So you have moved on from department store speakers and entered the audiophile world of high-end home audio speakers. No longer will a decent sounding $139.00 Walmart sound system cut it.
You are ready to finally invest some coin into speakers that reproduce incredibly rich and clear sounds. Room-filling warm bass, perfectly crisp highs, and clean, sweet mid-tones.
It’s time to spend a serious chunk of change, but change is good…
Cambridge Audio is a UK company that was originally founded in 1968. They feature avant-garde designs notably in their slim amplifiers and tuners. If you are looking for a solid, rich walnut speaker then Cambridge Audio makes the finest.
The dark walnut SX-60 loudspeaker utilizes Cambridge’s Balanced Mode Radiator technology. The standard tweeter is replaced with the BMR technology to produce outstandingly clear and natural audio.
Years of research have gone into the Balanced Mode Radiator design and technology. These classic speaker cabinets look good in any home, especially if you are tired of the all black designs and want to get back to a natural look. Cambridge Audio is one of the old school companies that have made an impression and continue to do so.
American company MartinLogan has pioneered high-end home audio speakers since 1980. The technology they use is planar magnetic thin film and electrostatic loudspeaker design.
Ron Logan Sutherland and Gayle Martin Sanders met in the late 1970’s at an audio store that was managed by Sanders. They both shared the passion to create a better loudspeaker and MartinLogan was the by-product of this inspiration.
Using materials from the aerospace industry the two created an electrostatic loudspeaker prototype in 1980. The design was honored at a Consumer Electronics Show in 1982.
Today MartinLogan continues to produce beautiful designs you would not think a speaker could look like. The MartinLogan ElectroMotion ESL shown is only one of the many examples of beauty and high-end sound this company creates.
Frank Reed and Andy Kotsatos were veterans of Advent when they formed Boston Acoustics in 1979.
Boston Acoustics raised the bar on moderately priced loudspeakers with top-notch construction and high-end components, matching tweeters within +/-1.5dB.
The company was granted a patent for a removable voice coil subwoofer which can be replaced if a speaker is over-driven. Thus saving the consumer money for repairs.
The Boston Acoustics A 360 is a sleek, modern dual woofer tower design and surpasses the sound quality of any speaker in its price range.
Since 1946, Klipsch has produced some of the best sounding and most efficient loudspeakers. Using horn technology from the 1930 Bell Labs, Klipsch has been able to offer an amazing technology that delivers the highest sensitivity. This produces a higher output per watt than most speakers are able to accomplish.
Klipsch continues to manufacture from its United States plant and to this day offers the most powerful speakers in their class.
If you are in the market for a high-end home audio theater system, the Klipsch RF-42II Home Theater Bundle will make you smile.
Top-notch components and polished workmanship make up the Definitive Technology’s product line. Renown for incorporating thunderous bass radiators into their loudspeakers, Definitive Technology is able to deliver slim towers with incredible bass.
Even more gorgeous with its front cover off, the Mythos STS SuperTower includes a 300-watt integrated class D subwoofer amplifier and two long-throw racetrack bass radiators. The tweeter is full aluminum as well as the polished extruded aluminum enclosure. A polished granite base makes this a stunning and classy tower indeed.
The Kent Engineering & Foundry was founded by Raymond Cooke, an electrical engineer in 1961. Another UK company started in Tovil, Kent, KEF pioneered the large-scale production of woofer cones made from materials other than paper.
Today KEF produces some of the best sounding home audio towers in their price range. Not extremely expensive but with a big, clear sound. Generations have trusted KEF technology.
The KEF Q900WH (shown in white) is a clean, modern approach to tower speakers. It employs aluminum woofer cones and a full aluminum tweeter, newly engineered terminals and solid construction.
In 1972 Sandy Gross, George Klopfer and Matthew Polk created Polk Audio. The three met while attending John Hopkins University. The guys built a sound system for a local gig and when venue could not pay for the equipment they put a logo on the system and sold it. That is the beginnings of one of the current top high-end audio companies we have.
Polk Audio is the leads the pack in stereo imaging via Stereo Dimensional Array technology and component cooling. Using beautiful real woods and resonance-free enclosures, Polk Audio creates some visually inspiring cabinets. Polk technology utilizes heat sinks on speaker magnets and low-viscosity liquid ferro-fluid cooling.
Additionally, the Polk Audio RTI A9 includes Polk Audio’s Power Port technology to reduce port noise.
Big things come in small packages. In 1989 a Bose Acoustimass system changed the way I thought a good home audio speaker should sound. Back then it was only a 2.1 system and I still remember being blown away by the quality. We took apart the subwoofer enclosure and were in awe of the technology.
Turns out we should have been. Amar G. Bose graduated from MIT and founded the company after purchasing a sub-par speaker system that disappointing him. That was in 1964 and to this day Bose continues to pump out incredible technology in home, car and personal audio.
If you have never had a chance to experience what big, clear and amazing sound can come from the Bose Acoustimass 10 Series IV system, you should check out a dealer near you.
Bang & Olufsen
When your kids have moved out of the house and gone to their respective law and medical schools, then and only then will you be ready to carefully place Bang & Olufsen gear throughout your home.
My first Bang & Olufsen experience was 25 years ago at the Galleria Mall in Dallas. What a bizarre store, I thought. The clerk glared at the pack of us, ready to jump and strangle any one of our members who get within 5 feet of these systems.
The new Bang & Olufsen technology is over the top. I was always intrigued how 25 years ago this company could produce high-end sound from a membrane, but now you just gesture over the top of the sensor to adjust the volume.
The Danish company Bang & Olufsen arrives with a very rich history. And their BeoPlay A9 fully demonstrates this. Gesture volume control, wireless or Ethernet connectivity, AirPlay DLNA streaming, USB iPad/iPhone/iPod connector. Just rest your hand on top, as if to say “hush”, and the A9 will mute itself.
This is not a blow-out party system, but a sound system to say “you have arrived”. When it comes to Bang & Olufsen, you get what you pay for. And you will pay handsomely.