Cabasse Eole 4 Loudspeaker Page 2

The Eole 4 does fine work with the multichannel mix of Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle (Sky Cinema). In the gym scene where we meet our quartet of high school heroes, the space of the sports hall is conveyed well. Minor details such as squeaking shoes and distant chatter are dispersed throughout the soundfield, and dialogue through the centre channel carries the required echoey feel. It's natural and believable.

Soon after, the foursome unearth the Jumanji videogame in the school basement, and the film's sound designers get to work. Cabasse's Lipari sub is needed here, as the jungle drums build to a climax and fill the room. There's a crowd-pleasing level of depth and weight, again from an unassuming device, and it's not plagued by the overt boominess of some affordable woofers.

What's missing, though, is an extra dollop of slam. When Spencer (now Dwayne Johnson) lands hard on the jungle floor, the Lipari 21 doesn't have enough in its arsenal to give this moment the dynamic hit it deserves. It's a trait that's replicated throughout the movie, such as when the gang are besieged by rocket-firing motorcyclists. I wanted more punch from their weaponry.


That's not to say the woofer doesn't have its merits. It fulfils the role of rounding out the satellite channels, and despite there being a gap between where my Pioneer VSX-934 receiver (reviewed HCC #303) set its crossover (100Hz), and Cabasse's own low-frequency specification for the satellites (150Hz), everything meshes together well. It brings scale to musical scores and depth to onscreen action. And you can tuck it away out of sight.

The satellites are remarkably adept at throwing soundtrack details around and creating a cohesive whole. The opening beats of Shane Black's The Predator (Blu-ray) feature sci-fi effects slipping around the LCR and surrounds, and it's quite hard to believe it's all coming from the three balls flanking my flatscreen. Cabasse's claim of a very wide dispersion rings true. String elements in the orchestral score seem to hang high centre-stage, while alien spacecraft perform manoeuvres in my living room.

The Eole 4 is a great fit for stereo and multichannel music listening. Identical coaxial drivers all around mean there's a uniformity to its presentation, which leads to excellent imaging, and with the subwoofer typically not needed to be as aggressive as it is with film mixes (give or take the odd drum 'n' bass track), this six-pack sounds even better balanced. The acoustic instrumentation of Alice in Chains' light and summery No Excuses (Jar of Flies, Tidal Hi-Fi), with its delicate percussion and rimshots, benefits from the Eole 4's clarity and timing. It's a tight and lively delivery, with Layne Staley's vocal standing out.

Flexible Friends
There are bolder-sounding speaker packages available for less then the price here, with more of the low-end panache that makes movie-watching such a thrill. Yet few have the style and placement flexibility of the Eole 4 (the magnetic stand design is very clever), and this system's sonic performance impresses in other areas n

HCC Verdict

Cabasse Eole 4

Price: £900

We say: Cleverly designed sub/sat system that creates a bigger soundfield than you'll expect. Gorgeous looks and living room-friendly dimensions, but not the most attacking sound.

Overall: 4/5


Cabasse Eole 4
DRIVE UNITS: 1 x coaxial driver with 4in midbass and 1in tweeter
DIMENSIONS (excluding base): 130(w) x 130(h) x 130(d)mm
WEIGHT (excluding base): 1.4kg

Cabasse Lipari 21 (subwoofer)
DRIVE UNITS: 1 x 8.25in front-firing woofer
ENCLOSURE: Down-ported
DIMENSIONS: 390(w) x 390(h) x 150(d)mm
FEATURES: LFE input; volume, low pass filter and phase controls