Price: $4299 per pair
Wes said: If you want the sound quality and sturdiness of a pro speaker, and the knowledge that your music was likely monitored in the studio through speakers made by the same company in the first place, then look at ATC’s Consumer HiFi models. A pair of ATC SCM19 V2s ($4299), along with their clean- and open-sounding P1 dual-mono power amplifier ($4200), total $8499 and would be hard to match.
The gist: Small prosumer speaker packs a punch.
Price: $749 per pair
Hans said: It’s pretty and stylish, with a gorgeous real-wood finish. Its high-quality remote has a pleasing weight and solidity. Perhaps most important, its Bluetooth functionality was flawless in execution. Add to these its smooth midrange and properly punchy bass, and Audioengine’s HD6 is an easy recommendation for, well, just about anyone.
The gist: Audioengine’s most expensive speaker to date is also their best.
Price: $2780 per pair
Jeff said: The AudioSolutions Overture O203F is a solid choice of speaker at a competitive price. Which is just what a lot of folks are looking for.
The gist: Cool-looking speaker from Lithuania offers admirable sound quality for a good price.
Price: $2390 each
Hans said: For around $5000, a pair of Silver Phantoms offers more to consumers than any other complete sound system I can think of. It’s not the prettiest thing in the world, and it’s not quite perfect, but the Devialet Silver Phantom is the most daring effort to come out of the high end in a long, long time.
The gist: Groundbreaking product, period and point blank.
Price: $1599 per pair
Hans said: Dynaudio’s Xeo 2 is a little powerhouse, with spacious sound, bell-like midrange clarity, and genuinely taut, powerful bass. Also praiseworthy are its boundary-related tuning, clever adaptive bass technology, and tiny proportions. But what I find most commendable is that all of this can be had for $1599/pair, with no need for additional hardware or wiring.
The gist: The smallest Xeo is the line’s most advanced.
Price: $2499.98 per pair
Roger said: In short, these compact floorstanders won’t visually dominate a room or cost a boatload of cash, but they’ll produce class-leading sound for their price.
The gist: Super-high-value floorstanders aim to do it all for under 2500 bucks.
Price: $499 per pair
Al said: During my time with the Eggs, their neutral balance, combined with their impressive detail and dynamics, made for especially compelling desktop listening.
The gist: The smallest stereo speakers with KEF’s Uni-Q driver.
Price: $699 per pair
Sathyan said: In this competitive market for loudspeakers, with so many idiosyncrasies in terms of sound design and buyers’ personal preferences, listeners are well advised to try out speakers with their own ears in their own rooms. The Principia 3 should be included in that evaluative process -- it may well come out on top.
The gist: Sonus Faber goes even lower in price without sacrificing sound quality.
Price: $4999 per pair
Hans said: I enjoyed every minute that Sonus Faber’s Venere S loudspeakers spent in my system -- something that happens very rarely. With its stunning profile and attractive optional Wood finish, this shouldn’t surprise. What surprised me was that the Venere S allied that visual beauty with an involvingly vibrant and neutral sound, while offering thoroughly satisfying bass response down to about 35Hz.
The gist: Beautiful to look at and to listen to.
Price: $349 per pair
Philip said: It’s packed with features, extremely well built, and has a nice, unassuming design. Most important, its superclean sound and transparency will appeal to those many music lovers who crave detail and resolution. If you’ve got the money, you can’t go wrong with the Hegel Music Systems H360.
The gist: Stylish little bargain bookshelf.