever gotten $5 earphones before?), but the wattage also can be a key factor for these devices, as it will influence how much they might draw out of whatever device you plug them into... just my two cents!



By reading this article I now know more about electronics than any employee at (insert major electronic retalier here)!

This should seriously be required training for all employees.


Apologies to all employees who are knowledgeable



"Apologies to all employees who are knowledgeable"


Well, there aren't any, so no need to apologize.



I happen to work at Staples and knew most of what was being talked about here. And also knew that reciting what the numbers meant really was BS in the end. 


But I understand your sentiment. I find many of my coworkers lacking in tech knowledge too. I remain a proud exception.



Same here. The reason why I started at my local Staples was because they don't buy into the fudged numbers that a lot of OEMs dish out.

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