If regular readers with good memories are thinking that we've already reviewed Loewe's Individual Compose 40, they'd be right. We checked it out towards the end of 2007. But premium German brand Loewe doesn't function like traditional TV brands, bringing out totally new products every six months or so. Instead, it tends to continually upgrade various elements of its sets, adding enhanced functionality, new design twists and extra customisation options as and when they become available.
And yes, I did say customisation options back there. For one of the most defining points about Loewe is that it goes (miles) out of its way to deliver something truly close to a bespoke TV buying experience. This is especially true of the aptly named ‘Individual' series the Compose 40 belongs to, for within this category you can choose from: a selection of colours for the main bezel, different colours for the inset panels down the TV's sides, different stand or wall mount options, a good selection of audio options, and even the tuner type you want - Freesat being notable in its absence.
It's actually the relatively recent additions to its customisation options that have brought the Individual Compose 40 back to our test rooms. For starters, it now carries Loewe's very latest image processing engine. Also, our sample is finished in a rather delightful new gloss white suit that's sure to be a hit with fans of the classic Apple iPod. Loewe has also introduced a ‘Sound Projector' audio option to the Compose range since we last examined it, so we eagerly bagged one of these for this review, too.
As its name suggests, the Loewe Sound Projector is a licensed version of Yamaha's widely acclaimed Sound Projection technology, where a large array of small individual speakers placed within a single ‘bar' you can hang under your screen generate a pseudo surround sound effect by bouncing beams of audio data off the walls of your room. You even get a microphone with the Sound Projector so that a nifty self-set up process - whereby the speaker 'bar' emits a few minutes of weird chirrups and beeps - can automatically calibrate the optimum sound settings for your living room.
Two final things to say about the Compose 40 Sound Projector are that: a) it rather awesomely attaches to the silver pole-style Loewe floor stand option we decided to perch our Compose 40 on and b) it also comes in white; perfectly matching the TV's white extremities. Lovely jubbly.
Loewe's obsession with design doesn't stop there, either. For we also took delivery of a neatly proportioned new Loewe subwoofer that can be placed within - you guessed it - a jaw droppingly opulent gloss white cabinet precisely matched to the TV and Sound Projector.
It's hard to imagine anyone but Loewe going to such extreme lengths to deliver such a full design vision - especially when you consider that many people tend to shove their subwoofers behind a sofa rather than leave them in plain sight.