You don’t have to be an expert in sound mixing, microphones, speakers, reverb, and amplifiers to appreciate good sound; you know it when you hear it. Good quality sound is not only capturing the trebles and bass properly, but having a quiet room for the subtle silences of a performance. Here are the top Philadelphia venues with rocking sound systems.
Hours: Daily – 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.
The world-class caliber Philadelphia Orchestra performs in the biggest room, Verizon Hall. The smaller, more intimate Perelman Theater is equally proficient with sound excellence. There is good orchestral balance, from the dramatic silences that fill the room to the full power of the musical climaxes.
Hours: On day of show at 4 p.m.; Doors open 3 hours prior to showtime
Whether it’s an Allman Brothers concert or Australian Pink Floyd, the sonic resonance at this venerable music theater only further enhances the live concert experience. Many groups have even recorded live albums here, including Paul Simon and David Bowie–and there can’t be a better endorsement of a venue’s sound than that.
Hours: Mon to Sat – 12 p.m. to 6 p.m.
Located in a suburb about 30 minutes from downtown Philly, this concert hall is nationally recognized by audiences and performing artists as the most acoustically-perfect listening room in the Philadelphia area. Acclaimed architect Horace Trumbauer, who also created the Philadelphia Museum of Art, designed the amazing theater.
Hours: Mon to Sat. – 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.; Sun. – 12 p.m. to 5 p.m.
Show Nights: Open until 9 p.m.
This listening room continues the long tradition of warmly welcoming visitors with its sweet sound. Sellersville is about an hour north of Philadelphia, but well worth the drive. It is renowned for its sound system and the up-close feel of the performances.
World Café Live
Hours: Mon to Sat – 10 a.m. to 10 p.m.; Sun. – 4 p.m. to 10 p.m.
The downstairs, 300-seat performance area has superior sound quality that explains why it has been awarded “Best Live Music Venue” almost every year since it opened in 2005. You would never know there is a full kitchen behind a closed door, because none of the sounds of pots and pans, ice-makers and refrigerator hums are present.