McIntosh LS320 Bookshelf Speakers


  • 2-Way Bookshelf Loudspeaker
  • 1" Tweeter
  • 8" LD/HP Woofer
  • High Power Handling
  • Wide Dynamic Range
  • Crossover Frequency: 1.5kHz

User Reviews (1)

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Andrew   AudioPhile [Jul 23, 2016]

These speakers sound great. But you need to know more than that, which is why you are here reading this review. I know this because for about ten years I searched for meaningful reviews of these speakers, but only found the occasional "these sound great..." comments on various forums, but no description of what they sound like.

A pair of these in Black Ash came up on eBay for $700, and since I'd been wanting to hear them for years, I went ahead and bought them. Space my system consists of a McIntosh Mac 4300v, with a Marantz turntable, Musical Fidelity up-sampling CD Player and Arcam DVD/CD player with Audioquest King Cobra interconnects and Rockefeller speaker cables. The receiver outs out about 120W of clean, warm-sounding power.

Fit And Finish:

As with most McIntosh gear, these are solid, well-constructed speakers. You can look up the specs online. The grill frames are well-made with thin foam-type fabric stretched over them, and snap-in to receivers on the speakers. Although mine are used, the finish appears to wear well, and does not show any signs of use. The binding posts are gold plated, and you only get two in each speaker, so no bi-wiring or bi-amping. The black Ash finish has a wood grain texture. I wanted these in the light Cherry finish, but have come to like the black Ash.


Rich and full. Warm. Enveloping. Detailed sound with a smooth, sensual manner. Depending on the recording, the soundstage can be wide and deep, reaching to right in front of or even past your seating position. Instruments can sound as though they are three feet to the left or right of a speaker, and behind or in front of it. However, this all depends on the recording, and can be affected by your room size and seating location. By comparison, the "British sound" is more detailed, and can even seem to have more accurate instrument placement and scaling in the soundstage. However, I am left with a sense that I am hearing the music as it was intended to sound, not some novelty spatial trick that sounds neat at first, but wears your ears out over time. These speakers only go down to 80hz without a subwoofer, so you may find that area of performance lacking. My living situation is such that I can't crank up too much bass, so they are fine for me. I will add that these speakers play loud. Really loud. And, are designed to be loud without distortion.


I listen to a variety of styles ranging from Pavarotti to The Rolling Stones. These speakers seem to correctly convey the weight of plucked strings or even the smack of a kick drum with just enough thump to sound like it's in the room, instruments sound real, not strained, vocals sound like they are standing in front of you. Percussion is lively and dynamics are conveyed very well - hand drums, bells, etc. sound lifelike. Of course, as previously mentioned, some recordings just don't have a unique sound, but still sound really good. Things like soundstage, dynamics, spatial placement of instruments will depend largely on how the original recordings were prepared.

Overall, I highly recommend these speakers at this point in their lifespan. Having been out for over 15 years, bargains can be had, and for the money, they sound amazing.

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