Price: $699 per pair
Al said: Anyone looking for an easy entry into the audiophile world would be well served by the Bowers & Wilkins 685 S2. For a $699/pair speaker, it hits most of the high-end high points: precise imaging, refined detail, ample dynamics. And for the speaker’s modest size, its bass extension is impressive.
The gist: Get that B&W marquee in your room for under 700 bucks.
Price: $3498 per pair
Roger said: With high-fidelity sound and the ability to play at incredibly high volume levels, it’s one of the best speakers available at or near $3498/pair.
The gist: The integral elevation module makes this perfect for home-theater use.
Price: $799 per pair
Hans said: Strong, linear bass, a beautifully clear midrange, and terrific soundstaging are just a few of the qualities that make the Emit M10 a bombshell of a minimonitor. Strong recommendations don’t come much easier.
The gist: Low price doesn’t necessarily mean compromised sound.
Price: AU$3450 per pair
Peter said: Sweet yet detailed, endlessly listenable, it is the new standard bearer of the BBC flame. Get it on.
The gist: More than just an updated LS3/5a.
Price: AU$3799 per pair
Scott said: Highly recommended to those seeking excellent sound quality and outstanding convenience.
The gist: Get an LS50 with all the electronics you’ll need inside.
Price: $2495 per pair
Al said: Markaudio-Sota’s Viotti Ones are very easy to listen to and to like. Their smooth, open sound, precise imaging, and ability to draw out fine detail in everything from indie rock to classical make it a great all-purpose speaker.
The gist: Largish standmount with an interesting cone tweeter.