Review: Meadowlark Audio Heron i Speaker

Category: Speakers

This is by far the best full-range speaker I have ever heard for less than $10k. I spent a lot of time listening to all the speakers I could find in the New York area before spending my savings on this pair.

The only two speakers that completely disappeared when I sat down were the Herons and the Audio Physics. The first time I closed my eyes I could not tell where the speakers were. In terms of resolution and staging, the only comparable speakers were electrostatics and I am unwilling to sit that still.

The soundstage is so wide and deep that the room itself seemed to expand. Even with big-band recordings, every instrument was precisely located and perfectly clear. Since pianos are so hard to record, they are my reference for instrumentation. With the Herons, the piano was not only perfectly placed, I also heard new details in each note that previously have only been apparent in live music.

So what made me choose the Meadowlarks over the Audio Physics? One word: bass. None of the comparably-priced speakers I heard could even come close. Just like the upper ranges, the bass instruments were both perfectly staged and crystal clear. A testament to the transmission-line bass.

But equally as important is the transparency and the Herons do not disappoint. Listening to recordings from the same musicians over the the last 30 years could be considered a course in recording improvements. From some of the disappointing recordings of the 50s right up through the latest DVDA/SACD, every detail comes through - good and bad.

If I had to make a complaint, I would say that before they were completely broken in, the Herons had some trouble playing at lower volumes. It takes quite a while for the high-quality components to settle in, so if you buy a new pair from the store, be patient.

Associated gear
B&K Reference 30
Sunfire Cinema Grand
Acoustic Research Cables

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Audio Physic Virgo, Libra
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