These $200,000 speakers billed as “world’s best” may also be “world’s ugliest”

Alexandria XLFNot everyone is happy to have a massive pair of floor-standing speakers dominate their living room in the pursuit of audio nirvana, and convincing an uncooperative partner that it’s a sacrifice that needs to be made is a difficult one. Speaker manufacturers understand this could be a problem, and many make beautifully designed, subtle speaker systems that will please both parties.

Wilson Audio, however, has done no such thing with its newest speaker, the Alexandria XLF. Announced at the tail end of 2011, the XLFs are a continuation of the company’s Series 2 speakers, just larger and with 14-percent more bass.

The huge enclosures are best described as man-sized, as they stand 178 cm (70-inches) tall and weigh an astonishing 297 kilos (655 pounds) each. Pull off the covers are the reason for this massive weight becomes obvious. There are two woofers — one 13-inch and one 15-inch — two 7-inch midrange drivers, a 1-inch tweeter and finally, a 1-inch super tweeter.

Billed as the “world’s best speaker” by Wilson Audio, who could be biased, the Alexandria XLFs are the brainchild of Dave Wilson, founder of Utah-based company, which has made quite a name for itself amongst audiophiles over the years.

The workmanship and attention to detail that has gone into making the XLFs is incredible, from designing an entirely new tweeter when off-the-shelf products weren’t cutting it, to spending a week’s worth of 8-hour shifts just to mill the pieces needed to form a single channel. The name comes from the inclusion of a Cross Load Firing port, where either a forward or rear-firing bass port can be selected to tune the speakers to their environment.

It’s the design that will split opinion though, as no matter how perfectly tuned that segmented cabinet may be, it’s not the most attractive we’ve seen.

The Alexandria XLF speakers are made to order, so any color can be specified to match your room’s decor, and — brace yourselves — a pair costs $200,000. That’s before you’ve spent any money on an amp man enough to drive them, too. They’ve been available in the US since late March, and made their European debut this week.

Emerging Tech

Awesome Tech You Can’t Buy Yet: 1-handed drone control, a pot that stirs itself

Check out our roundup of the best new crowdfunding projects and product announcements that hit the web this week. You may not be able to buy this stuff yet, but it sure is fun to gawk!

From Rolls-Royce to Lamborghini, these are the most expensive cars in the world

If you recently discovered an oil reserve in your backyard, you probably have some extra cash to spend. Look no further, because we’ve rounded up the most expensive cars in the world.

Samsung Galaxy S10 could nix the notch in favor of a "punch hole" cutout

While we still may be months away from an announcement, there's no doubt about it: Samsung is working hard on its successor to the Galaxy S9. Here's everything we know about the upcoming Samsung Galaxy S10.
Movies & TV

Winter coming in spring? HBO reveals 'Game of Thrones' season 8 premiere date

With the eighth and final season looming, Game of Thrones fever has officially become a pandemic. Our list of all the relevant news and rumors will help make the wait more bearable, if you don't mind spoilers.

The world’s first smartglasses showrooms open in Brooklyn and Toronto

Canadian startup North is hoping smartglasses will be the next big wearable. After announcing its new Focals smartglasses in October, the company opened product showrooms in Brooklyn and Toronto.
Movies & TV

Out of movies to binge? Our staff picks the best flicks on Hulu right now

From classics to blockbusters, Hulu offers some great films to its subscribers. Check out the best movies on Hulu, whether you're into charming adventure tales or gruesome horror stories.
Product Review

Cut cable and keep quality with TiVo's 4K-friendly Bolt OTA DVR

Free over-the-air programming isn’t available in 4K, so why would you want a 4K OTA DVR? We’ll discuss what makes the new TiVo Bolt OTA a viable choice for cord-cutters with 4K UHD TVs who want to get ahead of the game.

Here are the best 4K TV deals for November 2018

There's no doubt that a good 4K smart TV is the best way to take your home entertainment setup to the next level to enjoy all your favorite shows, movies, and games in glorious Ultra HD. We've got the best 4K TV deals right here.
Movies & TV

The best new movie trailers: ‘Buster Scruggs,’ ‘Missing Link,’ ‘Mowgli’ and more

Everyone loves a good trailer, but keeping up with what's new isn't easy. That's why we round up the best ones for you. This week, it's new trailers for The Ballad of Buster Scruggs and Mortal Engines, and the first trailer for Missing…
Movies & TV

The best movies on Amazon Prime right now (November 2018)

Prime Video provides subscribers with access to a host of fantastic films, but sorting through the catalog can be an undertaking. Luckily, we've done the work for you. Here are the best movies on Amazon Prime Video right now.
Movies & TV

Best new shows and movies to stream: ‘Room 104,’ German thriller ‘Beat,’ and more

Need something to watch this weekend? Check out our list of the best new shows and movies to stream right now. On the list this week: Room 104 returns for a second season, Robert the Bruce fights for Scotland's throne, and more.
Movies & TV

'Prime'-time TV: Here are the best shows on Amazon Prime right now

There's more to Amazon Prime than free two-day shipping, including access to a number of phenomenal shows at no extra cost. To make the sifting easier, here are our favorite shows currently streaming on Amazon Prime.
Home Theater

LG price cuts on C8 OLED TVs for Black Friday are more of a sliver than a slash

LG cut prices on its vaunted C8 series OLED TVs, but the deals aren't as good as last year, and therefore are less compelling. Still, if you're in the market for a new TV this year, we still suggest giving these deals a serious look.
Home Theater

Looking for a podcast? Pandora’s Podcast Genome Project is just the ticket

Pandora has created a brand new service for podcast listeners. Powered by calls the Podcast Genome Project, the new podcast offering uses an advanced combination of algorithms and human curation to deliver the perfect podcasts for you.