The sound is also smooth and refined, sweeping through the entire sonic spectrum with an effortlessness that borders on nonchalance. But despite delivering the level of accuracy and neutrality you’d expect from a high-end speaker system, the sound is far from alienating – it still offers enough soul and character to get you emotionally involved in what you’re watching.
(centre)”’Left to right: M 950 FCR speaker, M 9500 SW subwoofer, M 950 D dipole rear speaker”’(/centre)
During noisy scenes like the explosive car chase through Gotham City, the system grabs you by the throat and doesn’t let go, immersing you in an amazingly expansive but confidently controlled soundstage. The rears do a fantastic job with the frenetic effects, delivering them with precision and sharpness without pinning them down to a particular location, while dialogue is communicated from the centre speaker with pleasing directness.
Detail retrieval is another of the system’s big plus points – ”The Dark Knight’s” quiet moments allow the System 9 to revel in the delicate background sounds and ambience, conveying every noise with pin-sharp clarity.
But the icing on the cake is at the bottom end, where the M 9500 SW belts out bass with frightening strength and conviction. To call it punchy would be an understatement – it’s more like receiving a right hook from Ricky Hatton, particularly when listening to ”The Dark Knight’s” deep and full-bodied explosions. Your neighbours will love you.
Music playback is also superb. The system demonstrates terrific timing and drive when sinking its chops into the hip-hop beats of Q-Tip’s ”The Renaissance”, but with our gentler Japanese jazz DVD-Audio disc it conveys the live instruments with soothing smoothness and plenty of detail. The sub also plays a key role, displaying admirable agility for such a big lad – a bit like Emile Heskey.
With a price tag well over £3k, the System 9 is squarely aimed at the audiophile elite, but if you can afford it you won’t be disappointed. It oozes class from every pore with amazing build quality and an attractive (if not exactly subtle) design, but most importantly it makes movies and music sound divine.
Score in detail