The Hifi + Awards : Loudspeaker of the Year

Cost-No-Object Loudspeaker of the Year: Raidho Acoustics TD-4.8

An interesting aside: this year’s shortlist of cost-no-object loudspeakers ultimately came down to two models; the Raidho TD-4.8 and the Raidho XT-5 (tested in issue 165). The company is clearly doing something very right!

A big part of that ‘something’ is assembling the right team for the job. And in Raidho’s case, a lot of that comes down to the recent hiring of Benno Baun Meldgaard as chief designer for the company. The exceptional musicality he brought to GamuT’s products clearly was no accident, and his impact on the sound of the already-excellent Raidho range is adding further depth to the design. In fact, we think Raidho is the front runner in a true European high-end audio renaissance, with products that challenge even the greatest the American high-end has to offer.

The tall, slim, and extremely elegant three-way, nine-driver floorstanders require an exceptionally large room and outstanding partnering equipment, and are capable of delivering the sort of full-range performance that justifies their place at the top table of hi-fi.

In our test, we thought that the Raidho TD-4.8 “makes music supremely intelligible, in a way few other loudspeakers can. Vocal articulation is a given, but so is the articulation of the voices of all instruments. There’s no sense of ‘is that a bass clarinet?’ to music; one quick blast of the Raidho TD‑4.8 and you’ll know precisely what type of instrument is being played, almost to the point of knowing what kind of reed the musician prefers.” That might seem like hyperbole, until you sit and listen to the TD-4.8 played well, and realise that detailed insight into the music is compelling and powerful. So powerful, in fact, you’ll struggle to tear yourself away: “turning the track off was an act of musical barbarism. Pick an album, play track one, intending to listen to only that track. Five tracks later you are still mesmerised and reaching for the ‘Stop’ button is like disrespecting the music itself.” Wow, just wow!