Q: I have a pair of entry-level GoldenEar tower speakers, and while I initially liked them, over time I have become dissatisfied. The tweeter has a lovely high end and great imaging, but despite a lot of experimenting with speaker placement, something is lacking in the lower midrange that leaves me cold, to the point I am not listening much. I think it is time to look into something different.
Some of my fondest audio memories are from my college years when I worked in a stereo shop. Of all the speakers there, I was most smitten with the KEF 104.2 towers. No matter what I played over them, they sounded so good! I can look for a used pair of those, but do you have any new speaker recommendations for $1,500 or less?
A. GoldenEar makes good speakers, but apparently they're not your cup of tea. Given your affinity for KEF, it seems you are a fan of the British sound, which is characteristically warm and engaging while also being detailed, precise and engineered to a high level of technical excellence. I suggest you look at the Q Acoustic 3050i speakers, which at $999 are well under your $1,500 budget. While I can't compare them directly to the KEF 104.2, I can say they deliver all the satisfying qualities of good British sound.
The Q Acoustics 3050i speaker even resembles the KEF 104.2, with the tweeter mounted between two equally sized drivers facing the listener. Look a little closer, and you will see that the high-frequency driver combines a dome tweeter with a concentric ring radiator tweeter. This combination provides beautifully open, detailed and rich sound. The long list of awards won by the 3050i attests to their excellence and shows that I am far from the only fan.
The Q Acoustics website (qacoustics.com) goes into a lot of detail about the 3050i's innovative engineering, and I suggest you start there. Those looking for a bookshelf speaker should check out the $449 3020i, another perennial award winner.
Toothbrush deal is back
Whenever Hanasco has run its offer for a sonic toothbrush including eight brushheads, they have tended to sell out quickly. This leads to emails from readers asking me to let them know when they are available again. Well, the deal is back for $32.99 on Amazon. It's a bit more than January's $29.99 price, but it's still a great deal.
Sonic toothbrushes use a vibrating brushhead to do a thorough job cleaning your teeth, making them feel like you just had them cleaned at the dentist. Traditionally they have been quite expensive, but smaller companies like Hanasco are putting out products that offer features and performance comparable to high-end toothbrushes, but at a fraction of the price. I've tested a few others since I first tried the Hanasco, and it is the one I keep coming back to.
Send questions to Don Lindich at email@example.com. Get recommendations and read past columns at soundadvicenews.com.