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Monitor Audio BR2

MONITOR AUDIO BRONZE BR2

Hi-Fi World - January 2009 issue

 

 

BEAUTIFULLY BRONZE

 

monitor-audio-br2

 


 


 

Monitor Audio's Bronze range BR2s are beautifully finished for a £200 loudspeaker. They look as if they might cost twice as much. The veneer looks authentic and the metallic surrounds are smooth and slickly contoured. The 165mm bass driver has a silver finish Metal Matrix Polymer cone, refined by Finite Element Analysis Monitor Audio say. Above it sits a 25mm bronze finish C-Cam (ceramic coated aluminum magnesium) tweeter. The cabinets are 350mm high, 185mm wide and 250mm deep, weighing 5.8kgs. They will fit a shelf, which the front ports facilitate, or a stand. The rear carries a set of gold plated bi-wire terminals that accept 4mm plugs. Monitor claim 90dB sensitivity but no small loudspeaker manages this. Their vast Platinum 300 is rated (correctly) at 90dB and the BR2 could hardly equal it. We measured 86dB, much as expected for the cabinet size, meaning they will provide good volume with 40 Watts or more.

The rear carries a set of gold plated bi-wire terminals that accept 4mm plugs. Monitor claim 90dB sensitivity but no small loudspeaker manages this. Their vast Platinum 300 is rated (correctly) at 90dB and the BR2 could hardly equal it. We measured 86dB, much as expected for the cabinet size, meaning they will provide good volume with 40 Watts or more.

SOUND QUALITY

The BR2s have a crisp open sound that is characteristic of good metal cone drivers. It is an obvious character trait, one that makes most competitors sound a little challenged in terms of apparent clarity. Tracey Chapman's voice was chiseled out centre stage in convincing fashion singing Fast Car, but she was brightly lit. This gentle enhancement sounded a trifle questionable with Renee Fleming singing Madame Butterfly, if it was perhaps more acceptable with Rock.

The BR2s image well, pushing a performance well out of the box and into the room, in a nice arc over and beyond the loudspeakers. Only did port colouration, heard as box 'boof' serve to anchor it subjectively to the loudspeakers, a peculiar but not uncommon psycho-acoustic phenomenon that often afflicts front ported loudspeakers. Unfortunately, this raises the subject of bass quality and this was the one area where the BR2 struggled a little. Subjectively, it has well formed and rhythmic upper bass, but lower bass proved a little turgid, distortion measurement suggesting bass doubling as the cause. At the other end of the spectrum though the BR2 had open and sweet sounding treble that made cymbals, triangle hi-hats ring beautifully, and also added to the general air of open spaciousness the loudspeaker possesses in abundance and is, subjectively, a very strong card. The BR2s well demonstrate Monitor Audio's cone technology, having a sparkling clear sound that is at the same time easy on the ear. There are flaws, but at the price they are an impressive package.

verdict 4

A crisp, open sounding loudspeaker that impresses with Rock and Classical.


MONITOR AUDIO BRONZE BR2 £200

+44 (0)1268 740580

www.monitoraudio.co.uk

FOR
- clear midband
- fast sound
- excellent treble

AGAINST
- port colouration
- turgid low bass
- a trifle 'shiny' sounding

MEASURED PERFORMANCE

Frequency response of the BR2 undulates, suggesting colour, but it is basically flat, with a slight lowering of energy above 4kHz that will soften the sound slightly. There is a sharp peak above 16kHz but this will not be apparent unless music contains high energy here - rare. Bass output is smooth and well extended downward, especially by the broadly tuned port, which was +6dB up on forward output at 80Hz. Unfortunately, there's a lot of box noise from the front ports, lying in a broad peak around 1kHz (red trace).The BR2's 10mS decay spectrum was very clean at high frequencies, but bass distortion (35% at 30Hz) was on the high side. Port noise stains the 200mS decay spectrum. Sensitivity was good at 86dB from one nominal watt, impedance measuring 5.4 Ohms. The impedance curve is well controlled. NK


FREQUENCY RESPONSE

monitor audio br2 stepped sine screen

Green - driver output; Red - port output


IMPEDANCE


monitor audio br2  z 1 screen



 

 

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