Recommendations for against the wall high efficiency speakers

I’m a believer in synergy, not individual components.   I’m setting up a new system in my condo and like most condos, I’ve got some limitations.   My room is 16’ wide and 35’ long, 9’ height.   The system will be placed 2/3 down on the long wall.   It’s the living room and my wife says no ugly room treatments as it’s our living room.   Just to head this off - I don’t need a new wife.    I listen at moderate levels (usually 70-85db).   Mostly progressive rock and jazz, all streamed, no phono.   Budget is $8k, for used speakers.   Once the speakers are mostly set, I'll work on amps, preamp, DAC, streamer, & cables ($25k all in budget, all used components).


The speakers will need to be placed right up next to the wall, so I was thinking of Ohm or Larsen, but these aren't very efficient – are there other options?   I’d like much higher efficiency as I like the dynamic presentation I generally get with that setup, but I don’t know of any efficient speakers I can place next to the wall.


I can add subs, if necessary, but I do need to take into account my neighbors above and below me.


I should add that historically, I've really preferred the sound of dipoles or open-baffle designs, but I don't have the space for them here.


Any suggestions or recommendations for my new-to-me main speakers?


You might try Audio Note since they are designed for near-wall use. Concerning the wife, you say you don't need a new one, but you might consider getting rid of the one that you have. 

I use Zu Audio floor standers against the wall in the living room and Zu Audio monitors on selves against the wall in the 2nd bedroom.



Not efficient at all, but Gradient Revolution (the older the better for WAF) was made for this.

Also, why of they have to be high efficiency? There are lots of high power amps for not much money that can give you dynamics.

@roxy54, Interesting idea.   I've not heard the Audio Note, but they are well reviewed.   I'll see if I can find a pair to audition somewhere.


@rar1, I love Zu and had not thought about them.   Can they be placed up against the wall?   I've only heard the Druid 5 out in the room a ways, and figured that ruled them out for me.


@paradisecom, I used to own a pair of La Scala's way back in the late 70's.   I loved them, particularly after I modded the crossovers and adopted the new (1980) mid driver.   They would be too large, but the Cornwall IV...   Hmmm.


@hedwigstheme, they don't have to be high efficiency, I just generally like the sound and dynamic contrasts of high efficiency speakers.   I've never heard of Gradient revolution, but I'm looking them up right after i hit send on this reply.


Thank you all.

some high sensitivity speakers:

brand name model price sensitivity impedance
Paradigm Premier 100B 399 90 8
Indiana TESI 261 450 91 4
Usher s-520 475 91 8
Klipsch RP-500M II 500 92 8
Tekton MINI LORE MONITOR  700 95 8
Indiana DIVA 262 800 91 4
Sonus Faber Lumina I 1000 90 4
Zu DWX 1398 95 8
Tekton DYNAMITE MONITOR 1700 92 4
Indiana DIVA 660 2100 91 8
Fyne F500SP 2300 90 8
Paradigm Founder 40B 2400 92 8
Triangle 40th Anniversary Comete EZ 2500 90 8
Zu Union 6 2900 99 8
Martin Logan ElectroMotion ESL 2800USD 3000 91 6
Klipsch Heritage Heresy IV 3200 99 8
Reference 3a MM DE CAPO BE MONITOR 3290 93 8
Creative Sound Solutions Criton 2TD-X Tower 3300 90 6
Nola Boxer 3 3500 90 8
Amphion Helium520/2 way vented 3600 90 4
JBL JBL 4329 4500 91 8
Devore Fidelity FIDELITY ORANGUTAN O/BABY 6000 90 8
Volti Razz LE 6500 97 6
Q Acoustics Concept 500 7000 90 6
Vienna Acoustics Concert Grand Reference 9900 90 4
Wharfedale Elysian 4 10000 92 4
Soundkaos Vox 3 10000 90 4
Totem Element Metal V2 10500 91 4
Sonner Legato Duo 12000 90 4
Zu druid 6 12500 101 8
Tekton 1812 MODEL V12 12570 104 4
Klipsch Heritage La Scala AK6 13000 105 8
Avantgarde  Uno 15000 107 18
Verity Audio Lakme 16000 91 8
Volti Vittoria 16500 104 6
Devore Fidelity FIDELITY GIBBON X “TEN”  17000 91 8.
Perlisten  S7T 18000 92 4
Paradigm Persona 9H 18500 96 8
Triangle Magellan Quatuor 20000 91 8
Usher td-10 22000 91 8
ProAc K10 23000 92 4

Definitely should check Audio Note Speakers. If you would like their speakers , Audio Note has some great sounding Integrated amps like the Oto and the Soro to go with their speakers. They also make fantastic DACs like the DAC 2.1x Sig and the DAC 3.1x/II Balanced. Audio Note makes everything ,so you can even try their cables.

@grislybutter - excellent resource in your response.

@noodlyarm : Dare I say you live in New York?  Well, I do, and I am in a similar set up in my apartment.  I recommend you give strong consideration to Audio Monitor Silver 500G 7 series (I believe 90.5 efficiency rating).  See below for my setup details.  Admittedly your budget is higher, but I chose the AM 500 7g after auditioning/listening to SF Lumina III, B&W 700 series options, Totems, and Focal 928.  I think the speed, resolution and soundstage of the AMs are great for the money, and even stood out from the (much) more expensive pack at the 2022 Toronto Audio show.  I like the synergy with with my Hegel.  


** Hegel 190 (did not do the firmware update as I hear it shifts audio level such that 40 would now play at like 70).  
** Monitor Audio 500 7G
** Pine Tree Audio Cables (6ft Iso-Quad Bi-Wire)
** Sources: Tidal via BubbleUpnP and Spotify


* Going slightly over budget for Revel Ultima Salon 2, since you could probably get this premier (slightly older speaker), though it's honestly probably too much speaker for your space.

* I've never personally heard Dyanaudio Contours and Confidence series but their price point and reviews seem to be compelling, on my short list to hear at some point.

* If you can find the avantgarde zero ta plus for that price point, it may blow you away, but hard to find and likely slightly more.  Amazing how after 15 minutes of listening the "horn" type of sound starts to normalize and then you wonder why they're not embraced more.

The Zu Floorstanders are flush to the wall.  I have the Dirty Weekenders, if that helps any.  Even the Omen monitors are just a few inches from the wall as they are on top of bookcases.



Easy! The Closer Acoustics OGY. They’re so criminally underrated that nobody mentioned them in this thread. You get the high efficiency, the point source and the front port. 

+1 for the Monitor Audio Silver 500 7G. Not only are they the least expensive full range speakers in Stereophile's Class A Full Range category, they have an amazing combination of speed, agility and non-fatiguing ease that is very appealing. Their dual port tunability makes them easy to place and voice in the bass and lower mids. They're easy to drive, and their finish options help with the SAF as well. I have the 300s, same speaker, 2X6 instead of 2X8 woofers, identical mids and tweets in a smaller room and couldn't be happier. 


Why not hang the speakers on the wall?   Take a look at the magnepan mci—- may be very wife appealing, and is dipole. 

Dipoles against the wall? Sanders 10e with 2 magtec amps. Includes active crossover and dsp for bass down to 20hz. No subwoofer needed.


Not so efficient, but the amps are very efficient. Some acoustic treatment advisable to get best sound. Decent waf. 

Worth a listen if you can find them 2nd hand. Almost in your budget brand new...

Thank you all for significantly broadening my search!   It’s the journey as much as it is the end, and I like the end a lot too!

I like the Audio Note speakers quite a bit.  They are reasonably efficient and designed for corner or near back wall placement.  The Gradient Revolutions are also great at near wall locations (very flexible because the bass section can be tuned for different placement situations), but, they are not that efficient.

Zu speakers are quite efficient and can be placed near the wall.  Zu speakers are very "fast" sounding and extremely lively, but, to some listeners (myself included) they sound quite harsh and edgy.  People into electronic music seem to favor these speakers.  

Another recommendation for the Audio Note speakers. I recently upgraded my old pair of AN-E LX to the AN-E LX Signature hemp and the difference is remarkable. I have mine placed in the corners of my room. If you find yourself in the DC area and want to take a listen let me know. 

I heard some AN speakers, not sure the model,  at THE Show a few weeks ago.  They were placed at the corners of the room and sounded great!  Top 5 of THE Show.

I recently moved up the Zu line from Soul VI to Druid V (not VI).  Outstanding speakers from a value/performance perspective...and they have a great WAF.  I'm thinking of selling my Soul VI if you're interested.

I have the same constraints, but specifically need corner placement. I had been focusing on AN speakers, but wound up demoing and placing an order for a pair of Charney Maestros. He has two for corner placement, and one for front wall placement. They are super sensitive, so cover that part of the brief as well. Since he makes them to order, I had them veneered to match the furniture in room, which is appreciated by both my wife and me.

Tannoy (second hand Stirling or Turnbury perhaps), Fyne and Klipsch all fit the bill imho, but the first 2 are very different from Klipsch.

Thanks Everyone.   Great suggestions that really broadened my thinking and approach.   I’m very intrigued with Zu and Audio Note.   Both look like good options.   Now I’ve got to figure out where to go to hear them in the S. Florida area.

When you say up against wall, which wall?  Are up against the front wall (the wide wall you look at while listening) or the side walls?  Two different strategies depending on which wall.  Up against side walls affects first reflection issues and a wide dispersion seeker might NOT be the best plan.  This is the one rare case where a narrow dispersion speaker can work better to keep sound off the side walls.  IF against the wider front wall AND you can get them away from side walls (meaning not in a corner), then wide dispersion is back on the option list so you can sit in a. larger area and still hear good sound.  

SO I work for them, as a caveat, as the US importer, but ATC developed a speaker for home theater I use myself at home.  I have an LCR of HTS40 passives.   This is a three way speaker that actually hangs on the wall.  They are serious speakers, but optimized to sound better mounting to the wall as tropically most speakers have too much bass once they are against a wall pr close to a wall.  ATC makes an entire range of hand made speakers that hang on walls called HTS.  Here's a link to the group so you can see what I mean:



The right speaker will be placed 6-7 feet from the side wall along the front wall (facing the stereo).   The left speaker will be about 8-10 feet from the right one (a long ways from the left wall).   All placements are theoretical at this moment until I get the speakers in here and start playing with them.

@lonemountain, thank you for the suggestion on ATC.   And thank you all for your thinking and suggestions.



Your list is flawed. There is no such thing as a LaScala AK6.


And I don’t think many here would consider 90 db as high efficiency. That’s more like average.

@ozzy62 you understanding of the word "flawed" is flawed. Same for high efficiency. But.... good effort.

@noodlyarm There is at least 1 Audio Note dealer in South Florida. You can find all their US dealers on the Audio Note website.

Two items you left out, is anything being placed between the speakers and can a pair of wing walls be built at the outside ends of each speaker. Reason for the wing walls is Audio Note speakers typically are placed in corners and the wing walls would create that while defining the space. Sounds like Zu would work best. Anything other than a low rack between the speakers may become another issue to resolve particularly if it is cabinetry. Not sure what your wife has in mind but it seems she has constraints on you for some reason.


there is no LaScala AK6.

And I never said there is. I spelled it correctly: "La Scala"

The AK6 was a typo from a review. Which is not a FLAW. But yes, there was ONE typo in my list from my database of 400 speakers.

You made a bigger mistake trying to correct me, when you couldn't spell La Scala. 

I am done with this kindergarten argument. You are just being difficult and vile. I spent 3 months putting together a database of speakers, entering data every weekend. I share it HERE  happily and freely when it's relevant to a question.

It seriously depresses me when I get a comment like this. Did you have a bad day? Are you taking it out on me? It did ruin my evening yesterday because I never acted in any bad way against you and yet your comment was demeaning and hurtful. 

Back to the basics: you have no clue what flawed means in terms of a database being flawed. A typo is not a flaw. I spent decades building software and database products that made great contributions to various industries, I know what flawed is vs quality is.

What's wrong with this world is belittling comments like yours.



You, my friend, are wound up tighter than Dick’s hat band.

Yes, it’s a typo. Hence, a flaw. Don’t let it keep you up at night. And no, 90 db is not high efficiency. It’s ok, not the end of the world. Thicker skin is surely required if you want to internet.

I just assumed everyone laughed seeing a comment about a long list being flawed because of a trivial typo. 

Another vote for the Charney Audio Maestro! Designed to be placed against or just off the wall depends on your room. Charney can have them finished any way you like or you can buy them naked and finish them yourself. Plus you have a choice of drivers from Lii, Voxativ, and AER to fit your budget and listening preferences. He also builds dacs, amps, preamps, and sells cd players and transports. Could be a one stop shop for you.


The actual flaw was referring to speakers of 90 db efficiency and a nominal four ohm load as “high sensitivity”. I’m sure you agree.



Sorry. But someone goes through the trouble of posting such an extensive list… one intended to allow someone to follow up and dig in to the details gets my respect, not criticism. 

While I am a scientist at heart, I really appreciate folks offering information. Not critical of a few details.

@ghdprentice The list perplexes me. Does the author of the list have any experience with the items? Furthermore, technical specs for speakers are bogus. Mr. Devore said that himself, and his speakers are typically high efficiency. You may as well walk into a Hi-Fi shop and ask for a catalog. I am not being sarcastic here. All Hi-Fi shops stand behind their products, so every available item for sale is curated in a sense. This is truer for small shops which can't carry much inventory. 

Salesmen can help you, that's what they do.