The Absolute Sound -April 2011/Alan Taffel
“The best-sounding one-ways I heard came from Audience, which makes a full line of one-ways under the ClairAudient name starting with the simply astonishing ONE – a tiny $995 cube that sounds for all the world like a large floorstander. (Indeed, you could have knocked me over when I learned that I was listening to ONEs rather than the larger models flanking them.) In my category, the company introduced the $12,500 4+4, so dubbed because of its four high-excursion aluminum-magnesium drivers front and back. As one might expect, bass rolled off below 60Hz, but otherwise these speakers exhibited incredible soundstaging along with excellent mids and dynamics.”
Alan Taffel/HiFi +
Audience’s chief design engineer, Roger Sheker, stands between two very overachieving new speakers, The ONE, on the short stand atop the counter to the left, and the 2+2, on which he is resting his hand to the right. Like all of the Audience ClairAudient line of loudspeakers, they are based on the astonishing Audience A-3S driver, a remarkable little 3-inch driver, and are therefore crossover-less. I have to say that at $995, The ONE, using one A-3S driver on the front, acoustically coupled to a single passive driver on the rear face, is going to set a high standard of overall performance. I expected it to be good, but it was truly stunning, quite competently filling the good-sized suite occupied by Audience on the fourth floor of the Flamingo!
From left to right, Dan Rosca, Vice-president of Sales and Marketing, Roger Sheker, Chief design engineer, and John McDonald, President and CEO of Audience, stand behind the new ClairAudient 4+4, which should sell for around $12,500. I only had one word for the way it performed in their nicely sized suite in the Flamingo, “F**k,” and they plan to quote me! The speaker is amazingly transparent, with goose-bump generating dynamics, and a naturalness that is rare at any price, let alone the $12.5K price point!
Audiogon (Click here to hear a room recording of The ONE!)
The Most Surprising Sound
The new Clairaudient desktop speakers (by Audience) were dropping jaws all day. There are single driver speakers and there are mini monitors. Combine the two and add some battery supplied power by Virtue Audio and WOW! The phase coherence of a single driver and the size of the cabinet made for an eerily realistic soundstage.
Audience’s The One Clairaudient by Stephen Mejias /Stereophile.com
“The sound was tuneful and rhythmically assured, with nice air around voices and cymbals, and a lovely tone to woodwinds. The folks from Devialet seemed just as impressed.”
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