Loudspeakers

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Ed Selley  |  Jul 15, 2011  |  0 comments
Mini the Minx Adrian Justins experienced the bite of this tiny terrier 5.1 sub/sat system

At first glance, the Minx looks no more remarkable than the speakers you get with an all-in-one home cinema system made by various Korean or Japanese mass market brands. But we need to look West rather than East in seeking a comparison: think Bose rather than Sony or LG and you get the idea.

Ed Selley  |  Jul 07, 2011  |  0 comments
Diamonds are forever Adam Rayner runs some old classics through B&W's 800 Series Diamond speakers – and finds new levels of enjoyment

The 800 Series from Bowers & Wilkins has for a long time been the weapon of utter perfection and choice for some of the world’s most demanding sound engineers – because monitoring what exactly you are making in a recording studio is crucial. You want utter fidelity, not a brash and boastful presentation that makes everything sound fabulous in the studio, but then leaves it all a bit damp and frayed around the edges when not heard on such flattering speakers.

Ed Selley  |  Jul 07, 2011  |  0 comments
Mighty miniatures Canton may be a company with a large reputation, but it understands small speakers, nonetheless. Ed Selley gets to grips with the dinky Movie CD 105

Canton has been making sub/sat packages for as long as the concept has been a recognised phenomenon. Its current Movie range features no fewer than 10 separate packages, of which the £500 CD 105 tested here is towards the lower end of the price structure – although there are less expensive models than this.

Ed Selley  |  Jun 17, 2011  |  0 comments

Pioneer’s efforts as a speaker manufacturer can often be overlooked in favour of its more widely recognised efforts in electronics and the great – if doomed – Kuro plasma project. Despite this, the Japanese giant has produced a number of interesting designs over the years and, in both construction and performance, its high-end TAD models are on par with most rival high-end speakers. Some of this thinking has been making its way down to less rarefied price points and more than a bit of it can be found inside the S-71 series tested here.

Ed Selley  |  Jun 17, 2011  |  0 comments
Vento 5.1 feeds a craving for power Fine engineering, high-quality sonics. Adam Rayner is impressed

German loudspeaker brand Canton was one heck of a startup, having hit the deck running back in 1972, with 35 folks all busily making what they knew to be terribly posh speakers. Meanwhile, Acoustic Energy, as I recall, started with just three blokes.

Ed Selley  |  May 28, 2011  |  0 comments
5.1-bung jumper adds bounce Adam Rayner reveres Scandinavian engineering and tweaks a-plenty

I was once lucky enough to go to Sweden to make a TV show about tractor pulling. Blokes go along, eat smoked eels, get drunk with true determination, then hoot and holler while mad tractors fling mud around, and some announcer shouts: ‘Fuuuull Puuuull!'

Ed Selley  |  May 28, 2011  |  0 comments
Yeehaw! Big sound is over here Danny Phillips gets to grips with some giant US-made cabinets

US brand EMP Tek was founded as recently as 2007, but was set up by audio boffins with over 30 years’ experience, designing speakers for esteemed names such as ParaSound, McIntosh and JBL. They’ve been brought to the UK by distributor Aldous Systems, which has set the ball rolling with the Impression series. Although this range includes four off-the-peg packages, this 7.1-channel system has been pieced together from the individual components. The tower speakers used for the front and rear channels are the E55Ti, a slightly taller version of the E5Ti towers, but offering greater power handling than their shorter siblings.

Ed Selley  |  May 28, 2011  |  0 comments
Squeal of approval Adam Rayner worships at the church of THX and the surround sound spec that’s become the gold standard for serious speakers

To be fully THX approved, every single aspect of the system that plays a movie has to meet the THX criteria – and pay a fee to wear the coveted badge. The certification on the Jamo D500/D500 SUR speakers is proudly reproduced in their printed manuals. It’s THX Select2, signalling they are a bit less intense than Ultra2 and designed to better suit European living spaces.

Ed Selley  |  Apr 02, 2011  |  0 comments
KEF’s new sub/sat array is done to a T Kevin Gallucci usually prefers his speakers to be made from hollowed-out tree trunks, but he's ready to make an exception for KEF's T-Series

KEF’s new T-Series range of home cinema speakers are definitely a sign of the times. They’ve been designed with a clear purpose in mind – to be an aesthetic match to newer, thinner, flatscreen TVs, enabling buyers to couple their hi-def movies with authentic 5.1 sound without their living room looking like a branch of Sevenoaks. The question is: has KEF sold out? Can these skinny speakers deliver the audio quality that everyone knows the brand is capable of?

Alvin Gold  |  Apr 02, 2011  |  0 comments

The popularity of this type of compact speaker package has mostly been driven by the switch from CRTs to flatscreen TVs.

Ed Selley  |  Mar 07, 2011  |  0 comments
Fit kit to die for Danny Phillips is blown away by this well-built system’s way with music and dynamic film soundtracks

Neo V2 is a pimped-up version of Acoustic Energy’s original Neo system, which is named after Neodymium, the material from which its driver magnets are made.

Danny Philips  |  Feb 15, 2011  |  0 comments

Most people wouldn’t expect to pay over £2K for a compact speaker system, but then Monitor Audio’s Apex is anything but average. It’s a slice of pure audio luxury, with each speaker housed in a precision-engineered enclosure and furnished with some of the best driver tech MA has to offer.

Ed Selley  |  Jan 27, 2011  |  0 comments
Timing is of the essence Alvin Gold praises a uniquely different type of speaker system

This is not the first time we’ve auditioned Eclipse’s speakers, but there have been changes made to the system, in particular the TD712 main/satellite speaker, which demand a new look. Plus, this the first time that a complete 5.1 channel system based on the latest and greatest models in the range have all been available in one place at one time. And let’s not forget that the Eclipse proposition is unique – a much misused word, but completely justified in this case.

Ed Selley  |  Jan 19, 2011  |  0 comments
Incredible speaker vanishing act Martyn Williams auditions a totally invisible, full-range home cinema speaker system

There are plenty of ‘almost’ invisible systems about, but Stealth Acoustics has produced a range of flat panel speakers which cover all ranges and can all be flush-fitted into a wall.

Ed Selley  |  Nov 30, 2010  |  0 comments
Bipolar expedition Adam Rayner's golden ears revel in the wide sound field delivered by these flatscreen-friendly floorstanders

In my time, I have reviewed some monstrous speakers. Whether this is as a result of my golden ears, or because I am big and ugly and can unpack big soundboxes, is moot. Some of the largest and most luxurious have been bipoles.

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