PS Audio Aspen FR20: Planar Floorstanding Speakers



It’s been written before, but whoever thought up the exterior design of this speaker certainly did not share the same sense of style of anyone I know.

I see it losing sales to those whose audio equipment needs to be integrated into their daily living areas. I mean, why design a speaker with likely zero WAF where cost of enclosure was probably not a critical constraint such as for a lesser cost speaker?

I just wish the look was either rounded on top and bottom or squared off on both.

Just doesn't look right to me.


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I'll never see them any other way ever again!

To me, they look like they're upside down.

Another comment -- look at the room -- bare walls, glass, hard floors.  This says that person who staged the photo was far more interested in a modern-looking appearance than anything to do with the sound quality of a proper, acoustically treated room.  Interesting approach if they are trying to appeal to serious audiophiles.

Well, could be that they were going for a minimalist look considering it is a more contemporary design for a set of high end speakers. Furthermore, why clutter the ad with distractions since the main focus is the Speaker? Clearly the only included furniture is the Eames Lounge Chair and Ottoman because we all know it does whisper  "Audiophile"... Not that hard to figure out. The Room Treatment and other Gear will eventually follow into what seems to be a brand new space... 😉

Instead of her taking the photograph, you may want to simply listen to them. They are fabulous.

The angle of the lounge chair doesn’t look properly aligned to a set of speakers. Like where would the other speaker be? To the right? If it was you would be sitting on a weird angle facing the left channel. If the other speaker was on the left it looks like the two speakers would be facing each other like headphones instead of being slightly angled towards the listening chair. Am I the only one that sees that?

markalarsen - I Completely Agree! I had the fortunate opportunity of listening to the FR20s in a very good Listening Room with a bunch of PS Audio gear. I came away very impressed considering how well they sounded especially in comparison to some Focals and even it's big brother, the FR30s. Both sets of speakers were previously hooked up to the same system. It certainly held its own and clearly has the Aspen DNA in every way just slightly less robust. It should be perfect for most normal sized rooms and spaces. Definitely punched above its weight...

Look at the strange shadows on the wall to the right of the speakers.  What were they thinking?

markalarsen - looks like the shadows of the plant to me? Yeah, something simple with natural colors could have gone on the wall...


On another note about the FR20s, here is a YouTube video of Paul explaining the difference between the woofers of the FR20s to that of it's bigger brother, the FR30s. Some good and interesting comments below the video as well:


Sarcasm does not translate well in writing.  The comments on the speaker’s photos seem like they are in the weeds. 

Nothing new when it comes to marketing images of Audio gear or pics taken for Audio print advertising...

I ordered a pair of FR-20s. This should be fun, but I intend to use speaker cables. 

@markalarsen wrote:

Look at the strange shadows on the wall to the right of the speakers.  What were they thinking?

[chuckles] Yep, that pretty much sums up the level of quite a few of the replies here. 

You can do much better for way less. My last DIY speaker used the same mid and high drivers PS Audio uses....but I used them on an open baffle with much better parts and no padding.....way, way better. However, those particular B&G drivers are not available to the public anymore. can do even better. Make your own open baffled 2 way biamped speaker that will blow your mind. You use the Minidsp Flex for the preamp/crossover/room correction/volume control.........its $500 but will sound better with dedicated serious power supply. The speaker would be an open baffle speaker 16 inches wide at the bottom and you would mount 2 ($160 each) Beyma 12 inch BR70 speakers (pretty sure these are the same woofers used by Spatial Audio in their $9800 open baffle speaker, however they pad the woofers with distortion producing coils and only get 88db sensitivity). Run without passive crossover and In parallel they would be around 93db sensitive.....above it on the same baffle you can use one of the $60 planars from Parts Express......or 4 of them in series parallel.....or you can use one of the 10 inch planars from Radian ($350 each). You use your current amp on the over 90 db planar/s and get a cheap amp to drive the woofs. Total price for the xover, better power supply, 4 woofs, 2-8 planars, wood, wire would be $2K or a little higher..... and then just add a bass amp of your choice.....heck even the $80 Fosi amp would drive the woofs to over 100db. This fully open baffle speaker when equalized and time aligned would have flat bass to 30hz and be a gazillion times more transparent than the PS Audio. We are talking no Chinese xover parts.....we are talking the wires from the amps are soldered to the drivers.....all open baffle...time aligned.....everything easy to drive (above 90db). You could make a test baffle and start listening in one afternoon.....even a 10 year old can do it. If someone wants to try this and wants help.....give me a call....I will help you for free (pretty darn simple really).

I forgot to mention you cross over the two woofs to the planars around 3-400 cycles......start with 24 db per octave slopes.

I hope they do well with these speakers. PS certainly worked hard on birthing the product line. I was very impressed with the version shown in Chicago a few years back with the removable beatifully finished wood panels. I was smitten with that version. That said, I'm 66 so if Iliked it, it probubly wasn't appealing to the younger market. 

I admire the DIY crowd but do not have that skill set. I have trouble operating a screwdriver. A friend gave a circular saw to us as a house-warming present, and my wife hid it. I still have all of my fingers.

I saw and heard the first attempt from ps audio at axpona before covid locked everything down and was much less impressed, in fact they seemed to have no upper mids to speak of. I haven't heard this latest iteration, but appreciate the original design.

steve59 - No doubt anything before the lockdowns was one of the "False Starts" PS Audio has admitted to during their lengthy process of launching a speaker line. I'm guessing those had more Arnie Nudell influences... whereas their current speaker line really looks to be more of Chris Brunhaver's designs and concepts.

I heard the pre-pandemic prototypes at RMAF. The FR-20s are much better speakers. I would not have purchased the prototypes. I love the FR-20s driven by all PS Audio electronics. I am using speaker cables, unlike the print ad photos.

Paul McGowan has been reborn since the Aspens came out!

Paul has always stood out as one of the nicest guys out there in high end audio (up there with Andrew Jones).

I heard the fr30 in their listening room and they are very good, a home run for McGowan. I personally would match those speakers with some other electronics though (not ps audio's stuff).

First of all, they are not planar loudspeakers. Magnapan 3,7i is a planar loudspeaker and will present a more realistic sound stage because it is a dipole and interacts less with the room. It is also a much better value. At about the same price the 20.7 will run circles around the Aspens. You can’t put the Aspens in the same room as any Wilson or Magico floor stander. 

At about the same price the 20.7 will run circles around the Aspens. You can’t put the Aspens in the same room as any Wilson or Magico floor stander

Run circles around?? (Lol) A 20.7, Magico or Wilson does no such thing here and the McGowan speaker can hold its own. You sound like either you never heard McGowan’s speaker or you’re too much a biased fan of the other (for anything truthful to come outta ya on this matter) or maybe you're a dealer who carries the competition's product.


My FR-20s replaced Magnepan 20.1s, both set up almost in the exact same location.  You are correct; there is no comparison.  The FR-20s easily win that A/B test.  

I love the Magicos such as the 2023 S3, but they are double the price.  Not a big Wilson fan.  None of them are “running circles” around the FR-20s. The Magicos compared favorably at AXPONA. 

@deep_333 Absolutely. I read his biography and got the feels. Thumping read.

Paul has always stood out as one of the nicest guys out there in high end audio