Proac Re­sponse DT8 £1950

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

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

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