The BBC LS3/5a was originally designed to be a portable monitor, a speaker that BBC recording engineers could rely on while broadcasting or recording. To be truly portable, the speakers had to be small, yet musically accurate and well built. The speakers quickly became bestsellers when audiophiles and music lovers heard them. Unfortunately, the makers of the drivers stopped producing them, and for decades, the LS3/5a was only available on the used market.
Audio Space, a Hong Kong company with manufacturing in China, decided to revive the legend. Working very closely with BBC, Audio Space now builds all the drivers and enclosures to BBC’s specifications, and has received official licencing to name it the LS3/5a.
I’ve owned at least 4 pairs over the years. The LS3/5a has a magical midrange that is so musical and seductive. Placed away from the walls, the speakers completely disappear. The sound is clear, neutral, organic with a touch of softness. There is no deep bass, but for vocals, small jazz and classical ensembles, you don’t miss it. The mid bass bump lends a richness to the sound that belies the small size of the speakers.
LS3/5a speakers have been the reference of many top reviewers, not to mention the vast library of recordings and broadcasts that they’ve been responsible for. If you’ve never heard a pair, or have been thinking of buying a pair of bookshelf speakers, please do yourself a favour and listen to these. You will see why they are legendary.