Stereophile Product of the Year
November 26, 2007
Each December since 1992 the editorial team at Stereophile celebrate music and the audio components that bring music home to our hearts and soul. PSB's Alpha B1 was voted "2007 Budget Product of the Year." Here's what Stereophile's Stephen Mejias had to say:
Deep down inside, the “Budget Product of the Year” category strikes a special chord with us all—perhaps because it reminds us of our hi-fi beginnings, perhaps because it has a way of rekindling our enthusiasm. For newcomers to the hi-fi hobby, our category of “Budget Product of the Year” is reserved for components that are absolutely, honest to god, without a doubt, affordable. Meanwhile, for more experienced audiophiles, it’s refreshing and exciting to rediscover how much musical pleasure can be achieved for so very little money.
Again, we had a large class of impressive candidates, with seven earning first-place votes—but it was the wonderful little PSB Alpha B1 that won our hearts. The B1 comes from a long line of overachieving loudspeakers; the original Alpha was a runner-up in our very first “Products of the Year” gala, in 1992. Back then it sold for a modest $199/pair. Fifteen years later, the B1’s price has risen by a mere $80, making it actually less expensive in real terms than the original Alpha. Now, that’s just crazy. More important, it’s proof positive that true hi-fi sound can be brought into nearly any home.
Though the Alpha B1 makes compromises in loudness capability and low-frequency extension, its glorious midrange and solid stereo imaging bring a wide range of musical performances—even large-scale orchestral works—into rich, vibrant focus. JA was very pleased, noting “superb measured performance” and marveling at the PSB’s ability to stand proud in a system costing more than 200 times its price. He advised audiophiles to buy pairs for friends and family. I took his advice, sort of—I bought a pair for myself.
“A simply sensational audio bargain.”
The PSB Alpha B1 is exactly the kind of product this hobby needs—one that brings the High End down to earth, makes hi-fi attainable for just about everyone, and, beyond all, reminds us how much fun this hobby should be. The Alpha B1 has become my immediate recommendation for anyone seeking hi-fi advice. I’m proud to have a pair in my home. A simply sensational audio bargain. Thank you, Paul Barton.
Note: PSB's Alpha B1 at $279/pair is also a "2007 Loudspeaker of the Year Award" runner up. This category is dominated by cost-no-object high performance loudspeakers up to $74,995/pair.
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