Houston's 10 Best-Sounding Music Venues

Categories: Best of Houston

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Photo by Jeff Balke
Sound makes a difference.
Listening is not necessarily the strong suit of Houstonians who frequent live-music venues. But for those who do choose to silence themselves and their phones for live performances (or those drowned out by the sound system), there are certain places around town that are built for great sound. These venues, be they large or small, find ways -- either through acoustics, great sound systems or both -- to generate sounds that are pleasing to the ears even if the bands aren't.

On this list, we have purposefully left off the big venues like Cynthia Woods or Toyota Center. So many of these larger venues are not built for sound and what fans do hear is largely reliant upon the sound engineer and system provided by the touring artist, it is unfair to include them here. Suffice it to say big traveling acts rarely sound bad, but that is not always the case with locals, so having great venues is even more of a blessing when you can't afford a great sound guy or PA system.


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10. THE BIG EASY
This dive-y blues bar on Kirby is still one of the best places to see the blues in Houston. Its cozy confines and the regularly full dance floor provide just the right acoustics for the artists who take the stage nightly. There's a kind of magic to this place, and the sound is almost always perfect.


9. SCOUT BAR
Say what you will about venues featuring bands that aren't current and cool, but places like Scout Bar still cater to a willing audience. And, when they do, they understand the value to making it sound good. You might need earplugs on many occasions, but the sound, while deafening, is virtually always clear.


8. CEZANNE
The great thing about jazz music is that it rarely needs more than the musicians to make is sound amazing, but when the venue happens to have nice, intimate acoustics, like this venerable bar above the Black Lab on Montrose, it's all the better.


List continues on the next page.

Location Info

Map

Scout Bar

18307 Egret Bay Blvd., Houston, TX

Category: Music

Cezanne Jazz Club

4100 Montrose, Houston, TX

Category: Music

Anderson Fair Retail Restaurant

2007 Grant, Houston, TX

Category: Music

House of Blues

1204 Caroline, Houston, TX

Category: Music

Continental Club

3700 Main, Houston, TX

Category: Music

Warehouse Live

813 St. Emanuel, Houston, TX

Category: Music

Fitzgerald's

2706 White Oak, Houston, TX

Category: Music

Rudyard's

2010 Waugh, Houston, TX

Category: Music

McGonigel's Mucky Duck

2425 Norfolk, Houston, TX

Category: Music

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14 comments
Orin Jay Babendure
Orin Jay Babendure

The sound at warehouse live is terrible most of the time! The "design" is completely whack!

bobbydigi
bobbydigi

Saw a Civil Wars show at the Cullen Theatre downtown a couple years ago. Amazing sound...

bobbydigi
bobbydigi

Warehouse Live... The big room?? Really??

David627
David627

I went to a Warehouse Live concert once and ended up leaving early because the sound was simply horrible, sent an email to them about it and they said the sound engineer was with the band.

likestohearvocals
likestohearvocals

Are you kidding me?! Fitzgerald's?!  The last 4 shows I've been to there had the drums up SO loud in the mix that you couldn't make out any other instrument on stage.  Great acts, but the mix is often atrocious.  

RebelYellTexan
RebelYellTexan

Dosey Doe is the best,but it's also in The Woodlands. Womp.

Dana Marie Cain
Dana Marie Cain

I recently saw Patti griffin at Warehouse Live and it was a terrible concert: the acoustics were dreadful and during her encore another concert started next door and drowned her out. Also,why didn't Dosey Does make the list?

WoodlandsTraveler
WoodlandsTraveler

Dosey Doe in The Woodlands is an excellent venue for close up sets with music artists. They all tend to rave about how much they enjoy playing at Dosey Doe. Front row seats are so close you can almost reach out and touch the performer(s).

Justin van Sant Band
Justin van Sant Band

can't believe you left off Dosey Doe, Inc. - there aren't many places in the world with better acoustics

basshole
basshole

I'm not disputing your list, few here are a couple venues that also have great sound: Walter's (at least when I've been there) and Dosey Doe, which has a reputation as one of the best sounding rooms in the state.

bobbydigi
bobbydigi

Fitz can have great sound too...all about the mix

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