Best hi-fi speakers

null

Doesn't matter if your budget's modest (we start at well under £200) or heady (which in this case means £5K or so). We've both floorstanding and standmounting design to recommend, and we've even selected a few active options too.

The world's not short of fine loudspeakers, but here we've separated the truly outstanding from the merely great.

MORE:

Best speaker deals

10 of the best songs to test your speakers

Under £200

Dali Spektor 2

An excellent pair of speakers. The Spektor 2s boast an agile, articulate sound and are pleasingly unfussy when it comes to compatibility with electronics.

SPECIFICATIONS

Two way | Single wire | 29cm tall

Reasons to Buy
Agile, articulate and expressive sound
Good detail resolution
Compact size
Unfussy nature
Reasons to Avoid
Nothing of note

Under £300

Q Acoustics 3020i

Their predecessors were Award-winners - and these are even better.

SPECIFICATIONS

Dimensions (hwd): 17 x 28 x 28cm | Magnetic grilles | Single set of terminals

Reasons to Buy
Rich, warm sound
Full bass
Clear, precise treble
Sweeping dynamics
Decent scale
Reasons to Avoid
Depth of cabinet could be impractical for some

Under £400

Fyne Audio F302

Corking floorstanders at a hugely aggressive price.

Reasons to Buy
Full-bodied, entertaining presentation
Fantastic timing and dynamic range
Plenty of low-end presence
Reasons to Avoid
Need some care in system-matching

Under £600

KEF Q350

The KEF Q350s boast a sophisticated, insightful sound that belies their affordable price.

SPECIFICATIONS

Single wired | Rear ported | Black or white finish

Reasons to Buy
Stunning levels of clarity and detail
Huge scale of sound
Good timing
Even balance
Transparent
Good build and elegant design
Reasons to Avoid
Lack some punch and drive
Not best at low volumes

Under £800

Monitor Audio Silver 100

More outstanding Silver action from Monitor Audio - this range just keeps on giving.

SPECIFICATIONS

20cm driver | 25mm tweeter | 6 finishes

Reasons to Buy
Clear and well-organised presentation
Bold, punchy, well-balanced sound
Impressive sense of timing and dynamics
Superbly easy listen
Reasons to Avoid
Nothing of note

Under £1000

Monitor Audio Silver 200

The best Silver series floorstanders yet - which is saying something.

SPECIFICATIONS

Weight: 14.6kg | 2x 13cm drivers | 6 finishes

Reasons to Buy
Clear and balanced throughout the frequency range
Incredibly fast and responsive
Expressive and fun
Flexible with positioning
Reasons to Avoid
Nothing of note

Under £1500

ATC SCM11 (2013)

The most talented standmounters anywhere near this price. Their sonic transparency is on a par with far more expensive rivals. 

SPECIFICATIONS

Sealed-box design | Bi-wired | Curved cabinet

Reasons to Buy
Fine rhythmic drive
Agile and precise
Clean, neutral balance
Subtle dynamics
Hugely transparent
Reasons to Avoid
Nothing of note

Under £2500

Spendor A4

The Spendors marry an agile, expressive sound with excellent build quality, making them a compelling, compact package.

SPECIFICATIONS

Two way | Rear ported | 83cm tall

Reasons to Buy
Agile, articulate, expressive sound
Detail resolution
Excellent build and finish
Unfussy nature
Compact size
Reasons to Avoid
Nothing of note

Under £4000

Q Acoustics Concept 500

The Concept 500s prove Q Acoustics can compete at all levels. Even at £4000, they're superb speakers for the money.

SPECIFICATIONS

Treble adjustment | 2 x 16.5-cm mid/bass drivers | Biwire

Reasons to Buy
Insight
Strong dynamics
Excellent bass performance
Refinement
Unfussy nature
Reasons to Avoid
Nothing of substance

Under £5000

KEF Reference 1

Beautifully balanced sound and startling authority from these exquisitely finished standmounters.

SPECIFICATIONS

Uni-Q driver array | Three-way design | Dedicated stand £1000

Reasons to Buy
Sonic authority and composure
Revealing yet unfussy nature
Even tonal balance
Excellent stereo imaging
Impressive engineering and terrific build
Reasons to Avoid
Cost of dedicated Reference 1 stands

Active

Acoustic Energy AE1 Active

Able to outperform any number of systems comprising separates at similar money.

SPECIFICATIONS

50W amps | 30cm tall | 3x finishes

Reasons to Buy
Clear, balanced and detailed
Rhythmically exciting with fine dynamic range
Adjustable treble and bass for versatile placement
Reasons to Avoid
Nothing of note