Speakers are arguably the most important part of an audio setup. You can have a bunch of high-priced components, but unless you have a nice set of speakers to process the signal, it isn’t going to sound very good. Speakers are also notoriously difficult to research as there is no audio component that is more subjectively judged. Each speaker will sound differently to each ear, so the most important thing is to find speakers that sound good to you. If possible, it’s best to arrange for a test run in your home. Most people don’t have this option, so they are forced to listen to the speakers at their local store. If that’s the case, it’s best to bring your own music to play – U2’s The Joshua Tree is a nice challenge for the higher frequencies while Achtung Baby works the lower frequencies. Once you find a set of speakers that you like, don’t be afraid to spend a little more than your budget to buy them. A nice set of speakers can last a lifetime.
Articles & Features
March 18, 2011
You can't possibly buy a quality speaker set for a mere $1100, right? Jeff Morgan was blown away by the fidelity behind Orb Audio's versatile, and surprisingly stylish, little speakers.
This site contains links to all sorts of speaker reviews in nine different categories.
Less flashy, this site also features lots of reviews, but they are mostly from users.
The CNET editors put together a list of their recommended compact and full-size speaker packages, their recommended floor standing, bookshelf, and center channel speakers, along with a list of their recommended subwoofers. They also have a surround-sound buying guide that’s worth a look.
This site has tons of equipment reviews, including speakers.
If you run across a good speaker site, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org and I’ll add it to the guide. Until then, happy listening!