Future Music

Thonet & Vander Kugel



Kugel comes from T&V’s studio range and is a mid-sized powered nearfield that features a 6.5” aramid fibre woofer and a 1” silk dome tweeter. The speakers come as a pair, comprising a master and slave and the slave is connected via a proprietar­y lead (3m) with screwfit 4-pin connectors. Power and audio are connected to the master unit and the physical input options are phono or optical S/PDIF. The master also includes volume and EQ (bass and treble). These options, along with input selection (Bluetooth, phono, optical), are accessed via soft keys on the side of the speaker or using the included remote control. There’s no clear calibratio­n for EQ and volume, however the remote does include a Reset button as well as mute and standby. This option is handy, as standby mode retains your settings, while switching the speaker off at the mains loses those settings.

The Kugel paired easily and though we didn’t use them far from the Bluetooth source, they retained connection­s or reconnecte­d reliably. Kugel also supports the Bluetooth 4.0 aptX codec, which though not as good as the wired connection, sounded obviously better than the default SBC codec. However, Bluetooth does bring latency, so isn’t suitable for overdubbin­g.

Sonically, the Kugels have a smooth hi-fi sound, and the rear port helps deliver plenty of bass extension (the frequency response is 45Hz to 20kHz). The EQ allows you to adjust things somewhat, though its shelving style is a blunt tool if you’ve got tricky bass buildup to resolve. What’s more, the hi-fi tuning means mid-range detail is missing. Even so, the Kugels can go pretty loud, they’re quite punchy and overall we were pleasantly surprised by their spacious delivery. thonet-vander.com VERDICT 8.4

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