Similar to bibliophile’s love for books, we audiophiles crave for quality music. And to listen to such quality music, quality components/devices/gadgets are necessary. Apparently, as of now, the hardware we use for listening music are limited to earphones and speakers.
If you are looking for some good computer speakers under budget then look at Best Computer Speakers.
However, the ranges of these devices one can purchase are boundless. And we are gathered here to discuss these devices. The best of them. We will keep the earphone section for some other time. As of now, let’s evaluate the best stereo speakers one can buy in 2018.
The Testing Process:
Before explaining about the way we tested these speakers, I have a little confession to make. My favorite director is Christopher Nolan. Therefore, if you feel like I am endorsing Hans Zimmer, I am!
On that note, let’s discuss the testing process.
All the units are examined on almost every type of music (at its best available quality). The primary factor for me (personally) while reviewing was- Hans Zimmer! (Yes, you guessed it right.)
Note: Of course we have tested with creations of John Williams, James Newton Howard, and more.
Individual songs and scores were used to test the dynamics of every speaker units. And every speaker performed based on their unique ability.
Now, obviously, every speaker isn’t the same. Some are made to cover a broader frequency, while some are made keeping the range & loudness in mind, and some for the sake of affordability. Also, comparing the dynamics of tower speakers with those of bookshelf ones is clearly an absurd thought.
|1. Definitive Technology BP9080x|
|2. Klipsch Forte III|
|3. Klipsch RP-150M|
|4. KEF LS50 Wireless|
|5. Q Acoustics Concept 20|
|6. Polk Signature S60|
|7. Q Acoustics BT3|
|8. Edifier R1280T|
Therefore, we have considered every unit based on their specialty and graded them. So, Enjoy!
For those who say, “Money doesn’t matter!” Definitive Technology‘s got something for you. “What’s it?”, You ask? Well, it’s a remarkable, immersive, room-filling sound. At least that’s what Definitive Technology promises with their BP9080x. But how credible is their claim? Let’s see, because (a lot of) money is at stake.
Right off the top, it’s expensive; like ‘Damn expensive!’. Therefore, unmistakably, this unit is for the avid audiophiles with deep pockets. But why are they so expensive? There must be something, right? Well, there is!
With covering frequency of 16Hz-40 KHz, this bipolar tower speaker is gold (figuratively). This forward-focus unit is specially made for wide and immersive sound dispersion. And man, it does its work. The output quality from the BP9080x is worth its price. “Crystal-Clear sound quality at the cost of a diamond (figuratively)” is the shortest possible review of this unit.
Image Credit: DigitalTrends
Additionally, with its minimalistic passive design, an integrated 12″ active subwoofer and a dual bass radiator are also there. Plus, the two-way integrated Dolby Atmos / DTS:X height module is a cherry on the top, which lets you experience true multi-dimensional sound.
All in all- With its timeless, minimalistic premium-design, and crystal clear output (despite the window shaking loudness), this is a complete package which will motivate you to earn more(if it seems unaffordable).
- Perfect sound.
- Dolby Atmos / DTS: X ready
- Incredible bass
- Minimalistic, timeless design
It’s been almost 33 years since Klipsch introduced their first “Forte” model to the audiophile community. And they have undoubtedly advanced ever since. The Forte III by Klipsch is the latest in the market in the context of their Forte series. Again, right of the top, these are also expensive (even more than the above discussed BP9080x, mostly due to their brand name) and powerful speakers.
Unquestionably, as you might expect, these speakers sound phenomenal. The kind-of ancient yet timeless design is perfect for any living room. These are comparatively heavy speakers, which might be a boon for some while bane for the others.
If you are a bass lover and have money to spend on it, close your eyes and purchase them, because Klipsch has emphasized a lot on the bass of the ForteIII. A 12-inch subwoofer along with a 15-inch passive radiator in the back gives a never-experienced-before bass output. Additionally, the mid-high range output is also incredible.
Image Credit: Klipsch
However, if you are looking for a broader frequency like the above one’s, then this might not be your perfect unit, because the frequency response of the ForteIII is 38Hz-20KHz. To keep it in perspective, the maximum audible frequency for an average human is 20 KHz. That means- you are not losing anything.
On the negative side, the ForteIII doesn’t have powered subs or high-firing speakers, unlike the BP9080x.
- Incredible sound quality.
- Classic, timeless, premium and well-built design.
- Requires two separate Amps to get the most of it.
- No powered subs.
Klipsch, the brand name, is something predictable even before the research and testing for any top-notch speaker based article.
Again another Klipsch’s entry to the “Best speaker” list. This time with its RP-150M.
These are the kind of speakers most of us are looking for because these are slightly on the affordable side. Unlike the top two speakers, these aren’t the tower speakers. This unit of bookshelf speakers is primarily not for the bass lovers. While it claims to be having a low-frequency response of around 48 Hz, the 5″ woofer doesn’t do much.
Image Credit: Klipsch
However, on the other hand, these sound incredible for mid & high range frequencies. Given the price point, the bass is also moderate. Overall, an almost perfect & affordable speaker unit.
- Incredible highs and mids.
- Value for money (along with affordability).
- Moderate bass.
Here’s another bookshelf unit to make it in the “best stereo speakers” list. While other speakers of this list will require Amps, pre Amps, and other additional hardware to bring the most of it, the KEF LS50 is an all-in-one package.
“An incredible package with an amazing output,” is all I can say about the LS50 Wireless. To put the built of this unit in a nutshell, they are sophisticated inside and simple outside.
Image Credit: Kef
If looked from the cost perspective, it is slightly on an expensive side. But given the easy-to-use factor and the incredible output, it’s another value-for-money speaker from this list.
- Unbelievable output.
- Compact design.
- Easy to set up.
- Slow mobile app.
- No Airplay or Google cast.
A solid midrange speaker is not there in this list, so let’s add another deserved to this article. The Q acoustics concept 20 is unquestionably one of the best mid-range speakers.
If you are looking for an incredible sounding and compact mid-range speaker, then this unit of bookshelf speaker is probably for you. With its astonishing low-mids and crispy highs, the system is made to fulfill your thirst for rich music.
Given its compact design, you might think that the amplified version will give distorted output. Well, guess what? You are wrong. We tested it with an amplifier, and the results were surprisingly positive.
However, again, if you are a massive bass lover, I am deeply sorry. The unit’s compact design and built gives incredible mids and highs, but for lows, it’s not suitable.
- Rich sound
- Astonishing Highs and mids
- Mid-range price
- Moderate to low bass
The four-foot tall, Polk Signature S60, is a reliable option and the answer to the price tag of our #1, Definitive BP9080x. Of course, they aren’t better than our premium pick. However, they are comparable.
Right off the package, the highs are slightly on the shrilly side, if the volume is increased somewhat above a certain point. Also, the lows are also not adequate for average volume. However, little tweak via equalizer can make it better. Otherwise, complete value-for-money tower speakers.
Image Credit: PolkAudio
In short, if you are looking for an alternative to our #1 premium pick which is also affordable, then this might be a perfect pick for you.
- High treble.
- Amazing mids.
- Moderately priced.
- Sometimes unnecessary highs(shrills).
The Q Acoustics BT3 is the most digitally unified speaker of this list. With Bluetooth connectivity, remote control, a 3.5mm audio jack, and digital optical input, these speakers are one the best active speakers.
Right to the sight, the beautiful design of the speakers, attracts the potential buyers. The speakers are primarily made as convenient bookshelf speakers. Talking about the sound quality, it was surprisingly full. The mid-range of the unit is crystal clear. The highs are also crisp and solid. However, occasionally, it’s on the shrill side. The bass is also on the higher end.
Image Credit: Qacoustics
In short, it’s an affordable replacement to the abovementioned Concept 20.
- Good mids and lows.
- Bluetooth support.
- Digital optical audio.
- Comparatively low price.
- Occasional shrill.
Being an audiophile and not having money to buy premium products sucks!
However, not anymore. Because we have found something an audiophile can enjoy for $100. The Amazon famous Edifier R1280T is an excellent choice for those having money as a primary priority.
Admittedly, they won’t have the output quality similar to any of the above mentioned 10-20x pricy speakers, but it’s a king in its own right. From the audio quality perspective, the mids are incredible, while the highs and lows are moderate-low and moderate.
- Low price
- Amazing mids
- Moderately-low highs and lows
We have considered almost every factor an audiophile as well as an ordinary listener counts while purchasing a speaker. Hope you enjoyed the list. We are going to keep updating the list until the end of 2018, and will probably make another one for the next year. If you would like to suggest some deserved speaker for the list, comment section is open for you. We will surely consider your suggestion.
However, until then, Goodbye!
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Last update on 2018-07-19 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API