In action with our trusty Empire Strikes Back Blu-ray, the Micropod SE system proves that it’s more than just a pretty face. Like most speakers it needs running in to remove the slightly terse edge to the high frequencies, but once it’s settled in you’re treated to some impressive home cinema sonics.
It’s at its best tackling high-octane bits like the Tie Fighters chasing the Millennium Falcon through an asteroid field. The sounds of screaming spacecraft and loud explosions are nicely handled, relaying the effects with power while keeping harshness mostly suppressed.
Up loud there are one or two edgy effects, and the satellites are slightly shoutier than some of the other compact systems we’ve tested of late like the Tannoy TFX and the Acoustic Energy Neo Compact, but it didn’t greatly impact on our overall enjoyment.
There’s lots of detail in the mix, which is particularly noticeable during scenes on Dagobah, where the distant creature calls, eerie ambience and robotic bleeps sound crystal clear. And the brass playing the Imperial March has a lovely crisp edge to it, backed up by rich, warm bass.
The soundstage feels fairly large in scale, we had no trouble in discerning dialogue due to the satellites’ naturally open and forceful character and all the while the subwoofer chugs along lending solid support where needed, without swamping the other speakers.
Although it can’t quite match the levels of composure and smoothness of some rival compact speaker systems, this impressive-sounding system still has enough quality to back up those funky, stylish looks. It’s one of the most distinctive-looking systems on the market, plus build quality is top-notch and the accomplished subwoofer is also one of the best-looking models we’ve seen. It’s possibly a touch more expensive than it should be, but some AV fashionistas might just be tempted to max out the credit card for jaw-dropping looks like these.
Score in detail
Sound Quality 8