On news-stands now, the Hi-Fi Choice Yearbook 2017 singles out the greatest-sounding audio products reviewed by the magazine’s expert team throughout the year. Every product listed is a coveted Hi-Fi Choice badge winner – hardly an easy accomplishment given the “staggering number of high-performance components emerging to feed our passions in increasingly innovative ways,” writes editor Lee Dunkley. Among the chosen few is the multi award-winning Larsen 8 floorstanding loudspeaker by Swedish brand Larsen.
The world of high-end audio may be a niche market but still it can feel a tad crowded at times, as the many and various companies and products jostle to distinguish themselves from an increasing number of competitors. One Swedish loudspeaker brand, however, stands effortlessly out from the crowd. Literally, as it happens.
While most loudspeakers depend on an ideal in-room position in order to perform at their best (and as a result take up a vast chunk of most people’s modest living rooms, both physically and visually), Larsens are designed to put the ‘room’ back into ‘living room’ by cleverly using surface sound reflections to their advantage to enrich the listening experience rather than degrading it.
The loudspeakers stand flush against the rear wall of the listening room, using the wall to create a deep and full bass from a relatively compact cabinet. This placement, combined with the unique positioning of the speakers’ drivers, virtually eliminates the wall as a source of colouration. The net effect is a large, spacious, deep, and wide soundstage that holds up as you move around the room – so there’s also no need to fight over that one single ‘sweet spot’ when listening with friends.
In typical Scandiavian style, the finish and build look clean, simple and understated. “Further investigation reveals things are far more complex,” notes the Hi-Fi Choice review team as it inspects the innovative positioning and angles of the Larsen 8’s five drivers.
“This is a masterpiece of design, rooted in understanding empirical sound qualities and refined from detailed listening in real-world rooms rather than simply nodding to the received wisdom,” the team concludes.
“A joy to live with.”
Check out the full list of 2017’s best audio treats in the Hi-Fi Choice Yearbook 2017