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The future’s bright

Timothy Barber
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1. KEF REFERENCE 201/2
The ultimate full range bookshelf loudspeaker from perhaps the most design-conscious audiophile manufacturer. It may not be big, but the sound is as vibrant and clear as the colour. And Kef has added 12 new coloured lacquer finishes to choose from for the Reference range.
£2,999 www.kef.com.

2. BOSTON ACOUSTICS SOUNDWARE XS 5.1
Big things come in small packages, as this ultra-compact speaker system demonstrates. It’ll still create rich, room-filling sound from speakers that are small enough to hold in the palm of your hand, making it easy to secrete them round the room. The subwoofer you’ll just have to accept.
£399, www.bostona.eu.

3. TEUFEL ULTIMA 800 SPEAKERS
The latest offering from German maker Teufel is something of a speaker behemoth, with each cabinet containing no fewer than eight speakers (including woofers, midrange drivers and tweeters), and weighing in at 31 kilos of high-precision tech.
€3,000, www.teufel.eu.

4. MERIDIAN SELECT
Top-end UK audio company Meridian is moving with the times and offering a range of bespoke colour options for many of its products. Let’s face it, if you’re dishing out tens of thousands of pounds – as you would for these DSP mega-speakers – having other options than chrome, black or wood veneer is progress in itself.
From £7,763, www.meridian-audio.co.uk.

5. SCANDYA MEGAPOD
Scandya specialises in retro-futuristic speakers that are all about curves instead of corners. The Megapod combines its Minipod loud speaker with a satisfyingly bulbous bass unit, all stood on some Sputnik legs, for a speaker system that’s distinctly funky.
£2,396 for a pair, www.scandya-speakers.com.