Up until now if you were looking for a high-quality standmounter for around £250, the answer was simple: buy the Monitor Audio Bronze BX2s.
Very little we’ve heard at this price can compete with the Award-winning Monitor Audios when it comes to all-round sonic ability. But that all changed when a pair of the Boston Acoustics A26s arrived in our listening rooms.
This chunky-looking standmounting speaker is a beautifully accomplished performer that trades the last word in attack for a wonderfully fluid and engagingly musical presentation that positively brims with refinement.
Place them properly and reap rewardsThe A26’s insight into recordings as diverse as Tchaikovsky’s 1812 Overture and Adele’s 21 is impressive at this price level, as is its ability to communicate scale and authority.
It also times decently, delivering the rhythm track from the Black Eyed Peas’ Elephunk with precision.
More after the break
It’s worth taking an extra bit of care when setting up these speakers. Soundstyle’s excellent Z2 stands (£70 are the minimum requirement as far as supports are concerned; add a hint of toe-in towards the listening position and you’ll get a pleasingly layered and well-focussed sound stage.
Excellent build quality impressesA look at the A26s’ build quality sees them continue to pile on the points. They’re well-built, and available in either the Black gloss of our review sample or a cherry finish.
These speakers are also relatively unfussy about positioning provided there’s around 20cm between them and a rear wall to allow the rear-firing port to work properly.
Single-wire connections – no bad thing at this price level – complete the package.
If you skip forward to the Awards section of the website, you’ll see that the Monitor Audio BX2 has picked up the gong at this price level. It’s an excellent speaker, but these A26s are good enough to be considered a viable alternative. And that’s high praise indeed.