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The Best Hi-Fi Headphones and Speakers, All American Made

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These domestic brands craft some of the most beautiful audio products on the planet.

Photo By Cam Oden

What are the biggest audio companies you know, and where do they produce speakers and headphones? Bose manufactures in Mexico; Sony, all around Asia; and Sonos, in Malaysia. The reality is most of the audio companies you’re familiar with, American-based or otherwise, don’t manufacture in the States. Why? It’s really expensive.

There are American-made audio brands, though — a lot of them. They just don’t mass-produce products. Instead, these companies focus on high-end audio equipment that strikes a chord with the audiophile community.

“It doesn’t matter where you make something if it is stamped out by a machine,” says Neil Patel, president of Colorado’s Avalon Acoustics, which puts out some of the world’s most expensive loudspeakers. “When your creations are handcrafted, the designers and builders become critically important.”

Check out some of our favorite companies making some of the finest audio products on the planet — and doing so stateside.

YG Acoustics

YG Acoustics is an American audio company specializing in reference-quality loudspeakers. Lee Shelly

Location: Denver, Colorado

Founded: 2002

For the past 20 years, YG Acoustics has specialized in extremely high-end floor-standing speakers that reproduce the “being there” concert experience. Its speakers aren’t tuned or artificially manipulated in any way. Instead, they “simply convey the recording – nothing more, nothing less,” according to Yoav Geva, president of YG Acoustics. “As such, they work with any type of music, and in fact, many other audio manufacturers have purchased YG Acoustics speakers to use as their reference when testing other equipment.” (Fun fact: one pair of YG Acoustics’s flagships speakers, named Sonja, can go for over $100,000.)

Grado Labs

Grado’s Preside line of headphones are more affordable than you might think, starting at $99. Grado Labs

Location: Brooklyn, New York

Founded: 1953

The third-generation family-owned company is best known for its flagship pair of hi-fi headphones, the PS1000. All its headphones are made in Brooklyn with the same meticulous craftsmanship found in high-end watchmakers. “Our headphones are used by hundreds of recording engineers because we build Grados to accurately reproduce what is in the recording,” says John Grado, owner and CEO of Grado Labs. “We feel if someone wants to hear what the recording engineer heard and recorded, our headphones are correct for all genres of music.”


McIntosh’s high-end products are known for their signature blue and green glow. McIntosh

Location: Binghamton, New York

Founded: 1949

McIntosh is synonymous with hi-fi everything: wireless speakers, amplifiers, receivers, headphones and turntables. And it’s all meant to last. “It’s not unheard of for some of our products from 40-plus years ago to still be used today with little or no service work performed on them,” says Charlie Randall, president and CEO of McIntosh. “Our products are often treated as family heirlooms and are handed down from one generation to the next.”


Klipsch makes new-age versions of its iconic Heritage line of speakers even today. Klipsch

Location: Hope, Arkansas

Founded: 1946

Klipsch has specialized in home and professional audio systems since 1946. Its Reference and Heritage line speakers, including the Heresy IVs pictured at the top this story, are known for high efficiency and low distortion — and for being really loud. “The Klipsch signature sound is not ‘tuned’ for American music,” says Mark Casavant, Klipsch’s SVP of global brand and business development. “Our speakers are voiced for all genres of music — for a neutral, yet dynamic accuracy in sound reproduction. Our goal is a natural sound that moves the listener emotionally.”

Avalon Acoustics

Avalon Acoustics’ Legacy line of loudspeakers are as striking as they are expensive.Avalon Acoustics

Location: Boulder, Colorado

Founded: 1989

“Avalon Acoustics’s clientele are rarely beginners: they are sophisticated and cultivated music lovers seeking the purity and truth of the original performances they know so well,” says Neil Patel, CEO, designer and president of Avalon Acoustics. The Rocky Mountain–based audio company crafts innovative and design-focused loudspeakers, some of which command a few grand, while others are among the most expensive speakers on the planet. But, as Patel explains, you’re paying for “an unsurpassed musical experience.”

Andover Audio

The Andover One is the company’s flagship all-in-one turntable. It costs $2,000.Andover Audio

Location: Andover, Massachusetts

Founded: 2012

Andover Audio specializes in high-end all-in-one turntables. Traditionally, these plug-and-play machines — the turntable, amplifier, preamplifier and speakers are built into the same box — are cheap and frowned upon by audiophiles because their natural design leads to distortion. However, Andover Audio’s models are integrated with its patent-pending “Isogroove” technology that drastically reduces distortion-causing vibrations. The result is the Andover One, a $2,000 all-in-one turntable that sounds as good as it looks.

Zu Audio

Zu Audio’s Soul 6s are mid-format floorstanding loudspeakers. A pair costs $6,200. Zu Audio

Location: Ogden, Utah

Founded: 2000

Zu Audio’s headquarters can be found about 40 miles north of Salt Lake City. The company focuses on beautifully designed full-range single-driver loudspeakers that are fairly easy to drive but, as GP noted in a story about US-made passive speakers, “your choice of solid-state, tubes, or class D amplification will have a significant impact on the final sound.” Zu’s loudspeaker line ranges from bookshelf-sized to floorstanders. All have wooden cabinets and are made in the USA.