best sounding small speakers

Which monitors have the best sound? Listening levels at no more than 100db. The mids and highs are the most important - but the lows are a definite bonus!
There are hundreds of answers to this question. I'm sure you'll pull in a few. I like the sound of Silverline's SR17 monitors for their midtone purity. They reach pretty low for a speaker of their size.

You may want to include the rest of the system you'd be putting the speakers with, and the size of your room as well as some basic musical tastes, to narrow down the deluge of response you'll get. Also, search the's a pretty common subject.

The Green Mountain Callisto is an awesome speaker wich sounds right up your alley.
I have a pair of Sonus Faber Concerto Home stand mounted speakers. They are warm sounding, very easy on the ear and do a great dissappearing act. They also have the benefit of being reasonably priced.

They would not be well suited for high SPLs or rock music however.
Best monitor I've heard, by far, is the Intuitive Design Summit. Other monitors I've heard include Totem Tabu's, JM Labs Micro Utopia Be, and the Induction Dynamics S2 monitor (the S2 retailed at about $3000 the last time I checked). The Induction Dynamics Monitor is really special, and has a large, open, smooth and detailed sound. It uses a proprietary ("S4X Driver-Control Technology") fourth order crossover with inductively coupled drivers (their "brick wall" crossover, see footnote #1). I'm not sure, but they may be even better than the Totem Tabus. GREAT little speaker.

I'm fairly certain that the Summits are also the best speakerof ANY type--which I have personally heard--with the closest competitor being the Old, three box version of the Audio Physic Caldera being driven by about 7000 dollars of electronics, including Spectral products.(**See footnote #2). The Summits DEFINITELY sound better (at least overall) than any other floorstander I've heard, including Hales, Aerial 7 B's, Dunlavy SC IV's, Thiel CS 3-point..something, Totem Winds, Paradigm Studio 100 V 3's (which I owned for about a year or so), and Paradigm Signature S8's (which I auditioned in my house side by side against the 100 V 3's). There have also been some "dogs" which needn't be mentioned.

*FOOTNOTE #1: The approach taken by Induction Dynamics is essentially the opposite of a first order crossover, and may even be more stringent in terms of driver control than that of Jim Thiel, although I can't say for certain. On the Induction Dynamics website, they take great pride in pointing out their unusually steep crossover design.
{{Here's a quote: " S4X Driver-Control Technology delivers a virtually instantaneous roll-off after the crossover point, the quickest slope in the industry. This fast-acting "brickwall" crossover slope exceeds 30 dB/octave within one-half octave of the crossover frequency. Most crossovers range from 6 to 24 dB/octave and don't develop their maximum slope until the second octave."}}
All I know is that they sounded very, very good, and would appear to be a standout speaker in that class. Their soundstage did NOT seem constricted, and I say that knowing that the Summits and the Calderas both use a first order crossover (among other things, of course) to get their outstanding imaging.

**FOOTNOTE #2: It's close between the Calderas and the Summits, and it was a while ago, but I strongly suspect that the Summits would sound better in a direct A/B comparison based on my auditory memory. It's possible (but not likely) that I'd change my mind if an A/B was possible.
My vote is still for the venerable ProAc 1SC's.
Vulcain Aida, JM Lab Mini Utopia Be and Apertura Kalibrator are the three best I have heard.
p.s. I think the Summits probably have the edge over the Paradigm Studio 100 v 3's even in terms of mid-bass punch (which was a huge, huge, HUGE surprise), but there are two big caveats: 1)The preamp for the Summits is an Odyssey Tempest Extreme and for the Paradigms was a Rotel RC995; 2)The Summits have the benefit of an added Dodson 217 Mark II D, which is about a 5000 dollar DAC (I paid waaaayyyy less), and which has great bass reproduction. The Studio 100 V 3's didn't have an outboard DAC in the signal chain.

Totem Mani-2, Dynaudio Special 25 or Paradigm Signature Monitor.
One of my personal favorites among small speakers is one that rarely gets mentioned anymore: the Sequerra Pyramid MET-7. For more info about this fine speaker designed and sold by Richard Sequerra, go to the following link:
I had a pair of the Met7s and I agree with Sd. I wish I had not sold them.
Two small speakers I've owned and enjoyed are the ProAc 1SC and ProAc Tablette 50 Signature. I love the imaging and midrange balance of ProAcs in general, but bass repro in these little monitors isn't the best.
JM Reynaud Twins. Euphoric with tubes, easy to drive.
The Tyler Acoustics Linbrook Signatures are contenders, IMO.

The Tyler Reference Monitors with matching stands will get you in with awesome sound, and the wife factor also. Speaker placement is very forgiving. Get some good electronics. Find a pair on the 'Gon at very low prices and don't let that low price be a factor.
my vote goes to the Acapella Fidelio, the most transparent and lively monitors i've ever heard.
I second the Acapella Fidelio. An awesome little speaker.
The Wilson Benesch ARC's. Made in England and made not from MDF but rather carbon fiber, just like the steath bombers. Avoiding radar is similar to sheading sonic waves. Perfect sound with plenty of base when it is real base and not boom boom base.
I have to give the nod as well to the ProAc 1SC's - I have heard them with some Audio Research tube amps doing the heavy lifting, and I could not believe the music that these little buggers put out. And mind you, it was on a very demanding classical recording - no where to hide.
Under $ 2,000 they can not be touched.

Others - like the Rogers Ls3/5A's, for example, do some things really well - like image. But for a coherent and detailed sound with enough guts to makes you think there is a sub hiding somewhere, it's the ProAcs.
I have heard the Pro Ac 1sc's once in my life at Pro Musica in Chicago. An awesome small speaker, with what I felt was absolutely superb mids, and highs. Naturally, small speakers like this will lack the lowest bottom end. This pair I heard were complemented with a sub, and these speakers then really lacked nothing at all. I actually liked these better in some ways versus a stand alone pair of Dunlavy IV's auditioned only moments earlier at the same business I mention above. (though there's sure nothing at all wrong with the Dunlavy's IMO!)

The beauty I then recognized with these, is due to their smaller size, good speaker placement becomes a much easier thing to accomplish. mark
well how small is small?

Merlins were exceptional when I last hear them and have been upgraded since. Green Mountain audio has a lot of fans though never had the opp myself. Magico's monitors look interesting while the Ultimate Monitor is worth checking out IMO

But if you think about the required stands for these, then really some of smaller but really good-great floorstanders shld be considered too whether they by Gallo Ref 3 or even Kharma 3.2
Define a small speaker.
My definition of a small speaker includes the stands. Which leads to the question;
"How much realestate do the speakers (with stands) actually take up?"
Either use cubic feet.
Or the projected square feet when viewed head on.
My point, don't limit your thinking to just monitors if room size is an issue.
Has anyone heard the relatively new Acapella Fidelio II's? Also, any feedback on the Ultimate Monitor by Audiomachina? Both of these designs seem to be at the cutting edge in terms of performance considering the enclosure size.
Focus Audio FS-688. Bought a pair a couple of months ago and couldn't be happier.
Well since the thread's title references small speakers, the Acapella and Audiomachina products certainly qualified. Both have front baffles around 6 inches wide! Tha Magico's have a cabinet width of 12 inches and while they are stand mounted, I don't consider them in the same category as the Acapella's and Ultimate Monitor- at least in the physicality of the product. BTW, I own the the Acoustic Energy AE-3 Ref Mk II which is floorstanding with a cabinet baffle of 7.25 inches. The AE's are rear ported while the Audiomachina is sealed and the Acapella is ported at the base of the cabinet. I'm inclined to think that the Audiomachina may have the best performance among all candidates in a small room.
Hard to beat SF Guarneri Homage for voice and midrange. I use them with an REL Brittania B-1 sub. I sold Watt/Puppy 6's because the SF/REL combo is much more musical and you don't a fork lift to move them around. 50 high quality tube watts per side and you have vocal and string nirvana.
The original Red Rose monitor (the ribbon mounted above the cabinet with an oversized grill) is the most satisfying small speaker I've ever heard at any price. Very fine sound with ridiculous bass response for a speaker this size.

B&W 805 Signatures or Sonus Faber Extrema should be considered for Hall of Fame status.
Harbeth's - I have owned monitors from B&W, Merlin, Tyler Acoustics, Dynaudio, and other large and much more expensive full range speakers the Harbeths sound like music. I own the SL5's and their other models have a simular sound. Harbeths are the type of speaker that you can listen to for hours with no fatigue. They also sound great at low listening levels.