Bookshelf Speaker Reviews

Sort By: Post DateTitle Publish Date
Daniel Kumin  |  Sep 20, 2011  |  0 comments

RSL Speaker Systems is the current manifestation of Rogersound Labs, a SoCal company that goes back a few years — 30 or so, in fact. Like many speaker makers, RSL got its start through garage tinkering, in this case by Howard Rodgers, owner of a well-known retail chain of the same name. (How the “d” got dropped from the company name is a story for another day.)

Despite a long, successful run, the original RSL, again like many other speaker companies, eventually faded away. But after regaining rights to the company name just last year, the firm was reincarnated after a long hiatus by its founder and his family.

Brent Butterworth  |  Apr 09, 2013  |  0 comments

The Motion 15 is in my listening room partly because I've wanted to hear it ever since I first saw it about a year ago, and partly because I mistakenly ordered it for our massive "Clash of the Minispeakers" test.

Brent Butterworth  |  Dec 22, 2011  |  0 comments

It’s been a dream of audio engineers and enthusiasts for decades: Create a compact speaker system that performs like a big one.

Brent Butterworth  |  Sep 18, 2012  |  1 comments

As athletes such as Michael Vick, Kobe Bryant, and the whole New Orleans Saints defense have learned the hard way, even when you’re the best, it helps to be friendly. Big surround sound systems aren’t friendly to your décor or your pocketbook. Fortunately, in the last 2 years, we’ve seen major speaker companies put serious effort into designing compact 5.1 systems that deliver no-compromise performance. The Mini Theatre line from Bowers & Wilkins is the latest to make its way through my listening room.

Brent Butterworth  |  Mar 26, 2013  |  3 comments

For decades, the minispeaker has been a touchstone for audio enthusiasts. Because you can get a respectable pair of minis for a few hundred dollars, the mini is where most audiophiles start their journey into sound.

Brent Butterworth  |  Aug 23, 2012  |  0 comments

When the economy tanked in 2007, a funny thing happened in high-end audio: Many manufacturers prospered by creating even higher-priced products. As a speaker reviewer, I lack the economics chops to explain this turn of events, but I can tell you it has spawned some fascinating audio gear.

Take, for example, Steinway Lyngdorf ’s S-Series, built to be the Bugatti Veyron of compact home theater systems.

Brent Butterworth  |  Mar 26, 2013  |  0 comments

The Marimba ($349/pr) is the first speaker ever offered under the Music Hall brand, known for affordable turntables and audiophile electronics. Clearly, the sound was the focus; the Marimba's black ash vinyl wrap finish won't win any design awards. The 1-inch silk-dome tweeter and 5.25-inch, polypropylene-cone woofer are mounted in a rear-ported, 11-inch-high cabinet.

Daniel Kumin  |  Jun 03, 2007  |  0 comments

the listWe A/V mavens tend to sneer a little (okay, a lot) at those who choose sleek, on-wall aesthetics over all-out audio chops (damn the cost in looks, livability, or length of marriage).

Daniel Kumin  |  Jun 25, 2008  |  0 comments
Up here in the rarefied air of S&V World Headquarters - as we plot world domination, drink our lattés, and await the next $10,000 or $20,000 suite of loudspeakers submitted for o
Brent Butterworth  |  Mar 26, 2013  |  0 comments

Audio cognoscenti won't recognize the C3 ($350/pr) as a KEF because it doesn't have KEF's trademark concentric tweeter-inside-woofer design. Its 0.75-inch aluminum-dome tweeter sits above its 5.25-inch polypropylene-cone woofer in an 11.4-inch-high front-ported cabinet.

Ken C. Pohlmann  |  Dec 03, 2007  |  0 comments

Having worked in and around recording studios for 30 years, I cut my teeth on professional gear before broadening my horizons to the vast consumer audio/video world. In studios, you quickly learn that trustworthy monitors are essential. Every tracking and mixing decision hinges on what your monitors tell you; if they mislead you with any inaccuracy, your recording will suffer.

Daniel Kumin  |  Mar 08, 2004  |  0 comments

Many of the new speaker designs I've seen recently look more like a wing, an orb, or an obelisk than a speaker, so it was reassuring to unpack this latest system from Paradigm Reference, the high-end division of Paradigm. The Studio 40 v.3 front left/right speakers are solidly conventional, quadrilateral boxes.

Daniel Kumin  |  Feb 13, 2013  |  0 comments

Everybody loves small speakers, and why not? Smaller is — often — easier to afford, easier to schlep home, easier to place, and easier to live with. Smaller also has certain acoustical advantages in achieving smooth response and in yielding the broad, even spread of sound that favors good imaging and an open, believable tone color.

But how small is too small? Some say there’s no limit, and at least one manufacturer (Bose) has had success with subwoofer/satellite designs whose sats are smaller than a pepper mill, let alone a breadbox. But as the front satellites of a speaker system become smaller, their ability to reproduce bass low enough to bridge effectively with the practical upper limits of a single subwoofer, at around 150 Hz (and ideally lower), becomes questionable.

Klipsch thinks it has found the sweet spot with its HD Theater 600 system

Pages

X