Loudspeakers are a necessary evil. The best, most advanced, and costliest examples will produce 100 times the distortion and a dozen times the frequency response error of the lowliest off-brand receiver. Yet it's kind of hard to listen to music without them.
Given how challenging speaker design is, it's surprising there are so many of the damned things. Many of these aren't even worth the medium-density fiberboard from which they're folded up. But, luckily, a substantial number are. Telling the difference isn't necessarily easy, and distinguishing the outstanding from the merely competent is even harder.
This gathering of S&V's picks for speakers is, truth be told, not particularly scientific. It's suggestions from one guy (moi) who's been around the audio rodeo a while. In every case, I have culled from two or three (or four, five, or six) equally qualified choices - not because this one or that is "the best," that amorphous word, nor because the manufacturers sent dancing girls and single-malt (if only!), but because that's the only way to keep this piece a manageable size.
Are we telling you to go out and buy this one over that? Hell, no. We're encouraging you to listen for yourself: to the models showcased below, and to their many competitors in price, type, and style. Thus and only thus can you begin to become an "expert" - whatever that is - in your own right.
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