Neat Acoustics IOTA Loudspeakers
Even though my wife is gainfully employed as an analytical chemist, at times I think she’d be happier working as an interior decorator. She seems semi-addicted to the Home and Garden channel and holds strong verbal opinions about what does, and doesn’t, qualify as being worthy of inclusion within our home’s decor.
The first time she saw my Quad ESL-63s, she asked: “Are those loudspeakers…?”
“Yes… they’re electrostatic planar speakers.” I responded.
“Good Lord…” she continued, “…they look hideous.”
I smiled a demented smile and retorted: “They may look hideous, but paired with the proper tube amps, Quad ESL-63s deliver the best mid-range in the entire audio game.”
She sighed and walked away in silence.
That conversation took place over a decade ago. I still have the very same pair of ESL-63s. And, IMHO, they still produce the best mid-range I’ve ever heard.
When new speakers arrive for reviews, I usually unpack them in the front hall so that my ohhhh so understanding wife can eyeball them too. These days, if she doesn’t like the way speakers look, she calmly utters one word: “Basement.”
This means, in no uncertain terms, that most new pairs of speakers are to be forever banished to my ‘Audiophile Man Cave’ in our basement.
When I unveiled the pair of Neat Acoustics IOTA loudspeakers, my wife commented: “Now those… those are gorgeous.”
I passed her one of the tiny speakers and asked: “Yea… wha’d’ya like about them?”
She carefully clutched the tiny micromonitor, eyed the IOTA fondly, and ex- plained: “They’re compact, the finish on them is stunning, and… well… they’re cute.”
“You think these speakers would appeal to women?” I asked optimistically.
She slowly nodded her head approvingly and replied: “Ohhh yes… you can put these anywhere you want.”
She paused briefly and then added: “If they come in royal blue. I might even take a pair for my office.”
“But…” I interjected, “don’t you wanna hear what they sound like?”
“Doesn’t really matter…” she fired back. “They’re small enough to fit in anywhere and, if they sound half as good as they look, you’ve got me sold.”
For the most part, audiophiles don’t give a tinker’s darn about how a loudspeaker looks. If they deliver stellar sound, a pair of speakers can be: A), larger than an electric car; B), three times as hard as any elec-