Price: $18,900 per pair
Aron said: The Nine Signature is an aurally and visually inviting loudspeaker that, by pretty much any measure, has a lot to offer. Typically, “try before you buy” is invoked as a warning. With the Nine Signature, I recommend you read the phrase more literally: Listen to these before you buy anything else -- you just might find the perfect balance you’re looking for on your very first try.
The gist: Unfatiguing, full-bodied floorstander that Aron really liked.
Prices: LS1, $29,900 per pair; LS1s, $9995/pair; $39,895 total
Robert said: I found the Grimm LS1-LS1s system the most neutral and, overall, highest-performing speaker system I have ever tested. It was with more than a little regret I that I watched them depart.
The gist: Pro company successfully enters the audiophile speaker market.
Price: $22,600 per pair
Ryan said: The Magico S3’s uncolored sound and virtually nonexistent sins of commission have made it one of the easiest products to review in my experience.
The gist: Magico’s least-expensive three-way is a resolution monster.
Price: $42,000 per pair
Doug said: I can recommend the Polymer MKS to anyone who can afford to spend $42,000 for a pair of speakers, is willing to take a chance on a lesser-known brand, and is searching for its unique type of construction, appearance, and, of course, sound. The MKS is the kind of speaker that can make a little-known company very well known. Very quickly.
The gist: Those diamond drivers make this speaker sound pretty special.
Price: $21,500 per pair
Jeff said: All in all, the Rockport Technologies Atria is the best speaker I’ve auditioned at its price. It flat-out slays some very competent, high-profile contenders costing thousands more. And you can revel in the fact that when you take a pair home, you’re getting something fine-tuned and micro-inspected by Mr. Rockport himself. What a great price for a loudspeaker that easily transcends mere competence and enters the realm of the special.
The gist: Rockport’s entry-level speaker is superb in every respect.
Price: $13,500 per pair
Doug said: I believe that the Olympica III is an example of exactly what Sonus Faber stands for today: Italian-flavored build quality and styling combined with a signature sound that audiophiles the world over can appreciate. For those who want a speaker that thrills the eyes as much as the ears, Sonus Faber’s Olympica III gets my highest recommendation.
The gist: When sound and looks matter equally.
Price: $12,000 per pair
Jeff said: The Triangle Magellan Cello is a well-built, beautifully finished speaker that made music come alive in my room. It can play loud with very little power, and can provide a visceral listening experience for those who prefer a close perspective on the music. The Cello can easily do double duty in your home theater -- it has wide dynamic range, and can instantly provide that elusive jump factor that some audiophile speakers just can’t.
The gist: Very competitive floorstander with highish efficiency and lively sound.
Price: $30,000 per pair
Hans said: This looker of a loudspeaker promises to deliver only the music in your collection -- nothing more, nothing less. Given their size, what they can do is nothing short of extraordinary.
The gist: Even the smallest Giya plays with the big boys.