The best home speaker setup for very loud, very high-quality listening

Can you hear it now?

A rock concert blasts 105 decibels into your ear holes. And, though your neighbors might curse the day you moved in, you can re-create that level of acoustic insanity with your home entertainment space using good speakers in your living room, basement, or whatever personal sound cave suits you. WARNING—cranking up the volume on your home audio speakers can lead to bad sound. But have no fear: If carefully constructed, a high-end home audio system setup can knock you back in your seat, without losing its fidelity. Learn about the best home speaker setup, here!

Technics Grand Class SL-1200GR

The source.

Even with bass rumbling, the Technics SL-1200GR turntable won’t skip. The aluminum platter (a.k.a. the playing surface) of these house speakers has a rubber lining, the footings are silicone, and polymer tubes string through the body—all absorbing bad vibes. $1,700 (needle cartridge sold separately).

Related: JBL speaker comparison: Which model is right for you?

Audio Research GSPre

The preamp.

The preamp gets an audio signal ready for the amplifier to crankify. Unlike many big-box-store—even high-end—models, the Audio Research GSPre has inputs for modern devices and a circuit, complete with a pair of vacuum tubes, devoted to turntables. $15,000.

McIntosh MC452

The amplifier.

Delivering 450 watts apiece to two speakers, the McIntosh MC452 is among the loudest stereo amps. Ironically, though, it makes quiet work of pushing out massive sound. Inside the 110-pound behemoth, each channel has two amps that cancel out one another’s tremors. $8,000.

Related: The best bookshelf speakers fill your room with sound, not clutter

Bowers & Wilkins 800 D3

The speakers.

The midrange driver (the one for guitars and vocals) on the Bowers & Wilkins 800 D3 rings true at high volumes. A new woven composite stops vibrating faster than its Kevlar predecessor. Meanwhile, a 1-inch tweeter pings highs, and two 10-inch subwoofers go low. $30,000 (pair).

This article was originally published in the May/June 2017 issue of Popular Science.

Corinne Iozzio
Corinne Iozzio

is the Editor-in-chief of Popular Science. She's been here, in one role or another, for more than 11 years. With a background covering consumer tech that began with the launch of the first iPhone, she's made a career nerding out about how fast the world changes around us every day.