Fluance is back at it again with a stylish pair of budget speakers.
The HD6’s are the newest powered speakers from Audioengine. They include a high quality internal DAC as well as a Bluetooth receiver with aptX. These beauties have real wood finished, Class A/B amplification and will surprise you with their bass response, staging and dynamics.
Monitor Audio’s Silver 1 is a gorgeously crafted bookshelf speaker with mostly excellent engineering, surprisingly powerful bass, and world-class treble.
Setting up a Home Theater Speaker System that doesn’t Dominate the Room Decor – An Experiment with Axiom Audio Speakers
Over the past decade, we have seen the number of speakers in a home theater system go from 5.1, to 7.1 and beyond. This presents a problem in having the space to put all these speakers. Although it is nice to have large speakers that will play loud for the current deluge of high impact movies full of mechanical monstors and massive guns, putting nine or more speakers in the den where your home theater is, will certainly set off an argument with your significant other, even if the speakers are beautiful. So, I decided to put together a 5.1 system of small, but high quality, bookshelf speakers and a good subwoofer. You will be shocked at the visual change this produces, and yet, this system still has good surround sound (just not quite as loud), and it looks attractive in the room without seeming like it is the centerpiece of the den.
The Dynaudio Excite line has been thoroughly updated for 2014. On hand for review is a fantastic sounding surround system anchored by the flagship Excite X38 towers, the bookshelf Excite X14s for use as surround channels, and the Excite X24 center channel speaker.
Bowers and Wilkin's (B&W) is a name that anyone even casually interested in audio and speaker manufacturers will undoubtedly know. With their distinctive look and stellar reputation, B&W speakers have found their way not just into many home audio set-ups, but also of the world's most iconic professional recording studios (raise your hand if you've seen the picture of an array of B&W speakers and Classé electronics at Abbey Road studios). Despite having known of B&W for as long as I've been involved in this field, I have personally had little experience with the speakers directly. I was therefore excited to have the opportunity to evaluate the B&W's 805 Diamond bookshelf and HTM4 center channel speaker and I am eager to pass along my thoughts.
The Alpha PS1s are PSB's first powered speakers, and are bookshelf in size. Driven by built-in Class D amplifiers, they feature 3.5" metalized polypropylene main drivers and 0.75" aluminum dome tweeters in elegant ported enclosures. These speakers are the latest member of PSB's Alpha line which has been very popular and well received by the audio press and consumers alike. Late last year, PSB announced they would be releasing a super compact powered subwoofer. This new sub was designed to go along with PSB's incredible little PSB Alpha PS1 ($299) desktop speakers that I reviewed in July 2013. So I promptly requested a review sample as I wanted to write this quick follow-up to my earlier review.
Bryston has a long history of manufacturing high quality amplifiers and digital components. Their products come with an industry leading warranty, reference-level sound quality, and above average build quality. For years their electronics have been paired with high end speakers at various shows, Thiel, Magnepan, PMC and other serious loudspeaker manufactures have chosen Bryston electronics to showcase their sound so I was very interested to hear that they were producing their own speakers.
As GoldenEar president Sandy Gross says, his desire is to take the sound he manages to get from far more expensive speakers, and engineer that into his own products at a much lower price. With his Triton line of towers he has certainly succeeded, but how good could he really make a $400 bookshelf speaker? They sure sounded good when I heard them at the CEDIA Expo, but those shows are never an environment in which to make any final declarations. With a pair in hand, I was ready to find out.
Paiste's Giant Beat series consists of a 24", 18", and 20" "Multi-functional", and 14" and 15" Hi-Hats. They have a very distinctive sound that one might call "Retro Rock", as the ping is crisp. The 18", 20", and 24" are labeled as "Multi-functional" because they can be used as rides or crashes. Here, we review the 24" version, which is essentially a ride cymbal.