Price: $1800 per pair
Philip said: With the Gold GX50, Monitor Audio has produced another fine loudspeaker. It possesses all the hallmarks of the Monitor house sound, along with incisive detail and tight, punchy bass. I found myself drawn to listen to voices through these speakers -- their midrange reproduction was very natural and open, and their ability to produce a well-defined, precise soundstage was outstanding.
The gist: All the attributes you'd want in a small Monitor speaker, and then some.
Price: $399 per pair
Vince said: I have no hesitation in recommending the Inclines to anyone who wants a high-quality computer speaker system, or as the main system for a small bedroom or apartment. You won’t be disappointed.
The gist: Bipolar sound for your desktop.
Price: $3500 per pair
Doug said: If I had $3500 to spend on a pair of speakers right now, I’d buy a pair of Performa3 F206es over all others -- I love the speaker’s top-to-bottom neutrality, and especially its magical midrange, which did something special with voices. I also liked the way the review pair looked in my room, and appreciated the topnotch quality of their build and finish.
The gist: Doug’s fave at the price point.
Price: $1500 per pair
Vince said: The Aria 906 is packed with Focal’s latest driver technology, and the results are fantastic. I was smitten by the Arias’ huge soundstage, neutral midrange, and beautifully rendered highs. This bookshelf punches above its weight, and compares favorably with other well-regarded speakers, even above its price range.
The gist: Flax is good for you -- in more ways than one.
Price: $1500 per pair
Philip said: This is a speaker for the long haul -- one that you can set up and forget. After living with them for a while, I can say that this British speaker is the perfect solution for someone who cares about good sound, but who views a stereo as a means to an end -- music -- rather than an end in itself.
The gist: Philip really liked the Silver 6es.
Price: $1150 per pair
Doug said: All told, B&W offers high value with the 684 S2 -- the reason shoppers have long gravitated toward the company’s various 600 series. But I recommend that prospective buyers first listen to this new model with familiar music, to determine if it’s the right speaker for them.
The gist: Pretty good, just not great like you would hope.
Price: $2790-$4167.60 per pair
Oliver said: Axiom deserves a gold medal -- or, better still, a Reviewers’ Choice award -- for how much sonic goodness they’ve packed into the wonderful M100. That they’re able to do so for a starting price of only $2790/pair is wondrous indeed. The Axiom M100 stands as one of the best-balanced reasonably priced speakers I’ve heard.
The gist: Driver-packed large floorstander that costs less than you’d think.
Price: $4999.90 per pair
Roger said: Definitive Technology’s Mythos ST-L SuperTower elevates “lifestyle” speaker design to a new level of performance with its high resolution, clear and neutral midrange, and incredible dynamics. A true high-end design in every respect, it should hold its own against any speaker near its price, and even against some that cost considerably more.
The gist: What a looker, with great sound to match.