Vienna Acoustics Haydn Grand Special Edition Loudspeakers
All prices in US dollars.

In a show that’s primarily oriented to home theater and custom installation, it might seem strange that these seemingly unobtrusive two-way bookshelf speakers not only caught our attention, but that we’re singling them out. That’s because, when it comes to two-channel high-end audio, the Haydn Grand Special Edition from Austria’s Vienna Acoustics is a really cool design with plenty to get excited about.

The Haydn Grand Special Edition’s cabinetwork is as gorgeous as it is flawless -- you’d be hard-pressed to find a better finish anywhere. Knowing that many companies now head for the Far East for the manufacture of their wood-based designs, we na´vely asked, "Where do you have the Haydn made?" The answer shot back: "Austria, of course!" No cabinet outsourcing for this company. However, whereas Vienna Acoustics offers many different finishes for their other models, the Haydn Grand Special Edition is available only in walnut. It looks great.

Then there’s Vienna Acoustics’ proprietary driver designs. The Haydn Grand Special Edition uses a 6" X3P Spider Cone woofer with a transparent cone and an inverted surround.

The Haydn’s 1" soft-dome tweeter is unique in that built into it is a woofer port -- the dark areas to either side of the circle open to the speaker’s interior. Having the port on the front allows the listener to place the speaker closer to the wall. Clever!

Two more things about the Haydn: First is its price: $1800 per pair. When we saw the level of manufacturing quality and the attention to detail, we thought it could easily have cost twice that. The other thing is that although almost anyone can afford the Haydn, it can’t be purchased by everyone -- the speaker is being made in a limited edition of only 500 pairs. Those who buy it also get a CD of music by Joseph Haydn.

The Haydn Grand Special Edition began shipping in May, and we have no idea how many have been sold so far. But if you’re in the market for a beautifully finished, limited-edition, thoroughly unique two-way, you might want to get a pair of these while you can.