Let’s face it, loudspeakers will make or break your system. If you don’t have the right loudspeakers at the front, no amount of great electronics on the back end will make up for that deficiency. In my experience and auditions I feel as though the $2,000 price is a watershed where the boxiness begins to disappear and you start to experience the transparency and dynamics of truly world-class, high end speakers.
The Absolute Sound has published their 2013 listing of the best loudspeakers that they feel fall between the $2,000-$3,000 price range. Overall, I’d agree with many of their selections with one exception. I don’t agree that the GoldenEar Triton Two belongs on the list. I had the chance to audition the speaker last year and was deeply disappointed. It’s finish looked plastic and cheap and it’s overall musical presentation was lack-luster. I could see where this could be a good if not great home theater speaker, but as a two-channel speaker, I was not impressed. I will concede that the dealer did not have the speakers setup in the most optimal location and perhaps there was something in the demo that gave me the wrong impression.
In terms of omissions from the list, I’d certainly say that the omission of the Revel Performa 3s is striking. I know that the editors of The Absolute Sound have been very fond of the Revel speakers over the years so to omit the new line is surprising. Perhaps this is due to the fact that to date there have been no formal reviews. I was also surprised to see the omission of Paradigm.
Nevertheless, “best of” reports are always there to help stir up dialogue. If you’re in the market for new speakers and looking to spend between $2,000 – $3,000 then you owe it to yourself to review the list here.