We all love to search for the “best of” across any category – club sandwiches, mittens, you name it. My own passion lately has centered around, wait for it… bookshelf speakers. Questing for the ultimate big things/little packages sound experience has led me far and wide with my latest trip down the bookshelf rabbit hole involving me, some killer tunes and a pair of GoldenEar BRX (Bookshelf Reference X) speakers. I hadn’t heard much about them, so I was well positioned to be blown away or wildly disappointed. Which was it going to be?
GoldenEar BRX Overview
I was immediately surprised by the overall look and feel of the BRX speakers with their sleek cabinet and extremely solid heft, finished off with a badass piano black finish. According to GoldenEar’s product page, the BRX speakers use a similar driver to those used in their Triton Reference speakers with tweeters made of what they call “Reference High-Gauss High-Velocity Folded Ribbons.” The sides of the BRX feature 6.5-inch planar infrasonic radiators which are designed to enhance the low end. The finished product looks attractive sitting out in the open or in a cabinet and would feel right at home in any small office or two-channel listening area.
I connected the BRX speakers via 12/2 AWG cables to a VSSL A1 amplifier and prepared for my test drive. I started things off with a little bit of Handel’s Messiah from TIDAL. The sound felt round and filled the room well. I noticed right away that the BRX speakers have a narrow sweet spot. I’m not sure why, but that shouldn’t be an issue for any listener as long as they bear that in mind during the initial set up. I found my best spot around six feet back with each speaker slightly toed in toward me.
I proceeded ahead with some more TIDAL MQA content including Peter Gabriel’s Downside Up (Live), Mark Knopfler’s Sailing to Philadelphia and Elbow’s Perfect Weather to Fly. Everything sounded great but I definitely found myself wanting a little more low-end, which could be easily remedied by turning the two-channel system into a 2.1 setup.
GoldenEar BRX bookshelf speakers retail at $1,598 per pair. I would add a subwoofer to any installation to ensure deeper bass at lower volumes, but their aesthetics and overall sonic performance are impressive. I highly recommend these for use in any environment where combining sleek design and killer sound are top of mind.
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