US-based hi-fi magazine The Absolute Sound has just published its prestigious Editors’ Choice Awards for 2017.
Editor-in-Chief Robert Harley and his team of expert audiophile reviewers offer their top product recommendations from across the world of all things audio, along with mini-reviews of each award-winning product. First up, loudspeakers….
Minnesota-based Magnepan, maker of the stunning Magneplanar loudspeaker range, has bagged a noteworthy six awards, with at least one ‘Maggie’ (as they’re known to devotees) featuring in almost every price category!
Award-winning models range from the MMG… “At just under $600, it is hard to imagine a better speaker for the money than this mini-Maggie,” via the Super MMG, the .7, MG1.7i and MG 3.7i up to the MG 20.7: “These Maggies’ magical ability to transport listeners to a different space and time and to there realistically recreate (with lifelike scope and size) the sound of acoustic instruments and the venue they were recorded in is extraordinary.”
Danish innovator Raidho takes three awards, for the X-1, the D-1.1 and the D-5.1 flagship seven-driver, three-way ribbon/cone floorstander with its “simply gorgeous timbre, unexcelled resolution, lightning-fast transients, and enormously powerful tuttis, making for an astonishingly lifelike and addictively enjoyable presentation on every kind of music.”
Fellow Dane Gamut Audio’s RS3i loudspeaker is a winner in the $10,000-$20,000 price range, impressively holding its own in a category dominated mainly by floorstanders and confirming that this compact standmount really does pack a full-range punch.
“Capable of sounding much bigger than it looks, it is a honey that should be on anyone’s short list for a small-to-medium-sized room application.”
Meanwhile, Swedish Larsen’s Model 8 loudspeaker wins again for the third year in a row. The Larsen approach is an uncommon one, since its speakers are designed to be placed against the wall, with the wall and floor used as part of the acoustic design, rather than as something to be avoided.
“The profound knowledge of how speakers and rooms interact embodied in the design leads to an unusually convincing presentation of music of all sorts, both small-scaled and large. The concept works; the Larsen Model 8 will deliver exceptional sound in even the most problematic rooms and against-the-wall placements. Unusual but superb.”
Finally, the Riva Turbo X wins not just as a speaker but as an all-in-one system. “Nominally, Riva’s Turbo is just another Bluetooth speaker system. But look (or better yet, listen) a little closer and you’ll discover that the Riva Turbo is high-end audio in miniature.
Weighing just three pounds and about two-thirds the size of a loaf of bread, the Turbo throws a huge yet defined soundstage, offers wide dynamics, and delivers shockingly deep bass extension for its size.” Not bad for $299.
For full details of The Absolute Sound’s 2017 Editors’ Choice Awards, grab a copy of the March issue.
To audition any of the award-winning products above, contact UK distributors to find your nearest dealer:
Decent Audio for Magnepan, Raidho and Riva
Sound Fowndations for Gamut and Larsen