As audio enthusiasts, us audiophiles want to be surrounded by nothing but the very best sound systems. After all, good speakers can be the difference between a great experience, and an amazing one and let’s face it, we are picky when it comes to speakers and sound. So, we dug deep and found 7 of the best audiophile speakers currently on the market that will guarantee the ultimate sound experience for you.
Ultimate by Transmission Audio
Jaw Droppingly Expensive
Yes, that’s right. One million dollars for speakers. Did we say speakers? Sorry, we meant speaker. For this outrageous price-tag you will receive only one. Whilst this is probably out of budget for most of mankind, the price tag for this speaker really makes itthe ultimate speaker for the ultimate sound experience.
Described by Transmission Audio as the Formula 1 on steroids of audio systems, it contains 4 separate dipole subwoofers that are made of 40 pieces of 15” woofers and 1 dipole panel per channel, each with 24 pieces of 8” units. The sensitivity is +100db and the speaker can continuously handle 15500W with +3db headroom.
With out of this world sound quality, this speaker is so exclusive it took us a few hours to find a link to their website, and we still haven’t figured out where or how to buy a pair.
Grande Utopia EM by Focal
The Grande Utopia speakers has an Electro-Magnet (EM) woofer with a force incomparable to other technologies. Unlike other mainstream speakers this look more like a sculpture and has received various awards from the Golden Ear Awards (2009), Stereo Sound Grand Prix (2013) amongst others.
As benchmark speakers, the Grand Utopia are brilliant in the way they provide excellent and precise sound particularly of live music. With some speakers, when the volume is turned up the air flow can have a negative effect on the ear and distort the sound. This isn’t the case with the Grand Utopa as they give you the ultimate sound experience by delivering quality sound regardless of volume selected.
Hearing a piece by an orchestra for example will give you the feeling as though you are sat there right in front of them and can hear every bow on the violin, every breath taken by the flutist.
Focal have explained the shape of the speaker was derived out of necessity for outstanding audio quality. In their own words, ‘function justifies shape’. The drivers of the speaker are placed in an arc shape in order to direct the sound towards the listening point; also known as the sweet spot.
The speakers easily play any genre of music with precision and this means that any sound file, on an old CD for example, will expose every single sound that made it on to the recording, whether it was wanted or unwanted. This takes the listening experience to a different level allowing users to hear every breath and every sound.
If you cannot yet allow yourself to splash out on these speakers, we strongly suggest having Focal on speed dial in case you win the lottery. You’re going to want these speakers.
Diamond 802 D3 by Bowers & Wilkins
With its curved casing that includes 20 layers of beech wood and many coats of hand-polished black lacquer, the Diamond 802 D3 speakers are worth the investment for incredible audio. The cabinet here is the focus, ensuring the delivery of pristine sound.
With dimensions of 44 inch (high) x 14.5 inch (wide) x 22 inch (deep) and a tweeter (the inner treble section of the speaker) made of 1-inch synthetic diamond dome, these speakers are particularly loved by engineers as they deliver clean, great quality audio for a variety of music and sound. Furthermore, when listening to real instruments for example, the sound of guitars and piano come across as extremely realistic and accurate.
Classic Three (C3) Bookshelf by NHT
These bookshelf speakers offer excellent dispersion of sound, and audio detail that is typically found in the more expensive range of speakers. The C3’s bass response reaches down to 40Hz and with sonic improvements since its predecessors, these speakers are perfect for any audiophile’s home theatre.
The quality of the glistening piano back finish on the speakers is excellent but they are a bit heavy at 16lbs. The C3 consists of a three-way design; together the 3 drivers have the ability to disperse sound in a broader range, and will reach higher dynamics as a result. The tweeter here is made of ¾” aluminium-dome, mid-range is 2”, and the aluminium-cone woofer is 6 ½”. The cabinet which houses the brains of the speaker is sealed meaning the sensitivity rating is relatively low at 86dB.
At a mere 3/4″H by 7 1/2″W by 10 3/8″D, the Classic 3 is not a large speaker. The sound is precise with an excellent quality especially in mid-range. When listening to live music with particular instrument sounds coming from a particular side of the stage, these nuances will be picked up and delivered by these fantastic pair of speakers.
iRoar by Creative
This Bluetooth speaker is loaded with features and is one of the most powerful portable speakers currently on the market. Running out of juice on your mobile device? Not a problem with this speaker – using the USB port with a 1.5A output you can charge your device quickly and efficiently. Another interesting feature is the optical audio connection, meaning you can use this speaker instead of the ones on your HDTV. Additionally, If you have more than one iRoar speaker there is an option to pair the two, to create stereo output.
The iRoar can also act a microphone. How many speakers have you seen that can do that? It has two mic modes – either it picks up all the voices around the speaker, or only the voice nearest to it.
With a free iRoar app for Android and iOS, users can customize their own audio profiles (according to preferred levels of EQ, bass, treble etc) by choosing from the presets or even by creating one themselves.
And as if that wasn’t enough, this speaker also has an extraordinary build-in media player that allows you to play music from a microSD card that you slot directly in to it.
The iRoar measures in at 2.2 by 8.8 by 4.7 inches (HWD) and weighs 2.5 pounds. It has a touch pad with symbols running along it, next to a physical power button. As well as being bluetooth, this speaker can work with a wire connection (3.5mm) or with USB.
One of the best features is that it is capable of getting louder volume than any other comparable Bluetooth speaker of similar size. And despite its small size, connecting it to your HDTV will give you an awesome sound experience. Importantly, being packed full of features does not compromise on the sound quality with the iRoar. In this price range, this speaker provides the best sound performance and experience.
Soundsticks III by Harman Kardon
With a distinctive design that resembles an alien jellyfish, these speakers’ predecessors were part of the permanent collection at New York’s Museum of Modern Art (MoMA). And even if you were to ‘not judge a book by it’s cover’, these speakers would prove to be outstanding. An excellent choice for all of your audio needs, features include a 3.5” line input jack to connect anything from Mp3 players, laptop, portable DVD players or any other device with this input.
The Soundsticks offer rich, crisp sounds that are exceptional at any frequency with a woofer that uses a 6” speaker cone. When listening to the bass you’ll notice the sound is consistently spread in every direction. One noticeable feature of this speaker is that when you turn the sound up, it remains clear and crisp with no distortion at all.
Play: 1 by Sonos
These speakers are affordable yet offer outstanding functionality whilst being super easy to set up. The Play:1 was created to be the starting point of the whole Sonos multi-room collection of speakers.
The design is a slick cylindrical block 6.4 by 4.7 by 4.7 inches (HWD) and is available in both white and black versions – with only the very top of the speaker and a ring on the base being coloured.
The setup is extremely simple – download the free Sonos app for iOS or Android and follow the instructions. Since the speakers are not actually Bluetooth compatible, you’ll need to play your music through the app – we don’t think this is a problem at all, rather a very functional and useful feature.
The sound produced from this relatively small speaker packs a punch, especially at higher volumes; it can really fill a room. Although there is some slight weakness in the bass sound at high volume, the Sonos is still an incredibly strong performing speaker. We would especially recommend this one as a starting point to building a home audio system.
The goal of a good speaker is to produce clear, crisp sound which is as real and close to real-life as possible.
As audiophiles, although we each have different tastes in music, we can all agree that good speakers should provide nothing but the very best in clear, crisp and precise audio for the ultimate sound experience.