Finally something I have heard. I first heard of and heard Spatial Audio speakers last year (2015) at The Show Newport. It is also the first time I had seen and heard open baffle speakers that I recall. That year I personally considered them one of best of show and this year’s past show in June (2016) is no different.
I heard the M3s and found them delightful. Bass goes low enough and most importantly is musical, punchy when needed, smooth when needed and accurate. Mid-range is spot on and detailed, not veiled or lost and has presence without being overwhelming. Highs are very non-fatiguing and were slightly rolled off.
Staging was f-a-n-t-a-s-t-i-c! Very wide sound stage without sounding unnatural or contrived, nice separation as well. Off axis listening was fabulous partially due to the design of open baffle speakers.
The 2016 show I heard the M3 Turbo S version and not much has changed except the fact that Clayton Shaw made some slight tweaks and improved them even more. The one thing I noted is that the highs no longer sounded slightly rolled off, but more present without being fatiguing at all. Everything else was the same as last year, fantastic! Whether the turbo version or not or the M3 or M4, they all sound very nearly the same. The only real difference outside of price and size in the M4s is that they have slightly less deep bass extension according to Mr. Clayton Shaw, the designer, engineer, etc. I have not heard the M4s so I have no personal notes on what my ears detect. I do think it is safe to say that you may be hard-pressed to hear a difference among the model line though. (The M4 holograms are a few hundred less than the M3 as well).
Every time I have sat and heard these speakers I end up spending time going over them in my head trying to justify getting a pair. I even try to convince myself to buy a pair just as spares. If I did not already have another pair of speakers I love in one room or could fit these in my other smaller room, I’d have a harder time not buying a pair. Of course, eventually present reality takes over and says I really can’t afford to spend the money for that right now.
Oh, did my money statement leave you wondering why I would write about unaffordable speakers? Well, I didn’t. Spatial speakers are for many budgets from the low four digits to five digits. They currently have two lines, the Lumina, which is five figures and the hologram, which is in the low four figures. On top of that they are engineered and made in the US, have a 60 day trial and a limited 20 year warranty. The Spatial speakers are just one of those items that have exceptional value and little to no diminishing returns making them an easy purchase if everything else is lined up for you.
Here are the basic M3 hologram specs:
Type: 2-way, point source, open-baffle, dynamic driver, controlled directivity
Chassis:: Two Layer HDF (High Density Fiberboard)
Driver compliment: Two 15 inch mid/woofers, one wide bandwidth compression driver
Frequency Response: 32Hz – 20kHz +/- 3dB in room response
Sensitivity: 94dB – averaged across 200Hz to 5kHz at 1M – on axis
Impedance: 4Ω nominal, 3 Ω minimum, low phase angle.
Dimensions: 42T x 17W x 3D inches, 65 lbs net each
M4 hologram specs:
Type: Precision Point Source 2-way coaxial design, open-baffle, dynamic driver, controlled directivity, low noise design
Chassis: Super HDF – 3 inch thick – low vibration monocoque structure
Driver compliment: Two 12 inch mid/woofers, one wide bandwidth compression driver
Frequency Response: 45Hz – 20kHz +/- 3dB in-room response
Sensitivity: 93dB – averaged across 200Hz to 5kHz at 1M – on axis
Impedance: 4Ω nominal, 3 Ω minimum, low phase angle
Dimensions: 36T x 14W x 3D inches, 44 lbs.
Here are a couple of videos from New Record Day on these: