In All Directions: the Larsen Speakers

"Have you heard the Larsen speakers?" The person posing this query was one of CES attendees in the elevator with me at the Venetian, who looked at my badge and noted my affiliation. "No, I can't say I have. I don't think I've even heard of them." He then proceeded to tell me that he owned these speakers, and loved them. They were exhibiting at the Venetian. I promised to check out the Larsen room.

Well, my elevator-friend, I was true to my word: I did seek out the Larsen room, shared with Danish speaker company Gamut, and very much enjoyed listening to the speakers—so Thank You for the recommendation.

As it turns out, although I may not have heard of the Larsen speaker brand, I have some familiarity with the speaker that that was its predecessor: the Sonab from the 1970s, designed by the late Stig Carlsson, was a speaker that utilized the principle of matching the speaker for against-the-wall placement. John Larsen worked with Stig Carlsson, and the current Larsen 8 ($6995/pair) represents an evolution of the original design by Carlsson.

And a lovely-sounding speaker it was: a smooth, easy-on-the-ears presentation, tending toward the warm side, avoiding the sharp, forward, clinical sound that characterizes many modern loudspeakers. I can appreciate why the Larsen 8 would attract adherents.