The 2017 SoundStage! Network Buying Guide features summaries of all stereo and home-theater products reviewed in the calendar year across all of our publications. The Buying Guide is subdivided by product and price, with each article including pricing details, a review summary, a full-review link, and product-award indicators.
All prices are in US dollars.
Brent said: I think anyone shopping for a subwoofer at or near this price would be very happy with the BasX S12 -- especially if they like a little extra kick in the bottom end.
The gist: Compact-but-potent sub for cheap.
Brent said: My guess is that, once audiophiles hear how clear, clean, tight, and punchy this sub sounds -- and how, even in ported mode, it reveals no hint of boom, ringing, bloat, or all those other things audiophiles often hate about subwoofers -- they’ll flock to it.
The gist: Solid performer if you want deep bass at a great price.
Roger said: The SVS SB16-Ultra is a fantastic subwoofer that offers exceptional performance for $1999.99, but it faces strong competition from other great subs, such as the aforementioned JL Audio and models from GoldenEar, Paradigm, Hsu Research, and Outlaw Audio, to name just a few.
The gist: Tremendous bass-for-dollar proposition.
Award: Reviewers' Choice
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: AU$3499 per pair
Scott said: They play loud, deep and clean, but more (much more) importantly they connect you to the music and are liberally laced with a large helping of "it."
The gist: Packs quite a punch for such a small package.
Price: $3498 per pair
Roger said: With high-fidelity sound and the ability to play at incredibly high volume levels, it’s one of the best speakers available at or near $3498/pair.
The gist: The integral elevation module makes this perfect for home-theater use.
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: $1499.96 USD per pair
Hans said: This Goldilocksean recipe of “just right” means that the Uni-Fi Slim FS U5, with its narrow cabinet and unassuming satin paint job, is a speaker that anyone can appreciate looking at and listening to for the long term -- and that usually comes at a price far dearer than $1500/pair.
The gist: Andrew Jones-designed affordable floorstander delivers.