2019 Top Picks of the Year Speakers

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Speakers

Top Pick of the Year:

KEF R5 5.2.4 Speaker System
(April/May 2019) Read Review

This system based around KEF's revamp of its mid-range R Series speakers thoroughly impressed us with its detailed but not aggressive sound with music, and superb dialogue clarity and all-around potent performance with immersive movie soundtracks. $10,200 (as tested), kef.com

Finalists:

PSB Alpha T20 Speaker System
(April/May 2019) Read Review

PSB have long been champions of the high-value, audiophile-approved speaker, and the company's update of its Alpha line cements that reputation. The styling of this system based around the T20 tower may be basic, but a neutral balance and close timbral matching between models makes it a standout. $1,800 (as tested), psbspeakers.com

Paradigm Monitor SE 3000F Speaker System
(June/July 2019) Read Review

This entry level package from Paradigm based around its Monitor SE 3000F tower impressed us with its overall performance, and also with how well it measured up to the company's pricier models. Highlights included the Surround 1 surround speaker, a bi-directional model, and the Defiance V12, a powerful yet affordable subwoofer with a sophisticated feature set. $2,144 (as tested), paradigm.com

ELAC Navis ARB-51 Powered Speakers
(June/July 2019) Read Review

Active loudspeakers—models with built-in amps—are becoming increasingly popular, and this model from ELAC struck us as a particularly good example of the category owing to its impressive tonal accuracy and dynamic ability, as well as its onboard EQ to separately tweak low, middle, and high frequencies. $2,000, elac.com

SVS Prime Pinnacle Loudspeakers
(August/September 2019) Read Review

The latest full-range speaker from SVS is a flagship offering from its Pinnacle line. We loved it for its accurate sound, excellent imaging, and bass extension, that last item coming off as particularly impressive in such a slim, visually appealing tower model. $1,600/pair, svsound.com

Monoprice Monolith THX-365T THX Home Theater Speaker System
(October/November 2019) Read Review

Sure, Monoprice sells cables and adapters, but they also make speakers, and good ones, too. Designed to deliver Atmos and other immersive audio formats, this THX Certified package impressed us not just with its dynamic sound on movies, but with music as well. Coming from Monoprice, it's also a high-value proposition. $2,900 (as tested), monoprice.com

Polk Audio Legend Series L800 Loudspeakers
(December/January 2020) Read Review

Polk Audio has been tooling with its soundstage-enhancing SDA (Stereo Dimensional Array) technology for decades, and the latest incarnation, SDA Pro, is a highlight of the company's new flagship Legend Series tower speaker. Not only does the L800 bring out qualities in your music collection you'd never experienced before, but it offers dynamic, full-range sound, along with a neat flush-mounted elevation module option to accommodate an immersive home theater setup. $5,998/pair, polkaudio.com

DALI Oberon Surround Speaker System
(December/January 2020) Read Review

This compact 5.1 package based around the Oberon 1 bookshelf speaker from Danish manufacturer DALI left a strong impression due to its good looks, balanced and effortless sound, and standout subwoofer. $2,546 (as tested), dali-speakers.com

Aperion Audio Novus 5.0.2 Speaker System
(February/March 2020) Read Review

Anyone seeking an affordable 5.0.2 speaker package for immersive audio will be well served by Aperion Audio's new Novus line. In his review, TJN praised the natural-sounding movie dialogue from the three-way center speaker, and the system's attention-grabbing detail with music. $2,995, aperionaudio.com

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