Sponsors

The 2011 SoundStage! Network Buying Guide features summaries of all stereo and home-theater products reviewed in the calendar year across all of our publications. The Buying Guide is subdivided by product and price, with each article including pricing details, a review summary, a full-review link, and product-award indicators.

All prices are in US dollars.

Velodyne DD+ 10Price: $3299

Website: www.velodyne.com

Kevin said: The Velodyne Digital Driveplus 10 renders professional-quality bass. It’s required listening if you’re in the market, or even just in the neighborhood. Recommended.

Read the SoundStage! Xperience review.

The gist: The company that defined the genre continues to charge ahead.

Amphion Argon 3LPrice: $3695 per pair in black, white, or full white painted finish; $3995/pair in birch, cherry, or walnut real-wood veneers

Website: www.amphion.fi

Philip said: At just under $4000/pair it isn’t cheap, but I’ve heard more expensive speakers that don’t sound nearly as good. While there’s no such thing as a perfect speaker, Amphion’s Argon3L comes as close as I’ve heard to reaching that elusive ideal.

Reviewers' Choice

Read the SoundStage! Hi-Fi review.

The gist: Perhaps one of the best small floorstanders under five grand a pair that you can currently buy.

Aperion Verus FortePrice: $1090 per pair

Website: www.aperionaudio.com

Thom said: In prizefighting, there’s a phrase to describe a boxer who hits like a fighter in a heavier class: "He punches above his weight." That was the case with the Aperion Audio Verus Forte Tower. I found it to be a really fine speaker overall, and a pretty remarkable one for its size. No, it didn’t have the ultimate bass performance; that’s where a subwoofer would come in. But on their own they provided a wide-bandwidth sound with excellent detail and a fine soundstage, and their depth of soundstage was especially good. This is a speaker that can sound great in many environments, though it does need some space behind it to sound its best. Overall, it was attractive and capable -- I recommend it to anyone looking for a really high-value speaker that sounds good and looks just as good.

Great Buy

Read the SoundStage! Access review.

The gist: Aperion's smallest floorstander stands tall in performance.

Aperion Verus Grand BookshelfPrice: $598 per pair

Website: www.aperionaudio.com

Colin said: Aperion Audio’s Verus Grand Bookshelf reminded me that great things can still come in small packages. The Bookshelf isn’t just a fine-sounding speaker, it’s a refined-sounding speaker that doesn’t offer only a glimpse of high-end performance -- it’ll take you on a full tour and give you a T-shirt at the end. With a beguiling tweeter and a clean, overachieving midrange-woofer, the Verus Grand Bookshelf proves that its name is no oxymoron. It’s a speaker well worth an audition and its asking price. And it looks fabulous.

Reviewers' Choice

Read the SoundStage! Hi-Fi review.

The gist: Look at that finish!

Aperion Verus GrandPrice: $1798 per pair

Website: www.aperionaudio.com

Jeff said: Aperion Audio has ticked off all the areas you’d want ticked off by a floorstanding loudspeaker: clean, textured, articulate, full-range sound; solid build quality and a beautiful finish; nice touches such as dual sets of binding posts and magnetically attached grilles; and a price well under $2000/pair.

Great Buy

Read the SoundStage! Access review.

The gist: The new speaker-to-get-under-$2000 class leader.

Aperion Audio ZonaPrice: $499 per pair

Website: www.aperionaudio.com

Jeff said: Just do the easy thing: Get some Zonas, plug ’em in, dial ’em in with the remote, then sit back and enjoy the experience. The Zona might not take over the audio world -- such little guys can do only so much heavy lifting -- but they fill a void in the real world consumers live in, and do so while offering more performance, build quality, and features than you might expect for the price. To me, that makes them a solid recommendation. Thumbs up to wireless!

Read the SoundStage! Access review.

The gist: Wireless speakers that actually sound good!

Atlantic Technology AT-1Price: $2500 per pair

Website: www.atlantictechnology.com

Ron said: The Atlantic Technology AT-1 is more costly than its closest competitor I’ve yet listened to, the $1995/pair Dynaudio DM 3/7, but the extra $505 buys a whole lot in terms of fit’n’finish and performance. The AT-1 just does more, both on paper and in the listening. Nothing about this speaker annoyed me in the least -- and usually I find something that does. To say that the AT-1 should worry other manufacturers is an understatement. Smart people will buy a pair for $2500; the same smart people would be justified in considering the AT-1 even if it cost two, three, or four times as much.

Great Buy

Read the SoundStage! Access review.

The gist: The standout budget floorstander of 2011.

Carnegie Acoustics CST-1Price: $1999 per pair

Website: www.carnegieacoustics.com

Colin said: If you want deep, natural bass, silky highs, a natural midrange, detail enough to satisfy pickers of the tiniest nits, and a soundstage so natural that a photo of this speaker should appear beside the dictionary definition of the word, the CST-1 is the speaker for you.

Reviewers' Choice

Read the SoundStage! Hi-Fi review.

The gist: A standout in a crowded field of sub-$2000 speakers.

This site is the main portal for
SoundStage!

All contents available on this website are copyrighted by SoundStage!® and Schneider Publishing Inc., unless otherwise noted. All rights reserved.

This site was designed by Rocket Theme, Karen Fanas, and The SoundStage! Network.
To contact us, please e-mail info@soundstagenetwork.com