PSB speakers timeline 50th Anniversary logo

Celebrating 50 years of
speaker design and innovation

The Legacy Continues

Decades of experience and constant refinement combined with musicality and technical precision are represented in every PSB Speakers product ever made. Since 1972, PSB Speakers has created a true-to-nature sound signature that has remained consistent across multiple categories of speakers and price points, all backed by decades of research at the intersection of speaker measurements and psychoacoustic analysis. At the heart of it all is Founder and Chief Acoustic Designer Paul Barton who, along with his team, have worked tirelessly to perfect each design past and present.

Beta II

Released at the same time as the passive Avanté speaker, the Beta II speaker was, in contrast, a servo-feedback speaker with built-in amplification. This unique design caught the attention of Dr Floyd Toole, a prominent expert in acoustics measurement at the National Research Council in Ottawa, Canada. Paul Barton travelled frequently to Ottawa to meet with Toole and this led to a deep personal friendship and professional collaboration.

Launched in 1973, details on the Beta II included a 25mm (1”) dome tweeter, 200mm (8”) long throw woofer and a walnut veneer finish.


The first generation of the Avanté was launched in 1973 along with the passive version of the Beta II and became the first “test specimen” Paul Barton used for his early experiments at the NRC, under the guidance of Dr. Toole and other acoustics researchers. The result of this early experimentation was the Avanté, representing Barton’s first steps towards crafting a sound signature for the PSB brand.

Released in 1974, details on the Avanté featured a 25mm (1”) dome tweeter, 200mm (8”) long throw woofer and a walnut hickory vinyl veneer finish.

Passif II

The Passif I and II were simultaneously launched in 1974 and notorious for their passive radiator designs which extended the low-end response of the loudspeakers. The Passif II was a near identical iteration of the Passif I but slightly larger in size with a louder capacity. This design was picked up by Canadian Radio Broadcasting Commission, now known as CBC/Radio-Canada and used as their standard for studio monitors across their Canadian locations, thus catapulting PSB into becoming a household Canadian speaker brand.

The Passif II was notable for its dynamic power range handling capacity of 120 watts program and a 1500Hz second order acoustic Butterworth crossover. Its features included a 25mm (1”) wide dispersion high power textile dome tweeter, 200mm (8”) long throw woofer, and a signature 250mm (10”) passive radiator critically tuned for compliance loading of the woofer in the enclosure. Its cabinet was finished with a walnut hickory vinyl veneer.

Project B2

The innovative shape of the baffle on the Project B2 was conducive to creating an even radiating pattern in front of the speaker. This design also counteracted the common perception that a high frequency tweeter needed to be placed high, above a woofer on a speaker. Instead, the Project B2 marked the first iteration of PSB’s iconic placement of a midrange or woofer over the tweeter, which as a result solved discrepancies between the high and low frequencies and created a more dynamic sound.

Released in 1980, the Project B2 featured a 25mm (1”) dome tweeter, 200mm (8”) compressed-felt-fiber cone with a foam surround and a natural American walnut finish.


The R Series highlighted a unique grooving technique to create a rounded indent (R stood for round) on the front edge of the cabinet, allowing for better performance. The designs of the R series also continued the PSB tradition of utilizing felt around the tweeter to minimize diffraction. The 30R was a small bookshelf speaker inspired by an older, pre-acquisition model called the Avantini. The 40R was slightly larger and inspired by a previous design called the Targa. The 50R and 70R were Lenbrook versions of the Avanté II and Passif II, respectively.

A larger cabinet on the 40R brought a substantial increase in bass efficiency and loudness. Its free-standing placement provided uncoloured sound and detailed stereo imaging. Details on the 40R included a 2000 Hz third order acoustic Butterworth Crossover, 25mm (1”) wide dispersion tweeter with a treated textile dome and 200mm (8”) long throw woofer.


The extensive research Paul Barton was performing at the NRC led to his design of the Atom, memorable for its value in both performance and price point. His NRC research gave him a deep understanding of which speaker components were directly affiliated with certain listening and sound quality measurements, and he was able to apply these principles to create this budget friendly bookshelf speaker. The Atom marked PSB’s first successful attempt in scaling down costs while not compromising performance. The Atom, along with the R Series was packaged together to become some of the first exported PSB products entering the US and global markets.

Signature to the Atom was its capability for loud volumes even with small powered amps and its ability to accurately reproduce all frequencies at all listening levels. Details on the Atom included a 2100Hz single order crossover, 50mm (2”) wide dispersion, high powered, treated textile flare dome and a 200mm (8”) long throw compressed fibre cone woofer.


1991 marked the year that the first generation of PSB’s iconic Alpha Series made waves around the audiophile world for its unparalleled value without sacrificing sound quality. Achieving cover-model status in Stereophile Magazine, a US specialist publication that was among the most prestigious in the world, it created a cult following for PSB Speakers that remains strong to this day. The success of the first generation of the Alpha Series was followed by a second generation in 2000, and a third in 2018, all equally successful for the brand and solidifying its reputation as a high value hi-fi brand.

Generation 1 : 1991 - 1999

Generation 2 : 1999 - 2019

Generation 3 : 2019 - today

Details on the original Alpha included a 25mm (1”) wide dispersion, high power textile dome tweeter, 100mm (4”) long throw with stacked double wound voice coil woofer and a textured flat black finish. *See note

*Model shown in video is the Alpha Mite

Stratus Gold

The Stratus Gold was the flagship product that put a halo on PSB as a high-fidelity speaker brand. Original submitted as a commissioned project for CBC, PSB reworked the prototype to create the Stratus Gold as a luxury addition to their existing Stratus Series. This high-end, floor standing speaker received accolades for its ability to withstand 200V without having any serious or noticeable artifacts in its playback quality.

Released in 1991, the Original Stratus Gold model featured a 25mm (1”) metal dome tweeter, 150mm (6”) midrange driver, 250mm (10”) treated felt cone woofer and options of a black oak, dark cherry or gloss black finish.

Synchrony One

The Synchrony Series launched in 2007 rewrote the standards of performance for PSB yet again. Exceptional care in tweeter, cone drivers, crossover design and driver-circuit electro-acoustic integration, was executed, placing them among the first wide-dynamic-range speakers in history from which distortion was not a meaningful audible factor. Notably, the floor standing Synchrony One model was significant for its accurate extension to the lowest of octaves with an incredible response range from 33Hz to 20,000kHz. A follow-up model to the 2007 Synchrony Series was the iconic Synchrony T600s in 2021, representing the culminative research of PSB since 1972 and hailed by critics for their micro-detail, wider soundstage, even clearer transients, and precise imaging.

Details on the Synchrony One included a 25mm (1”) titanium tweeter, 102mm (4”) midrange, and three 165mm (6 ½”) woofers.

M4U 2

Branching off of the results of the Athena Project, PSB went on to develop RoomFeel™ technology. The goal of RoomFeel™ technology was to emulate PSB’s signature room target curve but through headphones, essentially bringing the acoustic resonance of how music should sound in an open room, into the convenience of a headphone that was portable and wearable. Early on in 2011, PSB was the first to incorporate this technology into headphone design, while other competitors are only recently discovering and paying attention to the phenomenon.

Features on the M4U 2 Headphones included a 40mm dynamic closed transducer, a battery life of 55 hours and options of a black diamond or arctic white finish.

Imagine T3

The Imagine Series was designed as a mid-level alternative to the Synchrony Series. Consisting of the Imagine T (Tower), Imagine B (Bookshelf), Imagine C (Center) and Imagine S (Surround), the models featured a unique ceramic injection in the cone material giving it a yellow colour. In 2014, PSB released the iconic Imagine T3 model, a new and improved floor standing tower for the Imagine Series that set a new standard for the mid-range line. This model was set apart due to its adjustable spikes at the base which were designed to decouple the speaker from the floor to prevent the natural resonances of the music from being lost to ground.

Released in 2007, the Imagine T3 featured a 25mm (1”) titanium dome tweeter, 133mm (5 ¼”) midrange, a 182mm (7”) compressed felt/fiberglass cone woofer and a high gloss black/cherry finish.