The Loewe Individual 46 Compose 3D’s backlight issues find little jets of light appearing in each top corner of the image during dark scenes, and a couple of other areas of extra brightness a couple of inches below the central area of the top edge.
These ‘clouds’ aren’t visible during bright scenes and are extremely faint if you have got a fair bit of light in your room. Plus you can reduce their stridency without eliminating too much shadow detail by setting the backlight output to around its 8 level. But these sort of clouding issues continue to be something edge LED makers really need to sort out if the technology is to realise its full potential.
Aside from the backlight concerns, the Individual 46 Compose 3D’s 2D pictures are a resounding success. Colours are superb, combining extremely rich saturations with effortless subtlety and impeccable naturalism (making the lack of colour management much easier to bear).
Detail levels are immense with HD sources too, leaving images looking crisp and pure, yet as with the colour response, detailing and sharpness never look forced or exaggerated.
Motion, meanwhile, is handled superbly well in terms of both judder and ‘blur’, even without the provided Digital Motion Control processing in play. In fact we’d suggest you don’t bother with this processing, as it tends to make pictures look unnatural.
The set’s black level response is very good for an edge LED TV too, aside from the clouding issues already noted. What’s especially satisfying about the Loewe’s contrast range is that you can get really credible black colours without having to take out too much brightness, leaving scenes combining deep blacks and bright colours – such as the Mother Knows Best sequence in Tangled – looking explosively brilliant.
The only word of caution to add is that you should treat many of Loewe’s processing features – the motion processing and noise reduction systems in particular – with extreme care, as they can actually damage rather than improve the picture. For the most part the only thing we left on was the Image system. Though some people might even prefer to leave this off, especially as it seems to further reduce the backlight clouding problem.
You also need to make sure that absolutely every bit of processing is turned off if you happen to be console or PC gaming on the Individual 46 Compose 3D. Thankfully, although it’s hard to find within the TV’s onscreen menus, the set carries a Game mode that turns off as much processing as possible to deliver a respectable 40ms of input lag compared with around 100ms if you don’t set the game mode on. If you’re an avid gamer who’s buying an Individual 3D, we’d suggest getting your installer to set up the gaming mode for the right input for you before he leaves.
When it comes to sound, the speaker package we were supplied with is ridiculously good. The electrostatic speakers deliver a performance of such finesse, openness, detail, clarity and effortless power that you instantly fall in love with them, while the subwoofer harmonises with them perfectly to deliver the bass the floorstander’s can’t. The Stereospeaker ‘bar’ is also excellent, doing its centre channel duties with a combination of clarity, power and openness that easily holds its own against the electrostatic models.
Basically the system produces sound that at least rivals that of a high quality separate audio surround system, and looks mighty fine while it does it.
The Individual 46 Compose 3D is more than just a TV. It’s an objet d’art, a premium lifestyle AV solution designed to make you love it far more than is probably healthy. Especially given the extent to which you can personalise its look to suit your tastes or decor, and all the equally gorgeous peripheral equipment you can surround it with.
Crucially, though, the latest Individual TV is not just a triumph of design. It’s also packed with features, and capable of producing some terrific pictures and easily the best sound we’ve heard from a TV (irrespective of which audio solution you ultimately plump for).
The minor 3D crosstalk and slightly more aggressive backlight clouding issues stop us from ultimately being able to give the set a score higher than 8 from a purely AV perspective, but as an overall package, to its target market it’s probably nigh-on irresistible.
Score in detail
3D Quality 8
2D Quality 8
Sound Quality 10