The Monitor Audio Gold GX50 speakers use a two-way design and as mentioned above the drivers are based on the company’s Platinum series models. Most significantly, that means they use a ribbon transducer as opposed to a more conventional dome version. This is said to reproduce the "authentic tonal character" of frequencies above 60kHz.
Paired with the ribbon transducer is a 5.5in bass driver, which uses RST (Rigid Surface Technology) ribbing to improve stiffness. To integrate mid and bass frequencies with the ribbon, the Monitor Audio Gold GX50 speakers use large voice coils, powerful magnets and rigid die cast driver chassis. The cone is fashioned from Monitor Audio’s C-CAM (Ceramic-Coated Aluminium and Magnesium) alloy, used for its light-but-strong properties.
Elsewhere the drivers are mounted on a single tensioned through-bolt secured to the back of the cabinet, which further improves that all-important cabinet rigidity and reduce vibration – as well as decoupling the driver fixings from the baffle, which gives it a cleaner overall appearance. They achieve a frequency response of 55Hz to 60kHz and handle up to 100W.
But enough about the tech, how do they sound? Absolutely fantastic. Give them a chance to warm up and the first thing you notice is how incredibly polished the ribbon tweeter makes high frequencies sound. This is most apparent when playing music, where hi-hats and tambourines skip along with a level of finesse and smoothness that only comes from speakers of this calibre. We’ve heard a lot of compact 5.1 systems that dig deep for detail and offer pleasing top-end, but it’s all relative – step up to this level and there’s an extra transparency, openness and authority.
These sweet high-frequencies aren’t left hanging either – they’re backed up by solid midrange and gobsmackingly punchy bass, making the overall sound perfectly balanced and tightly knitted. Their nimble yet weighty bass performance really is superb, allowing them to thump dance music kick drums through your chest with impeccable timing, but with the sensitivity to add splashes of depth to gentler ambient noises.
Try them with TV or movies and you get a sense of the GX50 speakers' versatility. They take noisy action scenes in their stride, coping admirably with dialogue and explosions – often simultaneously – and if you crank up the volume to unreasonable levels there’s not a trace of harshness to be heard. It’ll be interesting to hear how they fit into a full 5.1 system.
The Gold GX50s really do live up to their name – this is a performance that deserves to be on top of the podium. Immensely refined sound quality is the order of the day, offering sensational music playback but handling movies with equal authority – even in this stereo configuration. The ribbon tweeter is a revelation, shaping high-frequencies with a lucidity that many speakers can’t match, while bass performance is as punchy and agile as we’d expect. So if you’re after a musical pair of speakers and the GX50s fall within your budget, then rest assured that they really are as good as gold.