Review: Boston Acoustics HS60 Monitor

Category: Speakers

When I sold my 7.1 Boston Acoustics Horizon Series to my brother late last year, it was accompanied with deep reluctance as I found the HS450 floorstanding front speakers to be very capable stereo transducers in particular, and the Horizon set to be an excellent HT speaker system in general. Connected to my Yamaha RXV1800 AVR, they were were very musical and provided lots of enjoyable hours listening to my DVD, CD and vinyl collections. But when the upgrade bug caught up with me, I had to let go of the BAs. Fortunately, my brother's AVR was only a 5.1 processor so a pair of HS60s was left behind. As I explored the world of HiFi with my Dynaudio Confidence C1s, the BA languished in my family room, and was sparringly used as Zone 3 speakers for my Yammy, which I retained for HT purposes.

In the main living room of my resthouse, I also have a 5.1 HT set-up consisting of Bose speakers driven by an Onkyo 701 AVR. Recently, the front speakers in this system, a pair of Bose 301, developed a cracking noise in its rear tweeters that forced me to replace them with the HS60s. It was the first time I used these monitors as front speakers and was immediately astounded by their performance.

Firstly, they were far superior to anything the 301s could offer. Despite the size of my living room. about 70 sqm., the HS60s never sounded drowned out or belabored. They were very musical like their big brother, the HS450, and more. The first thing I noticed was the clear and well defined midrange. It was so revealing that despite the acoustically untreated room, the singer's voice was so real and transparent that you easily get the sensation that the singer is just in front of you. The bass was deep, tight and punchy but never boomy, unlike what the 301 produces. It also was very well behave and precise. Indeed, very impressive for a monitor speaker. The highs were sweet and never bright. But, I found the highs roll off a little when playing orchestral or instrumental tracks, and if their is something lacking from the its performance, it could be in this area. But hey, at US$300, you cannot expect it to have tweeters as good as the US$6000 Dynaudio Confidence C1s. Yet, they sound more than good enough. The soundstage was wide and airy that a fair amount of imaging is clearly noticeable. In fact, the acoustic limitations of my living room and the attached audio gears may have restrained these speakers from performing at their best. But overall, I believe that this speaker will give B&W, Monitor Audio and other much more expensive bookshelf size transducers a run for their money. I have heard lots of them that is why I say this with fair amount of confidence.

Associated gear
Onkyo 701 Multi Channel Amplifier
Onkyo CP1400 Turntable
Samsung Upscaling DVD Player