Inside the E5Bi bookshelf speakers is a single 5.25in midrange driver and 1in tweeter (the same ones used in the tower) delivering a frequency range of 60Hz – 20kHz. On the outside, they look like miniature versions of the front towers, with the same curved sides and tapered rear, and like all of the speakers, they feature gold-plated binding posts.
The E5Ci centre sports the same drivers as the E5Bis. Again, this shares the dreamy build quality and sumptuous styling of the other speakers but with bulky measurements of 216(w) x 184(h) x 197(d)mm, it’s better suited to a dedicated cinema room than a living room AV cabinet already packed with other kit.
Providing the bottom-end grunt is the ES10i powered sub, which is fitted with a 100W power amplifier and achieves a frequency response of 35Hz – 150Hz. It’s a very attractive subwoofer, too, thanks to those unusual curved edges. On the back is a useful range of controls that make it easy to tune the sub to your acoustic needs, including dials for gain and crossover control, the latter ranging from 40Hz to 180Hz. They’re joined by line-level input and output phonos, a phase switch and two sets of high-level springclip terminals, one for inputting signals from an amplifier, the other for connecting speakers.
After firing up Hellboy II on Blu-ray, the first thing that jumps out is how crisply this system conveys its DTS HD Master Audio soundtrack. It scatters the soundstage with sweet, twinkly treble, creating a sense of openness that lends itself particularly well to subtle scenes and music.
It also means there is lots of detail in the mix. This is best demonstrated by the movie’s Troll Market scene, which the EMP Teks handle with spellbinding dexterity. Fairies flutter from front to back, background voices break though the hustle and bustle and the whole scene feels alive with a whole range of different textures being eked out by every speaker.