FrontRunners: A Hi-Fi Power

Sony has made its finest foray into high-fidelity audio reproduction with the SS-AR1 loudspeakers (www.sony.com/ar1). The 3.5-?foot-tall standing pair is quite an achievement for the global electronics superpower. Priced from $27,000 per pair, SS-AR1s minimize resonance with a baffle board made of extremely rigid and tight-grained Japanese maple wood. A softer Finnish birch on the side and rear panels contributes to a balanced tonal range. Driver units include twin 8-inch aluminum cone woofers, a 5-inch paper-cone midrange driver, and a 1-inch dome tweeter for frequency responses between 28 Hz and 60 kHz.

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