To Doug Schneider,

I want to share my impressions on a great DIY device which optimizes the sound in the listening room. It's called the Brodule and has been invented by Audiophile Apiguide, a French audiophile. It’s cheap to make (€40) and produces extraordinary results. To me, the Brodule is one of the best DIY audio tweaks of all time as far as room optimization is concerned. It will change your listening experience.

Please have a look at my blog:

This is not a joke. It really works.

Kind regards,
(Paris, France)

I don’t believe that you’re joking about this unit, but I also don’t think I’m the only person who received this message -- the main paragraph is the same as the opening one of the blog link, so I have to assume a cut-and-paste job along with mass e-mailing to a bunch of reviewers in order to gain some interest. On the other hand, you were kind enough to respond quickly when I asked if I could reprint it, so I’ll share my own thoughts on this device and others.

I find it hard to believe that little devices like these can make the profound improvements that are promised, but one never really knows until one tries. I’ve had bad experiences before, though, which leads me to believe that if they do anything at all, it’s insignificant at best. For example, I’ve been to demos where these little dots were stuck onto walls and I didn’t hear any difference whatsoever, even though I was promised a bigger soundstage, better midrange, etc. At the time, I couldn’t help but think that a picture frame had a much better chance of making a bigger difference in a room. Then there were the famous Shun Mook pucks. Again, I didn’t hear a thing. These things don’t come across as much as a waste of time as a waste of money.

In many ways the Brodule reminds me of the room-tuning devices Synergistic Research is selling called Acoustic ART. But I sat through one of their demos at the Rocky Mountain Audio Fest in 2009 and was really put off by the way it was run. Ted Denney, the company’s president, ran the demo by stopping and then starting the music whenever he was making a change to the positioning of the devices in the room. Some people asked him to keep the music playing as he made the changes, but he refused. It’s hard enough to discern sonic differences without musical interruption, and next to impossible when the music is always stopping and there are long pauses before it starts again. I left with the impression that the Acoustic ART devices don’t do a darn thing and that the starting and stopping of the music was nothing but a trick. But I wouldn’t be surprised if others disagreed with me, since some people seemed to hear things in the same demo that I didn’t.

But unlike these other commercial devices, the Brodule is DIY. As I said, one never really knows until one tries, and maybe there's something to it. If I can find some time one day, I might try to make it and see if it does anything. But if I do, I won’t stop the music from playing when I take it in and out of the room. . . . Doug Schneider