Price: $23,000 per pair
Michael said: The competition for speakers at that price level is fierce. The Artos Sunrise is not only beautiful to look at and built to a demanding standard, it’s a joy to listen to. Those facts alone mean that it should provide its owner with pride of ownership and musical enjoyment for years to come.
The gist: Another nice Accuton-based loudspeaker.
Price: $15,000 per pair
Aron said: You absolutely must hear the 802 Diamond before you buy anything. Once you’ve seen it, you won’t be able to deny the amount of R&D, technology, manufacturing, quality, and refinement you get for only $15,000/pair. And when you’ve heard it, there will be no question that the 802 Diamond competes not only with its peers, but with loudspeakers costing as much as 50% more.
The gist: Another classic value in this flagship series from B&W.
Price: $25,000 per pair including stands
Pete said: Crystal Cable’s three core principles are technical proficiency, fanatical attention to musicality, and elegant, attractive visual design. My time with the Arabesque Mini proved to me that Gabi van der Kley continues to succeed in imbuing her products with all three. Content to maximize the inherent strengths of a compact two-way speaker, Crystal Cable exudes confidence in its Arabesque Mini. They’ve neither tried to squeeze a full-range speaker into a small cabinet, nor pretended to fill large spaces with unrealistic SPLs. Instead, they focused their attention on superb musicality, and the composure and coherence such a focus requires. Mission accomplished. The Arabesque Mini is a beautiful success.
The gist: A jewel-like monitor for the discriminating listener.
Price: $15,000 per pair
Jeff said: Dynaudio’s Confidence C2 Signature occupies an interesting place in the high-end marketplace. But as I said at the outset, it is a Dynaudio, and that means something. The Danish firm has long been a pioneer in the loudspeaker industry -- the Esotar tweeter alone, in all its iterations, has seen to that -- and its followers are legion. My listening experience of it in the Music Vault revealed not one thing that would tarnish that reputation.
The gist: Souped-up version of a very well-regarded loudspeaker.
Price: $26,500 per pair including stands
Pete said: In reducing Magico’s Q series to its essence in a two-way stand-mount, the Q1 performs its own magic trick, unfolding what in lesser monitors remains miasma. Almost shocking in its ability to exceed expectations, it left agape the mouths of a string of visitors to my listening room. The visceral results ranged from tormenting to thrashing to unexpected, beckoning depths, but were most notable when the Q1s reproduced bass passages, from orchestral crescendos to hard-rock drum kits. My time with the Magico Q1s is over, but they are not forgotten. They have left on my ears an indelible mark.
The gist: Perhaps the best stand-mount speaker in the world.
Price: $165,000 per pair
Jeff said: For right now, we all have to live with these facts: The Q7 is very expensive. It’s very big. It comes only in black. And it’s the best loudspeaker available today.
The gist: If you want the best, buy these.
Price: $28,000 per pair
Jeff said: The Raidho Acoustics C2.1 is a high-resolution, maximum-articulation transducer that delivered sound in a wholly digestible way that will suit more people than not. It could wow me with its ability to resolve fine detail, but it never fatigued me over the long haul. And its great sound comes in a handsome package that will nicely suit most rooms in which the C2.1s might be placed.
The gist: Excellent small floorstander perfect for hi-rez music.
Price: $50,000 per pair
Doug said: The Giya G2 is not only the best loudspeaker I’ve ever reviewed, it’s the best loudspeaker I’ve ever heard. It may be the best loudspeaker in the world.
The gist: Cleary one of the top loudspeakers available at any price.
Price: $49,000 per pair
Howard said: In most real-world applications -- i.e., those that don't require stupid SPLs -- the Kipod II Signature will redefine what the buyer thinks is possible in the art of reproducing music. It may even convince some that YGA's claim that it's the best speaker on Earth is not as audacious as it may seem. It's just that good. Period. And exclamation mark!
The gist: He bought them.