By Samuel Morris
on 5.2.11

Believe it or not, there is an entire generation of ‘audio-orphans’ who have never known that music isn’t meant to come out of undersized, mass-produced, plastic boxes. And standing right behind them is a slightly older generation who may know better the virtues of quality speakers, but have been caught in the spell of ‘digital convenience’ and all but forgotten what recorded music truly sounds like. Fortunately for both, Paradigm’s Studio 10 (v5) ($499 each) bookshelf speakers deliver breathtaking clarity and performance that will excite even the most jaded of ears.

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With almost 30 years of dedicated craftsmanship behind them, the wizards at Paradigm have produced a speaker that effortlessly fills a room with a breadth and depth of sound typically reserved for speakers double their size (and double the price). Boasting a 1″ tweeter, 5.5″ mid-woofer and oval bass port, the Studio 10s begin with clean, tight bass response, move into a strikingly precise mid-range, and top things off with flawless detail at the high end. Powered with an appropriate amp, the exceptional performance across the entire audio-band allows the Studio 10s to reproduce a soundstage and positioning with openness and authenticity — frankly, there’s nothing like listening to the Beatles performing I’ve Got a Feeling and “seeing” the acoustics of John just a bit off to Paul’s left, with George and his guitar still further off in the wings, and Ringo keeping time behind them all.

For less than a grand (and made in North America), you’d be hard pressed to find a better pair of speakers for breathing life and presence into your music collection. Spend a few minutes with them, and you’ll be talking about ‘tone,’ ‘resonance’ and all the other musical ideals you forgot you knew.

Buy Now: $499 each

Lead photo by Samuel Morris

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