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Monitor Audio Apex review

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Monitor Audio Apex
  • Monitor Audio Apex
  • Monitor Audio Apex
  • Monitor Audio Apex
  • Monitor Audio Apex
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  • Monitor Audio Apex
  • Monitor Audio Apex
  • Monitor Audio Apex

Summary

Our Score:

9

Monitor Audio follows its stunning Silver RX speakers with Apex, a style-led system that uses compact bookshelf satellites for the front and rear channels as opposed to imposing floorstanders. But just because they’re small, it doesn’t mean they’re not elegant or eye-catching – in fact, these are some of the most gorgeous sats we’ve ever laid eyes on. Or as Monitor Audio puts it, they’re 'the finest expression of satellite speaker style and performance'. Well they certainly nailed the former.

Monitor Audio's Apex speaker system seen here in black with the solid A10 satellites mounted on optional stands

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.

PGrGr

August 20, 2010, 2:05 pm

In the publicity photos which your review sports, there don't seem to be any wires. Is this truly possible?!

Hamish Campbell

August 20, 2010, 2:47 pm

Is it only me who finds these remarkably ugly?





I'm sure build quality would help get the pill down, but my wife would never let these in our lounge, and I can't blame here.

Dave 1

August 20, 2010, 5:28 pm

Possible yes, but not the case here - if you look at the bottom of the stands the terminals can be seen on the rears. It mentions in the article that the stands have a passthrough for the audio connections.

Mark Etheridge

August 20, 2010, 6:50 pm

I don't think the lady in the first picture is really getting the surround sound experience!

Randy

August 20, 2010, 7:01 pm

@haim





Agree.





In a World where Apple has a final word on style, at least in press photos they look chaotic in my opinion. I think it's because there's too much going on on front panel of those satellites. Tweeter is clean, yellow and covered with metal mesh. Next is the white textured mid-range speaker, followed by bass hole with it's own styling details. It looks as if 3 different people were styling it independently, if you catch my flow.


And i think that theese curved edges and square subwoofer is similiar to low-end speakers so we subconciously avoid them.





God it must be pain in the ass to make new things theese days when people are busting Your proud design from the word go. ;)

Jmac

August 20, 2010, 9:43 pm

Seems TR has received a glut of very high quality speaker packages in 2010, with these, the Teufel System 8 THX Ultra 2, the Teufel Theater LT 6 THX Select, the Klipsch WF-34 and the Monitor Audio Silver RX6 AV12 all coming in at £2-3k and scoring an overall 9. It's great to see, but decisions, decisions! Realistically I'll probably end up balking at the price and getting the Crystal Audio TX-T2-12 at £1300, but it's still great to see this kind of choice of quality product in the marketplace.

V.Dawideit

August 22, 2010, 4:12 am

@Mark Etheridge





In a room like this, with no curtains, no carpets and a glass table, it probably wouldn't matter anyway...

Jaybird

October 7, 2010, 9:40 pm

Lot's of cute comments about visuals of the marketing photos but have any of you heard them yet? They're amazing! Danny's review is spot-on.


Haim, I did catch your flow, but did you notice the magnetic grill with a grill cloth designed to cover the woofer, tweeter, and 'bass hole'?


John, review scores cannot begin to describe the sound of such different systems as Klipsch, Teufel, and Monitor. Listen before purchasing!!

Delboi

January 4, 2011, 7:17 pm

When you tested this set of speakers, what AV receiver was it partnered with?

buttman52

December 19, 2012, 4:29 am

If you can afford this over priced junk then your not looking hard enough ,there are lots of better speakers,than these fuckin price is a joke.

Alok Agarwal

November 17, 2013, 1:10 pm

Which on wall speakers do you recommend?

Chris

January 24, 2014, 10:11 pm

Have just bought these for bedroom, so I'm impressed have gx in my lounge not a lot in it as sound goes in tv,.. Have pl in music room, no words to describe.. The guy at top or page says too pricey not good speakers, if your looking to match your old tandy system, yes will be difficult...

Clifford Schall

January 9, 2015, 6:49 pm

Buttman52 is a good name for someone that has heard [ or most likely not heard the speakers] .

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