Price: $650 per pair
Ron said: The 4T asks little in terms of space, watts, or money, but play through them your favorite but imperfectly recorded LPs or CDs and they’ll make the most of the good that’s there while downplaying the bad. In a world of cynical hi-fi gear, the Aperion 4T is a true optimist.
The gist: Mini-floorstander with monster sound, direct to your door.
Price: $1390 per pair
John said: I had to keep reminding myself that these wonderful-sounding speakers are affordable by almost anyone’s standard, not just an audiophile’s. And these speakers always brought me closer to the music played through them.
The gist: Aperion’s flagships are only $1390 a pair and sound terrific. Refreshing.
Price: $1200 per pair
Doug said: But it’s the Dynaudio Excite X12’s considerable strengths that make it special, even unique -- I don’t know of another small speaker that plays quite like this one.
The gist: The Danes make another great little speaker.
Price: $2500 per pair
Jeff said: If you’re tired of the razor-like highs prominent in many of the home-theater-slotted speakers that cost between $2000 and 3000/pair, or you’re weary of speakers that seem designed more for extreme sound-pressure levels than for reproducing a recording’s finer details, or you don’t want a thin-sounding bookshelf model that’s unlistenable without a subwoofer, then the Dianne might be the speaker for you.
The gist: Audiophile with $2500 to spend, meet Dianne.
Price: $2990 per pair
Doug said: Focus Audio’s Signature FS8 is a killer speaker by almost every measure: It looks fantastic, it sounds wonderful, and its price is something many can afford.
The gist: Not exactly cheap, but hits all the right buttons.
Price: $4995 per pair
Doug said: The Monitor 30 Domestic is a pleasing speaker that has a rich character with generous bass, extremely refined highs, and liquidity through the mids that is intoxicating
The gist: Continuing the storied tradition of excellent Harbeth sound.
Price: $400 per pair
He said: Before hearing the Infinity Primus P252s, but knowing that they cost only $400/pair, I wasn’t expecting much. But I was so blown away by the experience of listening to them that I felt almost compelled to purchase a pair.
The gist: Whatever your expectations, the Primus P252 will probably exceed them.
Price: $2599 per pair
He said: Imaging and convenience are their long suits, lack of bass their short. The LSA1 Statement is the finest minimonitor I have heard, and they would be quite satisfying in a smaller room.
The gist: Good speaker, but lots of competition, too.