The Hansen Audio Prince V2 speaker's liquid curves and physical presence demands respect--it all but shouts "this is very serious audiophilia," made for those with ears who appreciate the very best. Well, not just ears, but the means to indulge their vices. The 42 inch high speaker is small enough to fit in an apartment, at least an apartment with floors that can support the 540 pound weight of a pair of these $39,000 speakers.
Fellow Brooklynite Wes Bender, Hansen Audio's Senior Director and National Sales Manager, had me over to audition the speakers. Too bad he didn't have the top of the line King V2s that run $84K a pair, but if that's too rich for you, the Elixirs will set you back a mere $18K. So you see high-end audio is not so different than high-end cars... Lamborghini's new supercar, the Reventon is fourteen times more expensive then the fastest Corvette, but only a little bit faster. That wasn't a problem for Lamborghini, the entire production run sold out before the car was even built. Hansen Audio is likewise pushing the limits of what's possible in speaker design, and that's an inherently expensive proposition. Get over it.
Every aspect of these speakers' design was conceived with performance in mind, so that means not only are most of the drivers designed, engineered, and built in Hansen's Canadian factory; extraordinary efforts were expended on the speaker cabinets to better serve the sound. Which in the case of speakers, the best cabinet is the dead cabinet (acoustically inert), so the only sound you hear with Hansen speakers is the sound created by their drivers. Mass market speakers never get close to that ideal, their cabinets' "sing along" with the drivers, substantially coloring the sound.
The Hansen speakers' paint job also deserves special mention, it's the only element of the design not handled directly by Hansen. It's outsourced to a world famous luxury car manufacturer's factory in Toronto. Painting a pair of speakers takes five days and is a sixteen step process.
The "Hansen Composite Matrix" cabinet is a three-layer composite formulation (proprietary to Hansen) -- each layer is a different thickness from the other. Hansen's "Cloaking Device," the forth and final layer and is applied by hand to the internal cabinet. This sort of no holds barred design fanaticism is what separates high-end from mass-market brands, the drive to make the very best at any cost. … Read more