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Passive Speaker Recommendations for USA (by @sweetchaos)

sweetchaos

Major Contributor
The Curator
Joined
Nov 29, 2019
Messages
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Location
BC, Canada
I'm constantly asked which speakers to purchase...so, here you go! :D
This guide is for PASSIVE speakers. For ACTIVE speakers go here.
Click on the "Spoiler" buttons below to expand each section.
What market are these recommendations for?
USA, with USD prices listed below

Does this include discontinued speakers?
No, since i'm only counting speakers that are currently sold at major retailers/resellers in the US.

What is the preference score?
The preference score (introduced by Sean Olive) (also sometimes called "Olive score") is the best science-based representation we have on how to classify whether a speaker (either active or passive) is preferred or not. A more neutral speaker will get the best preference score, and will likely win in a blind listening test, comparing two speakers. You can read about it here.

What are the limitations of the preference score?
1. Distortion handling
Amir and Erin (from ErinsAudioCorner) talk about this in their reviews, so you can take a look there.
Distortion handling of a loudspeaker is usually secondary to frequency response. Meaning, a great frequency response and poor distortion handling speaker will still be preferred over a poor frequency response speaker with great distortion handling. A great example of this is the fact that JBL 305P/306P/308P MKII speakers have higher-than-normal distortion, but because of their relatively neutral frequency response, a lot of people still enjoy them.
2. Loudness handling
Amir and Erin (from ErinsAudioCorner) talk about this in their reviews, so you can take a look there.
In terms of loudness handling, I've made a few notes to speakers below.
3. Your own preference for wide or narrow directivity
In terms of directivity, I haven't added this information below, but I could if enough people show interest.

Accuracy of data:
There are a few speakers in this list that weren't measured using Klippel NFS (that Amir and ErinsAudioCorner have), which provides very accurate spinorama. A less accurate (in terms of resolution) spinorama can be made using quasi-anechoic methods as described in this post.
If you see * => We have quasi-anechoic spinorama or similar, but the speaker wasn't measured using Klippel NFS.

Are you biased in any way?
I purchased PSB Imagine X series of speakers before joining ASR. Read into that what you will.

How did you make this list?
I looked at all the speaker spinorama that we have and their computed preference score and compiled this list.
I also mention a few speakers of note, and talk about which speakers to avoid at a certain price point, based on my own understanding.

What is the limitation of this guide?
Blind reliance on measurements can be misleading ‐ one needs to tie those measurements back to subjective perception. Amir and ErinsAudioCorner both give their overall opinion on speakers, so feel free to read the written reviews.

What am I showing?
Top 3 speakers in terms of preference score, plus other worthy picks (explained in the legend).

Exclusions:
I didn't include DIY type speakers (where you buy the kit, install it yourself, and paint the speaker). Instead, only speakers you can purchase from major retailers/resellers in US.

Do you need an amplifier with these?
Yes, since the speakers are passive.

Assumptions:
I'm going to assume these JBL 4367 and similar speakers are "towers" and not "bookshelves"

Limitation of preference score?
Flipflop: "Using vendor data is not just a problem because of potential credibility issues, but also because some of the data, like the R152 spin, uses a higher amount of smoothing, which results in lower NBD_ON and NBD_PIR values, which in turns result in an artificially increased predicted preference score."

What's the difference between Amir's and Erin (from Erin's Audio Corner) distortion charts?
Amir shows "Non-Anechoic" harmonic distortion.
Erin shows "Anechoic" (using Klippel ISC module) harmonic distortion.
They are similar, but not exactly the same.
Erin explained it in this youtube video
Which makes a direct comparison between Amir's and Erin's distortion graphs inaccurate (unfortunately).
Amir talked about why he stopped doing Anechoic harmonic distortion here.

LEGEND:
ValueDescription
#1Best rated-speaker in terms of preference score. Update: I set the threshold at 3.0, ignoring speakers below it.
#22nd best-rated speaker in terms of preference score.
#33rd best-rated speaker in terms of preference score.
WorthyWorthy picks that either Erin (from ErinsAudioCorner) or Amir measured and recommended. From Amir, I included all "highly recommended panther" award winners, plus the recommended picks (that I chose). Erin doesn't give a 'highly recommended' award like Amir does, but after reading Erin's review or watching the youtube reviews, I get the sense that Erin highly recommends that speaker. Plus I've included a few models that weren't measured by neither Amir or Erin, but still for consideration, since we can predict will be good, based on similar model's measurements.
PSPreference Score (with no subwoofer added). Value can be negative (for really badly designed speakers) and goes up to a 10 (theoretical limit). Higher is better.
PSwSubPreference Score (with theoretically-perfectly-integrated subwoofer added). Value can be negative (for really badly designed speakers) and goes up to a 10 (theoretical limit). Higher is better.
LFXLow Frequency Extension (in hz). This is the bass output at -6db point. This was computed, not estimated. Lower is better.
RLResponse Linearity. This is the response linearity test that Erin (from ErinsAudioCorner) provides when he tests his speakers. The below graphic indicates just how much SPL is lost (compression) or gained (enhancement; usually due to distortion) when the speaker is played at higher output volumes instantly via a 2.7 second logarithmic sine sweep referenced to 76dB at 1 meter. The signals are played consecutively without any additional stimulus applied. Then normalized against the 76dB result.
*We have quasi-anechoic spinorama or similar. However, this speaker wasn't measured using Klippel NFS (that Amir and ErinsAudioCorner have), so it's resolution is less accurate. Warning: This will artificially boost the preference score higher than if the same speaker was measured using NFS.
**No spinorama for this specific model. I'm including it because we have multiple other spinorama from the same manufacturer, so it's not a stretch to imagine these will be good.
RedNew speaker added to the table for this price point.

Bookshelves < US$100/pair:
NamePSPSwSubLFX
Dayton Audio MK402X (Amir)3.96.351

Bookshelves < US$150/pair:
NamePSPSwSubLFX
Polk Audio XT15 (Erin) (RL)4.47.160
Dayton Audio MK402X (Amir)3.96.351

Bookshelves < US$250/pair:
NamePSPSwSubLFX
Polk Audio XT20 (Erin) (RL)4.56.848
Polk Audio XT15 (Erin) (RL)4.47.160
Dayton Audio MK402X (Amir)3.96.351

Bookshelves < US$300/pair:
NamePSPSwSubLFX
Kef Q150 (Erin) (RL)4.97.045
Polk Audio XT20 (Erin) (RL)4.56.848
Polk Audio XT15 (Erin) (RL)4.47.160

Bookshelves < US$320/pair:
NamePSPSwSubLFX
Kef Q150 (Erin) (RL)4.97.045
Monoprice Monolith Encore B6 (Erin) (RL)4.76.946
Polk Audio XT20 (Erin) (RL)4.56.848

Bookshelves < US$330/pair:
NamePSPSwSubLFX
Emotiva Airmotiv B1+ (Amir) (Erin) (RL)5.37.854
Kef Q150 (Erin) (RL)4.97.045
Monoprice Monolith Encore B6 (Erin) (RL)4.76.946

Bookshelves < US$400/pair:
NamePSPSwSubLFX
Wharfedale Diamond 12.1 (Amir)5.47.751
Emotiva Airmotiv B1+ (Amir) (Erin) (RL)5.37.854
Kef Q150 (Erin) (RL)4.97.045
Polk Audio Signature Elite ES20 (Amir)4.86.739

Bookshelves < US$600/pair:
NamePSPSwSubLFX
JBL Studio 530 (Amir)5.57.441
Wharfedale Diamond 12.1 (Amir)5.47.751
Klipsch RP-500M II (Erin)5.47.955
Kef Q150 (Erin) (RL)4.97.045
Polk Audio Signature Elite ES20 (Amir)4.86.739

Bookshelves < US$650/pair:
NamePSPSwSubLFX
Polk R100 (Erin) (RL)5.68.052
JBL Studio 530 (Amir)5.57.441
Wharfedale Diamond 12.1 (Amir)5.47.751
Kef Q150 (Erin) (RL)4.97.045
Polk Audio Signature Elite ES20 (Amir)4.86.739

Bookshelves < US$700/pair:
NamePSPSwSubLFX
Elac Debut Reference DBR-62 (Amir)5.77.843
Elac Uni-Fi 2.0 UB52 (Amir)5.67.641
Polk R100 (Erin) (RL)5.68.052
Kef Q150 (Erin) (RL)4.97.045
Polk Audio Signature Elite ES20 (Amir)4.86.739

Bookshelves < US$750/pair:
NamePSPSwSubLFX
Polk R2006.3*8.3*42*
Elac Debut Reference DBR-62 (Amir)5.77.843
Kef Q350 (Amir)5.77.538
Kef Q150 (Erin) (RL)4.97.045
Polk Audio Signature Elite ES20 (Amir)4.86.739

Bookshelves < US$800/pair:
NamePSPSwSubLFX
Polk R2006.3*8.3*42*
Elac Debut Reference DBR-62 (Amir)5.77.843
Kef Q350 (Amir)5.77.538
Kef Q150 (Erin) (RL)4.97.045
Polk Audio Signature Elite ES20 (Amir)4.86.739
Arendal Sound 1961 Bookshelf (Erin) (RL)4.47.368

Bookshelves < US$1,000/pair:
NamePSPSwSubLFX
Polk R2006.3*8.3*42*
Revel M16 with sealed port [readme] (Amir)5.9????
Elac Debut Reference DBR-62 (Amir)5.77.843
Kef Q350 (Amir)5.77.538
Revel M16 with open port (Amir)5.67.745
Kef Q150 (Erin) (RL)4.97.045
Polk Audio Signature Elite ES20 (Amir)4.86.739
Arendal Sound 1961 Bookshelf (Erin) (RL)4.47.368

Bookshelves < US$1,500/pair:
NamePSPSwSubLFX
Ascend Acoustics Sierra-LX6.88.636
Polk R2006.3*8.3*42*
Revel M16 with sealed port [readme] (Amir)5.9????
Elac Debut Reference DBR-62 (Amir)5.77.843
Kef Q350 (Amir)5.77.538
Revel M16 with open port (Amir)5.67.745
Kef Q150 (Erin) (RL)4.97.045
Polk Audio Signature Elite ES20 (Amir)4.86.739
Arendal Sound 1723 Bookshelf S THX (Erin) (RL)4.87.662
Arendal Sound 1961 Bookshelf (Erin) (RL)4.47.368

Bookshelves < US$1,600/pair:
NamePSPSwSubLFX
Ascend Acoustics Sierra-LX6.88.636
Polk R2006.3*8.3*42*
Revel M16 with sealed port [readme] (Amir)5.9????
Elac Debut Reference DBR-62 (Amir)5.77.843
Kef LS50 Meta (Amir)5.77.843
Revel M16 with open port (Amir)5.67.745
Polk Audio Signature Elite ES20 (Amir)4.86.739
Arendal Sound 1723 Bookshelf S THX (Erin) (RL)4.87.662
Arendal Sound 1961 Bookshelf (Erin) (RL)4.47.368
-Kef Q150 and Q350 are no longer mentioned; since Kef LS50 Meta exists at this price point.

Bookshelves < US$1,650/pair:
NamePSPSwSubLFX
Ascend Acoustics Sierra-LX6.88.636
Polk R2006.3*8.3*42*
Ascend Acoustics Sierra-2EX V26.08.042
Revel M16 with sealed port [readme] (Amir)5.9????
Elac Debut Reference DBR-62 (Amir)5.77.843
Revel M105 (Amir)5.98.351
Kef LS50 Meta (Amir)5.77.843
Revel M16 with open port (Amir)5.67.745
Polk Audio Signature Elite ES20 (Amir)4.86.739
Arendal Sound 1723 Bookshelf S THX (Erin) (RL)4.87.662
Arendal Sound 1961 Bookshelf (Erin) (RL)4.47.368

Bookshelves < US$1,700/pair:
NamePSPSwSubLFX
Ascend Acoustics Sierra-LX6.88.636
Polk R2006.3*8.3*42*
Philharmonic BMR v2 (Erin) (RL)6.17.733
Ascend Acoustics Sierra-2EX V26.08.042
Revel M16 with sealed port [readme] (Amir)5.9????
Elac Debut Reference DBR-62 (Amir)5.77.843
Revel M105 (Amir)5.98.351
Kef LS50 Meta (Amir)5.77.843
Revel M16 with open port (Amir)5.67.745
Polk Audio Signature Elite ES20 (Amir)4.86.739
Arendal Sound 1723 Bookshelf S THX (Erin) (RL)4.87.662
Arendal Sound 1961 Bookshelf (Erin) (RL)4.47.368

Bookshelves < US$1,800/pair:
NamePSPSwSubLFX
Ascend Acoustics Sierra-LX6.88.636
Polk R2006.3*8.3*42*
Philharmonic BMR v2 (Erin) (RL)6.17.733
Ascend Acoustics Sierra-2EX V26.08.042
Revel M16 with sealed port [readme] (Amir)5.9????
Elac Debut Reference DBR-62 (Amir)5.77.843
Revel M105 (Amir)5.98.351
JBL HDI-1600 (Amir)5.87.638
Kef LS50 Meta (Amir)5.77.843
Revel M16 with open port (Amir)5.67.745
Polk Audio Signature Elite ES20 (Amir)4.86.739
Arendal Sound 1723 Bookshelf S THX (Erin) (RL)4.87.662
Arendal Sound 1961 Bookshelf (Erin) (RL)4.47.368

Bookshelves < US$2,200/pair:
NamePSPSwSubLFX
Ascend Acoustics Sierra-LX6.88.636
Kef R3 (Amir) (Erin)6.68.336
Polk R2006.3*8.3*42*
Philharmonic BMR v2 (Erin) (RL)6.17.733
Ascend Acoustics Sierra-2EX V26.08.042
Revel M16 with sealed port [readme] (Amir)5.9????
Elac Debut Reference DBR-62 (Amir)5.77.843
Revel M105 (Amir)5.98.351
Revel M106 (Amir)5.88.046
JBL HDI-1600 (Amir)5.87.638
Kef LS50 Meta (Amir)5.77.843
Revel M16 with open port (Amir)5.67.745
Polk Audio Signature Elite ES20 (Amir)4.86.739
Arendal Sound 1723 Bookshelf S THX (Erin) (RL)4.87.662
Arendal Sound 1961 Bookshelf (Erin) (RL)4.47.368

Bookshelves < US$3,900/pair:
NamePSPSwSubLFX
March Audio Sointuva (Erin) (RL) (Q/C issues found on June 2022)7.08.633
Ascend Acoustics Sierra-LX6.88.636
Kef R3 (Amir) (Erin)6.68.336
Philharmonic BMR v2 (Erin) (RL)6.17.733
Ascend Acoustics Sierra-2EX V26.08.042
Revel M16 with sealed port [readme] (Amir)5.9????
Revel M105 (Amir)5.98.351
Revel M106 (Amir)5.88.046
JBL HDI-1600 (Amir)5.87.638
Elac Debut Reference DBR-62 (Amir)5.77.843
Kef LS50 Meta (Amir)5.77.843
Revel M16 with open port (Amir)5.67.745
Polk Audio Signature Elite ES20 (Amir)4.86.739
Arendal Sound 1723 Bookshelf S THX (Erin) (RL)4.87.662
Arendal Sound 1961 Bookshelf (Erin) (RL)4.47.368

Bookshelves < US$4,400/pair:
NamePSPSwSubLFX
March Audio Sointuva (Erin) (RL) (Q/C issues found on June 2022)7.08.633
Ascend Acoustics Sierra-LX6.88.636
Kef R3 (Amir) (Erin)6.68.336
Philharmonic BMR v2 (Erin) (RL)6.17.733
Ascend Acoustics Sierra-2EX V26.08.042
Revel M126Be5.9*8.2*47*
Revel M16 with sealed port [readme] (Amir)5.9????
Revel M105 (Amir)5.98.351
Revel M106 (Amir)5.88.046
JBL HDI-1600 (Amir)5.87.638
Elac Debut Reference DBR-62 (Amir)5.77.843
Kef LS50 Meta (Amir)5.77.843
Revel M16 with open port (Amir)5.67.745
Polk Audio Signature Elite ES20 (Amir)4.86.739
Arendal Sound 1723 Bookshelf S THX (Erin) (RL)4.87.662
Arendal Sound 1961 Bookshelf (Erin) (RL)4.47.368

Bookshelves < US$7,000/pair:
NamePSPSwSubLFX
March Audio Sointuva (Erin) (RL) (Q/C issues found on June 2022)7.08.633
Ascend Acoustics Sierra-LX6.88.636
Kef R3 (Amir) (Erin)6.68.336
Philharmonic BMR v2 (Erin) (RL)6.17.733
Ascend Acoustics Sierra-2EX V26.08.042
Revel M126Be5.9*8.2*47*
Revel M16 with sealed port [readme] (Amir)5.9????
Revel M105 (Amir)5.98.351
Revel M106 (Amir)5.88.046
JBL HDI-1600 (Amir)5.87.638
Elac Debut Reference DBR-62 (Amir)5.77.843
Kef LS50 Meta (Amir)5.77.843
Revel M16 with open port (Amir)5.67.745
Polk Audio Signature Elite ES20 (Amir)4.86.739
Arendal Sound 1723 Bookshelf S THX (Erin) (RL)4.87.662
Arendal Sound 1961 Bookshelf (Erin) (RL)4.47.368
Revel Ultima2 Gem2******

Bookshelves < US$7,500/pair:
NamePSPSwSubLFX
March Audio Sointuva (Erin) (RL) (Q/C issues found on June 2022)7.08.633
Ascend Acoustics Sierra-LX6.88.636
Kef R3 (Amir) (Erin)6.68.336
Philharmonic BMR v2 (Erin) (RL)6.17.733
Ascend Acoustics Sierra-2EX V26.08.042
Revel M126Be5.9*8.2*47*
Revel M16 with sealed port [readme] (Amir)5.9????
Revel M105 (Amir)5.98.351
Revel M106 (Amir)5.88.046
JBL HDI-1600 (Amir)5.87.638
Elac Debut Reference DBR-62 (Amir)5.77.843
Kef LS50 Meta (Amir)5.77.843
Revel M16 with open port (Amir)5.67.745
Polk Audio Signature Elite ES20 (Amir)4.86.739
Arendal Sound 1723 Bookshelf S THX (Erin) (RL)4.87.662
Arendal Sound 1961 Bookshelf (Erin) (RL)4.47.368
Revel Ultima2 Gem2******
Kef Reference 1 [Discontinued. Replaced by Reference 1 Meta in Feb 2022]******

Bookshelves < US$8,000/pair:
NamePSPSwSubLFX
March Audio Sointuva (Erin) (RL) (Q/C issues found on June 2022)7.08.633
Ascend Acoustics Sierra-LX6.88.636
Kef R3 (Amir) (Erin)6.68.336
Philharmonic BMR v2 (Erin) (RL)6.17.733
Ascend Acoustics Sierra-2EX V26.08.042
Revel M126Be5.9*8.2*47*
Revel M16 with sealed port [readme] (Amir)5.9????
Revel M105 (Amir)5.98.351
Revel M106 (Amir)5.88.046
JBL HDI-1600 (Amir)5.87.638
Elac Debut Reference DBR-62 (Amir)5.77.843
Kef LS50 Meta (Amir)5.77.843
Revel M16 with open port (Amir)5.67.745
Perlisten s4b (Erin) (RL)5.58.158
Polk Audio Signature Elite ES20 (Amir)4.86.739
Arendal Sound 1723 Bookshelf S THX (Erin) (RL)4.87.662
Arendal Sound 1961 Bookshelf (Erin) (RL)4.47.368
Revel Ultima2 Gem2******
Kef Reference 1 [Discontinued. Replaced by Reference 1 Meta in Feb 2022]******

Bookshelves < US$9,000/pair:
NamePSPSwSubLFX
Kef Reference 1 Meta (Erin) (Using Long Port) (RL)7.08.430
March Audio Sointuva (Erin) (RL) (Q/C issues found on June 2022)7.08.633
Ascend Acoustics Sierra-LX6.88.636
Kef Reference 1 Meta (Erin) (Using Short Port) (RL)6.78.436
Kef R3 (Amir) (Erin)6.68.336
Philharmonic BMR v2 (Erin) (RL)6.17.733
Ascend Acoustics Sierra-2EX V26.08.042
Revel M126Be5.9*8.2*47*
Revel M16 with sealed port [readme] (Amir)5.9????
Revel M105 (Amir)5.98.351
Revel M106 (Amir)5.88.046
JBL HDI-1600 (Amir)5.87.638
Elac Debut Reference DBR-62 (Amir)5.77.843
Kef LS50 Meta (Amir)5.77.843
Revel M16 with open port (Amir)5.67.745
Perlisten s4b (Erin) (RL)5.58.158
Polk Audio Signature Elite ES20 (Amir)4.86.739
Arendal Sound 1723 Bookshelf S THX (Erin) (RL)4.87.662
Arendal Sound 1961 Bookshelf (Erin) (RL)4.47.368
Revel Ultima2 Gem2******
Kef Reference 1 [Discontinued. Replaced by Reference 1 Meta in Feb 2022]******

Towers < US$300/pair:
NamePSPSwSubLFX
Polk Audio T50 (Amir)4.05.941

Towers < US$500/pair:
NamePSPSwSubLFX
Polk XT60 (Erin) (RL)4.86.739
JBL Stage A180 (Amir)4.76.335
Polk Audio T50 (Amir)4.05.941

Towers < US$700/pair:
NamePSPSwSubLFX
Polk XT70 (Erin) (RL)4.86.739
Polk XT60 (Erin) (RL)4.86.739
JBL Stage A180 (Amir)4.76.335

Towers < US$1,200/pair:
NamePSPSwSubLFX
Emotiva Airmotiv T2+ (Erin) (RL)5.87.332
Revel F35 (Amir)5.77.639
Klipsch RP-5000F II (Erin) (RL)5.27.241

Towers < US$1,400/pair:
NamePSPSwSubLFX
Emotiva Airmotiv T2+ (Erin) (RL)5.87.332
Revel F35 (Amir)5.77.639
Aperion N5T (Amir)5.36.935

Towers < US$1,500/pair:
NamePSPSwSubLFX
Wharfedale Linton 85th Anniversary (Erin) (RL)6.07.836
Emotiva Airmotiv T2+ (Erin) (RL)5.87.332
Revel F35 (Amir)5.77.639
Revel F36******

Towers < US$1,700/pair:
NamePSPSwSubLFX
Wharfedale Linton 85th Anniversary (Erin) (RL)6.07.836
Emotiva Airmotiv T2+ (Erin) (RL)5.87.332
Revel F35 (Amir)5.77.639
Arendal Sound 1961 Tower (Erin) (RL)5.17.551
Revel F36******

Towers < US$2,000/pair:
NamePSPSwSubLFX
Wharfedale Linton 85th Anniversary (Erin) (RL)6.07.836
Emotiva Airmotiv T2+ (Erin) (RL)5.87.332
Revel F35 (Amir)5.77.639
Arendal Sound 1961 Tower (Erin) (RL)5.17.551
JBL 4309 (Amir)3.75.741
Revel F36******

Towers < US$2,600/pair:
NamePSPSwSubLFX
Wharfedale Linton 85th Anniversary (Erin) (RL)6.07.836
Kef R5 (Erin) (RL)5.97.533
Emotiva Airmotiv T2+ (Erin) (RL)5.87.332
Revel F35 (Amir)5.77.639
Arendal Sound 1961 Tower (Erin) (RL)5.17.551
JBL 4309 (Amir)3.75.741
Revel F36******

Towers < US$3,600/pair:
NamePSPSwSubLFX
Revel F2066.4*8.1*36*
Wharfedale Linton 85th Anniversary (Erin) (RL)6.07.836
Kef R5 (Erin) (RL)5.97.533
Revel F35 (Amir)5.77.639
Arendal Sound 1961 Tower (Erin) (RL)5.17.551
JBL 4309 (Amir)3.75.741
Kef R7******
Revel F36******

Towers < US$3,900/pair:
NamePSPSwSubLFX
Revel F2066.4*8.1*36*
Wharfedale Linton 85th Anniversary (Erin) (RL)6.07.836
Kef R5 (Erin) (RL)5.97.533
Revel F35 (Amir)5.77.639
Arendal Sound 1961 Tower (Erin) (RL)5.17.551
JBL 4309 (Amir)3.75.741
Kef R7******
Revel F36******
Philharmonic BMR Tower (AH)******

Towers < US$4,800/pair:
NamePSPSwSubLFX
Revel F2066.4*8.1*36*
Wharfedale Linton 85th Anniversary (Erin) (RL)6.07.836
Kef R5 (Erin) (RL)5.97.533
Revel F35 (Amir)5.77.639
Arendal Sound 1961 Tower (Erin) (RL)5.17.551
JBL 4309 (Amir)3.75.741
Kef R7******
Kef R11******
Revel F36******
Philharmonic BMR Tower (AH)******

Towers < US$5,500/pair:
NamePSPSwSubLFX
Revel F208 (Amir)6.67.726
Revel F2066.4*8.1*36*
Wharfedale Linton 85th Anniversary (Erin) (RL)6.07.836
Kef R5 (Erin) (RL)5.97.533
Revel F35 (Amir)5.77.639
Arendal Sound 1961 Tower (Erin) (RL)5.17.551
JBL 4309 (Amir)3.75.741
Kef R7******
Kef R11******
Revel F36******
Philharmonic BMR Tower (AH)******

Towers < US$7,700/pair:
NamePSPSwSubLFX
Revel F208 (Amir)6.67.726
Revel F2066.4*8.1*36*
Wharfedale Linton 85th Anniversary (Erin) (RL)6.07.836
Kef R5 (Erin) (RL)5.97.533
Revel F226Be (Erin) (RL)5.87.943
Revel F35 (Amir)5.77.639
Arendal Sound 1961 Tower (Erin) (RL)5.17.551
JBL 4309 (Amir)3.75.741
Kef R7******
Kef R11******
Revel F36******
Philharmonic BMR Tower (AH)******

Towers < US$11,000/pair:
NamePSPSwSubLFX
Revel F208 (Amir)6.67.726
Revel F2066.4*8.1*36*
Revel F228Be (Amir)6.27.630
Wharfedale Linton 85th Anniversary (Erin) (RL)6.07.836
Kef R5 (Erin) (RL)5.97.533
Revel F226Be (Erin) (RL)5.87.943
Revel F35 (Amir)5.77.639
Arendal Sound 1961 Tower (Erin) (RL)5.17.551
JBL 4309 (Amir)3.75.741
Kef R7******
Kef R11******
Revel F36******
Philharmonic BMR Tower (AH)******

Towers < US$14,000/pair:
NamePSPSwSubLFX
Revel F208 (Amir)6.67.726
Revel F2066.4*8.1*36*
Revel F228Be (Amir)6.27.630
Wharfedale Linton 85th Anniversary (Erin) (RL)6.07.836
Kef R5 (Erin) (RL)5.97.533
Revel F226Be (Erin) (RL)5.87.943
Revel F35 (Amir)5.77.639
Arendal Sound 1961 Tower (Erin) (RL)5.17.551
JBL 4309 (Amir)3.75.741
Kef R7******
Kef R11******
Revel F36******
Kef Reference 3 [Discontinued. Replaced by Reference 3 Meta in Feb 2022]******
Philharmonic BMR Tower (AH)******

Towers < US$15,000/pair:
NamePSPSwSubLFX
Kef Reference 3 Meta6.8*8.4*33*
Revel F208 (Amir)6.67.726
Revel F2066.4*8.1*36*
Revel F228Be (Amir)6.27.630
Wharfedale Linton 85th Anniversary (Erin) (RL)6.07.836
Kef R5 (Erin) (RL)5.97.533
Revel F226Be (Erin) (RL)5.87.943
Revel F35 (Amir)5.77.639
Arendal Sound 1961 Tower (Erin) (RL)5.17.551
JBL 4309 (Amir)3.75.741
Kef R7******
Kef R11******
Revel F36******
Kef Reference 3 [Discontinued. Replaced by Reference 3 Meta in Feb 2022]******
Philharmonic BMR Tower (AH)******

Towers < US$16,000/pair:
NamePSPSwSubLFX
Kef Reference 3 Meta6.8*8.4*33*
Revel F208 (Amir)6.67.726
Revel F2066.4*8.1*36*
Revel F228Be (Amir)6.27.630
Wharfedale Linton 85th Anniversary (Erin) (RL)6.07.836
Revel Ultima2 Studio26.0*7.6*24*
Kef R5 (Erin) (RL)5.97.533
Revel F226Be (Erin) (RL)5.87.943
Revel F35 (Amir)5.77.639
Arendal Sound 1961 Tower (Erin) (RL)5.17.551
JBL 4309 (Amir)3.75.741
Kef R7******
Kef R11******
Revel F36******
Kef Reference 3 [Discontinued. Replaced by Reference 3 Meta in Feb 2022]******
Philharmonic BMR Tower (AH)******

Towers < US$16,500/pair:
NamePSPSwSubLFX
Kef Reference 3 Meta6.8*8.4*33*
Revel F208 (Amir)6.67.726
Revel F2066.4*8.1*36*
Revel F228Be (Amir)6.27.630
Wharfedale Linton 85th Anniversary (Erin) (RL)6.07.836
Revel Ultima2 Studio26.0*7.6*24*
Kef R5 (Erin) (RL)5.97.533
Revel F226Be (Erin) (RL)5.87.943
Revel F35 (Amir)5.77.639
JBL 4367 (Erin) (RL)5.37.036
Arendal Sound 1961 Tower (Erin) (RL)5.17.551
JBL 4309 (Amir)3.75.741
Kef R7******
Kef R11******
Revel F36******
Kef Reference 3 [Discontinued. Replaced by Reference 3 Meta in Feb 2022]******
Philharmonic BMR Tower (AH)******

Towers < US$17,600/pair:
NamePSPSwSubLFX
Kef Reference 3 Meta6.8*8.4*33
Revel F208 (Amir)6.67.726
Revel F328Be (Amir)6.67.929
Revel F2066.4*8.1*36*
Revel F228Be (Amir)6.27.630
Wharfedale Linton 85th Anniversary (Erin) (RL)6.07.836
Revel Ultima2 Studio26.0*7.6*24*
Kef R5 (Erin) (RL)5.97.533
Revel F226Be (Erin) (RL)5.87.943
Revel F35 (Amir)5.77.639
JBL 4367 (Erin) (RL)5.37.036
Arendal Sound 1961 Tower (Erin) (RL)5.17.551
JBL 4309 (Amir)3.75.741
Kef R7******
Kef R11******
Revel F36******
Kef Reference 3 [Discontinued. Replaced by Reference 3 Meta in Feb 2022]******
Philharmonic BMR Tower (AH)******

See post #2 for more tower speakers

RAN OUT OF CHARACTERS...CONTINUED ON POST #2
 
Last edited:
OP
sweetchaos

sweetchaos

Major Contributor
The Curator
Joined
Nov 29, 2019
Messages
2,881
Likes
8,016
Location
BC, Canada
RAN OUT OF CHARACTERS ON POST #1 ... CONTINUED HERE:


Towers < US$20,000/pair:
NamePSPSwSubLFX
Kef Reference 5 [Discontinued. Replaced by Reference 5 Meta in Feb 2022]7.6*8.5*23*
Kef Reference 3 Meta6.8*8.4*33*
Revel F208 (Amir)6.67.726
Revel F328Be (Amir)6.67.929
Revel F2066.4*8.1*36*
Revel F228Be (Amir)6.27.630
Wharfedale Linton 85th Anniversary (Erin) (RL)6.07.836
Revel Ultima2 Studio26.0*7.6*24*
Kef R5 (Erin) (RL)5.97.533
Revel F226Be (Erin) (RL)5.87.943
Revel F35 (Amir)5.77.639
JBL 4367 (Erin) (RL)5.37.036
Arendal Sound 1961 Tower (Erin) (RL)5.17.551
JBL 4309 (Amir)3.75.741
Revel F36******
Kef R7******
Kef R11******
Kef Reference 3 [Discontinued. Replaced by Reference 3 Meta in Feb 2022]******
Philharmonic BMR Tower (AH)******

Towers < US$22,000/pair:
NamePSPSwSubLFX
Kef Reference 5 [Discontinued. Replaced by Reference 5 Meta in Feb 2022]7.6*8.5*23*
Kef Reference 3 Meta6.8*8.4*33*
Revel F208 (Amir)6.67.726
Kef Reference 5 Meta6.7*8.3*32*
Revel F328Be (Amir)6.67.929
Revel F2066.4*8.1*36*
Revel F228Be (Amir)6.27.630
Wharfedale Linton 85th Anniversary (Erin) (RL)6.07.836
Revel Ultima2 Studio26.0*7.6*24*
Kef R5 (Erin) (RL)5.97.533
Revel F226Be (Erin) (RL)5.87.943
Revel F35 (Amir)5.77.639
JBL 4367 (Erin) (RL)5.37.036
Arendal Sound 1961 Tower (Erin) (RL)5.17.551
JBL 4309 (Amir)3.75.741
Revel F36******
Kef R7******
Kef R11******
Kef Reference 3 [Discontinued. Replaced by Reference 3 Meta in Feb 2022]******
Philharmonic BMR Tower (AH)******

Towers < US$25,000/pair:
NamePSPSwSubLFX
Kef Reference 5 [Discontinued. Replaced by Reference 5 Meta in Feb 2022]7.6*8.5*23*
Kef Reference 3 Meta6.8*8.4*33*
Revel F208 (Amir)6.77.726
Kef Reference 5 Meta6.7*8.3*32*
Revel F328Be (Amir)6.67.929
Revel F2066.4*8.1*36*
Revel Ultima2 Salon26.3*7.3*23*
Revel F228Be (Amir)6.27.630
Wharfedale Linton 85th Anniversary (Erin) (RL)6.07.836
Revel Ultima2 Studio26.0*7.6*24*
Kef R5 (Erin) (RL)5.97.533
Revel F226Be (Erin) (RL)5.87.943
Revel F35 (Amir)5.77.539
JBL 4367 (Erin) (RL)5.27.636
Arendal Sound 1961 Tower (Erin) (RL)5.17.551
JBL 4309 (Amir)3.75.741
Revel F36******
Kef R7******
Kef R11******
Kef Reference 3 [Discontinued. Replaced by Reference 3 Meta in Feb 2022]******
Philharmonic BMR Tower (AH)******

Towers < US$28,000/pair:
NamePSPSwSubLFX
Kef Reference 5 [Discontinued. Replaced by Reference 5 Meta in Feb 2022]7.6*8.5*23*
Kef Blade 2 Meta7.4*8.7*29*
Kef Reference 3 Meta6.8*8.4*33*
Revel F208 (Amir)6.77.726
Kef Reference 5 Meta6.7*8.3*32*
Revel F328Be (Amir)6.67.929
Revel F2066.4*8.1*36*
Revel Ultima2 Salon26.3*7.3*23*
Revel F228Be (Amir)6.27.630
Wharfedale Linton 85th Anniversary (Erin) (RL)6.07.836
Revel Ultima2 Studio26.0*7.6*24*
Kef R5 (Erin) (RL)5.97.533
Revel F226Be (Erin) (RL)5.87.943
Revel F35 (Amir)5.77.539
JBL 4367 (Erin) (RL)5.27.636
Arendal Sound 1961 Tower (Erin) (RL)5.17.551
JBL 4309 (Amir)3.75.741
Revel F36******
Kef R7******
Kef R11******
Kef Reference 3 [Discontinued. Replaced by Reference 3 Meta in Feb 2022]******
Philharmonic BMR Tower (AH)******

Towers < US$35,000/pair:
NamePSPSwSubLFX
Kef Blade 1 Meta7.7*8.6*23*
Kef Reference 5 [Discontinued. Replaced by Reference 5 Meta in Feb 2022]7.6*8.5*23*
Kef Blade 2 Meta7.4*8.7*29*
Kef Reference 3 Meta6.8*8.4*33*
Revel F208 (Amir)6.77.726
Kef Reference 5 Meta6.7*8.3*32*
Revel F328Be (Amir)6.67.929
Revel F2066.4*8.1*36*
Revel Ultima2 Salon26.3*7.3*23*
Revel F228Be (Amir)6.27.630
Wharfedale Linton 85th Anniversary (Erin) (RL)6.07.836
Revel Ultima2 Studio26.0*7.6*24*
Kef R5 (Erin) (RL)5.97.533
Revel F226Be (Erin) (RL)5.87.943
Revel F35 (Amir)5.77.539
JBL 4367 (Erin) (RL)5.27.636
Arendal Sound 1961 Tower (Erin) (RL)5.17.551
JBL 4309 (Amir)3.75.741
Revel F36******
Kef R7******
Kef R11******
Kef Reference 3 [Discontinued. Replaced by Reference 3 Meta in Feb 2022]******
Philharmonic BMR Tower (AH)******

2-way vs 3-way:

Erin released a great video on this on Feb, 2022:

2-way center designs will have terrible horizontal directivity (beyond +-15degrees off-axis to tweeter), meaning anyone else sitting on the couch next to you will have a bad time, while you're having a good time. In other words, a 2-way center channel is for the money seat, directly in front of the tweeter. If you have multiple people listening, get a 3-way center instead, which won't have these narrow horizontal directivity issues.
Example of a 2-way center channel:
The Revel C25 clearly shows the limitation of a 2-way center channel, with narrow +-15 deg horizontal window where the sound power is within +-6db. This makes 2-way center channel ideal for the "main listening position" type of setup.
index.php


Example of a 3-way center channel:
The Ascend Horizont center shows +-70 deg horizontal window where the sound power is within +-6db. This makes 3-way center channel ideal for multiple people sitting on one couch (or in a home theater type of setup).
index.php

2-way Center < US$75/each:
NamePSPSwSubLFX
Pioneer SP-C22 (Amir)4.77.562

2-way Center < US$200/each:
NamePSPSwSubLFX
Pioneer SP-C22 (Amir)4.77.562
Ascend CMT-340 SE (Amir)3.76.564
Polk XT30 (Erin) (RL)3.56.155

2-way Center < US$300/each:
NamePSPSwSubLFX
Pioneer SP-C22 (Amir)4.77.562
Polk XT35 (Erin) (RL)4.17.067
Polk S30 (Amir)3.76.355

2-way Center < US$500/each:
NamePSPSwSubLFX
Pioneer SP-C22 (Amir)4.77.562
Klipsch RP-500C II (Erin) (RL)4.47.058
Polk XT35 (Erin) (RL)4.17.067
Polk S30 (Amir)3.76.355

2-way Center < US$825/each:
NamePSPSwSubLFX
Pioneer SP-C22 (Amir)4.77.562
Klipsch RP-500C II (Erin) (RL)4.47.058
Revel C25 (Amir)4.37.579
Polk S30 (Amir)3.76.355

2-way Center < US$1,100/each:
NamePSPSwSubLFX
Revel C2054.7*7.3*60*
Pioneer SP-C22 (Amir)4.77.562
Klipsch RP-500C II (Erin) (RL)4.47.058
Revel C25 (Amir)4.37.579
Polk S30 (Amir)3.76.355

3-way Center < US$500/each:
NamePSPSwSubLFX
Elac Uni-Fi 2.0 UC52 (Erin) (RL)5.07.143
Monoprice Monolith THX-365C (Erin) (RL)4.67.568

3-way Center < US$600/each:
NamePSPSwSubLFX
Elac Uni-Fi 2.0 UC52 (Erin) (RL)5.07.143
Monoprice Monolith THX-365C (Erin) (RL)4.67.568
Kef Q250C (Erin) (RL)4.47.160

3-way Center < US$750/each:
NamePSPSwSubLFX
Elac Uni-Fi 2.0 UC52 (Erin) (RL)5.07.143
Monoprice Monolith THX-365C (Erin) (RL)4.67.568
Kef Q250C (Erin) (RL)4.47.160
Kef Q650C (Erin) (RL)3.66.155


3-way Center < US$1,000/each:
NamePSPSwSubLFX
Elac Uni-Fi 2.0 UC52 (Erin) (RL)5.07.143
Monoprice Monolith THX-365C (Erin) (RL)4.67.568
Kef Q250C (Erin) (RL)4.47.160
Kef R2C (Erin) (RL)4.37.164
Kef Q650C (Erin) (RL)3.66.155

3-way Center < US$1,600/each:
NamePSPSwSubLFX
Ascend Acoustics Horizon Center (Amir)5.47.646
Elac Uni-Fi 2.0 UC52 (Erin) (RL)5.07.143
Monoprice Monolith THX-365C (Erin) (RL)4.67.568
Kef Q250C (Erin) (RL)4.47.160
Kef R2C (Erin) (RL)4.37.164
Kef Q650C (Erin) (RL)3.66.155

3-way Center < US$2,200/each:
NamePSPSwSubLFX
Ascend Acoustics Horizon Center (Amir)5.47.646
Elac Uni-Fi 2.0 UC52 (Erin) (RL)5.07.143
Revel C208 (Amir)4.77.355
Monoprice Monolith THX-365C (Erin) (RL)4.67.568
Kef Q250C (Erin) (RL)4.47.160
Kef R2C (Erin) (RL)4.37.164
Kef Q650C (Erin) (RL)3.66.155

3-way Center < US$3,500/each:
NamePSPSwSubLFX
Ascend Acoustics Horizon Center (Amir)5.47.646
Elac Uni-Fi 2.0 UC52 (Erin) (RL)5.07.143
Revel C208 (Amir)4.77.355
Monoprice Monolith THX-365C (Erin) (RL)4.67.568
Kef Q250C (Erin) (RL)4.47.160
Kef R2C (Erin) (RL)4.37.164
Kef Q650C (Erin) (RL)3.66.155
Kef Reference 2C [Discontinued. Replaced by Reference 2 Meta in Feb 2022]******

3-way Center < US$5,000/each:
NamePSPSwSubLFX
Revel C426Be6.1*7.9*36*
Ascend Acoustics Horizon Center (Amir)5.47.646
Elac Uni-Fi 2.0 UC52 (Erin) (RL)5.07.143
Revel C208 (Amir)4.77.355
Monoprice Monolith THX-365C (Erin) (RL)4.67.568
Kef Q250C (Erin) (RL)4.47.160
Kef R2C (Erin) (RL)4.37.164
Kef Q650C (Erin) (RL)3.66.155
Kef Reference 2C [Discontinued. Replaced by Reference 2 Meta in Feb 2022]******

3-way Center < US$6,000/each:
NamePSPSwSubLFX
Revel C426Be6.1*7.9*36*
Kef Reference 2 Meta5.6*8.0*51*
Ascend Acoustics Horizon Center (Amir)5.47.646
Revel C208 (Amir)4.77.355
Monoprice Monolith THX-365C (Erin) (RL)4.67.568
Kef Q250C (Erin) (RL)4.47.160
Kef R2C (Erin) (RL)4.37.164
Kef Q650C (Erin) (RL)3.66.155
Kef Reference 2C [Discontinued. Replaced by Reference 2 Meta in Feb 2022]******

3-way Center < US$7,500/each:
NamePSPSwSubLFX
Revel C426Be6.1*7.9*36*
Kef Reference 2 Meta5.6*8.0*51*
Kef Reference 4C (Amir) [Discontinued. Was replaced by "Reference 4 Meta" in Feb 2022]6.17.429
Ascend Acoustics Horizon Center (Amir)5.47.646
Revel C208 (Amir)4.77.355
Monoprice Monolith THX-365C (Erin) (RL)4.67.568
Kef Q250C (Erin) (RL)4.47.160
Kef R2C (Erin) (RL)4.37.164
Kef Q650C (Erin) (RL)3.66.155
Kef Reference 2C [Discontinued. Replaced by Reference 2 Meta in Feb 2022]******

3-way Center < US$8,000/each:
NamePSPSwSubLFX
Kef Reference 4 Meta6.8*8.3*31*
Revel C426Be6.1*7.9*36*
Kef Reference 4C (Amir) [Discontinued. Was replaced by "Reference 4 Meta" in Feb 2022]6.17.429
Kef Reference 2 Meta5.6*8.0*51*
Ascend Acoustics Horizon Center (Amir)5.47.646
Revel C208 (Amir)4.77.355
Monoprice Monolith THX-365C (Erin) (RL)4.67.568
Kef Q250C (Erin) (RL)4.47.160
Kef R2C (Erin) (RL)4.37.164
Kef Q650C (Erin) (RL)3.66.155
Kef Reference 2C [Discontinued. Replaced by Reference 2 Meta in Feb 2022]******

3-way Center < US$11,500/each:
NamePSPSwSubLFX
Kef Reference 4 Meta6.8*8.3*31*
Revel C426Be6.1*7.9*36*
Kef Reference 4C (Amir) [Discontinued. Was replaced by "Reference 4 Meta" in Feb 2022]6.17.429
Kef Reference 2 Meta5.6*8.0*51*
Ascend Acoustics Horizon Center (Amir)5.47.646
Revel Ultima2 Voice25.3*7.7*51*
Revel C208 (Amir)4.77.355
Monoprice Monolith THX-365C (Erin) (RL)4.67.568
Kef Q250C (Erin) (RL)4.47.160
Kef R2C (Erin) (RL)4.37.164
Kef Q650C (Erin) (RL)3.66.155
Kef Reference 2C [Discontinued. Replaced by Reference 2 Meta in Feb 2022]******

Bookshelf speaker {when turned 90 degrees} that can be used as a center-channel speaker

NameUSDPSPSwSubLFX
KEF Reference 1 Meta (Erin) (RL)$9,000/pair6.78.436
Kef R3 (Amir) (Erin)$2,200/pair6.58.235
Kef Q350 (Amir)$500/pair5.77.538
Kef LS50 Meta (Amir)$1,600/pair (or $900 for a single)5.77.843
Kef Q150 (Erin) (RL)$300/pair4.97.045
All Kef speakers are coaxial speakers, which have great horizontal, and vertical directivity. This makes them ideal to be used as a center channel.
Obviously, you need to buy a pair and sell one.

These are the recommended in-wall speakers by either Amir or Erin.

NameUSDAmir/Erin recommendationPSPSwSubLFX
Revel W893 (Erin) (RL)$1,100 /each-Erin recommended for L-C-R duty (for a moderate budget). See video5.87.230
KEF Ci3160RL-THX (Erin) (RL)$2,000 /each-Erin HIGHLY recommended for L-C-R duty (for a high-end budget). See video
-THX Ultra2 certified.
5.77.639
Monoprice THX-365IW (Amir)$400 /each-Amir didn't give a recommendation b/c he didn't listen to it.
-However, looking at the PS and spinorama, it shows a well-engineered speaker for a low-end budget.
-THX Ultra certified.
5.67.641
Revel W553L (Amir) (Erin) (RL)$500 /each-Erin recommended for a low-end budget. See video.
-Amir didn't give a recommendation b/c he didn't listen to it.
4.87.354
JBL Synthesis SCL-6 (Erin) (RL)$1,650 /each-Erin HIGHLY recommended for L-C-R duty (for a high-end budget). See video4.57.052

During Erin's video review (8min:45sec time) of the Arendal Sound 1961 Bookshelf, he also included measurements of the same speaker, mounted on-the-wall.
4.png

What was the result?
1.png

This shows a huge null created at 400hz (for this particular speaker)(but will vary between 200 to 600 hz for other speakers).
The reason is due to the cancellation of frequencies between the front of the speaker to the back of the speaker (ie the wall) it's mounted on. This creates the null, which you can't fix with EQ.
The speaker's directivity also gets altered and the null is also visible.
Horizontal directivity:
2.png

Vertical directivity:
3.png


Here's Erin discussing this problem on Daily Hifi on youtube.
Basically, don't mount speakers on the wall.
Instead, mount speakers in the wall.

CHANGELOG:
- 2021-11-20: Launched
- 2021-11-20: Removed JBL Arena 120, since it seems to be discontinued. I made a mistake adding it originally.
- 2021-11-20: Added links to reviews by Amir and Erin
- 2021-11-20: Added center-channel speakers
- 2021-11-21: Highlighted center speakers that are 2-way in red, this way you can tell them apart from 3-way speakers. Once more 3-way speakers get tested, I'll probably separate into 2 tables (best 2-way and best 3-way).
- 2021-11-21: Completely missed Polk S30. This was due to an error in my pricing spreadsheet. I've added it, and it becomes top pick under $150/ea, $300/ea, and 2nd place under $350/ea
- 2021-11-21: Added Revel M106 to Worthy Picks, under $2200/pair
- 2021-11-22: Added missing worthy picks for towers, bookshelves. Overall, previously "highly recommended" speakers are now carried forward in price brackets. This expands the number of recommendations as you go up in price brackets.
- 2021-11-23: Added Black Friday deal, JBL Studio 530, which becomes #1 pick under US$250/pair.
- Added upcoming reviews
- 2021-11-24: Added Emotiva Airmotiv T2+ (retails for US$1000/pair), reviewed by Erin. PS is 5.8, It's ranked #2 place for <$1000/pair to <$2000/pair, 3rd place <$2600/pair.
- 2021-11-25:
- Removed preference score of lower than 3.0. Below this score, the level of performance is really not up to par with the rest of the speaker recommendations. So we can make this "line in the sand" as a requirement to make it on this list. As we test more speakers, their position will be filled with better performing speakers. In other words, this is mostly a temporary requirement that we can make until more speakers are tested.
- The following budget speakers were removed: 1. Jamo S807 (tower) 2. Micca MB42X Mark III (bookshelf) 3. Dayton Audio B652-AIR (bookshelf) 4. Pioneer SP-EC73 (center)
2022-01-03: Separated 2-way vs 3-way center channels. Added example of use cases for both 2-way and 3-way center channels. Added Revel C25 to list.
2022-01-07: Added March Audio Sointuva
2022-01-16 Fixed Revel F226Be pricing
2022-01-16 Added Monoprice THX-365C as "Honourable Mention" to 3-way centers.
2022-01-16 Added Elac Uni-Fi 2.0 UC52 (Erin)
2022-01-16: Added Polk XT centers and XT towers
2022-01-17: Added Kef Reference 4C
2022-01-18: Added Arendal Sound 1961 Bookshelf
2022-02-17: Added Kef Blade and Reference Metas
2022-02-28: Added Kef Q150 and Arendal Sound 1961 Tower (forgot to previously add)
2022-03-19: Added Monoprice Monolith THX-365C
2022-03-24: Added Ascend Acoustics Sierra-LX (pre-order for US$1400/pair) (spin provided by Ascend Acoustics)
2022-03-31: Added "Bookshelf speaker (when turned sideways) that can be used as a center-channel speaker"
2022-04-18: Added Kef Q250C, JBL 4367.
2022-05-08: Added Pioneer SP-C22 and Kef Reference 1 Meta
2022-05-28: Added Polk Audio Signature Elite ES20 (Amir gave it the golfing panther award)
2022-05-29: Added Monoprice Monolith Encore T6 and Monoprice Monolith Encore B6
2022-06-21: Added Arendal Sound 1723 Bookshelf S THX (review by Erin)
2022-06-21: Added Response Linearity tests by Erin
2022-06-21: Highlighted new speakers for each price point in colour red.
2022-06-22: Added Philharmonic BMR v2 (with PS of 6.1). Removed BMR v1 (with PS of 5.4)
2022-06-26: Added Q/C issues found on June 2022, for March Audio Sointuva
2022-06-27: Added Kef Q150 (review by Erin), since I felt this coaxial speaker by Kef should be on the worthy list.
2022-06-29: Added PSwSub = preference score, when a perfectly-integrated-subwoofer is added, to augment the lack of bass in the speaker.
2022-06-29: Used spoilers to shrink sections down.
2022-06-30: Added Kef Q650C (review by Erin). Eventhough PS is lower than Q250C, it can handle more power, and can be EQ'd to taste, plus it's a coaxial, so recommended.
2022-06-30: Added Kef Reference 1 and Kef Reference 3 and Kef Reference 2C. Eventhough they are discontinued when the "Meta" versions came out in Feb 2022, they can still be found at some places, so I think I will leave them mentioned...at least for a year beyond it's discontinued date.
2022-07-01: Added In-wall speakers recommendations
2022-07-01: Today, pierre released data (PS, PSwSub, and LFX) for Philharmonic BMR bookshelf v2 (from Erin), so seeing how well-engineered the bookshelf is, and the previous AH review of the tower, I'm adding BMR tower to 'worthy list'
2022-07-04: Added Wharfedale Linton 85th Anniversary (review by Erin)
2022-07-10: Removed Infinity speakers since they haven't been in stock since Feb 2021, which I can consider as discontinued (R263 and R253 towers, RC252 and RC263 center, R152 and R162 bookshelf)
2022-07-25: Added Klipsch RP-5000F II tower (for US$1200/pair) (review by Erin).
2022-07-26: Added Klipsch RP-500C II center (for US$500/each) (review by Erin)
2022-08-02: Removed "#1,2,3, worthy" and RL columns, to simplify the tables. This also reduces the number of characters
2022-08-19: Added "On-Wall speakers" section and why you shouldn't use them. Removed BMR monitor from bookshelves that can laid on it's side for center-channel use. It will likely have issues with directivity, which I hadn't considered before.
2022-08-23: Added Klipsch RP-500M II. 3rd place for <$600/pair. Missed previously.
2022-09-28: Added Ascend Acoustics Sierra-2EX V2. Measurements from vendor.
2022-11-04: Added Aperion N5T tower. 3rd place for $1400/pair.
 
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sweetchaos

sweetchaos

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Infinity R263 that has best score for towers under US$2600/pair has recently been on sale for US$400/pair. :eek:
I know right? The Infinity's have crazy value way above their price point.

We need more precise measurements for it though, as the spinorama we have is from Infinity.
I do hope Amir will measure it soon!
 
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sweetchaos

sweetchaos

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I think the same is true for the Pioneer SP-BS22-LR. I can only find it from a 3rd party seller on Newegg asking 2x MSRP.
Even though they are overpriced currently (I remember last Christmas they were on sale), you can still buy them from newegg 3rd party.
So I'll leave them here for now.
I'll set up an alert to notify me if they ever go out of stock, so I'll remove them then ;)
 

beaRA

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This is a great resource btw! Such a shame the price of the Neumi BS5 went up $10 so we still have to see that awful Dayton Audio B652-AIR on the list. I understand why you didn't put it there, but it may he useful for people to know that the Sony SSCS5 is often available in that under $100/pair category.
 
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sweetchaos

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Thanks. :D
Yes, a $10 difference would have put the BS5's on #1 spot for under $100/pair category.

Tracking price drops gets time consuming and tedious. I'll try to maintain this list as best as I can, since I have direct links to each speaker, it's just a matter of checking them once in a while and updating this thread.
 
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sweetchaos

sweetchaos

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stumper3819

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I know right? The Infinity's have crazy value way above their price point.

We need more precise measurements for it though, as the spinorama we have is from Infinity.
I do hope Amir will measure it soon!
Unfortunately, that line may finally be discontinued. I've been waiting for the 263 center for quite awhile. All 10 speakers are currently showing sold out.
 

tecnogadget

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What would be the R2C PS if you compute it from the WhitePaper data instead of Erin’s measurement ? Im still very suspicious of that 2kHz dip, which doesn’t make sense at all (it really looks like an intruder) and haven’t seen that neither on my in-room measurements of two different samples (speaker placed vertical and horizontally) nor from other users. Great work for pulling out this ranking :).
 
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sweetchaos

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Are you doubting Erin’s measurements? Shocked pikachu face.

Do you mean from here?
No, there’s not enough data to computer the pref score.
 

NYfan2

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I expected that the Philharmonic BMR and BMR tower would also be in the list, is the PS not high enough or are we missing the data to rank them?
 
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sweetchaos

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Philharmonic BMR has pref score of 5.1 with Lfx of 46. So, it didn’t make the top 3 rank for < $1700/pair.

BMR tower was measured by Audioholics recently, but Audioholics didn’t provide us with the spinorama, so we can’t compute the preference score.
 

flipflop

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I guess it's worth pointing out that the "Preference Score" is the predicted preference score and not an actual preference score gathered from listening tests.
Saying that the "value [ranges] from 1-10" is not entirely correct either. Sure, the speakers recommended in this guide all fall into that interval, but there's no theoretical minimum as we've seen with for example Bose 141 and Magnepan LRS receiving scores below 0. A max score of 10 also assumes a LFX of 14.5 Hz.

Using vendor data is not just a problem because of potential credibility issues, but also because some of the data, like the R152 spin, uses a higher amount of smoothing, which results in lower NBD_ON and NBD_PIR values, which in turns result in an artificially increased predicted preference score.
 
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