Top brand speakers


Could someone with a vast experience with speakers/subwoofers say which ones are the top brands and worth the money.
freesoulbg
Bose.
Most speakers offered in high end shops have merits; you could start by perusing the audiophile brick and mortar sites to gather some brands to consider.

You may wish to spend the money to go to an audio show; while not a perfect auditioning environment, it will expose you to many fine speakers.

Note there are many designs which are esoteric, fine for specific music genres but limited in performance parameters, i.e. single driver high efficiency speakers. Blindly buying a particular technology might bring disappointment, so some education is in order. You would do well to get an informal familiarity with the different technologies employed as well, such as panel, horn, hybrid etc. There are fantastic examples in speakers in all these categories, as well as both ported and sealed subwoofers.

Everyone has their favorite horse in the race, so be prepared to hear a lot of recommendations from fervent owners, and a few proprietors, perhaps.
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More than anything, the main question is, ...what is your budget?
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I agree with Zd. In terms of sales, Bose is probably the top brand. It has instant name recognition with the buying public and vast majority of non-audiophiles believe them to be the best available. No doubt - they are the top speaker brand.

WRT to you second question; are they worth the money? No!

The speaker that is worth the money is whatever one sounds best to you, driven by your amp and in your room. If you derive satisfaction from it, then its worth the money.

Curious, why you would ask such a question.
NO you can't do that!!
Good sounding - timeless - Designs:
Magneplanar
Reference 3A
Verity Audio
JBL, Rockport,Kef,Tannoy,Reveal,Raidho,Magico, and a few I might have left out.
hahahahahahahaha...yessss Bose.....
About the budget - I certainly does not have the means right now to buy a top brand system, but eventually in the future I would like to know which ones are the best so to look at.

"Curious, why you would ask such a question." - I want to get familliar with high-end audio systems. I have basic view of some good brands but as I read some threads here it seems there are so many that claims are good. Also I would like to expand my knowledge what should you look at in a good system besides main specs - read that crossovers are quite important for delivering a better performance.

And about BOSE - on what is the quality based against other top brands? What about Paradigm, Klipsch, (Velodyne - if can be considered - DD1812). Are the specs of those real as they say, or are overstated, especially for the subs - going below 20HZ.

Audiolabyrinth - I will check those, except JBL - I am familiar with it - just I am amazed there are 200k home systems - any thoughts about them? (jblsynthesis.com)

Also by my oppinion speakers alone are not the everything that should be considered - you need also a good amp, good source. In this connection - what do you actually need - amp, proccessor, preamp, receiver? There are so many stuff to consider...it's hard to get your head around it :)

For the moment I would like to repair the set I have - Creative Gigawors S750 - the build in amp in the sub got broken and it seems I won't be able to find a good shop to repair it, could there be used an extarnal better amp to connect the speakers to? Any advise would be much appriciated.

reesoulbg, don't listen to some of these guys. They're just joking with you regarding Bose. Bose is NOT a quality speaker. A word of advice: go to a reputable store (where do you live) and bring music you're familiar with and audition several different speaker brands. As someone stated above, you have to take into consideration your budget and what sources you decide to use (turntable, CD player, DAC/high resolution from a computer etc.) and the kind of components you'll listen to with them (amp? preamp? integrated amp)such as solid state versus tubes.

The brands you brought up are decent. Someone else here brought up a few that are excellent and there are great sounding speakers made by DeVore, ProAc, Harbeth, Tannoy, Sonus Faber etc. You just have to know what your budget is and what kind of music you like to listen to, because some speakers favor acoustic music to rock and roll.
Mrc's right. We were just having a bit of fun. (at least I was). Your first post looks like a classic question designed just to get people arguing. After reading your 2nd post, that's obviously not the case. I can't tell you what the best is, buy my personal favorite is Vandersteen. There's plenty of other brands that are great as well. You just need to do some listening to find out what you like best.
you will get 5000 answers to that....if you live in an area with audio shops, preferably not big box stores, spend some time in them just listening to the kind of music you like. much of what is written here is esoteric cra* posted by seekers who are always looking for some magic alchemy. if it is gonna be a hobby that is one thing but if you just want a system you like then check out different styles and buy the one you prefer and spend your time listening to the music. otherwise welcome to the rabbit hole of 'audiophiles'
To echo Mrc and Zd, yeah we were having fun. Don't consider Bose ever as a speaker worthy of having. Its overpriced, plastic junk. But I stand by my assertion that it truly is the Top Brand!

In terms of sales and sadly, public perception, 9 out of 10 people do not know nor care about quality audio, yet they are all aware of Bose. This is due to their massive and brilliant marketing campaigns. So its the Top Brand.

Your question is kind of difficult to answer. We would really need to have some idea of budget and more importantly, application - multi-channel HT or 2 channel Music? IMO, most speakers can do movies in HT applications but not all can do music. Because of the overwhelming popularity of HT systems, especially being bought by non-audiophiles, the top brands are different than those being used by 2 channel folks. If I were to give a list, the brands would be grouped under these two applications.

Just keep reading, learning and most important - when your ready to pull the trigger, go out and listen for yourself. Audition, audition, audition! Good luck brother.
Thanks for the advises fellas. I would like to have a system capable of high quality sound both in movies and music. As there are so many receivers, proccessors which coast thousands of dollars I think they should be good enough for both.

As a source - at the moment I use mostly DAC (PC HD audio using optic connection) but don't know if that is sufficient enough to play it on a high-end system. When a day comes to buy a new system I would probably use it also - most of the media I use is on my PC :) Rarely there would be any external bluray or other..

Any suggestions about my old Creative Gigawors S750 - the build in amp was class D, I think the speakers are still good to use with an nice extarnal one, but what exactly? :)
It depends Always about the price. There are exeptional good speakers in every single price range compared to their competitors.

I sold Bose in the past. They are one of the best in advertising. But....my colleagues and I found it the worst brand in queality we sold compare to the other speakers we sold. You don't need the best quality to sell a lot.

The biggest problem in audio is that many audio lovers are not aware of the different properties of all the parts in their set.

When I did visit many sets in a period of 2 years. ( sets from 8000 till 180.000 Dollar) I was usrprised that the endresult of most of these sets was not that good.

Even the epensive highend sets were not that convincing. These days many of them buy things from the internet.

When they send me an email with all the parts of their set I knew already that it could not work.

The properties togheter make the sound and the image. And the acoustics. When it does not fit perfectly you need to adapt it. This is what you don't want.

Audio is a lot more difficult to get a stunning endresult. But only a stunning endresult gives you a sound you want to listen every single day! This is how Audio should be.
Invest in this book and you won't regret it: (http://www.amazon.com/The-Complete-Guide-High-End-Audio/dp/0978649311)
Welcome to a wonderful hobby! Music can transform you, it can take you to a place where your soul speaks to you, and music well-rendered does this best. While live music is the "reference" that we aim for, it's often easier to listen deeply to recorded music, because your listening room is usually more conducive to relaxing and letting it happen than most live venues.

I've been involved in several different pursuits through the years, and it is my observations that audiophiles in general are exceptionally good people (despite the tube vs solid state, analog vs digital, etc. wars we wage). I think this is because they listen to a lot of music, and all that music has had its effect on them.

Imo a good loudspeaker must do two things: First, it must do something so well that you can close your eyes and suspend disbelief and be transported. That "something" can be timbre, imaging, dynamics, coherence, spaciousness, inner detail, whatever. Okay, that's the easy part.

The hard part is, the speaker must not then turn around and do something so poorly that it collapses the aforementioned illusion. Often a speaker is initially impressive, but becomes "fatiguing" to listen to after a while.

Specs can be of some use in helping you work up a shortlist, but specs are incomplete data at best, and "overly optimistic" at worst.

If you have access to a brick-and-mortar store, go there with your favorite CD's. Such stores are rare these days, and anyone still doing that is carrying brands that they really believe in.

To evaluate whether a speaker will be fatigue-free over the long haul, here are a couple of suggestions, once you've found a speaker or two that sounds good when you listen normally: Turn the volume level down very low, and see if it's still enjoyable. At very low levels, midrange colorations tend to stand out more, because they are not "balanced" so well by the bass and high treble, both of which are harder to hear at very low levels.

Next, turn the volume level up louder than normal, and walk outside the room. Listen through the open doorway, with no line-of-sight to the speakers. How close does it come to sounding like there's a live band in the room? A speaker that sounds good from outside the room is generally more likely to be long-term enjoyable than one that doesn't.

If you don't have a store within reasonable driving distance, consider attending an audio show. Also, see if there's an audio club in your area.

I know you wanted a list of brand names, but I'm not a good source of information on mainstream brands. I have too many biases, and many of the brands I like are pretty far off the beaten path. Okay, here's three that are fairly mainstream, and imo worth their asking price: Magnepan, Anthony Gallo, and Harbeth.

The path of the audiophile is a path of self-discovery, and this is the best time ever to be an audiophile, in part because this site makes it feasible to buy and sell used gear. It is very unlikely that your first speaker choice will be your last, so you'll probably make use of this site to make course-corrections as you learn more about what matters most to you, and what compromises you can live with to get it. (To paraphrase a line from the Princess Bride, speaker design is tradeoffs, highness. Anyone who says differently is in marketing.)

Don't be surprised if, during a late-night listening session, you hear that little inner voice pulling you to do something that uplifts and challenges you. Music makes it easier for that little voice to get through, and music well-rendered all the moreso.

Duke
dealer/manufacturer
JBL Synthesis, Revel, ATC, Tannoy, B&W, and TAD/Pioneer.
Audiokinesis wrote a nice but true story about audio. A live experience is in my perception a sound what is fully 3 dimensional and playing physical in front of you. And that it can go deep as it does during a live concert.

Music Always need to be the essential part. There is audio because there was and is music. The emotion is in the music.

People talk about brands, but at the end a whole system only could give a stunning and convincing sound togheter.

It is easy to create an average or poor sound even with a top brand speaker. In more occasions it is not that convincing.

I have proven that speakers who can give a deep and wide stage are more entertaining for a longer period of time than a 2 dimensional speaker.

A 2 dimensional sound is not entertaining you for a long period. Many people I met and who were not happy with their sound. In many situations they had a 2 dimensional image.

I had a client in 2009 and he had a Naim system. This is an almost 2 dimensional sound. First I talked about what a 3 dimensional sound is and what the difference is between a 2 dimensional sound. After he heard it he said: I never have experienced this. I like it a lot and I prefer it over my Naim System. When I would have heard this before that I bought the Naim system. I would not have bought it.

Still many people are not familiar enough what the difference is between a 2 dimensional image and 3 dimensional image.

Shows need to tell people more about the differences. I think they never will do. Because it will have a big influence on some brands. That is why audio will never be that open and honest to customers.
Bo1972 is partially "pulling his punch" here. The weakest link in a Naim System is typically the speakers. You CAN get 3D sound from a Naim System, providing you don't attach Naim Speakers. Totems; Harbeths; and some Dynaudio models match extremely well to Naim. In contrast, if you attach Naim's own NSat speakers to something like a Naim Nait 5si, you will indeed get 2D sound.

Here's a more striking example: Magnepan makes some great speakers. The Ayre AX-7e is a great integrated amp. For a chuckle, I asked my dealer to attach an AX-7e to a pair of Maggie 1.7s. In a word, YECH!!! The resulting sound was sterile, detached, fatiguing, and uninvolving.

The point here is that you are trying to build "a system" that reproduces recorded music based on your personal preferences. A good Audio shopkeeper will take the time to direct you to gear that matches your sound & musical preferences given your budget. Selecting speakers is a big part of building such a system, but not the only part. In the end, the parts will need to work together, and within your room parameters, in order to yield a quality sound.

Returning to Bo1972's comments, if you happen to LIKE the Naim sonic signature (many people do) and can afford the gear, don't be afraid to purchase Naim. Just be sure to match speakers appropriately. (FWIW I don't own Naim, but have friends who enjoy their Naim systems)
"The weakest link in a Naim System is typically the speakers. You CAN get 3D sound from a Naim System, providing you don't attach Naim Speakers."

Not me. And it wasn't for lack of effort either.
Naim has a different focus on sounds and image compared to highend brands like Pass Labs. It is another world. I don't say that you cannot enjoy it.

This is a matter of taste, but I have listend often to Naim equipment with other speakers as well.

The image is still a lot different, less intimate en less precise.
I just got "The Complete Guide to High-End Audio" by Rober Harley and will read it.
I would appriciate if anyone can comment on:
"Any suggestions about my old Creative Gigawors S750 - the build in amp was class D, I think the speakers are still good to use with an nice extarnal one, but what exactly? :)"
Welcome to the rabbit hole
What is the price in the US for the Complete Guide?
~About $15
They ask here 99 euro. What a rip off.
"06-06-14: Bo1972
Naim has a different focus on sounds and image compared to highend brands like Pass Labs. It is another world. I don't say that you cannot enjoy it.

This is a matter of taste, but I have listend often to Naim equipment with other speakers as well.

The image is still a lot different, less intimate en less precise."

I don't think you understood my post on Naim. lol. Not to offend anyone who likes Naim, but for me it wasn't that good. I know people like it because it has the PRAT qualities that the British gear is known for, but there is other equipment that can give you that, plus a lot more in other areas.

"06-07-14: Freesoulbg
I just got "The Complete Guide to High-End Audio" by Rober Harley and will read it.
I would appriciate if anyone can comment on:
"Any suggestions about my old Creative Gigawors S750 - the build in amp was class D, I think the speakers are still good to use with an nice extarnal one, but what exactly? :)""

If you are looking for some good info to read on audio, see if you can locate some issues online for The Audioperfectonist Journal. It hasn't been published since 2009, but its still the best thing I've read on high end audio. The first 4 issues were free. Even if you can only find those, it will definitely be worth the effort. They go into great detail on things like how to set up a turntable, room acoustics, equipment matching, choosing the right gear, etc...
If you have all my knowledge and compared all the stuff I did you don't even want Naim for free in your house. For me personal it stands too far away from how music and instruments should sound and should be played physical in front of you.

I can easilly overrule their sound and quality. I have proven this more than ones.

This is not meant negative. Naim is a product on his own and different than many others. That's a good thing. I like to be different as well.

My way of working is comparing and choose that one what gives the best endresults. The rest I don't want and I don't use.

I even don't think that there is a person who does audio this way. For other competitors it is extreme difficult to set up a better and more convincing endresult than I can.

Perfectionism is synoniem to win. Audio for me is creating the best sound and crush everything else.

I love competition. But it doesn't mean that I want to win everything. When someone would be better, it is fine with me. If audio get's to a higher endresult in general. This is more important than my own benefit!
Per Bo...
"If you have all my knowledge and compared all the stuff I did you don't even want Naim for free in your house.
I can easilly overrule their sound and quality. I have proven this more than ones."

Wow, and I thought he was bad last year. He finally learned to spell "when" and he is now out of control with his posts.

Come on Bo, level with us. Do you really believe the crap you write or is all this howling simply for our entertainment? Take your above post for example. Its better than the Sunday funny pages.

Also, there is a new thread going on about REL subs. I'm surprised you haven't jumped on it. You're missing an opportunity to bash them. Don't bother to thank me.
Naim is not crap. It is a brand what dares to be different. In how it looks and how it builds a stage and how it sounds.

What I said earlier; it are my personal thoughts and opinion that it is too far away how music could sound and need to sound as in real.

There are enough people who like it. It is not up to my to say that they cannot like it. Audio Always will be a personal matter.

The stuff I use create more resolution, a wider and deeper stage, a superior realistic and intimate individual focus of instruments and voices, better blacks and a more realistic overal sound.

I let people hear my sound, and you can compare it with other kinds of sound. It is that simple.

I did not jump into that thread because REL is not a brand what is interesting enough for me anymore. They still make good subs. I sold a lot of them in the past. I want a stunning endresult.

I am only interested in those who give a better endresult and integration. This is a personal choice as well.

Another person can think differently and that is fine with me. Audiogon is a place where we discuss about audio. When we would all think the same, there would be no discussion.

In our country it is not possible to talk this open and at this level about audio. For me Audiogon is a fun place to talk about audio. Nothing more, nothing less.

These days I sell Purist only cause of information and idea's of people here on Audiogon.

At this moment it are only words. I've said it many times; I am so much better in sound than in words.

The main reason why I am so direct is that in 16 years I have seen too much low level in endresults.

Audio is a very egoistic and hard world for those who work in it. This I really don't like. But I am still doing it because I want to raise the level in endresult in general.
Classic Bo...
On 6/2 Bo wrote "Audio is about quality."
On 6/4 Bo wrote "It depends Always about the price."
And in the same thread on 6/8 Bo wrote "Audio Always will be a personal matter."

So which is it Bo? Do you really have any idea what your writing anymore? I think the meltdown may be close at hand.
Quality means those products which can give a more convincing and involving sound compared to others for the same price.

What is a top brand? You have top products in every single price range. The best speaker in the price range till 500 dollar is in my eyes a top speaker as well.

I use the word top speaker for the speaker who is the best in a certain price range.

Words can be read differently. That is why I said:

I AM A LOT BETTER IN SOUND THAN IN WORDS.

Even if a 3 dimensional stage with a realistic overall sound and instruments and voices with the right proportion is better than any 2 dimensional stage.

It does not mean that a person cannot prefer a 2 dimensional stage. You cannot make that decision for that person. Some people prefer a coloured low freq.

Even if it is not natural, he still can prefer and like it more.

Paraneer; you need to learn to think further before you make remarks.

The way you react is what most people do; choose for the way with the lowest resistance. You better can choose for thinking from a wider perspective.
Bo this one's for you

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SaV-6qerkqI

As best I can tell this is a pretty good 3-D stage but unfortunately I am listening on my cheap computer monitor speakers so I'm not 100% certain. Enjoy!
Per Bo...
"Paraneer; you need to learn to think further before you make remarks."

But when I am addressing one of your posts Bo, I hardly have to think at all.

And here is another quote from Bo...
"The way you react is what most people do"

I am not the least bit surprised that I have the same reaction as just about everyone else toward you Bo.

Have a nice day and don't forget about the REL thread I tipped you off on. Another golden opportunity to bash them. Better hop to it.
It is not bashing, it is a personal opinion. Audio is a free world. You made it personal.

When I am critical on some products, it is still a personal opinion.

You make remarks on me as a person. When I would do the same: I could say: that your list of stuff you own is not based on a high level of knowledge and insight in audio.
Unfortunatelly this thread became a personal arguing one which was not intended in the first place :) You can disscuss your preference of speakers/audio and not impose your oppinion to the other person :)
People make it personal when I become hard on some products. It is only a personal opinion.

When people make it personal I can become hard on them as well. They just ask for it.

They cannot handle my personal opinion.
I was starting to get bored Bo and was going to let this go, but I can't leave this thread with you thinking that somehow you were "hard" on me. You believe way too much about yourself already.

If being hard on me is making snide comments about my "list of stuff", no problem. I realize you cannot cross pens with me so you must resort to innuendos about my system. You have tried this before with others and to no avail. Besides, I am happy with my system and proud to say that I do not own one component that is Bo approved. In other words, I own no brands you sell.

And regarding me getting personal. Sorry if I hurt your feelings. Lets just say that I am at the stage in my life where I can only tolerate a BS'er to a point. And you pal made my BS detector go into overdrive. Some may be too gentlemanly to call you on it, but I'm not.

So yes, it's a free world and I suggest you stop your crying about this. When you post absolute crap with no written proof to back your statements, be prepared to take the heat. Some of us may call you on it.

Now I am done with this thread Bo. Until your next insufferable diatribe about something else that's too over the top to leave alone.
Audio Is about creating the best sound possible. It is not about me. My focus is only to achieve a higher endresult than others.

This is what sells best. And giving people the best quality for their money. I win almost all battles against other shops for a long period of time. Because I use better products.

These products do the work. I only use them to the max. At the end customers choose for the best convincing sound.

People take it personal when I am critical on the products they own. But I never made any remark on them.

You where the first who made a remark on me personal. So you got it back. I suggest we stop making remarks on eachother.

And we just react on the products and Threads.
"So yes, it's a free world and I suggest you stop your crying about this. When you post absolute crap with no written proof to back your statements, be prepared to take the heat. Some of us may call you on it."

Without getting into who's right or wrong, what do you mean by written proof? Proof of what?
"Without getting into who's right or wrong, what do you mean by written proof? Proof of what?"

Bo has claimed that he has been best "absolute" sound at at least one show many many times. I recently asked him in a post about this basically pointing out that here at least in the US and even Europe, if you are best in show, you'll be written about on various websites. I asked for the name of the show(s) that he was given this title and for any links (foreign languages are even okay) of website mentions but never received a response. I'm still interested if Bo is reading this.

I've never posted but always wondered why, if Monitor Audio was aware of his methodology, which he claims they are and am impressed with it, why aren't they using the exact approach in all their demos and shows? Maybe they are and I don't know it, but if they are, the sound doesn't seem to be impressing people because no one except Bo is talking about it.

I know I've also had at least one other post in the past year asking for some specific verifiable objective evidence of one of his claims, but there was no answer.

That said, I find his posts very interesting and entertaining.
I am only posting this in reply to your question Zd.

Statements like Marantz, Arcam, etc are 2 dimensional but Pass Labs, Onkyo, etc are 3 dimensional. We have heard this over and over again Zd and just not restricted to the above brands I site. I have never seen a spec for dimensionality for an amp in over 30 years. Yet, he repeats these statements like gospel. So where the written proof? There is none - its subjective opinion.

How about this most recent example...

"If you have all my knowledge and compared all the stuff I did you don't even want Naim for free in your house.
I can easilly overrule their sound and quality. I have proven this more than ones."

His words, not mine. He says he proven it. So show us. How exactly do you overrule Naims sound and quality? And don't say by 16 years of listening which is the usual retort. That's not proof - again, its subjective hyperbole.
I am not the one who is crying. Other people cry because they do not like my personal opinion. So who is crying? Do not turn it around.

It is my personal opinion that Naim is not good enough in depth and wide. It is not the best in blacks compared to other brands like Pass. It is not that good in individual intimate focus. This is how I see it. I never heard any of my client when I did a demo and explained the differences between this and Naim. Never any word.

Who is cryring?

The one who become personal
I read this. Send an email to: info@monitoraudio.nl

Ask them about the show in Veldhoven 2013. And ask them the email address of the persons who were at the show of Monitor Audio england.

I cannot make it more clear.
I asked Monitor Audio England why they did choose brands at shows ( which I never would use or sell) which are not the best options.

They said: political choiches. What can I say. This I really hate. I was asked for demos a few years as well by Monitor Audio. I only had the options to use the amps and sources they choose.

I said: even if you pay me 100.000 euro I will not do it.

I am only intrested when I have the freedom to choose. Last years I had. I used my own set. To be honest this made it very simple to win.
Well Seikosha, you asked a very clear, intelligent and valid question and I quote you....

"I asked for the name of the show(s) that he was given this title and for any links (foreign languages are even okay) of website mentions but never received a response."

And you were told to write to Monitor Audio and basically seek your own proof and I quote a certain someone...

"Send an email to: info@monitoraudio.nl
Ask them about the show in Veldhoven 2013. And ask them the email address of the persons who were at the show of Monitor Audio england."

Seems to me if I were named best in show, I would at least remember the name of the person bestowing the honor. And be willing to share it with a link to an article proving it.

Unbelievable. Simply unbelievable.
It is as it is. I never say things which are not true. Monitor Audio Holland has his email address.

So you want proof; just aks them. It is that simple!

Parnaneer; when you still want to make it personal. Fine with me. Pioneer makes one of the worst sounding surround amps. Poor imaging, no depth. Only people with no insight and knowledge are able to buy these kind of low level audio.

You really don't know were you are talking about.
@ Paraneer: You have a low level budget set, and you talk about the 800 series of B&W. I owned them and I sold them. This is my work.

You are a amature and you talk about stuff you don't have a lot of experience with. It is the same as you would talk about Ferrari's and Porsches when you drive a Ford.

You still may have the freedom to have your own opinion, but you are only able to tell..... what?
"That said, I find his posts very interesting and entertaining."

+1. Like Seikosha, I'm not much of a poster, but I enjoy reading and learning from this forum. Although he's a bit over the top at times (ok, way, way over), I generally appreciate the passion and enthusiasm in Bo's writings. I understand how some may find them tiresome, but in that case, better to ignore them I think than try to stifle the guy or make him go away.

Bo -- would you happen to be the author of hifireview.nl? At least in the Google translation, it seems to match your writing style.