Which brand makes the best quality loudspeakers?

Who makes the best speakers

  • Aperion Audio

    Votes: 20 3.9%
  • Axiom Audio

    Votes: 11 2.1%
  • B&W

    Votes: 116 22.6%
  • Harman (JBL, Infinity, Revel)

    Votes: 106 20.6%
  • Klipsch

    Votes: 74 14.4%
  • Martin Logan

    Votes: 44 8.6%
  • Paradigm

    Votes: 61 11.9%
  • Polk

    Votes: 31 6.0%
  • PSB

    Votes: 20 3.9%
  • RBH Sound

    Votes: 31 6.0%

  • Total voters
    514
killdozzer

killdozzer

Audioholic Field Marshall
The popularity poll is still alive and well I see ;)
This is obviously the type of thread where everyone knows nothing will get settled yet most people like to participate. I've seen it pop up every now and then for as long as I'm a member.

As far as the topic is concerned, I don't think grouping or pricing is what is missing. The OP should have outline at least some of the criteria. Here's why I think that:

- Building a well performing and cheap speaker can prove to be harder than having a huge budget and a lot of time to make a "price is no object"
- Following that same logic, making a couple of such speakers or having one in every new line of products is that much harder.
- Making a well proven and common design is not a huge task, but introducing a substantial difference and improving the production (new material, different driver, different magnet, better XO) should give you some points in this battle.
- Again, following that same logic, if a company made more than one improvement that is still used today, should give it a heap of points.

My vote here would go to a long enduring company that claims the largest number of proven and respected patents. I wouldn't necessarily care for a state-of-the-art speaker. Let's say Anthony Gallo can really make a good speaker with enough money and time, but can he do it on a budget. I think the less money you have the more knowledge you have to employ to deliver a good speaker. Of course some can't do it no matter how much money you throw at them.

So, paradoxically, Harman should be very high. Although a lot of people say Harman explores but doesn't really make good quality stuff themselves, I think a lot of other companies benefit from Harman's work and have Harman to thank to for their results.
 
3db

3db

Audioholic Overlord
This is obviously the type of thread where everyone knows nothing will get settled yet most people like to participate. I've seen it pop up every now and then for as long as I'm a member.

As far as the topic is concerned, I don't think grouping or pricing is what is missing. The OP should have outline at least some of the criteria. Here's why I think that:

- Building a well performing and cheap speaker can prove to be harder than having a huge budget and a lot of time to make a "price is no object"
- Following that same logic, making a couple of such speakers or having one in every new line of products is that much harder.
- Making a well proven and common design is not a huge task, but introducing a substantial difference and improving the production (new material, different driver, different magnet, better XO) should give you some points in this battle.
- Again, following that same logic, if a company made more than one improvement that is still used today, should give it a heap of points.

My vote here would go to a long enduring company that claims the largest number of proven and respected patents. I wouldn't necessarily care for a state-of-the-art speaker. Let's say Anthony Gallo can really make a good speaker with enough money and time, but can he do it on a budget. I think the less money you have the more knowledge you have to employ to deliver a good speaker. Of course some can't do it no matter how much money you throw at them.

So, paradoxically, Harman should be very high. Although a lot of people say Harman explores but doesn't really make good quality stuff themselves, I think a lot of other companies benefit from Harman's work and have Harman to thank to for their results.
As I understand it, Floyd Toole is the mastermind behind Harmon after he left Canada's NRC facilities. Paul Barton, founder of PSB uses Floyd works as well as his own research in developing their line of speakers.
 
T

TankTop5

Full Audioholic
This is obviously the type of thread where everyone knows nothing will get settled yet most people like to participate. I've seen it pop up every now and then for as long as I'm a member.

As far as the topic is concerned, I don't think grouping or pricing is what is missing. The OP should have outline at least some of the criteria. Here's why I think that:

- Building a well performing and cheap speaker can prove to be harder than having a huge budget and a lot of time to make a "price is no object"
- Following that same logic, making a couple of such speakers or having one in every new line of products is that much harder.
- Making a well proven and common design is not a huge task, but introducing a substantial difference and improving the production (new material, different driver, different magnet, better XO) should give you some points in this battle.
- Again, following that same logic, if a company made more than one improvement that is still used today, should give it a heap of points.

My vote here would go to a long enduring company that claims the largest number of proven and respected patents. I wouldn't necessarily care for a state-of-the-art speaker. Let's say Anthony Gallo can really make a good speaker with enough money and time, but can he do it on a budget. I think the less money you have the more knowledge you have to employ to deliver a good speaker. Of course some can't do it no matter how much money you throw at them.

So, paradoxically, Harman should be very high. Although a lot of people say Harman explores but doesn't really make good quality stuff themselves, I think a lot of other companies benefit from Harman's work and have Harman to thank to for their results.
I would think it would make more sense to list poor speakers from reputable or high companies. I’m sure even reputable and high end (expensive) speaker companies put out a dud now and then, lets hear which ones to avoid... making new post.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 
D

David Harper

Enthusiast
just ordered a pair of the new magnepan LRS speakers. I'm told I'll get them some time in august(they're on backorder because of high demand). It's a full range quasi-ribbon driver design. Can't wait. In all my years of audiophilia this may be the first time a new component makes a real, significant, audible improvement in sound quality. Unlike DACs, preamps, CD players etc. which all just sound the same no matter what the idiots at stereophile and TAS say. All the reviews I've read have raved about these speakers. They were said to have the best sound at the recent Axponia show even in comparison with speakers costing ten times as much. Possibly the best deal in audio right now. (I hope). Never had planar speakers before but always wanted them. They just make sense to me. No box. No slow massive heavy dynamic drivers. Lightning fast. Dipole radiation. If they sound half as good as I think they will I'll be happy. All for 650.00 a pair!!!!!
 
davidscott

davidscott

Audioholic General
just ordered a pair of the new magnepan LRS speakers. I'm told I'll get them some time in august(they're on backorder because of high demand). It's a full range quasi-ribbon driver design. Can't wait. In all my years of audiophilia this may be the first time a new component makes a real, significant, audible improvement in sound quality. Unlike DACs, preamps, CD players etc. which all just sound the same no matter what the idiots at stereophile and TAS say. All the reviews I've read have raved about these speakers. They were said to have the best sound at the recent Axponia show even in comparison with speakers costing ten times as much. Possibly the best deal in audio right now. (I hope). Never had planar speakers before but always wanted them. They just make sense to me. No box. No slow massive heavy dynamic drivers. Lightning fast. Dipole radiation. If they sound half as good as I think they will I'll be happy. All for 650.00 a pair!!!!!
Nice! Please let us know how you like them. I heard some high end Maggies back in the late 70s and they were the best speakers I ever heard. They were powered by a nice GAS amp with a really good TT and Reel to Reel so that did make a difference back then.
 
Mikado463

Mikado463

Audioholic General
just ordered a pair of the new magnepan LRS speakers. I'm told I'll get them some time in august(they're on backorder because of high demand). It's a full range quasi-ribbon driver design. Can't wait. In all my years of audiophilia this may be the first time a new component makes a real, significant, audible improvement in sound quality. Unlike DACs, preamps, CD players etc. which all just sound the same no matter what the idiots at stereophile and TAS say. All the reviews I've read have raved about these speakers. They were said to have the best sound at the recent Axponia show even in comparison with speakers costing ten times as much. Possibly the best deal in audio right now. (I hope). Never had planar speakers before but always wanted them. They just make sense to me. No box. No slow massive heavy dynamic drivers. Lightning fast. Dipole radiation. If they sound half as good as I think they will I'll be happy. All for 650.00 a pair!!!!!

congrats Dave, long time Maggie fan here, I know you will enjoy them !
 
D

David Harper

Enthusiast
thanks for the support. I'll post how they sound when I get them. really excited about a speaker that's fundamentally different from the "monkey coffins" I've had all my life.
 
Mikado463

Mikado463

Audioholic General
thanks for the support. I'll post how they sound when I get them. really excited about a speaker that's fundamentally different from the "monkey coffins" I've had all my life.
as with any di-pole be sure to give them room to 'breath' !
 
D

David Harper

Enthusiast
as with any di-pole be sure to give them room to 'breath' !
looks like I'll have to move them out from the wall to listen and then push them back when I'm done.Fortunately they're real light so that shouldn't be a problem.
 
E

Erod

Junior Audioholic
I have owned JBL (old stuff), KEF, Mission, Definitive Technology, Infinity etc. I never could justify a large expense so my choice had to be the biggest bang for the buck.

My brand now is RBH. I have owned a 5.1 set with their MC series, also a set of the reference grade, and their new budget line, and several of their speakers from the old days.

They don’t cut corners. Their drivers are very high quality, along with the over built cabinets. And the amazing sound they all make. I can’t bring my self to sell them. The best dollar/quality out there.
That's encouraging. I think I'm about to pull the trigger this week on some RBH signature bookshelves for LCR to go with my SVS subs.
 
I

ichigo

Full Audioholic
I'm surprised KEF is not listed here. Even if you buy into Harman's spinorama measurement methodology as the holy grail, KEF's Reference speakers actually measure better than even Harman's flagship Ultima2 in their own preferred measurement system.
 
Mikado463

Mikado463

Audioholic General
I'm surprised KEF is not listed here. Even if you buy into Harman's spinorama measurement methodology as the holy grail, KEF's Reference speakers actually measure better than even Harman's flagship Ultima2 in their own preferred measurement system.
Fine speakers for sure, FWIW there are ALOT of great speaker Manufacturers not mentioned here.
 
T

Timforhifi

Audioholic Intern
I’m brand new to this forum, but I’ve been deep into this hobby for 10 years. I’ve owned so many speakers from infinity kappa, MartinLogan, revel, definitive, bowers, jbl, and many more.
What I’ve recently bought has really blown me away! I bought canton vento 896.2 towers and the matching 866.2 center. I loved them so much I bought another set of canton chrono in white for our master bedroom setup. Just simply amazing speakers!
 
E

Ernie Schmuntz

Junior Audioholic
That's encouraging. I think I'm about to pull the trigger this week on some RBH signature bookshelves for LCR to go with my SVS subs.
I have three 770/R(amt tweeter style) and two 1010SEN subs using new 10” reference drivers from RBH. I’m using older MC6 for the rear.

never been happier. Never
 
B

Bear123

Junior Audioholic
B&W makes the worst speakers I've seen, consistently, yet scored the highest in this poll. It goes to show how easily people are fooled by an old audiophile reputation even when selling very poorly designed loudspeakers.

Sorta like most people believe Klipsch speakers are all extremely high sensitive when most of the time, they are slightly above average. Marketing > facts.

I voted for Harman due to their design philosophy. Using Floyd Toole's research on how speakers should measure that sound the best to almost all people as the basis for their design approach, along with unbiased, double blind listening tests to make sure all of their speakers are subjectively preferred over competitors, puts them clearly in the lead, although there are other great companies that use Dr. Toole's research in their design approaches.
 
Last edited:
Mikado463

Mikado463

Audioholic General
B&W makes the worst speakers I've seen, consistently, yet scored the highest in this poll..
Interesting, your judging of speakers by sight rather than your ears...........

if you think B&W are the worst you clearly have not listen to many speakers .........
 
KenM10759

KenM10759

Audioholic Samurai
I'm not a fan of B&W but they do make some excellent-sounding speakers. Every company has their own best and worst. I never cared for the looks of B&W's 800 series, but they sound great.
 
E

Ernie Schmuntz

Junior Audioholic
B&W makes the worst speakers I've seen, consistently, yet scored the highest in this poll. It goes to show how easily people are fooled by an old audiophile reputation even when selling very poorly designed loudspeakers.

Sorta like most people believe Klipsch speakers are all extremely high sensitive when most of the time, they are slightly above average. Marketing > facts.

I voted for Harman due to their design philosophy. Using Floyd Toole's research on how speakers should measure that sound the best to almost all people as the basis for their design approach, along with unbiased, double blind listening tests to make sure all of their speakers are subjectively preferred over competitors, puts them clearly in the lead, although there are other great companies that use Dr. Toole's research in their design approaches.
I’m an old JBL guy, but as of two years ago, I found RBH, and never looked elsewhere. I’ve owned models from late 1980 to current, subs, bookshelves, LCR....they have made one stinker.
 

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