If you love music and have a budget larger than your typical consumer, you’ve probably heard some great things. Tech news these days typically focuses on mobile accessory speakers, but leaves out audiophile grade products that the most discerning consumers demand. The holiday season is upon us, so it’s time to start looking at your favorite audio products to either gift for yourself (probably because no one is going to splurge on you like this), or if you truly want to spoil someone close to you who loves music as much as you.
If you love extreme detail, jaw dropping power and sound that no other portable setup can match, you’re in a class of audio lovers that belong to the 1%. You know your audio products and love your music so much that you’ll spend whatever it takes for that soundstage, detail and depth that puts you in the center of concert halls all in your own home.
We’ve put together our top favorite HiFi wireless speakers for you to drool over – they’re not for the faint of heart as they all cost over $1,000. Move over Bose and Sonos, these speakers are for true audiophiles.
KEF LS50W Speakers – $2199 at Amazon and Kef Direct
The LS50W is a pair born from an award-winning heritage acoustics in the LS50. The LS50W is an all in one system that doesn’t require separate components of old style setups. Audiophile-grade amplification and sound processing paired with the best wireless capabilities make these one of our favorites of 2017. The LS50W are compatible with Spotify Connect, Tidal Streaming and is a Roon endpoint providing the ultimate flexibility and connectivity. These are some of the most high-tech speakers on the market – KEF developed Uni-Q to ensure sound hits your ears at the exact same time no matter the placement of the drivers. The LS50W employs an advanced time correcting DSP crossover which takes that awesome achievement to the next level by correcting for inherent time delays introduced in the crossover stage. Amazing sound dispersion matched only by a live music performance is now attainable in virtually every room.
The LS50W features an end-to-end 192kHz/24-bit high-resolution digital signal path, a streaming pre-amplifier, and two separate DACs for each channel, for a total of four. Powered in the analogue stage by an incredibly fast and clean 230 Watts per channel in a bi-amp dual mono configuration, the LS50W is a complete, high-fidelity music system that will cost you far less than you’d spend putting together the separate components necessary to match the performance of the LS50W. LS50W gives you all of the connectivity options you’ll need to get the most out of your music, including 2.4GHz/5GHz Dual-band Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 4.0 aptX, Asynchronous USB Type B, TOSLINK Optical, and RCA-type line-level analogue inputs. A dedicated LS50W app (available for iOS and Android) easily facilitates network setup, music streaming, playback and DSP control.
HiFi sound that can play anything you throw at them over Bluetooth or WiFi. The X2s also have on-board physical inputs: digital optical (which can handle 24-bit/192kHz hi-res files), analogue RCA stereo, and analogue 3.5mm minijack. You can configure your speakers using a rear switch letting each speaker know where they are in context of your room. This enables a balanced sound profile that only the most trained ears can identify. The Xeo 2’s 28mm tweeter and 14cm mid/bass driver sit in a solid aluminium baffle and ultra-stable composite housing. It’s all designed to minimise unwanted interference – giving the twin 65W amplifiers everything they need to do their work.
Master & Dynamic MA770 – $1800 at Master & Dynamic
Master & Dynamic is a newcomer to the audio fanatics, but its products share rave reviews across the board (I’m a huge fan of its wireless headphones). M&D engineers partnered up with Sir David Adjaye to design a new and bold speaker that is made from ultra premium materials, including a proprietary concrete composite. This stone material provides increased dampening, reduced resonance and a cleaner and purer sound that other materials can’t match. M&D even claims the dampening properties are so high that the speaker can play at full volume without causing a record to skip or the table and floor to vibrate.
Naim Mu-So – $1349 at Amazon, NewEgg and Naim Audio
Finely tuned by Naim’s specialist engineers in England, its powerful audio brain delivers the most exceptional quality in sound, commanding 450 watts of power through six custom-designed speakers to create an experience of music that has to be heard to be believed. Its advanced yet simple to use connectivity includes AirPlay, UPnPTM streaming, Spotify Connect, Bluetooth (aptX), iRadio, iOS and Android app control and multiroom capability. Beneath its anodized aluminum skin mu-so is alive with innovation. At its heart sits an active arrangement of amplifiers inspired by the technology Naim developed to create the ultimate audio system for Bentley motors. Six 75 watt digital amplifiers, one for each of the six custom-designed speaker drivers, deliver a total of 450 watts of power and a carefully designed porting system moves large volumes of air with low turbulence for serious bass kick from a small cabinet. Power means nothing without control however. That’s why mu-so features a 32-bit digital signal processor capable of millions of calculations per second. It’s the audio brain of the system, running software fine-tuned by Naim engineers in the listening room to extract every last drop of performance from your music.
Bang & Olufsen BeoSound 2 – $1995 at Amazon
Immerse yourself completely in the 360 degrees of sound. The sound you will experience is spherical, powerful and precise – no matter where the speaker is placed, and no matter where you are placed.
The Acoustic Lens Technology spreads the high frequencies horizontally around the room, while reducing reflections from the floor and ceiling, so the sound performance remains unchanged – and always ideal. Adaptive Bass Linearisation harnesses surplus capacity in the amplifiers and driver units to bring you even more bass, while also monitoring and adjusting for excessive peaks in the sound.
Breathtaking sound from a unique design that manages to squeeze in a jaw dropping 4500 watts of power. It will shake the floor but still manages extreme detail with its titanium tweeter. It also looks the part too.