Can’t yet afford those $10,000 speakers? How about those $3,000 speakers? Those $1,500? Ah… $800 speakers?? We’re poor audiophiles and finding the best value is what matters. Especially in today’s tight economy and oftentimes strict WAF (that’s “Wife Acceptance Factor” to the new initiates) getting the biggest bang for your buck is what matters. Good sounding… correction, great sounding speakers can be had at all price points. For many, however, that $500 and under price point for speakers is a huge barrier that “you shalt not pass”.
But, in my opinion, at that price point it’s also where you can get quite a bit of variation in performance and sound. I also firmly believe that unless you audition speakers in your setup, you don’t know their real value; and if you can do an A/B of speakers even better; and if you can do a blind test of speakers that’s the best yet.
So, now I found it–it’s a poor audiophile’s dream: a blind test shootout to determine the best monitor loudspeakers under $400. Sound and Vision Magazine pulled together some people and sat them down for a listening session in a double-blind environment. What I really like about the review is you get a good feel for what the speaker does and it’s characteristics.
I’ll say it until I’m blue in the face: every speaker sounds different because in the design process the speaker designer has to make calculated tradeoffs in the design with the materials, drivers, cabinet, etc. Sometimes the differences are subtle and other times the differences are pronounced. Regardless, we each tend to have different preferences and tastes in terms of what we like or don’t like based on those tradeoffs and the ‘sound’ of the speaker.
Thus, in the Sound and Vision review, you can see what the characteristics are of each speaker and gravitate towards the one(s) that you think fit your tastes and style. I was very happy to see this review and for those poor audiophiles out there, you’ll appreciate this article. Here’s the link to the full review.