Acoustic Insight Phantom Source
Hi-Fi Choice March 2015
'The Speakers can dig surprisingly deep into the lowest registers'
'Highly focused, rich and wide soundstage'
'Vocals are reproduced with sumptious realism - micro inflections in the essential midband and treble detail are being rendered in far more coherent way than I am used to'
'Delivers a near faultless rendition of the track'
'Rich sultry vocals ooze emotional detail'
'The layers are made utterly ransparent and build to give a near holographic rendition'
'Truly Innovative Design that can do things many other speakers can't'
'Vanish entirely when given the right material'
'Deep bass from a very lounge-friendly enclosure'
'The adjustable tweeter works just brilliantly'
'Truly mesmerising vocals and convincing performances over a whole host of music'
Acoustic Insight FocaStage
Hi-Fi Choice April 2014
'Provides pin-point layout of the soundstage and players within'
'Its portrayal is near holographic and can be amazingly intense'
'Delights with leading edge speed and note shape'
'Scupulously brings out every nuance'
'Presentation is superb'
'Bass certainly powerful enough to make you sit up and take notice'
'The leading edge of bass guitar notes this speaker sounds truly credible at re-creating'
'Remarkably fleet of foot and seductively quick'
'Timing is handled finely thanks to speed and lack of smear'
'Extreme purity, transparency and precision'
Hi-Fi News Aug 2010
Outstanding Product Award: Winning the Group Test with ease, the VS was extensively measured and praised with comments:
'Natural tonal clarity and fine balance'
'The result is an enviable amalgam: wide, deep imaging, great seamlessness of sound and unforced powers of analysis that inform as well as entertain'
'The sound was everything you could wish'
'Bass was clean, tuneful and, for the size of cabinet, unusually well extended'
'Tight rhythmical grasp while effortlessly separating the musical strands'
'Captured the singer's unique vocal timbres'
Aurousal VS & A1
TNT Audio: Internet Hi-Fi Magazine (independent)
Very Highly Recommended
'I compared them to the similarly priced ***** floorstanders and the little A1 Mk2 beat the big, impressive looking ***** with embarrassing ease. The ***** produced sound while the Aurousals made music. Great stuff for such a humble, simple speaker'
'Voices, piano and drums are really magical through these speakers'
'The presentation is very natural and convincing'
'These speakers have a wonderful, natural, non-hifi-ness about them that is extremely pleasant'
'All instruments feel more real and natural because of the coherent way they are being reproduced'
'the extreme honesty of these speakers and the tonal delicacy and refinement that is on offer is actually quite unusual'
'rhythm, which is another quality that these speakers excel in. Again, it is that talent for transients and the coherence of the whole picture that does it'
'Fit and finish of both these speakers are of a very high quality'
'The VS is a brilliant floorstanding loudspeaker that manages to overcome all the traditional problems of a single driver speaker without losing any of the advantages'
'Both models are very highly recommended, even if you're not into single driver loudspeakers'
Hi-Fi Choice Dec 2008
5 star award. 'Particularly handsome real wood veneer, sensitivity on our measurement is a generous 89dB, bass output is a strong -3dB at 20hz, the amplifier load stays mostly between 4 ohms and 6 ohms throughout, the overall tonal balance under in-room conditions holds within impressively modest +/-3dB limits, HF looks very well integrated with the main drivers, spectacularly good stereophony with excellent depth perspectives, the bottom end can thump with some material (great we say, it's supposed to), good clarity, exceptional overall coherence, worthwhile degree of transparency.'
We checked with the reviewer and setup was non-ideal: direct-to-ear listening alignment and use of a relatively low power valve amp (see FAQ for our recommendations).
Hi-Fi News May 2008
'Some Sharp Observations': Keith Howard, who was very impressed with the exhaustive test measurements he did as part of the April review, wrote a thought provoking column based around the A1.
He was glad he had taken the time to listen as the 'extraordinary experience' was one of coherence that surpassed any 2-ways he had heard. He mentioned the 'Effortless rightness' that rooted him to the chair and said 'Telling musical detail is effortlessly conveyed', mentioning even orchestral climaxes were accommodated.
Hi-Fi News April 2008
Highly Commended award. Steve Harris/Keith Howard commented on the Surprisingly good bass extension, wide-sharply focused and convincing stereo spread. They said the 'speed and clarity revealed the rhythmic drive of the music,' also mentioning, for instance, the unusual amplifier friendliness.
(Steve said this is based on an 8 Litre design, but the A1 cabinet, designed and refined by us from scratch, is actually 11.5 L. If stacked, they should actually be layed horizontally - the picture showed them standing vertical)
High Definition Review April 2008
Tom Leclerc commented the sound quality was 'far superiour to many units of considerably greater value'. Also mentioning the 'exemplary' bass definition and mid-range quality.
Hi-Fi Choice November 2007
Best Buy award. Paul Messenger gave them Best Buy award in a standmount speaker fight-out. Unusually he tested them direct to ear rather than toed in to cross over in front of the listener, which we believe would have provided the best imaging and response evenness. He liked the 'wonderful coherence and directness' and the superiour reality and way they communicated emotions.
Hi-Fi Plus November 2007
In the Audio Smorgasbord Paul Messenger commented on the surprisingly practical, thoroughly entertaining and very involving sound.
Hi Fi World June 2007
Adam Smith of Hi-Fi World really enjoyed them. He mentioned they gave a 'unique sonic experience'. Particularly praised was the imaging, soundstaging, coherence, bass weight and extension, detail, smoothness, scale, body, punch, impeccable dynamics, pace, agility, cabinet looks and integration of sound across the frequency spectrum. He also mentioned the ease of driving:
Excellent + Good Value for Money