Grand Cru Audio EssentielPrice: $8200 per pair


Doug said: Of the ribbon speakers I’ve heard in my room over the years, the Grand Cru Essentiel is one of the highest priced. It’s also the best sounding . . . and proof that the propensity of the French to do things differently can pay off when the result is something like this -- a speaker that’s not just unique, but a cut or two above the rest.

Read the SoundStage! Hi-Fi review.

The gist: Unique French-made, ribbon-based minimonitor that has some special qualities.