By Don Lindich
Week 19, 2022
Q. I have an Emotiva preamp and amplifier and am looking for new speakers between $4,000-$6,000 per pair. I could spend more if they would be something I would be really happy with. The room is 12×17 feet with an open beam ceiling. What do you recommend?
-D.N., San Francisco, CA
A. Your price range is close to the maximum for equipment I recommend. Speakers selling for more than $10,000 per pair tend to be the domain of audiophiles, and there is little interest in these products outside of the fringes of the hobby. There is also the law of diminishing returns, and a lot of exotic audiophile speakers do not sound very good despite prices approaching or exceeding six figures. That is a story for another column, though!
I am going to list my three favorite speaker lines in alphabetical order. I own at least one pair from each series, so I am putting my money where my mouth is here. Check them all out and I am sure you will find one that is a good fit for you.
Axiom Audio omnidirectional speakers have drivers facing both front and rear and include a separate Digital Signal Processor (DSP) component that is connected to a four-channel amplifier. The DSP optimizes the sound and generates an omnidirectional sound field that creates an experience unlike any other speaker. I own the LFR880s with the matching Axiom amplifier. The LFR880 system with amplifier is $5,480, and if you check the “I can wait 25 days” box the price is reduced to $4,858.32. The speakers are handmade in Canada and prices include shipping and taxes. axiomaudio.com
Ohm Acoustics Walsh speakers use a unique transducer called a Walsh driver. The Walsh driver has a storied history and is capable of reproducing waveforms more accurately than any other technology. The sound is sublime, with crystal clarity and effortless stereo imaging that can be experienced almost everywhere in the room. Ohm Walsh speakers are handmade in Brooklyn and highly sought after, and there is currently a waiting list of approximately six months. They are worth the wait though! A pair suitable for your room would range from $3,800 to $9,000 per pair. ohmspeaker.com
Since their introduction I have been a big fan of the Polk Legend speakers, specifically the $999 Legend L100. The $3,498 Legend L600 towers would be a good fit for your room. These speakers are more of a conventional design than the Axiom Omnidirectional or Ohm Walsh speakers, but the sound is competitive with most anything on the market with their tremendous purity, musicality and accuracy.
These speakers are not inexpensive, but are still considered high value given their quality and performance for the dollar. In an upcoming column I will list some of my favorites selling for under $1,000. You don’t have to spend a fortune to get beautiful sound that will take your breath away!
Q. I want to buy the Panasonic Arc6 ES-LS9A electric razor you wrote about. It is not available anywhere. Do you know when I can buy one? I have the Braun Series 7 and am not especially happy with it. Do you think the ES-LS9A will be better?
-J.W., Edina, MN
A. The new Panasonic Arc6 razors will be available on June 1, 2022. I have not tried the Braun Series 7, but the Panasonics are the most highly regarded razors on the market and the new Arc6 models are the best of the best. If they do not satisfy you, I don’t know what electric razor will!