Boston Acoustics A26 review

A smooth, entertaining performer that works well in a range of systems Tested at £250

What Hi-Fi? Verdict

The A26 is a smooth, entertaining performer that works well in a range of systems


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    A refined and full bodied presentation

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    pleasing dynamics and scale

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    good bass weight


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    Some listeners might find the overall balance a touch polite

Why you can trust What Hi-Fi? Our expert team reviews products in dedicated test rooms, to help you make the best choice for your budget. Find out more about how we test.

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 rewards
The 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.

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 impresses
A 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.

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What Hi-Fi?

What Hi-Fi?, founded in 1976, is the world's leading independent guide to buying and owning hi-fi and home entertainment products. Our comprehensive tests help you buy the very best for your money, with our advice sections giving you step-by-step information on how to get even more from your music and movies. Everything is tested by our dedicated team of in-house reviewers in our custom-built test rooms in London, Reading and Bath. Our coveted five-star rating and Awards are recognised all over the world as the ultimate seal of approval, so you can buy with absolute confidence.

Read more about how we test