Are there any hifi (2.1) speakers that are good with speech and music ?

Discussion in 'What Speakers Should I Buy?' started by stonyb, Jan 7, 2012.

  1. stonyb

    stonyb
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    I am having great difficulty finding hifi 2.1 speakers that are very good with both speech (radio/TV) and music (classical).

    Have auditioned several speakers including the Spendor SA1 which was quite good with speech, but with music they could get a little bright/harsh with upper register female vocals, also the lower bass frequencies are missing - not surprising given their small size.

    Its a very tall order but if anyone has suggestions as to a very musical speaker which is equally good with speech I would be pleased to hear.

    My amp is Arcam 9. My room means that speakers have to be very close to both back and side walls - so rear ported spkrs are not on and bass heavy ones are also not suitable.

    I would prefer stand-mounts if poss.but.........

    Budget is c £ 1.5 -2.0 K
     
  2. Jules

    Jules
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    I always believe a speakers midrange is the key here, and from my experience Kef speakers always do well with midrange.

    I'm a big fan of Kef's uni-Q driver (as found in the Q series and above) where the tweeter sits in the middle of the bass driver. This arrangement in itself seams to lend itself well to consistent vocal performance.

    Check out Kef Q300.

    Other speakers I can vouch for their great mid range performance include Mordaunt Short Mezzo.
     
  3. BlueWizard

    BlueWizard
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    I can't say whether the Kef Uni-Q are especially good in this area, but midrange is certainly the key.

    Bass can give weight to a speakers sound, and crisp treble can give a real sense of presence to the music, but for voice, clarity and detail in the midrange makes all the difference.

    If you have a chance, as well as the Kef speakers, try to listen to some Focal 700 series or 800 series. These are not cheap speakers, but the detail and clarity are stunning, and in my view, from a couple of auditions, the midrange is very present.

    Myself, though you may have a specific need for it, I would prefer to put the considerable cost of a Subwoofer into my front speakers.

    In your price range, consider -

    Focal 836 - Google Search

    Dali Ikon 6 - Google Search

    or

    Dali Ikon 7 - Google Search

    The Dali Ikon 7 is just the Dali Ikon 6 in a larger cabinet with the addition of a dedicated midrange speaker.

    You do present something of a dilemma though. Though I'm not a big female vocalist fan, that is one of the most difficult things to reproduce. I've heard some speakers that sound stunning in every respect, but they were like ice picks in my ears for powerful female vocalists.

    Though well below your budget, you might also want to give a listen to the Monitor Audio Silver RX8 speakers. Recently someone auditioned the RX6 vs the larger RX8 and though there was a world of difference, and that the RX8 stood well above the very similar RX6.

    Over your budget (£2300/pr), but the Monitor Audio Gold GX200 might serve you.

    Having auditioned the Focal 836 twice, I can say I was blown away by the stunning clarity and detail of these speakers. The bass especially was rendered to perfection. For the first time in listening to a speaker, I heard Bass Guitar in intimate detail as opposed to just generic bass.

    But again, for the clarity of voice, you want detail and presence in the midrange.

    Steve/bluewizard
     
  4. stonyb

    stonyb
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    BlueWizard: - Thanks for your thoughts. I've not thought about Focals since the local stockist disappeared, but I will follow up your suggestion. So far my auditioning has been Spendor SA1 and 3, and ProAc Response D2 and D18 - all very good speakers in their way but not quite the combination I'm seeking although the ProAc D18 seem the best combination up till now.

    My existing speakers are venerable 3 way Radford Tristars (similar sound I understand to the Spendor BC1)- open, very musical with a super midrange for orchestral and classical music vocals, but a little uncontrolled in the bass and not good with speech harmonics - .
     
    Last edited: Jan 7, 2012
  5. eaglemmoomin

    eaglemmoomin
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    If Spendor is not quite there then you could try Neat Motive 2se/Motive 1 or perhaps Neat Petite SX (stand mount), Neat Elite SX or Neat Momentum 3 (stand mount).
     
  6. Mr Andy

    Mr Andy
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    I have Tannoy speakers with the same layout and like them. The floor standers seemed to sound a bit better then some if I wasn't in the ideal position. I figured this would be handy for the centre speaker as it's lower then the left and right (I hope that makes sense)
     

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