As technology continues to progress, we audiophiles haven’t changed a bit: At the end of the day, we want our sound clear, full, and true to the original source. Finding a set of speakers that checks our laundry list of requirements, however, is much easier said than done.
To find the best stereo speakers on the market, we reached out to some of the best audio companies on Earth to review and test a wide variety of stereo speaker setups, ranging from compact bookshelf speakers to room-dominating towers with built-in subs. We will be reviewing more units in the future and adding them to this list, so keep your eyes (and ears) peeled for that.
The testing process
In testing these speakers, we compared each stereo set at a comparable power level and tested the same tunes, plucked a variety of music genres.
Our test songs spanned the dynamic range of music and artists, from John Mayer to Tom Petty, and from U.K. prog-metal band TesseracT to the likes of John Williams and Hans Zimmer. Each song was chosen to test the dynamics offered by each set of speakers with some speakers reacting better to certain genre’s than others, depending on their design.
Of course, not all speakers are created equal in function. The Definitive Technology BP9080x towers, for example, are obviously made to cover a more broad frequency range than say the Edifier bookshelf speakers with a 4 inch woofer. We used to our best judgement in testing these speakers according to their individual purpose and affordability, and graded them with that in mind.
Since comparing bookshelf speakers to high performance towers is an obvious case of apples and oranges, we’ll at least try to make it clear which speaker is an apple and which is an orange. Sound good? Good.
Without …read more