Commonly mentioned speaker brands?

Are the brands most frequently mentioned simply the favorites of the kind of people who have the kind of taste that frequent a site like this, or are they generally recognized as superior brands?


Its rather simple: regardless of product, if you can sell more than you can make, marketing is not needed.  The speaker brand one I work with fits that description.  There are many manufacturers that do not market at all other than attend a trade show here and there to meet up with their dealers.   


I try,when possible,stay off the beaten path.  There is something about lower volume manufacturers that I gravitate to.   

I think that names or manufactures can go two ways. One is people who like what they own will always promote them and beg for approval from the ranks. Then there is the other side where people will continue to bash certain manufacture. Some time from a bad experience they had way back of as is more common they have never owned them or heard them but wanting what they own to be better they discredit them. You also have to keep in mind all good speaker manufacturers make different levels of speaker lines. Not fair to talk negative about B&W when you bought their entry level bookshelf from Best Buy. Trust your ears if you like the sound does the name matter? Enjoy the music first and last!

Difficult to say, but in my experience far too few domestic loudspeakers can 'rock'.

Finesse, politeness, imagery etc seem to be where their focus seems to lie.

Funnily enough, these are usually the qualities that are usually deemed lacking in the ones that can rock.

Can't we ever have it all?

While there are plenty of examples of manufacturers who rely on marketing and fluff more than solid engineering and performance to sell their products, I wouldn’t be too quick to absolutely dismiss them, especially the "usual suspects" with the "big names". When these big-name companies decide to put their considerable resources and engineering talent behind a product/model, the results tend to be very well-received by audiophiles and reviewers alike.

Also, having a robust dealer and service network, readily available parts and drivers and a history of legacy product support (especially important as speakers tend to last/are kept the longest) are certainly pluses that big-name companies usually bring to the table.

Happy Listening!


A huge factor in "name brands" is marketing. No shortage of reviewers to move this along I might add. Usually the very best audio products come from smaller companies. At least this has been my experience. With the increased popularity of used audio sales, some gravitate to the brands that they know will sell quickly and are less likely to take a chance on a relatively unknown brand. I have no doubt that there are speaker brands out there that will outperform some of the bigger names at a significantly lower price and as a dealer I am trying to find some of these brands.

Some expensive brands get mentioned on A'gon quite frequently, like Wilson or Magico.  Other expensive brands with much less frequency, e.g. YG, Estelon, Kharma.  I've always assumed each of the several audio forums had their own culture, with their own favs.

I’ve got a musical fidelity a 308 integrated amp driving ATC scm 40 V2 speakers, so my system is also British, and as a previous poster said, I also prefer revealing, flat response, good off access sound. Unlike many others here, though, I’ve heard very few systems for comparison sake and almost none of the brands that tend to be mentioned here. That’s why I started this thread.

Cannot go wrong with Tannoy, Wharfedale, Spendor, and Harbeth. These are the brands I’ve owned and some I still own. I’m partial to British speakers, just don’t like much of anything made here. In fact, most of my system is now comprised of UK built components. The only exception is the several Marantz components I own, such as the Sacd and CD players. However, in use presently is my newly acquired Cyrus cdt. There is a certain allure about the British stuff that I can’t explain. Maybe I was a Brit in a previous life...😄

Mostly the favorites and very few I would actually own. Magico is one that lives up to the hype but overpriced. Of course I’m an outlier here I prefer speakers designed to be very revealing with smooth off axis and flat FR. Probably why I've drifted to listening to studio monitors.

I have found myself gravitating not so much to the brands that get mentioned the most often, but the ones which get mentioned enough that I realized there was something of quality there. Add to that that there is very little debate about these less-mentioned but not obscure brands and that indicates -- to me -- that there is something flying "under the radar." 


Salk, Fritz, Silverline in speakers (as opposed to the biggies, such as Focal); Audio Mirror Tubador or Mojo DACs; deHavilland, Herron, Supratek for preamps; Allnic, Atmasphere, Quicksilver for amps. 

These are just examples, but they hit a sweet spot of value -- there's not much chance it's *just* their name getting them touted by people. (Not that, say, Focal fans are only taken in by the name, of course, but some really do get swamped by the marketing/buzz around brands with big distributions.)

This site definitely has some esoteric  biases. I would not rely exclusively on what products get the most buzz here at the time. Stick with products that have long successful histories and lots of people all over who like them.

They are the favorites of certain people, for sure. Every speaker has strengths and weaknesses, plus the ol' beauty is in the eye of the beholder thing. 

Not sure of the exact brands.


The greatest performers in my experience are:


Sonus Faber

Magico (you better have really good electronics… or you are going to hear their faults.


Yeah, these are exceptional performing speakers.



Honorable Mention:


B&W are a bit like MAC electronics… you like mostly rock, they sound great… if you have a much larger pallet… look elsewhere.


Depending on your exposure there a few others folks will mention.

people who have the kind of taste that frequent a site like this, or are they generally recognized as superior brands?

Yes and yes.

I gotta say that almost every brand mentioned in the posts on this site are of definite quality. Yeah, the musical tastes on this site do tend toward classic 60's - 70's era rock but that's okay. Long story short -- if you can't make your way to an actual speaker audition and must mail order, the recommendations here are a pretty good place to start. Find your price range. Phone or somehow get hold of a dealer. Let the process begin.