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Monitor Audio Radius HD Speaker system - Monitor Audio Radius HD Speaker system
The net result of all this impressive audio tech is that the Radius HD system can deliver fantastic sound quality. We started our audition with a range of CDs and with stereo material the One HD proves to be an adept and versatile musical performer, equally at home with the fast-paced pounding rock of U2's Get On Your Boots and the energetic jazz noodling of George Benson's Breezin.
Corinne Bailey Rae's mellifluous voice on her version of Since I've Been Loving You also sounds sublime, proving that these speakers aren't scared to show their sensitive side when it comes to the more delicate stuff. They offer a highly detailed sound with terrific timing and loads of emotion, plus there are no ill effects from the front trio living in such close quarters - the sound is clean and free from distortion.
The system also delivers the goods with movies, giving an electrifying performance with I Am Legend's Dolby True HD track. As a whole, the Radius HD system is slick and cohesive, moving up and down the sonic frequency range like a Formula One car moves through gears - the sub steps in for beefy bass effects but never outstays its welcome, while high-frequencies are smooth and easy on the ears.
The gentle ambience during shots of the deserted New York streets is meticulously presented, with the R45's superb top-end response conveying the sounds of chirping birds and swirling wind with effortless precision and sharpness.
But when Will Smith shatters the silence by bombing round in his car, all six channels snap into life, injecting the roar of the engine and clatter of escaping deer with aggression and intensity, and delivering the jump-out-your-seat jolts with real bite.
Later scenes demonstrate the system's other virtues - Smith's voice is smooth and velvety with a rich, full bodied tone, and the system's open, expansive soundstage perfectly conveys the sense of eerie tension as he searches for his dog inside the pitch-black building - a scene that culminates in a fantastically crisp and forceful crash as Smith bursts through the window.
The only flaw lies with the subwoofer, which is much better suited to music than movies. We love its ability to serve up deep, well-integrated bass tones with admirable dexterity, but we can't help feeling that it's a little too gentle and laid back during some of the above action scenes. You need to turn the dial up quite high to make its presence felt, and even then bass isn't quite as up-front as we'd hoped.
Although the combined price of this Radius HD system makes it seem quite expensive, rest assured that the refined sound quality it delivers makes it worth the money. The only caveat surrounds the subwoofer - if you like your movie bass to be big and beefy, you might want to opt for something a little more aggressive.
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