Home Theater Systems Buying Guide
Home Theater Receivers Buying Guide
Roses are red, violets are blue, we've found our speaker soulmates, how 'bout you?
Yes, yes, the cheese factor is hitting hard on this one, but deciding on which speakers to buy that will truly move you is unique to every individual. All speakers are not created equal and neither is the makeup of the human ear or your auditory perception of the music that you're listening to. To put it very simply: speakers interpret electric audio signals and create vibrations that push out soundwaves that travel to your ear. Your eardrum vibrates and then your brain interprets those vibrations and elicits an emotional response (ie. those hair-raising goosebumps!). How each speaker interprets and reproduces an audio signal is very different and unique to its build and engineering, the materials, the placement within a room, etc. You really have to hear it for yourself to know if you've got chemistry.
BUT, this article is not on the physics of sound or how a speaker is made. This is Valentines Day and love is in the air! These are the speakers that give us butterflies, the ones that are there for us on a bad day, and the ones that we dream about but might be out of our league. These are our speaker soulmates.
Need help finding your speaker soulmate? Start here or visit one of our showrooms for a speed dating session.
From the moment I laid eyes on the Bowers & Wilkins 800 D4 Diamond Series, it was love at first sight. The first thing that drew me to them was their curvy and unique look. When we finally got to spend some time alone together, I realized the Diamond tweeters produce an amazing amount of detail. Combine that with the Continuum cone midrange and aerofoil cone bass drivers and you get absolute perfection. The 800’s and I have been a match made in heaven for over a year now, and I can't wait to see what the future brings for us (don't tell my wife).
If you're looking for a "lust at first listen" experience, I highly recommend a date with Focal's latest floorstanding speaker, the Vestia (checkout Brian's review). Pick yourself up a fresh bottle of Redbreast 15, grab your favorite vinyl, a Joya de Nicaragua, and slide into a relaxing chair for a memorable evening. The Vestias will not disappoint, and I can almost guarantee you'll want to take these home after your first date.
My soulmate is the Dynaudio Confidence 60 Speakers. I have never found a speaker so equally beautiful and wonderful sounding all in one package. The listening experience is so encompassing it absolutely transports me to another world. I look forward to walking in the door of our Ardmore showroom in the morning before everyone else arrives and cranking out one of my favorite songs, like Ben Folds' "Smoke" or Neil Young's "Heart of Gold". It puts an instant smile on my face and transports me to a different place. I'm at ease and I'm happy. I feel the emotion of the artist and that is something so special.
The Forte IV continues the Klipsch lineage of Heritage speakers. The Forte IV's combine contemporary tech and everything that is the power and presentation of music and film sound. For most, there is nothing like the awesomeness of Klipsch. I've been representing Klipsch for 40 years and always love the excitement that I see when I first demonstrate them for my clients. Come in and check them out but hang onto your jaw - the Forte IV will not disappoint.
Nothing rocks a room quite like a 16-inch woofer...except two 16 inch woofers! The SVS SB-16-Ultra is great for music and movies. One of my favorite scenes to demo with the SB16-Ultra is the Apollos 13 lift off scene - I've never heard a demo sound so real!
Working in an audiovisual showroom, I have lots of options when it comes to speakers. But, I always seem to be drawn back to the same pair: the Evoke 50 by Dynaudio. The Evoke 50s totally captivate me. When I am listening to them, I hear the music not the speakers. They just disappear into the background. Other than that, they stand out with their beautiful design. They come in three finishes., but the Walnut is my favorite. In my opinion, no other speaker in their price range puts this much attention to detail or spends as much on parts to make the final product. Stop in for a listen in the Ardmore showroom. I am sure you will want to leave with a pair!
$919.50 – $2,399.00
$1,649.50 – $2,399.00
Save Up To: $730.00
The Focal Aria 926 loudspeakers are our family favorite. They fit into our décor perfectly with their dark walnut finish. We have them positioned in our living room, powered by a McIntosh MC275 tube amplifier and a HEOS link as our source. It’s a wonderful solution. We never have to touch the amplifier - we simply select a room called "FOCAL" on our HEOS app - and then watch as the blue McIntosh tubes start to light up in succession as brilliant sound from those Arias fill up the entire first floor of our home. We listen to all types of music from Brad Paisley to Coldplay, and they sound great! My wife, Lisa, and I find ourselves dancing often. It really doesn’t get any better than that!
When I close my eyes, I can imagine being in the front row of the concert. My Klipsch RF7s are very "live sounding" and really deliver on rock and roll - though, they never let me down when I need them to pump out the bass on today’s popular music (and some of my guilty pleasure tunes!). What's more is that they're easy to drive so my amplifier doesn’t get stressed out. Everyone is happy.
Save: $450.01 (20%)
This time around, I had to choose from Focal’s Utopia M lineup – specifically the 6WM 6-1/2” M-profile woofers and TBM Beryllium M-profile tweeters.
For years, the Utopia line set the standard for aftermarket car audio in terms of sound quality and reliability. The recently-released Utopia M line delivers even better performance, believe it or not. The M-profile found across the Utopia M class allows for better sonic performance, incredible sound dispersion, and low distortion rates. We installed a pair of the 6WM woofers as well as a pair of the TBM tweeters into our flagship display here at the Montgomeryville showroom and the resulting sound is nothing short of incredible. Perhaps one of the best aspects of this reimagined line is the fact that everything can purchased à la carte, so you decide if you want to add the 3-1/2” midrange drivers or 8” midbass drivers into the fold for even better results! You’ll hear bits of your music that you never even knew existed!
It’s all about that bass….I have the treble. A plump rounded sound that is somehow also tight is a combination that shouldn’t exist unless you have the best doctors….or, I mean engineers. The JL Audio Fathom F113 subwoofer is one of those few products that you can look someone squarely in the eye and say yes, it simply doesn’t get any better than this. I love ya, Baby!
The Dynaudio Focus 20 XD speakers are active speakers with built-in 150W amplifiers for each speaker driver. You can just connect source components, like a Sonos Port, directly to the speaker’s digital or analog inputs and you're ready to go. The wood finishes like the Walnut High Gloss Veneer are absolutely beautiful. I am very impressed by the Focus 20 XD speakers' smooth, refined sound on all types of music.
$1,498.98 – $1,499.98
I fell in love with the broad, open soundstage of KLH's Kendall speakers. They’re efficient, so you can get by with a less-expensive amp but put some real juice behind them and they really take off! I have very broad music tastes, so it can be hard to find a do-it-all speaker that fits my budget. With these, I feel like I wouldn’t have to compromise on anything!
If you're still not sure which speakers are the best for you, start here or visit one of our showrooms for a speed dating session. Tell us about your ideal speaker, and we’d be more than happy to help you pick one that is right for you.
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