Proac Response DT8 £1950
Another first-time winner, and another Award we feel is richly deserved, these towers turn in as musically cohesive a performance as we’ve heard at this price.
And thank goodness, because the Response DT8S are not the easiest on the eye. The use of two types of 16.5cm mid/ bass driver working in tandem may be clever from an engineering point of view, but visually it unsettles us.
Why use two types of driver? In engineering terms, there’s always a trade-off between the optimisation of midrange and bass performance in a drive unit.
By using different drivers working in tandem, Proac’s engineers have attempted to get the best of all worlds – a polypropylene cone in the top unit shoots for natural mids, and a stiff poly mica diaphragm in the lower to deliver powerful, articulate bass. A down-firing port completes the arrangement.
So, does Proac’s plan work? We play Beethoven’s Fifth Symphony and the DT8S respond with a large-scale sound full of force and fury. They deliver the music’s high-octane dynamic swings with enthusiasm and plenty of punch, yet have the skill to render the subtleties with care.
Tonally, they are a little forward, but they have enough by way of refinement to prevent this being an issue. We would still avoid overly bright or aggressive electronics, though.
Detail levels are high, with the DT8S able to resolve layers of information and organise it in a cohesive manner. They render instrumental texture superbly, and deliver slight changes in intensity and drive well.
An expansive sonic canvas
Stereo imaging is lovely too. These speakers paint on an expansive sonic canvas, locating instruments with precision and stability. The orchestra is laid out convincingly, with the sound extending well beyond the space between the speakers.
These Proacs are good at conveying the momentum on hard-charging tracks as well, keeping all energy intact.
While the presence of two types of driver gave us doubts at first, we’re impressed by the DT8S’ expressive and transparent midrange performance. Voices come through with clarity, and are nicely separated from complex instrumental backdrops.
We think you’ll love the entertaining, articulate sound of these Proacs. At this price, we wouldn’t want anything else.
Proac aims for the best of both worlds with its two types of mid/bass driver