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Recent Bookshelf Speaker Reviews

THIEL Audio TM3 Bookshelf Speaker Preview

THIEL Audio TM3 Bookshelf Speaker Preview

The TM3 represents a fresh start for industry veteran Thiel Audio. The first loudspeaker from what is expected to be a full lineup, the TM3 is the brainchild of Thiel's new director of product development, Mark Mason. With a projected MSRP of $2,999, the TM3 has a high bar to meet, both in terms of available competition and for exceeding the legacy of Jim Thiel. Suffice it to say, we have high expectations.

The TM3 marks a fresh start for Thiel Audio. Priced at $2,999, it's the product of Thiel's new director of product development, Mark Mason. Will it add to the Thiel legacy? Keep reading for the scoop.

— January 10, 2014 15:40 in Bookshelf Speaker Reviews

Audioengine 2+ Powered Desktop Speakers Review

Audioengine 2+ Powered Desktop Speakers Review

Audioengine has made a name for themselves with small, self-powered desktop speakers whose size defies their sound. The first reaction most people have to Audioengine speakers is "Wow", and it is well deserved. For a lot of people, their first hint as to how much better audio can sound is when they upgrade their computer's speakers. Going from their monitor's speakers to those satellite/bass modules is the first step, but the next is often Audioengine. We recently reviewed the Audioengine 5+ speakers and now it is time to look at the smaller, and more affordable, 2+ speakers.

Review: The Audioengine 2+ desktop speakers may be tiny but they sounded great for the size. They may be expensive, but the sound quality and features easily justify the price.

— December 21, 2013 08:00 in Bookshelf Speaker Reviews

Audioengine 2+ Premium Powered Desktop Speakers Preview

Audioengine 2+ Premium Powered Desktop Speakers Preview

If you wanted a direct connection from your computer to your Audioengine A2 speakers, the $249 A2+ have what you need. While they are still lacking a headphone output (maybe they are saving that for the A2++), the USB connection is now available. For those that wanted additional bass out of their A2 speakers, the A2+ now have a variable output for adding a sub. Basically it looks like Audioengine read all the reviews their products have gotten and took the biggest complaints and fixed them with the A2+. That just sounds like good business to us. If you are looking for "real" speakers for your desk and you're on a budget, the A2+ should definitely be on your list.

Preview: Basically it looks like Audioengine read all the reviews the A2 speakers have gotten and took the biggest complaints and fixed them with the A2+. That just sounds like good business to us.

— November 29, 2013 11:00 in Bookshelf Speaker Reviews

KEF X300A Powered Speakers Review

KEF X300A Powered Speakers Review

I've been listening to and reviewing speakers like these KEF X300A's for quite some time. In fact, a lot of bookshelf speakers as well as many powered monitors come across my desk—literally. Well, not literally. They're more or less next to my desk. On stands. The point is—I've listened to a lot of these speakers and I know what I like. I love solid bass, but it doesn't have to sound like a subwoofer is in the room. It just has to be punchy, you know? Where it hits you right in the chest. If your speakers do that, you've got bass pretty much covered. As for highs, what you're listening for is clarity without that brittleness that can come from a tweeter that not integrated well or receiving signal through a poorly thought-out crossover. The KEF X300A's seem to have it all.

Review: The KEF X300A powered speakers use two class AB amplifiers in each speaker. A 50 watt amp drives the woofer and handles the low and mid frequencies, and a 20 watt amp powers the 1" tweeter.

— November 19, 2013 21:00 in Bookshelf Speaker Reviews

Status Acoustics Granite Bookshelf Speakers Preview

Status Acoustics Granite Bookshelf Speakers Preview

We got a chance to listen to Status Acoustics' new bookshelf speaker system and they sounded every bit as good as they looked! The cabinets are made out of actual granite (weighing a whopping 53lbs to 70lbs each, depending on finish) and is the most dense, inert speaker enclosure we've ever seen or even heard of. We've seen speakers made form glass, plexi, composite materials and carbon fiber. I've never seen anything like this. Surprisingly, granite, like everything else, actually rings. To kill that and make it completely inert, Status Acoustics used a layer of dampening material, then a layer of aluminum, and then another layer of dampening material. The idea was to make this the most inert box you could get. Of course all top notch Status parts are used throughout including their beryllium midrange and Scan Speak tweeter.

We got a chance to listen to Status Acoustics' new bookshelf speaker. The cabinets each weight 80lbs and are made out of actual granite. These babies sound as good as we look as we heard first hand.

— October 16, 2013 08:15 in Bookshelf Speaker Reviews

Definitive Technologies Incline Desktop Speakers Preview

Definitive Technologies Incline Desktop Speakers Preview

The Def Tech Incline powered desktop speakers are a first for the company. On the front the Inclines have a 3/4" silk dome tweeter, a 3.5" midrange, and a 4" passive radiator. The back as a 1.5" driver that is "full range" and will work if you have a boundary (wall) behind you or if you are in an open space. They connect to your computer via USB or your portable device via 3.5mm or even you Blu-ray player via optical input. You can add a subwoofer and the Def Tech Inclines will sense the connection and engage a crossover. If you are a fan of the classic Def Tech look, you're going to love the new Def Tech Incline powered desktop speaker. Coming soon at $399 a pair.

If you are a fan of the classic Def Tech look, you're going to love the new Def Tech Incline powered desktop speaker. Coming soon at $399 a pair.

— September 27, 2013 09:02 in Bookshelf Speaker Reviews

Genelec G Series Speakers and F Series Active Subwoofers

Genelec G Series Speakers and F Series Active Subwoofers

Genelec's G Series active two-way speakers have a seamless design that flows gently from the woofer to the tweeter. Genelec chose the smooth design to reduce acoustic reflections that can interfere, or diffract, the sound. Specifically, the tweeter is surrounded by a Directivity Control Waveguide (DCW), and it's designed to match the frequency response and directivity characteristics of both drivers. The goal is smooth frequency response both on-axis and off-axis.

Genelec's G Series active two-way speakers have a seamless design that flows gently from the woofer to the tweeter. Genelec chose the smooth design to reduce acoustic reflections.

— September 27, 2013 00:45 in Bookshelf Speaker Reviews

Boston Acoustics A225C Center Channel Review

Boston Acoustics A225C Center Channel Review

The Boston Acoustics A225C matches the good looks and excellent build quality of the rest of the Boston Acoustics A-Series, including the A360 floorstanding loudspeaker we reviewed. This is a smooth sounding center channel with very good build quality and great looks. Although there are a few limitations, this center speaker delivers a great balance of form and function at a reasonable price point. Check out our full review to get a clear picture on its performance.

When found the Boston Acoustics A225C to be a great entry-level center speaker, and a good companion to Boston's A360 Speakers. Read on for the full review and comparisons.

— June 18, 2013 08:00 in Bookshelf Speaker Reviews

Bowers & Wilkins 805 Maserati Edition Preview

Bowers & Wilkins 805 Maserati Edition Preview

The Bowers & Wilkins 805 Maserati Edition. If you are into high end audio, you've heard of Bowers & Wilkins. If you're into cars (or pay any attention to the cars the rich drive in movies), you've heard of Maserati. B&W have been putting their speakers in Maseratis for a while now. To celebrate the partnership, B&W has released a limited edition 805 speaker with Maserati styling cues. There is no indication that there are any changes to the internal components so the Maserati Edition should sound the same as the regular 805s. They'll just look a lot better.

The Bowers & Wilkins 805 Maserati Edition is the latest in the partnership between the two companies. The internal components stay, but the styling gets an overhaul.

— June 17, 2013 08:00 in Bookshelf Speaker Reviews

Emotiva Pro Stealth 6 & 8 Powered Studio Monitors Preview

Emotiva Pro Stealth 6 & 8 Powered Studio Monitors Preview

Emotiva is a company well known for delivering high powered amplifiers at a budget friendly price. While Emotiva does offer speakers and subwoofers, we won't blame you if they're not the first name that pops into mind when it comes to reference grade studio monitors. Enter the Emotiva Pro Stealth line; consisting of two models, the Stealth 6 priced at $1,100/pair and the Stealth 8 priced at $1,500/pair, these monitors boast a relatively tight frequency response tolerance of +/- 1.75dB (on axis), active crossovers along with separate channels of amplification for each driver, and several interesting features to help them separate from the pack. How do these powered monitors stand up to a quick glance by Audioholics? Read on to find out.

Known for high value amps, Emotiva is throwing down the gauntlet in the pro arena with their Stealth 6 & 8 powered studio monitors. Read on to find out how these speakers stand up to our scrutiny.

— June 01, 2013 16:50 in Bookshelf Speaker Reviews

Polk Audio LSiM703 Bookshelf Speaker Review

Polk Audio LSiM703 Bookshelf Speaker Review

Over the past decade or so Polk Audio has slowly shifted their focus from mid/upper tier audio to mid/lower tier products, which might make some wonder, "Do they still know how to make a knockout audiophile lineup?" As Polk has brought down the price points of their speakers, their reputation in the audiophile community has also steadily lessened as well. The Polk Audio LSiM series is their answer to the high end crowd. In the LSiM series there is only one bookshelf speaker, the 703, and at $749/ea it is well below what some consider "high end". So, I requested a pair of LSiM703's for review to see if the company still had it in them to make a truly audiophile grade product, but at a price the general public could afford (with a little time spent saving up, of course). In short, they've still got it. The LSiM703 is a great sounding and looking speaker, but it's size and bright presentation mean it isn't for everyone. Read on for a full review.

Review: The Polk Audio LSiM 703 bookshelf speakers are the company flagship model in the category. And trust us, they are a great set of speakers. Read on for a full review of the LSiM703's.

— April 10, 2013 15:20 in Bookshelf Speaker Reviews

Opalum Audio Flow .4810 Speakers Preview

Opalum Audio Flow .4810 Speakers Preview

When you think of Scandinavian design, you think either cheap or expensive. There really isn't any in-between. While pricing for the Opalum speakers hasn't been announced, we're betting it isn't going to be cheap. With integrated amps, a unique powering method, and gorgeous looks, we're sure the new Opalum speakers will turn heads. We're just not sure if they will open wallets. Honestly, we'd love to get our hands on a pair to see how they perform. If they sound half as good as they look, that will make them light-years better than many, similarly-styled offerings out there.

While pricing for the Opalum speakers hasn't been announced, we're betting it isn't going to be cheap. We're sure the Opalum speakers will turn heads, we're just not sure if they will open wallets.

— March 10, 2013 18:30 in Bookshelf Speaker Reviews

Fluance XLHTB 5.0 Speaker System Preview

Fluance XLHTB 5.0 Speaker System Preview

Given our experiences with the Fluance XL7F floorstanding speakers, we believe the XL7S surround (bookshelf) speakers and XL7C center speaker will be quality products. For those looking to make their first foray in home theater, looking for a present for a budding home theater nut, or just looking for a second system for their home, the Fluance XL Series speakers will easily fit the bill. Being able to mix and match the bookshelf, floorstanding, and center channel means that, no matter your room, you can find a configuration that you, and your spouse, can live with. Fluance put together a good looking, and nice sounding matching 5.0 system including their XL7F towers, XL7C center and XL7S surrounds for under $800. That's a pretty darn big deal.

Given our experiences with the Fluance XL7F floorstanding speakers, we believe the XL7S surround and XL7C center speaker will be quality products. At $799.99 they won't break the bank either.

— February 28, 2013 21:05 in Bookshelf Speaker Reviews

Angel City Audio Trinity L/R & Center Loudspeaker Review

Angel City Audio Trinity L/R & Center Loudspeaker Review

The first thing I noticed about the Angel City Audio Trinity L/R & Center loudspeaker system was the first-rate piano black finish. It was smooth and glossy with no imperfections. The Trinity L/R speakers sounded really sweet when I first heard them at the Audioholics GTG event and continued to do so once I got them into my audio room. I found that the cabinets were built extremely well and their measurements showed them also to be well-designed speakers. Although these speakers are not perfect and of course none are, I would definitely recommend them for a smaller room with some room treatment on the side walls. The three (LCR) speakers worked very nicely together which gave for an enjoyable movie and music experience.

This is a review of the Angel City Audio Trinity L/R & Center speaker system which employ excellent cabinetry and premium parts.

— February 25, 2013 22:10 in Bookshelf Speaker Reviews