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: $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: $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.