Mon­i­tor Au­dio Bronze 2 £279

What Hi-Fi (UK) - - Awards 2018 -

Qual­ity speak­ers come and go, but Mon­i­tor Au­dio’s Bronze 2s have been qui­etly and con­sis­tently col­lect­ing the Award in this price bracket for the past four years. With com­pe­ti­tion as fierce as it is in this sec­tor, that’s no mean feat.

The com­pany is known for turn­ing out classy boxes and these 2s re­in­force this rep­u­ta­tion. These boxes are solidly made, the qual­ity of fin­ish is ter­rific, and they’re avail­able in four vinyl fin­ishes: Black Oak, Wal­nut, Rosemah and White Ash.

A les­son in com­po­sure

It’s worth play­ing around with the toe-in an­gle to firm up the stereo imag­ing, but even so, these speak­ers aren’t es­pe­cially de­mand­ing – some­thing that points to well-de­signed drive units and a care­fully cal­i­brated cross­over.

We start with De­bussy’s Clair de lune, and it’s a test that these Mon­i­tor Au­dios sail through. There’s noth­ing showy in the pre­sen­ta­tion but these speak­ers have del­i­cacy when re­quired and han­dle dy­nam­ics deftly. There’s plenty of in­sight here, from the way notes’ trail­ing edges de­cay grace­fully into si­lence to the Bronzes’ abil­ity to track sub­tle pace changes. It’s a spell­bind­ing per­for­mance, far su­pe­rior to what we’re used to hear­ing at this level.

These stand­moun­ters have a chance to show off their im­pres­sively as­sured bass as we move to Hans Zim­mer’s

In­cep­tion sound­track. Low fre­quen­cies are full-bodied yet ar­tic­u­late and de­liv­ered with plenty of con­trol. This con­fi­dent low-end per­for­mance gives tracks such as Mom­basa a firm foun­da­tion de­liv­ered with au­thor­ity.

We’re im­pressed by the Bronze 2s’ abil­ity to stay com­posed, even at rel­a­tively high vol­ume lev­els. For the most part there are no rough edges here. This is a care­fully honed pair of speak­ers that brim with re­fine­ment.

Built to last

It’s not of­ten you find such sonic poly­maths at this price, but the Bronze 2s re­ally are multi-tal­ented. For their size they dig deep in the bass but are ton­ally bal­anced and deliciously de­tailed too. Add solid build and a high stan­dard of fin­ish and there’s much to ap­plaud here.

The newer Q Acous­tics 3020i are wor­thy ri­vals (and equally well fin­ished) but even they can’t top the Bronze 2s. When it comes to next year’s Awards, we wouldn’t bet against these speak­ers mak­ing it five in a row.

This is the Bronze 2s’ fourth Award, and we wouldn’t bet against them mak­ing it five

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