Best 8 ohm speakers, which ones to choose?

Best 8 ohm speakers, which ones to choose?

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Since the first integrated hi-fi systems appeared and even matched to furniture, the speakers hidden among the collections of books or vinyls have always been the beating heart of every party, still offering the best balance between audio quality and size; the consolidation of this feature is still a very popular option, with new models designed to adapt to any library.

How to choose

There are 8 ohm speaker models that are very expensive; but most of them are priced under 600 euros, which is not bad. Prices are set for a pair of speakers; we have created our list by making sure that the models in question represent the best in quality and performance. While there are brands that look unfamiliar, we ensure they are anything but generic. The dimensions and wattage are quite similar and consistent for this type of speaker, but we try to point out how to vary the connectivity and the specifications such as the dimensions of the driver and the tweeter. Here are our top four picks.

SVS Ultra – See price or buy

Our first pick is on this pair made by SVS, a company best known for producing subwoofers. Awarded with several awards, the SVS Ultra range is one of those models that receive a lot of appreciation on the market. They are certainly not cheap, but the expense is justified as we are talking about a pair of exquisitely tuned 8 ohm speakers, much better than even more expensive models. The company’s approach to cabinet design and choice of construction materials creates super-transparent sound reproduction, especially in the critical mid-range spectrum.

Equipped with a 1.7-inch acoustic port, it obviously favors bass content, but it’s impressive that the low frequencies don’t sound too cooked or woolly, bringing a tremendous sense of definition instead. They could be hooked up with no problem to any decent hi-fi amplifier or receiver, but in all honesty, they deserve better than just decent, as already a good amp will play them divinely. It is also worth noting that the company makes many other great speakers, such as the much-loved Primes, but we still prefer the Ultra model.

Recommended amplifier: 20W-150W per channel

Impedance:

Driver size: 6.5 inch woofer, one inch tweeter

Sensitivity: 87 dB

What we like: Superb clarity, classy appearance.

What we don’t like: nothing to complain

KEF LS50 – See price or buy

If it weren’t for the hefty price tag, this pair would likely undermine the SVS Ultra. The KEF LS50 speakers have received many awards, and with good reason, as they represent everything an enthusiast can love in an 8 ohm speaker: excellent design combined with superlative sound quality. This is precisely what we want to talk about. The LS50s have a richness of tone and a certain musicality that is very difficult to find in other models. They have an incredibly fast response, and while they deliver breathtaking clarity, they only deliver what is enough to create great arousal. Sound is by far the best reason to buy them, but the design is also an attention-grabbing feature. The iconic curved front, center driver that looks like a hubcap, and a variety of colors mean this pair of speakers shouldn’t just sit on a bookcase. When paired with an amplifier such as the NAD C326BEE, for example, what will come out is something truly stunning.

Recommended amplifier: 25W-100W per channel

Impedance:

Driver size: 5 inch woofer, one inch tweeter

Sensitivity: 85 dB

What we like: a mass favorite that always gets the job done.

What we don’t like: too expensive.

 

Bowers & Wilkins 686 S2 – See price or buy

Even though it’s been out for a few years, the fairly inexpensive Bowers & Wilkins 685 loudspeaker is still among the best deals. Version 2 of the 686 offers a build similar to the legendary 685, with the distinctive tweeter design and subtle elements that enhance the elegance of this speaker set. The Bowers & Wilkins 600 series has always been of good quality and we believe it is among the best around. Definitely deserves to be in a top four. The sound of these speakers is of rare beauty and is one of those real pleasures when listening to music. There is no denying that, compared to the previous version, they are quite expensive (perhaps a little too much considering the features) but they really offer a lot, with an elegant and detailed sound that places them a step above the competition. While they don’t offer the same value for money as ELAC Debut B6 speakers in our opinion, they will certainly be included in any hifi setup.

Recommended amplifier: 25W-100W per channel

Impedance:

Driver size: 5 ” Full Range, 1 ” Tweeter

Sensitivity: 85 dB

What we like: fantastic B&W sound.

What we don’t like: something is still missing to achieve the quality of SVS or KEF.

Klipsch R-14M – See price or buy

Klipsch, despite their commitment to what they do, despite the quality of the audio they transmit, will never be as cool to consumers as SVS or KEFs. In part, this shortcoming has to do with old-school design – the black and gold might look refreshingly retro, but unfortunately, all of that excludes those that aren’t retro. Still, this is a hell of a speaker, an affordable little beauty that replaces the much more expensive RP-160M on this list. We opted for this model because we think the R-14M offers better overall value, for very little loss in sound quality.

And believe us, these speakers sound really good. The Klipsch has always been really good at tweeters tuning, and the details in the higher ranges perform remarkably. They offer a good amount of volume, can draw power from almost any amplifier, and aside from the retro qualities they are fantastic. They are still a long way from the best speaker on this list and we think the SVS Ultra is of superior value overall, but they remain a reliable and rewarding buy.

Recommended amplifier: 50-200W per channel

Impedance:

Driver size: 4-inch woofer, 1-inch tweeter

Sensitivity: 90 dB

What we like: a speaker from Klipsch at a great price.

What we don’t like : the sound is not as exciting as in other models.

Loudspeakers