Finally, we come to the subwoofer, which is smaller than you might expect given the fridge-sized subs that come with rival systems. But don’t let the Neo Sub’s size fool you – its 200W amp will throw some serious bass thump into your room, and joining it inside the sealed box design is a 220mm driver with a 48mm voice coil and long-throw ferrite magnet, all of which team up to deliver bass frequencies down to 26Hz.
On the back is a useful array of dials and switches to get the sub singing in harmony with the other speakers. There are controls governing volume, crossover and phase, plus any problems with room acoustics can be rectified using the notch filter, which has variable frequency, Q and attenuation levels to control specific ‘boom’ frequencies.
Connected to our Marantz SR7005 and fed Iron Man 2 on Blu-ray, the Neo V2 system delivers a mature, powerful sound. You can hear every penny of its price tag oozing from the speakers, turning any action scene into a thing of exhilarating beauty.
What we like most is how polished the sound is. Every effect, voice and piece of music is conveyed with astounding clarity and control, without sounding boxy or coloured like most all-in-one system speakers. The sound is clean as a whistle, just as we like it, but also fast as lightning. Dynamic shifts are handled with ferret-like tenacity, while sharp, sudden sounds like gun shots have real bite.
We’re also fans of the Neo V2’s open, expansive soundstage, in which the various sonic elements are clearly separated and seamlessly passed from speaker to speaker with no discernable variations in tone or timbre. The Neo Ones easily match their floorstanding stable mates in terms of detail reproduction and bass extension.
The system also packs plenty of muscle, generating a truly room-filling sound. All of the speakers contribute to this, but it’s the subwoofer that’ll really rock your foundations. It delves to amazing depths, but bass notes are consistently tight and skilfully controlled. This works wonders when playing a scene like the Monaco Grand Prix in Iron Man 2, as you really feel the impact of cars crashing to the ground or exploding. It’s also remarkably quick on its feet, which comes in handy when playing music with busy basslines and fast rhythms.
You’ll also have no trouble hearing the movie’s whip-smart dialogue, as the Neo Centre renders voices with authority and supreme clarity. Words emerge clearly from the speaker even as an army of drones attack Iron Man in the dome, but during quieter moments you get to admire how it shapes Gwyneth Paltrow’s nasal whine and Mickey Rourke’s dodgy Russian accent.
All in all the Neo V2 is a terrific choice if you want a system that delivers a refined, room-filling sound without having to pay over the odds for the privilege. The power, detail and expansiveness on offer is remarkable for a system at this sort of price, while the lavish build quality and stunning styling are also impressive for the money. Those looking for even more finesse and power will find it by upping their budget, but at this price class the Neo V2 is up there with the best.