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
C

chas_w

Full Audioholic
Ascend Acoustics should be on that list. At the price points they hit, there are very few speakers that are engineered as well as them. They have proven quantifiable and subjective performance from 3rd parties. From a build quality perspective their crossovers are built to a MUCH higher standard than a lot of their competition. Overall build quality is excellent. As from a durability and quality control perspective you rarely hear of any issues with their products.
I've owned several sets of speakers over the years but always end up going back to Ascend. I find their 340SE and 170SE to be some of the finest speakers for the dollar that I have found.
 
T

TitaniumMan

Enthusiast
That's easy. PEZ. Cherry flavor PEZ.

Silly answer for a silly question.
 
A

audioman

Enthusiast
top speakers

None on the list comes even close to many other AFFORDABLE loudspeaker manufacturers.

The poll should have been listed as TOP marketed store brand loudspeakers because there are so many loudspeaker manufacturers who design various levels of sound reproduction from low, mid to high end. Emotiva and mirage should be in the poll!
 
A

audioman

Enthusiast
speakers to be mentioned

I agree magnepan should be on the list, so should eminent technology,ohm acoustics and esslabs including quad and justrealmusic electrostats. None on that list comes close to these manufacturers except for the martin logans. Paradigm? give me a brake, for subwoofer yes, but not for floorstanders not even close. Nothing on the list except for martin logan has the depth, soundstage and clarity the above manufacturers produces. when it comes to highs and mids, nothing comes close to the ESS HEILS! When it comes to sound stage, nothing comes to the planars and electrostats. All these loudspeakers sound like a BOX in comparison. Emerald physics should also be in this list!
 
ratso

ratso

Full Audioholic
i thought one of the most interesting reviews was tom's review of the salk HT2-TL. it was really cool to read that someone that went into the review with a bias against the speaker's price point admit he was wrong and blown away by the difference between the higher and lower priced speaker. i would love to see if tom felt the same difference exists with the new salk soundscape.


or just review the philharmonics.
 
DenPureSound

DenPureSound

Senior Audioholic
Gene, when you update this thread be sure to include KEF. :)
 
GranteedEV

GranteedEV

Audioholic Ninja
i thought one of the most interesting reviews was tom's review of the salk HT2-TL. it was really cool to read that someone that went into the review with a bias against the speaker's price point admit he was wrong and blown away by the difference between the higher and lower priced speaker. i would love to see if tom felt the same difference exists with the new salk soundscape.
the accuton drivers should have virtually indistinguishable resolution compared to the excel woofers.

The difference of course would be in the deeper extension and higher output of the 12" woofer, the resolution of the RAAL, and the wider, smoother dispersion of the RAAL/Accuton combo.

So I would like to see what Tom thinks too :D
 
DenPureSound

DenPureSound

Senior Audioholic
the accuton drivers should have virtually indistinguishable resolution compared to the excel woofers.

The difference of course would be in the deeper extension and higher output of the 12" woofer, the resolution of the RAAL, and the wider, smoother dispersion of the RAAL/Accuton combo.

So I would like to see what Tom thinks too :D
Looks like a lot of Paradigm Fanboys rated Paradigm the best, but looking at all the data on the KEF R Series, they should be right up there, but of course they just are shipping now maybe that is why they were not included.

I have never read anyone upset about their KEF Q Series, R Series, or Reference Series speakers, and the Q Series are very affordable for most.
 
T

tcarcio

Audioholic General
It is subjective at best as peoples ears are what really counts. If you go by freq charts then it is easy to look and see what speakers chart better but once in your room they will sound different. I always trust my ears and for that reason what sounds good to some may not sound good to me. I personnally do not like the sound of a too flat response so I am always happier with more bottom end then high end. But that is just me and may not be what most people like. I have a pair of speakers that are seperates with mts drivers in the top speakers and a low freq driver and mid driver in a transmission line box that is full of lambswool that sound great to me. They were built in 1991 and I paid 200 bucks for them and for the money I could not be happier. I also have a pair of B+W 801's that I love that alot of people seem to hate.... Go figure, like I said it is subjective....:cool:
 
manwithnocape

manwithnocape

Audioholic
based on what i heard last night... Funk Audio and Focal by a country mile. as a musician, Funk is the epitome of faithful sound in music, but Focal has a sound that you can really fall in love with in your home theater. both image, handle power, and produce delightful frequency response graphs like their life depends on it... but when it comes down to brass tax, my money will go to Funk every time for these reasons:

you can choose your enclosure finish (wood type or aluminum, or a combination of the two, enclosure colour... everything)
you can choose a powered or non-powered loudspeaker system (very rare option)
you can choose the performance parameters

simply put, you pick what you want it to look like and you have some control over how it will sound.
 
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psbfan9

psbfan9

Audioholic Samurai
More choices

I would like to see Canton, Epos, Monitor Audio and Usher added to the list.

Thanks
 
DenPureSound

DenPureSound

Senior Audioholic
I would like to see Canton, Epos, Monitor Audio and Usher added to the list.

Thanks
Hi PSBFan -- have you taken a Hard Look at the Aperion Verus Grand Towers?

Mine just came in here. :)

Cheers,
Den
 
manwithnocape

manwithnocape

Audioholic
Hi PSBFan -- have you taken a Hard Look at the Aperion Verus Grand Towers?

Mine just came in here. :)

Cheers,
Den

i know you wer'nt asking me... but that is a really nice speaker. graph comparison looks great and the specs show good value for the money ($900). i want to hear it :)
 
J

jairocsa

Audiophyte
Best system...

Dear people, I have three options to buy a HOME THEATER SYSTEM (that I will use as a SOUND SYSTEM too!), and I greatly appreciate the valuable opinion of you!

NUMBER ONE:
Onkyo TX-NR709 7.2-Channel
With:
Velodyne DEQ-10R 10-Inch Powered Subwoofer
Polk Audio Blackstone TL350 5-Piece Satellite Speaker System


NUMBER TWO:
Onkyo TX-NR709 7.2-Channel
With:
Velodyne DEQ-10R 10-Inch Powered Subwoofer
4 MP Tek E5BiB Bookshelf Speakers (As Front and Surround speakers)
1 EMP Tek E5CiB Center Channel Speaker


NUMBER THREE:
Onkyo TX-NR709 7.2-Channel
With:
Paradigm Cinema 110 CT 5.1 Home Theater Surround Sound System



My Living Romm has 30 square meters!

Any sugestion???


Thank you very much indeed for your help!

Jairo
 
browninggold

browninggold

Junior Audioholic
Klipsch Reference

I have owned various speakers over the years. From JBL bookshelfs, Bose center and bookshelfs, Aperion Towers and bookshelfs. I used to use a horizontal center but put my plasma on a ceiling mount so I could slide 3 Towers across the front for a seamless frontstage. That did make a diffrence. My first 3 Towers were Aperion 6 Ts across the front. Something was missing I didn't know exactly what (of course we all say that just so we can upgrade) so I checked into Klipsch. I heard about the fatigue factor/ hard to listen to after a few hours BUT I kept getting pulled into the Klipsch website by forces unseen by me. I kept looking at the RF 7IIs and ordered 3 of them. Glad I did because no more upgrades for me. Everything is crystal clear from music to home theatre. I couldn't be happier. I also have a coupe of RS 62IIs for surrounds and eventually want go to a 11.1 setup and will get 6 RS 81 IIs eventually and maybe a extra SV PB13 Ultra either a cylinder or another box and stack them at the front.
 
Rippyman

Rippyman

Audioholic
Didn't get to vote, but I've demoed 3 of the brands on that list.

Paradigm
Klipsch
Polk

...The Klipsch were on a whole nother level, haha. Hence my Klipsch HT system.
 
F

FirstReflection

AV Rant Co-Host
Out of that list of voting options, I had to go with Harmon. Revel alone kind of puts them over the top for me, but Infinity has some very good low cost options that work well for a lot of people's budgets and a lot of the pro JBL and studio JBL speakers are basically a "standard" or as close to one will find in a lot of mixing and dubbing stages.

I quite like the Paradigm Reference Signature speakers - big fan of that Beryllium tweeter ;) But other than the Signature series, I'm not super hyped on Paradigm as a whole, although they're pretty good all around.

I do like Ascend Acoustics. I really love that SEAS tweeter in their SE series speakers that I think plays way above its price point.

I've got a lot of love for Aperion too. And you certainly can't beat their deal of shipping BOTH ways, so why not try them, right? Literally no risk!

I like several Axiom models, but not their whole line, so I can't put them at the top for this vote. Despite what direction the forum winds might be blowing about Axiom on any given day, I still really like their bookshelf speakers and their M60 towers. I have high hopes for the new VP160 center as well!

I must say though that a couple of my very favorite brands are not on this list, and those would be Focal and Magnepan. I really haven't heard a Focal speaker that I haven't liked. And their professional studio speakers are the best I've ever heard. the $8000/each SM11 monitors are crazy expensive, but they are also the most amazingly detailed speakers I've ever heard. The Solo6 monitors are brilliant for a small theater at a somewhat more reasonable price.

And Magnepan, they are just something unique. You have to have the room for them and TONS of amp power, but nothing else quite sounds like them. For music fans who want that uncanny sense of realism, it's awfully hard to top Magnepan, provided you can position them proplery and feed them all the power they crave!

This is a tough poll to try and run. In all honesty, Bose ought to be in the poll, not because anyone who actually cares about sound quality thinks they deserve a spot, but because this is a poll about public opinion, and I think it would be very revealing to let people vote any brand that they want - Bose would, without any joking here, probably get the most votes :p

I feel a bit bad for Gene because there's really no winning when you put up a poll like this. There will always be a ton of brands left off the ballot and some folks are always going to say, "why is brand A on there when brand B is not?!"

There's always the "catch all" option though, which is to just make one of the voting options, "something else (detailed below)" ;)
 
C

ChrisL9472

Audioholic Intern
I'm reading a lot on this thread about speaker choices based on affordability, value, etc. But that's not the criteria the OP asked for: "Your opinion should be based primarily on sound quality followed by build quality and durability." So I'm surprised to see so few ultra high-end models mentioned.

Having said that, I will have to go with B&W. They make a range from the entry level to the truly exotic. They are the best sounding, best looking that I've had experience with.

I'm striving for a pair of CM8's or CM9's, hopefully by this time next year.
 
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haraldo

haraldo

Audioholic Spartan
Judging by what I heard here last Friday, I would say PMC by a mile.



These are not even the current model. They were by far the best commercial speakers I have ever heard.

The BBC use these speakers exclusively and they have a client list any other manufacturer could only dream about.

Superb TL sound with absolutely no blooming in the bass, which is a signature of good TLs. The rest of the range matched the excellent bass.

AH should definitely review some of there domestic offerings. Their bookshelves are interesting, as they are all labyrinths.
I reckon it's these speakers you're referring to

MB2S XBD | PMC Loudspeakers

So do you think they equal or surpass what you can do with your TL designs?
I guess I already know the answer to this question :p

It seems like these speakers are different to many other TL designs in the way that they employ two completely separate lines, unlike most other designs that I can remember with two bass drivers, where the norm is to put both drivers in the same line.

From what I can find these speakers are around $40K per pair... :D

Do you have any idea or conception about the performance of the PMC Transmission line subs, there's not really so many companies out there making commercial TL subs, is there anyone else than PMC?

The PMC subs seem to be the same pricey as their speakers, are they that good?

XB2 | PMC Loudspeakers

XB3 | PMC Loudspeakers

TLE1S | PMC Loudspeakers

TLE1 | PMC Loudspeakers
 
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