Until recently, even the best-sounding speakers resembled R2-D2 hiding in a wastebasket. But a design renaissance has swept audioland, with everyone from Dr. Dre to Bowers & Wilkins pushing the aesthetics of sound components. The most striking example we’ve found: Avantgarde Acoustic’s Trio Classico—a 5-foot-tall assemblage of injection-molded horns and German-engineered audiophile geekery. Each made-to-order unit blends the benefits of old-school horn design—efficiency, range, nuance—with hi-fi opulence like 27-ohm voice coils, 12-pound magnets, and Kevlar midrange cones coated in trillions of microscopic fibers to absorb high-frequency distortion. It’s like a live concert in a Henry Moore sculpture. Of course, people who can afford these can hire their own orchestra.