Best speakers 2024: budget to premium hi-fi speakers tested by our expert reviewers

Is there anything more core to a hi-fi system than speakers? Yes, you'll need a source and an amplifier in there, but the most obvious – and visible – element of any music system is a pair of speakers. Whether you're looking for your first pair of speakers as you build a home audio system, upgrading an old pair of budget speakers or going for broke with a high-end pair to suit your carefully selected system, trying to pick the right speakers for your money can be a hard decision.

We're here to make it a little easier. Our curated list of the very best stereo speakers you can buy for your money will ensure your home system is treated to the ultimate sound performance that your budget allows.

From real-world affordable to high-end prices (and in between), our selection includes floorstanding speakers and bookshelf speakers (or standmounters, as they're also known). The experienced review team at What Hi-Fi? has been testing stereo speakers for nearly five decades now, and every recommended pair below has been tested in our dedicated listening rooms, compared against the competition at their respective price level, and listened to extensively with a variety of music. You can read more about our speakers testing process, get our expert tips on how to choose the right speakers for you, or you can scroll down for our pick of the best speakers for every budget.

Written by
Kashfia Kabir
Written by
Kashfia Kabir

I'm the Hi-Fi and Audio Editor of What Hi-Fi? and have spent the last decade reviewing dozens of speakers in all sizes and across all price ranges. From budget pairs to high-end models, the various speakers I have tested over the years have given me the knowledge and experience to know exactly what a buyer should be getting for their money. Budget doesn't mean you should settle for shoddy build quality, and high-end doesn't mean you have to sacrifice fun for ultimate transparency and refinement. The best speakers should let you enjoy listening to your favourite music to the fullest, and the five-star and Award-winning speaker recommendations below aim to deliver exactly that.

The quick list

Best speakers overall

KEF LS50 Meta in royal blue

Featuring innovative technology and exceptional sound, these KEFs are the best speakers for the money. (Image credit: KEF)
What Hi-Fi? Awards winner. These KEFs are brilliant entertainers and could be the only speakers you'll ever need.

Specifications

Type: Standmounters
Drive units: Uni-Q driver array (25mm tweeter and 13cm mid/bass)
Ported: Yes (rear)
Bi-wire: No
Impedance: 8 ohms
Sensitivity: 85db
Dimensions (hwd): 30.2 x 20 x 28cm
Weight: 7.8kg
Finishes: 4 (carbon black, titanium grey, mineral white, royal blue)

Reasons to buy

+
Exceptional sonic transparency
+
Subtle and precise presentation
+
Innovative technology

Reasons to avoid

-
Don't place them in a bookshelf or up against a wall

The original LS50 speakers had little wrong with them but after eight years, KEF figured they deserved a fresh look. And with the LS50 Meta they have delivered a worthy upgrade.

The LS50’s Uni-Q driver array, where the tweeter sits in the throat of the mid/bass unit, has been thoroughly reworked, taking in all the refinements that KEF has developed over the past eight years and adding something new in the form of Metamaterial Absorption Technology (MAT). MAT is KEF’s way of coping with the sound that comes off the back of the tweeter dome; a plastic circular maze of tubes on the back promising greater absorption for cleaner, less distorted highs.

While the basic sonic character is instantly familiar, the Meta speakers have gained a level of clarity and finesse the originals only hinted at, sounding clean while still offering muscle and dynamics.

We’ve loved the originals and the LS50 Meta takes the performance to a notably higher - and Award-winning - level. 

Read the full KEF LS50 Meta review

Best budget bookshelf speakers

Elac Debut B5.2 lifestyle

A talented and unfussy pair of budget speakers that are fantastic for the price. (Image credit: Elac)
What Hi-Fi? Awards winner. Arguably the most capable standmounters we’ve heard at this budget price.

Specifications

Type: Standmounters
Drive units: 25mm tweeter, 13cm mid/bass
Ported: Yes (front)
Bi-wire: No
Impedance: 6 ohms
Sensitivity: 86dB/W/m
Dimensions (hwd): 34.1 x 18 x 23.4cm
Weight: 5.9kg
Finishes: 1 (black ash)

Reasons to buy

+
Detailed and organised sound
+
Solid build
+
Unfussy nature

Reasons to avoid

-
Some might prefer the richer midrange tone of the Dali speakers

Elac's affordable standmounters are brilliant performers for the money. They sound solid and are very unfussy about placement, making them ideal for first-time buyers or those with limited space. There's a great sense of dynamic expression, ample detail and sophistication that is hugely commendable for such a budget pair of speakers. Even when hooked up to amplifiers twice their price, the Elac speakers more than hold their own.

The two-way speaker sports a 5.25cm mid/bass cone that's made of a new blend of aramid fibres, while the shape has been revised to offer greater stiffness and damping. We find the tweeter (which promises to deliver up to 35kHz at the high frequency range) adds ample sparkle to the top end, too.

The revised 5.25cm mid/bass unit uses a new blend of aramid fibres for the cone, combined with a different shape to improve stiffness and damping, while the tweeter claims a top-end response of 35kHz, adding plenty of sparkle to proceedings.

Tonally, they don’t have the luscious midrange warmth of the comparable Dali Spektor 2, which should be considered alternative options alongside the Wharfedale Diamond 12.1, but they’re admirably balanced and capable of making the best of any recording – even those of poor quality.

While Elac has been making speakers since the 1980s with many successful models to its name, it’s fair to say that these Debut B5.2 speakers should be considered one of the company’s finest efforts. For this sort of money, they're exceptional.

Read the full Elac Debut B5.2 review

Best budget floorstanding speakers

Wharfedale Diamond 12.3

Affordable, wonderfully refined and well made – these Wharfedales are terrific towers. (Image credit: Wharfedale)
What Hi-Fi? Awards winner. These Award-winning floorstanders are entertaining and affordable.

Specifications

Type: Floorstanders
Drive units: 25mm tweeter, 2x 13cm mid/bass
Ported: Yes (rear)
Bi-wire: Yes
Impedance: 8 ohms
Sensitivity: 89dB
Dimensions (hwd): 97.5 x 18 x 34.8cm
Weight: 19.6kg
Finishes: 3 (light oak, black oak, walnut pearl)

Reasons to buy

+
Superbly balanced presentation
+
Expressive and revealing midrange
+
Pleasing build and finish

Reasons to avoid

-
Perform best if given a little room to breathe

Wharfedale's Diamond range now features a truly outstanding (and affordable) floorstander. Indeed, we're so impressed by the Wharfedale Diamond 12.3's musical performance that it's now a three-time What Hi-Fi? Award winner.

At 98cm tall, the Diamond 12.3 aren't a particularly imposing pair of floorstanders, so they'll fit into most spaces. Sonically, they're smooth, even-handed and wonderfully refined for the money. Feed them a poor signal and they’ll round off rough edges and downplay unwanted aggression without sounding like they’re smothering the life out of the music.

As for build quality, the cabinets are carefully crafted with a traditional straight-edge design and a tidy feet arrangement. The 12.3 are available in four finishes – black, walnut, white and a classy light oak – all of which belie their relatively modest price tag.

If you're looking for reasonably-priced hi-fi speakers, the talented Wharfdale 12.3 are a superb buy.

Read the full Wharfedale Diamond 12.3 review

Best mid-price standmount speakers

Standmount speakers: Bowers & Wilkins 607 S3

B&W’s latest entry-level 607 S3 speakers win us over with a clean, refined and detailed sound that’s also entertaining in spades. (Image credit: What Hi-Fi?)
What Hi-Fi? Awards winner. B&W’s newest, smallest, entry-level speakers are a delight.

Specifications

Type: Standmounters
Drive units: 25mm tweeter, 13cm mid/bass
Ported: Yes (rear)
Bi-wire: Yes
Impedance: 8 ohms
Sensitivity: 84dB
Dimensions (hwd): 30 x 16.5 x 20.7cm
Weight: 4.65kg
Finishes: 3 (black, white, oak)

Reasons to buy

+
Improved clarity, refinement and openness
+
Punchy, dynamic and lively sound
+
Knows how to have fun
+
Classy build and finish

Reasons to avoid

-
Sweet treble can sound a touch forward
-
Needs care with system matching
-
Price rise over predecessors

Now in its eighth generation and going 20+ years strong, Bowers & Wilkins' 600 series of speakers has more often than not provided some superb speakers. 

And that story continues with its latest entry-level 607 S3 speakers. The smallest and most affordable stereo speaker that B&W makes (even if that 'budget' price has increased in the last couple of years), the new 607 S3 replaces the previous Award-winning 607 S2 Anniversary Edition speakers and delivers a significantly improved performance.

The 607 S3 has been updated throughout, with a brand new 25mm titanium decoupled double dome tweeter, a new elongated tube loading system, a revised motor assembly for the 13cm Continuum mid/bass driver, higher-quality components used in the crossover, and sturdier cabinet bracing. The two drivers overlap to improve integration, while B&W claims the use of titanium should result in more refined and detailed high frequencies. 

The footprint remains the same and they're ideal for smaller spaces. Partner them carefully to balance out a somewhat forward, excitable treble performance, and you'll be rewarded with a terrifically detailed, rhythmically cohesive, agile, and energetic sound. The overall presentation is more open-sounding than before, while the treble performance is so much sweeter and more refined. For their size and price level, each note lands with precision and they even hold dynamic interest at low volume. Basslines are pulled taut and while they don’t go as bone-shatteringly deep as bigger speakers (or as big as the bigger 606 S3, below), they do land with impact.

Overall, they're just incredibly fun to listen to. There’s clarity and refinement in the mix here – to a really admirable level – but we’re struck by just how entertaining, zippy and musical this new pair sounds right from the start. We’re glad that, alongside a newfound level of clean detail, openness and precise sound, the new 607 S3 speakers have remembered to add in big doses of energy and dynamic prowess.

Read the full Bowers & Wilkins 607 S3 review

Best mid-price floorstanding speakers

Floorstanding speakers: Q Acoustics 5040

New cone technology and a shift in sonic character results in an excellent new phase of performance. (Image credit: What Hi-Fi?)
What Hi-Fi? Awards winner. A superbly insightful and entertaining performance from new Q Acoustics floorstanders.

Specifications

Type: Floorstanders
Drive units: 25mm tweeter, 2x 12.5cm mid/bass
Ported : Yes (rear)
Bi-wire : No
Impedance : 6 ohms
Sensitivty : 91.5dB
Dimensions : 97 x 18 x 28cm
Weight : 18kg
Finishes : 4 (black, white, oak, rosewood)

Reasons to buy

+
Excellent clarity and detail resolution
+
Expressive dynamics
+
Fine build and finish

Reasons to avoid

-
Needs care in system matching
-
Not as forgiving as previous Q Acoustics models

Q Acoustics' new 5000 series sits in between the budget 3000 series and the premium Concept range. The 5040 is the smaller of the two floorstanders in the range and should fit neatly into most rooms, with a solid and well-made build quality.

New to the range is the Continuous Curved Cone design for the mid/bass drivers. This new driver has a geometry that Q Acoustics claims to combine the rigidity advantages of a standard conical cone profile with the high-frequency break-up characteristics of a more flared design.

Q Acoustics' previous efforts have tended to be unfussy, but these 5040s need a bit more care with positioning and partnering equipment. Match them with more refined partnering electronics (these speakers can be rather transparent, impressively so), and the 5040 sound wonderfully clear and precise, with ample agility and grip to deliver a sense of great fun. We like the way these towers always sound composed and controlled, and that sense of organisation doesn’t falter when the music becomes demanding. It's a spacious, well-focused sound with impressive stereo imaging. Tonally, these floorstanders sit just on the lean side of neutral, but not so far as to cause issues. 

While the more expensive Wharfedale Evo 4.4 provide a sophisticated alternative, Q Acoustics 5040 are even-handed performers that simply step out of the way of the music and let songs shine. Take a bit of care with partnering amplification and sources, and these speakers will reward you with an expressive, insightful performance that is hard to beat at this price range.

Read the full Q Acoustics 5040 review

Best premium standmount speakers

KEF R3 Meta in indigo gloss special edition

KEF knocks it out the park again: the R3 Metas are wonderfully transparent, refined speakers that are hugely entertaining performers, too. (Image credit: KEF)
What Hi-Fi? Awards winner. Innovative tech upgrade elevates these classy speakers to entertaining new heights.

Specifications

Type: Standmounters
Drive units: Uni-Q driver array (25mm tweeter, 12.5cm midrange), 16.5cm bass
Ported: Yes (rear)
Bi-wire: No
Impedance: 4 ohms
Sensitivity: 87db
Dimensions (hwd): 42.2 x 20 x 33.6cm
Weight: 12.4kg
Finishes: 4 (black gloss, white gloss, walnut, indigo gloss special edition)

Reasons to buy

+
Transparent, refined, expressive sound
+
Even tonal balance
+
Heaps of fun, too
+
Innovative technology
+
Excellent build and finish

Reasons to avoid

-
Sounds best when positioned away from a wall and paired with equally talented kit

KEF's new MAT (Meta Material Absorption Technology) innovation has been elevating the performance of its most recent speakers (the Award-winning LS50 Meta above is a prime example), so it was only a matter of time before the tech was integrated into its 2023 R Series of speakers. Sure enough, the new R3 Meta standmounter features both MAT and KEF's Uni-Q driver array to great success. 

These are gorgeous-looking speakers, with impeccable finish and build quality. KEF's 12th-generation Uni-Q driver array has been tweaked to accommodate the puck-sized MAT contraption (which absorbs 99 per cent of unwanted back radiation from the tweeter), and the resulting sound is astonishingly clear and insightful. They sound graceful; they don't immediately confront you with how accomplished they really are. They’re wonderfully transparent, at ease with any genre thrown at them: heavy metal, ’90s pop and classical works are all played over the testing period and the KEFs take it all in stride, simply relaying the music as faithfully as possible.

It's a huge step up from the MAT-less R3 (a previous five-star model) in terms of refinement, crystal-clear vocals and dynamism. These R3 Metas are spacious, dig deep, perform admirably both at loud and low volumes (a rare talent), and are delivered with a precision and accuracy that seems to come oh-so-easily to them. Best of all, they're also hugely fun to listen to. You'll be drawn into emotive vocals, punchy bass and tactile guitar plucks and everything in between with whatever song you throw at them. Pair them with equally talented partnering kit, and these KEF R3 Meta speakers will soar and shine. Highly recommended.

Read the full KEF R3 Meta review

Best premium floorstanding speakers

Floorstanding speakers: PMC Prodigy 5

The Prodigy 5 are wonderfully talented performers with a keen sense of musicality. (Image credit: What Hi-Fi?)
What Hi-Fi? Awards winner. PMC’s slimline floorstanders deliver a sonic masterclass

Specifications

Type: Floorstanders
Drive units: 27mm tweeter, 13cm mid/bass
Ported : Yes (front)
Bi-wire : No
Impedance : 6 ohms
Sensitivity : 87.3dB
Dimensions (hwd): 90.5 x 16.5 x 23.7cm
Finishes : 1 (black)

Reasons to buy

+
Gorgeous, refined sound
+
Great value for money
+
Unfussy about placement

Reasons to avoid

-
Inevitable aesthetic sacrifices

PMC has something of a reputation for high-end hi-fi, and while the superb Prodigy 5 have wound up as our best premium floorstanders on this list, they're actually miraculously good value. 

The priority with the Prodigy 5, much like their five-star Prodigy 1 standmount siblings, has been to eke out as much sound-per-pound punch as possible, letting considerations over design and aesthetic flourishes fall away in the pursuit of the best audio you can get for the price. 

And boy has the effort paid off. PMC has hit the sweetest of sweet spots with the Prodigy 5, balancing subtle details and musical flourishes with a perceptibly heightened sense of presence, poise and confidence. In terms of sonic performance, we didn't hear many better speakers this year, and it was the Prodigy 5's musical chops that really earned them that 2023 What Hi-Fi? Award.

The Prodigy 5 seem to be adept at giving the best of all worlds without a hint of sonic sacrifice. While comparatively priced rivals substitute space for precision or dynamics for subtlety, PMC’s unassuming towers are truly comprehensive performers. There's so much scale and breadth to them, yet they never seem to sacrifice the intimacy or nuance of a piece, either. It's a remarkable trick, and one that had us wanting to test more and more tracks to see what the Prodigy 5 could do with them.

All in all, a marvellous success story. Worthy winners, indeed. 

Read our full PMC Prodigy 5 review

Best high-end standmount speakers

The new Mission 770

Mission’s resurrected 770 speakers offer an excellent alternative to the established class leaders. (Image credit: Mission)
What Hi-Fi? Awards winner. Taking inspiration from the old ways can give great results.

Specifications

Type: Standmounters
Drive units: 28mm tweeter, 20cm mid/bass
Ported: Yes (front)
Bi-wire: No
Nominal impedance: 8 ohms
Sensitivity: 88dB
Dimensions (hwd): 59 x 30 x 30cm (with stands)
Weight: 19.2kg
Finishes: 2 (black, walnut)

Reasons to buy

+
Articulate and insightful performance
+
Impressive bass clarity
+
Dedicated stands included in price

Reasons to avoid

-
Big and wide by current standards

For these Mission 770 speakers, the brand took design inspiration from the original 770 speakers launched in the 1970s, but improved and modernised every other element: from the cabinet design to the drivers and even new dedicated stands.

While the retro link will be the main attraction for some, for us that’s put in the shade by the speakers' excellent all-round performance. The 770 have a range of sonic talents that sets them apart from most rivals and earns them a warm recommendation.

They have so much finesse when it comes to delivering extended bass. Bass textures and low-level information are delicately conveyed, while they sound taut and agile even with the most intricately composed songs. There's plenty of punch and power, too. The speakers have a slightly forward balance, especially with the clear and expressive midrange, that sounds lively and engaging – but thankfully never too aggressive.

Songs are delivered with wide-ranging dynamics, impressive authority and scale. It’s a musically cohesive presentation that’s controlled and nicely organised. If you have the budget - and space - for these speakers, they're worth an audition. 

The Epos ES14N are a viable alternative, and if your budget can stretch to them, the KEF Reference 1 Meta also come highly recommended.

Read the full Mission 770 review

Best high-end floorstanding speaker

Spendor A7 lifestyle

They're pricey, but these elegant speakers deliver stunning levels of detail and dynamism. (Image credit: Spendor)
What Hi-Fi? Awards winner. Elegant floorstanders with an insightful, dynamic sound.

Specifications

Type: Floorstanders
Drive units: 22mm tweeter, 18cm mid/bass
Ported: Yes (rear)
Bi-wire: No
Impedance: 8 ohms
Sensitivity: 88dB
Dimensions (hwd): 93.4 x 18 x 30.5cm
Weight: 17.7kg
Finishes: 4 (black oak, walnut, oak, satin white)

Reasons to buy

+
Stunning insight and precision
+
Expressive sound
+
Compact size and unfussy nature

Reasons to avoid

-
Need careful system matching to sound their best

The big brothers of the A-Line series, these A7s are superb floorstanders that sound great, look great and are compact enough to fit into most homes.

Build quality is of a high standard, with crisp edges and impeccably smart wood veneer finishes in a choice of black ash, dark walnut or natural oak – there’s also a satin white option (for an additional fee).

Each speaker has an 18cm mid/bass driver and a 22mm tweeter with a wide surround to disperse the sound even further. Performance is refined yet entertaining, combining stunning precision, clarity and subtlety with hugely enjoyable dynamics and rhythm. They time with pinpoint accuracy and are immensely transparent – without straying into 'clinical-sounding' territory. 

It’s worth taking care when partnering them, though. The A7s will work happily with most capable amplifiers, but something like the powerful yet poised Roksan Blak amplifier (£2800) will add a touch more warmth to the overall sound.

If you’re in the market for a new pair of top-notch floorstanding speakers, these elegant Spendor A7s should make their way to the top of your list.

Read the full Spendor A7 review

How to choose the best speakers for you

First things first, decide on a budget. Your components should be evenly matched, both tonally and in terms of price, so consider this before breaking the bank on a new pair of speakers that the rest of your kit can't do justice to.

You also need to make sure your speakers fit your room. Most speakers require a degree of space to sound their best, so be sure not to buy speakers that are too big for your listening area. This is also a good time to consider whether you want bookshelf or floorstanding speakers. Bigger speakers mean higher volumes but, again, you need the space.

There's also the choice between passive and active speakers. Most speakers on this list are passive - they have no amplification inside, so require a separate amplifier to work. Active speakers with amplification (and sometimes DAC and streaming smarts) are increasingly popular and can connect straight to your source, no amp required, though they do require a connection to mains power. Check out our pick of the best active speakers or best desktop speakers if you're curious about this alternative.

For a more detailed explanation of everything you should consider, check out our complete guide to choosing the right speakers.

How we test speakers

The What Hi-Fi? team has more than 100 years of combined experience in reviewing, testing and writing about consumer electronics, from hi-fi to headphones to TVs. We have state-of-the-art, acoustically treated testing facilities in London and Reading, where our team of experienced reviewers conduct all our in-house testing, including all stereo speakers. This gives us complete control over the entire review process, ensuring consistency across all our listening.

When testing speakers, we ensure we position them in the correct place in the room, partner them with price-appropriate source kit and amplifiers, and play a variety of music genres when reviewing. We make sure we run in each pair of speakers and spent plenty of time with them, and we try various partnering kit and different positions (including placing on stands where needed) to ensure we give the best advice to buyers.

What Hi-Fi? is all about comparative testing; all products we review are tested in comparison with rival products in the same category and at the same price point, and each pair of new speakers are always listened to by two to three members of the team. All final review verdicts are agreed upon by the reviewing team as a whole, rather than a single reviewer, to ensure we avoid individual subjectivity and are consistent across all our reviews and verdicts.

We pride ourselves in the fact that our reviews are 100% independent, with no input from manufacturers, PR or commercial teams. This means that if you take the plunge and buy one of the products recommended in this buying guide, or on any of our other Best Buy pages, you can rest assured you're getting a What Hi-Fi?-approved product.

You can read more about how we test and review products on What Hi-Fi? here.

F.A.Q

Are bookshelf speakers better than floorstanders?

The short answer is: it depends. For the long answer, you might want to peruse our standmounts vs floorstanders article, where we go into more detail about the differences between the two types of speakers, and the advantages (and disadvantages) of each.

A lot will depend on the size of your room. Floorstanding speakers typically need more space to breathe in, while bookshelf (or standmount) speakers can be placed in smaller rooms or surfaces. Of course, if you'll be using speaker stands with your bookshelf speakers, you'll need ample space for these too. Loudness levels are another consideration: if you have a large living room, will compact bookshelf speakers be able to fill the space satisfyingly? Floorstanders' large cabinet volume will tend to deliver a bigger scale of sound – it really depends on what your sonic tastes and home system's needs are.

If you'll be using your speakers for movies as well as music, or simply favour lots of deep bass, then a larger cabinet is the way to go. If the only place to put your speakers is on your desk or you'll be sitting close to your speakers, you'll want small bookshelf units. Just bear in mind that the quantity of bass doesn't necessarily equate to better quality of bass, and how a speaker is engineered to deliver the best balance and quality of sound differs from model to model, and should be taken into consideration before buying.

Recent updates

  • February 2024: Updated 'how we test' process and added FAQ section to help buyers in their decision to buy hi-fi speakers.
  • November 2023: What Hi-Fi? Award-winning products labelled following the announcements of the 2023 What Hi-Fi? Awards Best Buys and Product of the Year winners.
  • October 2023: Added PMC Prodigy 5 entry following five-star review.
  • September 2023: Added PMC Prodigy 1 entry following five-star review.
  • August 2023: Added Bowers & Wilkins 607 S3 and Q Acoustics 5040 entries following five-star reviews.
  • May 2023: Added KEF R3 Meta entry following five-star review.

MORE:

Buying advice: How to choose the right speakers and get the best sound

Looking for a bargain? How to buy second-hand and vintage speakers

12 of the best songs to test your speakers

Kashfia Kabir
Hi-Fi and Audio Editor

Kashfia is the Hi-Fi and Audio Editor of What Hi-Fi? and first joined the brand over 10 years ago. During her time in the consumer tech industry, she has reviewed hundreds of products (including speakers, amplifiers and headphones), been to countless trade shows across the world and fallen in love with hi-fi kit much bigger than her. In her spare time, Kash can be found tending to an ever-growing houseplant collection and hanging out with her cat Jolene.

With contributions from
  • F8lee
    What? No Magnepans on the list at all??
    Reply
  • psalvet
    What? No Focals on the list at all? The list does not have credibility.
    Reply
  • Sliced Bread
    Or ATC / PMC, but to be fair the list cannot go on for ever :)
    Anyway PMC seem to have priced themselves out. The GB1i was released at £1500 back in 2008 and was their entry level floor stander. The equivalent now is the Twenty5 23i of e £3850. I’m sure they’re better, but as a small entry level speaker is it £2350 better? The reviews indicate not.
    Reply
  • Sliced Bread said:
    Or ATC / PMC, but to be fair the list cannot go on for ever :)
    Anyway PMC seem to have priced themselves out. The GB1i was released at £1500 back in 2008 and was their entry level floor stander. The equivalent now is the Twenty5 23i of e £3850. I’m sure they’re better, but as a small entry level speaker is it £2350 better? The reviews indicate not.
    Couldn't agree more. British made speakers are becoming damned expensive.
    Reply
  • Jpanic4
    I noticed that the Triangle Br03 is not on the list anymore. Would you not consider them for this list anymore?
    Reply
  • mehtoa
    F8lee said:
    What? No Magnepans on the list at all of speakers??
    You are right.
    Reply
  • AndyS
    OMG what a bad review, ok the budget end and perhaps the mid price range is ok, I might disagree with most of their choices but that's personal. When they move on to the top end and the most expensive speaker is £3300 that is a joke. Ok it is a lot of money but to say they are the best speakers in the top end of the market is a farce.
    Reply
  • nopiano
    AndyS said:
    OMG what a bad review, ok the budget end and perhaps the mid price range is ok, I might disagree with most of their choices but that's personal. When they move on to the top end and the most expensive speaker is £3300 that is a joke. Ok it is a lot of money but to say they are the best speakers in the top end of the market is a farce.
    Yes, the terminology needs some work, as even the magazine’s own best buy listings include ATC actives and Martin Logan electrostatics, to name just two!
    Reply
  • Quadrophonic.4Ever
    What no "Theophany" speakers?
    One surely cannot state "the best" without trying all available, otherwise the best (you decide upon) are in fact limited by your inability to source AND TEST all speakers, sourced from "everywhere around the world", not just from within your own country, or even from within your closest city.
    One must test ALL, from any country world wide.
    So?
    What about New Zealand's Theophany Speakers?
    I'm sure Garth would love to explain all he knows, about the speakers he designed.

    I know his speakers, as I went there one time, to showcase my surround sound system, such that I wasn't at all impressed that he didn't let me try his speakers.

    Instead "insisting" that I set up (whatever I had brought with me), in a small OUTSIDE grassed area, underneath some trees, between a couple of corrugated iron sheds - which did absolutely NOTHING to enhance the way my total "surround" sound system, was heard as.
    Unlike his own "inside the house" set-up, which was in a dedicated sound "player" room, where he INSISTED that I sit in a "precisely-in-the-center" master listening position.

    Thus:
    He listened to mine, (in an off-hand walking around method, outside (between a couple of tin sheds, under the trees), whilst he tried to tell me HIS system was way better, in a dedicated sound-proofed room, with several frequency split multiple speaker "channels" , containing a lot more speakers, than the miserable (cheap) small box speakers I had brought with me, (as a backup in case I wasn't allowed to, or couldn't be supplied with enough, of anyone else's speakers).

    Hence why, after being TOLD to sit in one place and admire the "best position" to hear a movie he played (on a huge TV), I deliberately got up and (having asked him to keep it playing, as he stopped it as soon as I stood up) I deliberately walked around his (demo) room, as well as into various corner areas, and out the back towards his kitchen/lounge areas, to "hear" the various nodes and dead listening areas, all the while turning towards him and commenting on the different "sweet spots" that were or WERE NOT in that environment, until I found the one position where the sound actually self-cancelled itself out, with almost no sound at all.

    THAT was when I said, well - your system doesn't sound as good as the cheap speakers I used OUTSIDE, when standing here, pointing down to my feet (in the archway between the demo room and his kitchen).

    I was ushered out into his speaker "parts" room (behind his outside workshop shed) to be shown some new unboxed speakers, that he took one of, and with absolute carelessness, hooked some test wires onto it's exposed back "terminals" to play some TEST tones through, which sounded absolutely horrendous, as if a burnt out coil was "rubbing" on it's magnetic core, whereupon he got one of his elder sons, to swap the test tone frequency (in a different room area, out of my sight) and then changed the polarity of his "test leads", to again play the same (or similar) test tones, far clearer and louder, after which he tried to tell me that the PHASING was all that much better with the system polarised correctly, however being an Industrial Electrician, I told him, that simply reversing the terminals does absolutely nothing, to a speakers actual sound, as the speaker gets an alternating current, (of several different frequencies with differently played TONES - which reverses the "played" frequency polarities way faster than a person can flip a switch, on each and every sinusoidal waveform's highest & lowest peaks, even if a single tone is generated to run a test, not like the "music" which he was using, which already had a LOT of different frequencies within it, all peaking at different rates, thus pushing and pulling that non-mounted speaker in every direction since Sunday.

    Thus, I (an outsider with good spacial awareness to the sound made by various electrical pulses), told him, that his so-called reasoning between my outdoor cheap speaker boxes, and this open backed non-mounted speaker, were idiotic to compare, given that the speaker he "held" in his hand couldn't be described as better, given the way he was holding it.
    Up and closer to me in the second playing.

    I told him, that even if it had been "clamped" in a set position, without any box to hold it's back-pressures within, it's diaphragm would still over extend on each available maximum equated peaks, given the different numbers of cycles each frequency used, during his so-called tests, where I couldn't see what was being played, or whether or not any bass, treble or volume settings had been altered.

    As the test equipment was in another room of his workshop, out of sight from where he was holding his single speaker, with me being placed even further away from the other room.

    He was actually slightly angry, that I pipped his arrogance, as I am sure he had assumed I wouldn't know the test settings had been changed, to back his claim that a speaker's polarity made any difference, or that his obviously way more expensive speaker/s were of a different class, to the cheap speakers I had used.

    Thus, I am not convinced, that your "own" suggestions of better or best speakers are the actual best.

    My responce is this.
    To your own article of:
    """Your curated list of the very best stereo speakers you can buy for your money"""
    As regarding your article on the main What Hi*Fi website, on:
    Whatever you budget and requirements, these are the best speakers you can buy.

    re:
    {quote]Dec 19, 2019
    Best speakers 2024{unquote]
    ???
    Did you (at any time) use an SPL meter, placed 1M from each tested speaker, to get a genuine comparison of perfection, before making the claim of "best" anything.?
    Reply
  • Quadrophonic.4Ever
    The 126.3dB "tested SPL result" (2003 NZ National Sound-offs) - obtained from WITHIN MY VAN (fitted with the cheapest "ad-hoc" speakers) using a 7.3+1 surround sound system that I invented back in 1965, and which I had hand-built myself, into my 1996 Mitsubishi Delica 4wd 7 seater van, with (at that time) the rearmost 3 seat bench unit had been removed, whilst I had the rear hatch OPENED UP, and the two front doors "open" and all windows also open.

    Just because I wanted everyone in the park at that year's Blossom Festival, to hear the quality of sound, rather than a simple BASS loudness.

    I was told to close all my windows and doors, for the second run, which I did WITHOUT the four sub & sub/subwoofers running, to ensure that neither my closed windows nor my windscreen would crack with any extension pressure thus created, and that I wouldn't have to "high output my Bass speakers," letting just the main channel speakers and the tweeters, to RUN HIGH and without any of the Neon and fluorescent lights operating, which resulted in a crispier higher tone sound, and a DROP of just 0.3 Db at 123.0 Db.

    I had been laughed at, by almost all contestants there, when trying to get my van "included" in the sound-off contest, but most of the jaws that had been flapping with SMART comments beforehand, (about the motley collection of old 2nd-hand speakers in the van) stopped making derogatory noises afterwards.

    I placed third overall.

    Not bad for an OLD DAD.
    Reply