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It’s also great to see the new Individual’s pictures looking much sharper than those of previous Loewe flat panels. The main reason for this is that motion blur is very well handled/suppressed, thanks to a combination of the screen’s native response time and the 400Hz processing engine.
Sometimes this processing can generate side effects, such as blurring around the edges of moving objects. So we wouldn’t recommend that you use it with all types of source material (it should definitely be avoided with console games, as it also makes pictures feel unacceptably laggy for gaming). But neither would we recommend that you just leave it turned off permanently, as it can be helpful for much of the time.
The latest Individual 40 also hits all the right notes with its colours, combining intense, vivid saturations with a more consistently natural tone than we’re used to seeing with Loewe flat TVs - or flat TVs generally, come to that. What’s more, these tones aren’t just great with high definition; they also retain most of their realism when you switch to standard definition.
Loewe’s upscaling engine for standard definition is impressive too, achieving decent additional sharpness and detail while also keeping a lid on noise levels. The only bumnote in the Individual’s processing suite, really, is its noise reduction system, which softens the picture too much for comfort.
If the Individual 40 Compose’s pictures are excellent, though, the audio from the Sound Projector’s 42 integrated ‘mini speakers’ is nothing short of spectacular. For starters, the sheer volume and dynamic range it can reproduce is so far ahead of the puny sound usually produced by flat TVs that it’s frankly hilarious. You can pump the volume way higher than your ears would realistically want you too without a trace of distortion or harshness setting in, and the bass levels the speaker can turn out had us looking behind the sofa for an extra subwoofer we thought the Loewe installer must have tucked away while we weren’t looking. (He hadn’t.)
Treble information is clear and accurately positioned in the soundstage without sounding sibilant, either, and last but by no means least, the sound projector even immerses you in a genuine all-round sound, despite there being no rear speakers.
To be clear about this, the Sound Projector’s surround sound performance doesn’t have the spatial accuracy you’d get with a proper, 5.1 speaker array. But there’s definitely a sense of at least ambient audio coming from behind you, and a far greater sense of being enveloped in the world of a film than you’d ever get with even a good set of normal TV speakers. In fact, we’ve heard separate, dedicated home cinema sound systems that don’t produce as satisfying a sound performance as Loewe’s Sound Projector.
Before we spent quality time with Loewe’s new Individual 40 Compose, we thought we knew what we were going to get. Namely a gorgeously designed slice of likeable if eccentric German AV, brimming with ideas but slightly off the pace in performance terms.
By the time our review was completed, though, our attraction to the set had run much, much deeper than merely falling for its exterior beauty. Loewe can now be placed among the AV ‘A list’ in performance terms too, and its approach to multimedia is both inspired and ahead of its time.
In short, we hate the Individual 40 Compose. For the addition of genuine AV performance quality to Loewe’s traditional luxurious, opulent, feature rich ethos has made us feel even more sick about not being wealthy than we were before. Grrr.