If an audio product were perfect, it would have no sound of its own. It would be invisible. It would have no “voice.” In the real world, DACs, amplifiers, turntables, and especially the transducers—microphones, phono cartridges, and loudspeakers—all have distinct sonic characters.
Imperfections are inherent to every audio product and design. “Voice” is the result of crucially acknowledging the sonic effect of every decision and every part, and then purposefully coordinating the combined effect of all those many little imperfections into a whole, creating a voice with as little overt character as possible. At least, that’s the objective for all GoldenEar loudspeakers.
Many speaker designers have different ideas about how a speaker should be voiced. Some voice their speakers to be more like studio monitors, which intentionally heighten the listeners’ awareness of potential recording flaws—a lousy recipe for speakers whose first job is to deliver the thrill and beauty of music and soundtracks.
Other speakers are voiced to grab your attention in the strange, distorted, emotional environment of listening while standing in a store. This voicing technique is a bit like early color TVs being sold by turning up the color too much. These speakers might win the “look at me” war in a retail showroom, but at the expense of making music and movies unnatural and tiring at home.
We’d like to boast that GoldenEar speakers are perfect, voiceless. But that would be absurd—nothing is perfect. The real difference between lesser and greater products is in their designers’ ability to manage inevitable imperfections.
Competent voicing doesn’t itself reduce the quantity of the imperfections, but rather it coordinates them into an extremely low-level, ignorable background with no features that shout for attention. That’s the goal—one shared by all GoldenEar speakers.