To Doug Schneider,

Although their product seems too far out of my price range, I've been interested in finding out how they perform. I've sent them an e-mail asking them to publish frequency-response curves but it fell on deaf ears. Have you ever consulted with them about testing one of their products? They appear to be well made despite their "high-end advertising" lingo.


Whenever Hansen Audio gets mentioned, question marks start appearing in my mind, since they're such an odd brand, at least to us. We saw them arrive several years ago and inquired about a review then, but what we received from them was a brief note saying that we were welcome to review their speakers at their factory -- something we don't do. Since then, I've only seen their speakers at shows. One time I vividly recall was when their Grand Master 2 was introduced at CES 2009. If memory serves me, it cost close to a quarter-million dollars for a pair -– an awful lot of money for a basically unknown speaker company. If we'd given out an award that year for ugliest speaker on the planet, that one would have won. The sound wasn't much better -- I listened to the GM2 for a bit and didn't hear anything that would warrant even a fraction of that outrageous price. Were they serious? What were they trying to achieve with it? It's moves like these that put the question marks in my head.

Reviews of their speakers seem few and far between, and measurements of them seem scarcer. The only thing I could find credible was a 2008 review and a subsequent follow-up article of their Prince V2 model on I couldn't tell from Wes Phillips's or Michael Fremer's comments about it if they really liked the speaker or not, but the measurements that John Atkinson made did seem rather poor for a speaker that retails for $39,000 per pair. Perhaps that's why Hansen wasn't too interested in sending speakers to us, since we use NRC's facilities for our tests, which can be ruthlessly revealing.

Time will tell if the company will pony up and send something to us for review, though that's even probably more doubtful, given my candid comments about what I've experienced so far. Still, even though I can't say I'm a fan of the way their speakers look, I'm open enough to want to know more about their sound, particularly if it differs from what I've heard at shows. I've been known to change my mind if something blows me away. But that review would have to happen in my own listening room. If we did that, we'd certainly measure them and offer up some frequency-response charts that could prove interesting and, perhaps, help get some of those question marks in my mind to go away and see if any of that high-end advertising you mentioned holds up under scrutiny. . . . Doug Schneider