Great news from the United States of America! You can actually buy Golden Ears; hearing is believing. And that is exactly what we are going to do with this set of monitor speakers or bookshelves. Because golden ears, that’s what we all want, don’t we?
Golden Ear is the loudspeaker brand founded in 2010 by experienced brains from the American audio world… Sandy Gross was the figurehead. Gross graduated from the famous Johns Hopkins University (Baltimore, Maryland) in the early 1970s. As a student he bought and sold audio equipment and when he graduated, his head followed his heart to the music scene; recording, amplifying bands ánd making speakers.
He did all this together with Matt Polk and George Klopfer. It grew into the speaker brand… Polk. In those early days the Audio Research dealers in the country drove around with the first generations of Polk floorstanding speakers. In the back of a Volvo. Sounds like a fine 70’s movie and it is. Polk became very popular with the American public because of its good price/quality ratio. Gross left Polk in 1988 and after a short adventure in the film industry he became involved in Definitive Technology. Having more or less reached retirement age, he founded Golden Ear in 2010. This company was acquired by Audioquest in 2020. Sandy Gross has since left the company. The Golden Ear Reference BRX monitors are the latest product developed by Gross.
Gross is a speaker builder, all his working life. A specialist and an entrepreneur who has remained close to his roots. Just like Nelson Pass, who builds ‘just amps’. In an interview with Stereophile, Sandy Gross talks about his design philosophy of speakers. Each new speaker is designed as if it were allowed to cost roughly $50,000, so cost no object. Once that’s done, the designers explore ways to reduce production costs. So not a cabinet made of aluminum, but of other materials that are easier to work with and yet have mass. And this is also the reason why more expensive parts remain in the end product after all. For example: the Air Motion Transformer tweeter costs about 8 times as much as a conventional tweeter. The AMT can be found in every Golden Ear loudspeaker, and we see it in the Reference BRX Bookshelf as well.
At the latest
The BRX Reference speakers have a compact design: they are small cabinets; 30 cm high and 20.5 cm wide. What’s special is that they are narrower at the front than at the back. At 5.5 kg they are also not very heavy. The finish is beautiful, with glossy black lacquer and rounded corners. The AMT tweeter contrasts nicely with the black lacquer. The driver for the middle and low comes from the Triton Reference series. On the sides we see two 6.5″ passive drivers that should give the bass an extra push.