What speaker properties (sensitivity, impedance, frequency response, etc...) have a significant impact on the quality of the sound at low volumes?

I understand that sound quality is subjective, but I hope to find at least some pointers on what specifications play a role in the quality of the sound at low volumes.

When googling around I find plenty of (audiophile) forum threads where people recommend specific speaker sets for low volume listening, but do not mention what characteristic makes those speakers perform well. Additionally people recommend headphones, but those provide a different listening experience altogether and I don't see them as a drop in replacement to speakers.


1 Answer 1


This is a tough one, because not only will any set of speakers designed to perform well at high volume be lacking in detail & depth at low volume, but also your ears respond differently.

Personally, I find my dynAudio BM6A's to be very much OK at low levels (minus the chest-thumping lows, of course), which was one of the reasons I bought them (the other being their stereo imaging compared to my previous Genelec 1032A's), but I couldn't tell you what specifically makes them work well.

Perhaps overall it's that near- to mid-field monitors are optimised for lower levels anyway. I can't ever imagine listening to the big old Urei's we used to test final mixes on quietly.

tbh, you can't buy any speaker based on a set of numbers. It just doesn't stack up that way.
Across the years I've listened to some hi-fi buff purist rigs & found them unbearably blurry, yet the so-called aficionados thought they were lovely & kept telling me so.

As regards headphones - I can't stand mixing on them. Tracking, fine, mixing, absolutely not. I don't even really like them for just listening. They ruin the staging for me; no sound in real life can ever emanate from the centre of your head.

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