With a high price tag come high expectations and this Hurricane Evo system mostly lives up to them. We hooked it up to the Onkyo TX-NR609 and gave it the once-over with the criminally underrated Children of Men – what we got was a smooth and articulate performance, with pristine high frequencies, full-bodied midrange and tight low frequencies. It can’t quite muster the flat-out excitement and drive needed to really get the spine tingling during high-octane action scenes, but on the whole these elegant speakers deliver an aptly classy performance.
Its virtues are best demonstrated by the bravura coffee shop bombing at the start of the movie. The hustle and bustle of Oxford Street during the build-up is wonderfully detailed, from voices drifting in and out of ear shot to the buzz of car engines and rickshaws racing past. There’s a crispness and poise to these effects that reveals some very competent speaker tech at play. But when the bomb goes off it handles the dynamic shift brilliantly, going from quiet to loud in a flash with a taut and punchy blast that conveys a palpable sense of shock and devastation.
The good work continues as the movie progresses. Whenever Theo visits Jasper’s house in the woods, the subtle sound design is expertly handled – softly-spoken dialogue comes through loud and clear over the music floating in the background – but when the tranquillity is shattered by Jasper’s ‘Zen music’ or his unorthodox alarm system, the sub moves air with pleasing potency. The only criticism we can level is that the sub only makes its presence properly felt at these moments – we’d like to hear it get more involved during quieter scenes too.
Chapter 6 starts peacefully with tuneful birdsong but ends in a breathtaking ambush scene, with shouting voices, rasping motorbike engines, wailing sirens and tinkling glass thrown into the sonic melting pot with terrific clarity. Even without the presence of rear channels the two-channel sound is reasonably atmospheric, but we’d still like to hear a little more oomph.
The Hurricane Evo system is actually more at home with music than movies, delivering a velvety sound with enough bass depth to stay well balanced without the subwoofer. Some may find its sound a little too dispassionate to truly tug the heartstrings but you can’t argue with the level of finesse on offer.
The Hurricane Evo system is aimed at home cinema fans with a taste for the unusual. The glass speakers are a refreshing change from the usual bulky boxes, and despite a couple of dated embellishments they should make a classy addition to your room’s décor when mounted on either side of a flatpanel TV – particularly with the magnetic grilles attached.
Build quality is as robust as you’d expect at this price and sound quality is impressive too, if lacking a little passion and power when it comes to movie playback. The HFM 2.1 sub also does a good job with big bass effects, throwing them out with real punch, and the decent array of sockets and controls on the back make it a versatile option if you want to boost the sound from your PC.
It’s worth bearing in mind though, that for roughly the same price as this 2.1 Waterfall setup you can buy one of KEF’s superior-sounding T Series 5.1 flat-speaker systems, or even a pair of Acoustic Energy’s Neo Four floorstanders and a decent sub – you’d need to be a serious glass lover to pick the Waterfall system in the face of such accomplished competition.