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The satellites in question are the Apex A10, which are worth around £275 each when bought separately. Why so pricey? All becomes clear when you hold one in your hands. The build quality of these things is mind-blowing. Despite their compact dimensions (140 x 140 x 250mm, W x D x H) each one weighs a disarmingly heavy 3.95kg, thanks to the use of inert die-cast aluminium enclosures.
You certainly get a lot of speaker for your money, but it’s the shape and styling that’ll really leave your jaw hanging. Our samples are clad in a luxurious metallic black lacquer finish, with brush-effect metal alloy side trims, the combination of which is utterly irresistible (they’re also available in pearl white if you prefer). As if that wasn’t enough, the curved cabinets give them plenty of contemporary living-room appeal.
Each one comes with a removable grille in the box, which attaches magnetically so there are no clunky screws to ruin the look. Gold-plated binding posts are also found on the back of each speaker, as well as a fitting for connecting the supplied tabletop stand or wall/ceiling mounting bracket – a single screw lets you adjust the angle. The Apex A10s can also be mounted horizontally, and self-adhesive feet are supplied for sticking on the relevant side.
Alternatively, you can buy optional floor stands, which complement the Apex 10s beautifully with their elegant aluminium supports and plinths. They’re wired internally and the speaker sits on built-in connecting forks, which eliminates the need to connect them manually.
Inside the Apex A10s, it’s a case of 'Honey, I shrunk the drivers'. They use the same tech as Monitor Audio’s full-sized speakers, but it’s been 'distilled' down to fit Apex’s more compact cabinet size. A new 140mm C-CAM mid/bass driver has been custom engineered for this range, which includes the RST dimpled cone technology used on the company’s GS and RX series.
The mid/bass driver is joined by a 25mm C-CAM gold dome tweeter, which has been fine-tuned to reach 35kHz, above and beyond the frequency range of Blu-ray and hi-res audio. Like the Silver RX series, these drivers are fixed to the back of the enclosure using a single through-bolt, which eliminates a possible source of distortion and braces the enclosure to minimise vibration. The HiVe port, which derives from the Platinum series, moves air more rapidly through the speaker in order to improve bass performance. Clever stuff.