Which brand makes the best quality loudspeakers?

Who makes the best speakers

  • Aperion Audio

    Votes: 20 3.7%
  • Axiom Audio

    Votes: 13 2.4%
  • B&W

    Votes: 124 22.9%
  • Harman (JBL, Infinity, Revel)

    Votes: 114 21.0%
  • Klipsch

    Votes: 79 14.6%
  • Martin Logan

    Votes: 45 8.3%
  • Paradigm

    Votes: 62 11.4%
  • Polk

    Votes: 33 6.1%
  • PSB

    Votes: 20 3.7%
  • RBH Sound

    Votes: 32 5.9%

  • Total voters
    542
Bizarro_Stormy

Bizarro_Stormy

Audioholics Whac-A-Mole'er™
Ditto...

Anyways, I voted Harman...

With that said, I'd also like to point out that Pioneer deserves some love... their lower end stuff found in best buy.
I voted Harman also... I'd like to see the refreshed Primus line reviewed.

Agreed on the Pioneer line... a review of the whole series that BB sells would be of great interest.

All in all, I'd like to see how these two "budget" lines measure...
 
B

Bismarck

Audioholic Intern
I agree with the budget shootout. The new pioneer speakers carried at BB are really awesome for the price. It should be easy to get some to review. Heck, audioholics could just buy a set of the bookshelf speakers for $90.

My vote is for Martin Logan. If you are okay with a smaller sweet spot; although, not nearly as bad as many people think, they are great!
 
nooshinjohn

nooshinjohn

Enthusiast
Magnepan deserves some love here as well. Polk Audio does not get much love here, but I can attest to the quality, durability and amazing performance of a fair chunk of their product line. My SDA's have stood the test of time better than any other component in my rig, and are still supported by the manufacturer and a cottage-industry of devotees that make it easy to keep them performing their best.

The same can be said of my experience with Magnepan over the years. I find that I tend to like different speakers for different types of music, and for me, no speaker can come close to Maggies for the open, airy sound I like for jazz,soft rock and classical music. The SDA's on the other hand, are prefered for heavier music like modern country and rock music.
 
zieglj01

zieglj01

Audioholic Spartan
The pole is interesting - Aperion is not doing well at all.
 
GranteedEV

GranteedEV

Audioholic Ninja
The pole is interesting - Aperion is not doing well at all.
With due respect to aperion, I don't think they have any ultra high end offering the way Harman/B&W do, and even their latest Verus Grand only came out just recently.
 
gene

gene

Audioholics Master Chief
Administrator
The pole is interesting - Aperion is not doing well at all.
That's a real shame b/c the Verus line has some of the highest quality components we've seen in an ID loudspeaker company.
 
D

dmusoke

Audioholic Intern
That's a real shame b/c the Verus line has some of the highest quality components we've seen in an ID loudspeaker company.
Gene:

When are you going to review the MartinLogan Theos speakers you briefly mentioned last month? You found them 'cool'...
 
P

Pat D

Audioholic
We'd like to get your opinion on who you feel makes the best built and best sounding loudspeakers in consumer audio. Your opinion should be based primarily on sound quality followed by build quality and durability. This choice should be based on the overall product line of a particular company and not just one or two products that may excel.

If you find a particular brand on this list lacking, please indicate why.

Give us reasons why you chose a particular brand or why you feel that particular brand shines above the others on this list. If your brand isn't listed here (sorry only 10 polling options allowed), please post the brand name in the thread along with your experiences.
Consumer audio--presumably that means something serious people can afford. Since I only have one choice, it goes to Paradigm, but PSB should be right up there, too. They both offer excellent values in different price ranges, too. I own Paradigm and PSB speakers.

I would think that Kef should be included, too, as I have seen superb NRC measurements on Soundstage, so I expect the sound very good. I used to own some Kefs years ago, and I have generally been impressed with their upper line speakers, though I haven't heard any recent ones. I haven't heard any recent Axiom speakers, and haven't I heard most of the others, either.

I wonder about Energy, too, as some of them have seemed good value. Someone must be buying them.

I think Harman is an unfair category as it includes 3 different speaker lines, but the few Revel speakers I have heard were quite fine.

There are some small companies that make excellent speakers. Ethera is one, and the Ethera Vitae is a fine speaker, though expensive. Check out the NRC results on Soundstage.

http://www.soundstagemagazine.com/measurements/ethera_vitae/
 
lsiberian

lsiberian

Audioholic Overlord
Harman definitely takes the cake if you include all their lines.
 
lsiberian

lsiberian

Audioholic Overlord
That's a real shame b/c the Verus line has some of the highest quality components we've seen in an ID loudspeaker company.
I would love to demo them, but I can't judge what I haven't heard. Free shipping both ways makes them a first option in my book.
 
Whitey80

Whitey80

Senior Audioholic
Would also like to see, some KEF thrown in there.
Have to second the KEFs. From my experience with owning the q series and extensively listening to the current Reference series from the 201's all t he way to the 207's....exceptional on every front.
 
cpp

cpp

Audioholic Field Marshall
None of the speakers listed..no price points to compare to.
 
L

LegitDrummer

Enthusiast
I am a fan of Harman products. So, JBL orInfinity. For home audio, Infinity, for PA and outdoor, JBL. (Infintity doesn't make PA products, haha)
 
Davemcc

Davemcc

Audioholic Spartan
I have also selected "none of the above". I would like to see reviews of Salk, Focal.JMLabs and Dynaudio.
 
7

7andabit

Enthusiast
1 Crown CE-4000 (4000 Watts)

1 Crown CE-2000 (2000 Watt's)

2 JBL SR4719X's (1,200 WRMS Each)

4 JBL SF25's (500 WRMS Each)


The JBLs really thump. They are great. They can really get down low andI think they sound awesome.
 
highfigh

highfigh

Audioholic Overlord
1 Crown CE-4000 (4000 Watts)

1 Crown CE-2000 (2000 Watt's)

2 JBL SR4719X's (1,200 WRMS Each)

4 JBL SF25's (500 WRMS Each)

The JBLs really thump. They are great. They can really get down low andI think they sound awesome.
And the WAF would be extremely high, too. Or, not!:D
 
B

Beowulf

Audioholic Intern
And the WAF would be extremely high, too. Or, not!:D
:eek: no doubt, those would fill a stadium ... where's the sweet spot? :D

I would love to see a speaker shootout/review on a $20K-30K range.

1. Wilson Audio - Sasha
2. Von Schweikert - VR-5 Annie
3. Canton - Reference 2.2
4. B&W - 800D
5. Focal - Scala Utopia
6. Aerial Acoustics - 20T V2
7. Klipsch Palladium - P-39F
8. Vienna Acoustics - Klimt The Music
9. Martin Logan - CLX
10. Revel - Ultima Salon2

I believe the above list constitutes a nice variation in the latest driver technology and innovative cabinet designs.
 
Last edited:
D

DS-21

Full Audioholic
Instead of focusing on brand, why not focus on what makes a good speaker? IMO, the Big Three are:

1) Smoothly declining sound power with frequency
2) Controlled, even, and not-too-wide midrange directivity
3) Low cabinet diffraction

That said, a nonexhaustive list of firms offering speakers designed along those criteria would include Tannoy, KEF, Gradient, Gedlee, and Revel.
 
DD66000

DD66000

Senior Audioholic
Harman all the way, at ANY price point.
In the $2k or less range, the JBL PS can't be touched, including Salk. And most certainly nothing that Magnolia HT sells.
And move up to $20K range, the Salon2 would be king.
Then >$40K range the JBL K2 s9900
At $60K its the Everest II
 

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