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Monitor Audio R90HT1 Review



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  • Big soundstage from small speakers
  • Superb detail and dialogue clarity
  • Gorgeous build quality and design


  • Not for budget buyers
  • Impact mode a little overpowering

Key Specifications

  • Review Price: £1500.00
  • 4 x Radius 90 speakers and Radius 200 centre
  • Radius 390 subwoofer with 200W amp
  • C-CAM bass drivers and tweeters
  • Movie, Music and Impact bass modes
  • Gloss white, black or walnut finishes

What is the Monitor Audio R90HT1?

It’s a 5.1 speaker package featuring an updated version of Monitor Audio’s Radius 90 compact speakers, plus a brand new centre speaker and subwoofer. The main selling point of Radius range has always been its unique
mixture of audiophile sound quality and stunning looks, and the R90HT1
looks set to continue in that vein.

The speakers can all be
purchased separately should you wish to expand your system – the R90
costs £350 per pair, the Radius 200 is £200 and the Radius 390 subwoofer
will set you back £600 – but the set wil cost you around £1,500, putting them firmly in the high-end range of surround sound speakers.

Monitor Audio R90HT1 home theater speaker system

Monitor Audio R90HT1 – Design

The entire system is beautifully styled and constructed, easily hitting the level of luxury you’d expect for the money. Each box feels solid and substantial, which bodes well for their sound quality. Monitor Audio sent us the gloss-white version, but it’s also available in gloss-black and walnut – whatever you choose, you’re onto a winner.
Monitor Audio R90HT1Monitor Audio R90HT1 bookshelf speaker in white finish.

The Radius R90s, which are used as the front and surround speakers in this configuration, sport elegantly curved corners and rounded speaker mesh that bulges forward from the front surface.

Each one stands 200mm tall, which is compact enough to perch on a TV stand, although they look and perform better on Monitor Audio’s optional Radius stands.

On the back is Monitor Audio’s HiVe II port, which makes its Radius debut. It’s grooved to accelerate the flow of air and reduce turbulence, which is crucial for dynamic bass response. Inside is a single through-bolt fixing that braces the cabinet.

Monitor Audio R90HT1Monitor Audio R90HT1 center channel speaker on white background.

The Radius 200 is a new addition to the range but doesn’t let the side down. Its decadent design shares the R90’s curvy edges, bulgy speaker grilles and outstanding build quality.

The Radius 390 sub finishes the system off nicely. This compact cube isn’t too intrusive and should be easy to conceal, but with such classy looks it really won’t matter if you have it out on show.
Monitor Audio R90HT1White Monitor Audio subwoofer from R90HT1 series.

On the back are all the controls you need to integrate the sub with the other speakers, including volume and crossover frequency dials, and a low-pass filter switch to select between the LFE and stereo RCA inputs.
The LFE setting should be used when connecting the 390 to an AV receiver, which will assume control of crossover. But if you’ve connected a stereo amplifier to the RCA inputs, you can set the crossover point on the 390’s dial.  

Also on the back is a switch that lets you select from three bass modes. Movie provides a flat bass response down to 35Hz; Music extends even further down to 30Hz but at -2dB quieter; while Impact mode goes down to 40Hz but adds a 3dB level boost. Your neighbours will beg you to clear of the latter.

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