The Hi-Fi and High End industry continues to evolve and the pace at which the industry is moving forward is already comparable to the smartphone or tablet race. The range of companies is being updated very rapidly, with new speaker models constantly entering the market, offering both refinements of older models and the development of radical new approaches to achieving sound quality. Let’s consider for example, the segment of bookshelf speakers – at the end of 2021 we had a number of announcements, and in early 2022, many of the models presented have already appeared in stores. Let’s consider the most interesting 2022 bookshelf speakers, sorting the list in ascending order of speaker cost.
- Eltax Monitor I
- Scansonic HD L5
- Canton Taunus 30
- Sonus Faber Lumina II
- Technics SB-C600E-K
- Focal Aria 906 K2
- Wharfedale Elysian 1
- Heco BellaDonna
The new Eltax Monitor I are fairly inexpensive and offer a very neutral sounding character. The model is equipped with a 100mm HF/LF driver and a powerful 25mm tweeter (the proven soft dome is used as a cone), and the peak power input of 90W for this price tag seems very impressive. Acoustics will work fine both as part of a small Hi-Fi system, and in the initial recreation center.
Eltax Monitor I Specifications
- Type 2-way bass reflex system
- Frequency range +/- 4 dB 60-22.000Hz
- Max. power 90W
- Sinus Power: 60W
- Impedance 4-8 Ohm
- Tweeter 25 mm soft dome
- Woofer 130 mm, shielded
- Finish Calvados, Light beech, Black and white
The Danish Scansonic HD L5 is a step up in the development of the line. The model uses a 1” (25mm) silk dome tweeter and a 5.2” mid/bass driver mounted in a serious cabinet with 16mm thick front panels. It should be noted that the Scansonic HD L5’s bass-reflex port is brought back, so the speakers should not be installed close to the wall. Speaker sensitivity of 88dB at 8ohm impedance will not create a serious load on the amplifier, but the peak summing up to 120W clearly indicates that the partner for the Scansonic HD L5 needs to be chosen stronger – then the speakers will demonstrate a clear and detailed sound.
Scansonic HD L5 Specifications
- Size, mm. ( BxHxD): 152 x 232 x 210.
- Weight, kg.: 3 per unit.
- Freq. response: 50 Hz – 20 kHz.
- Impedance: 8 ohm.
- Crossover: 2500Hz.
- Enclosure: 2-way Bass-reflex, 25mm Silk Dome and 4,5” woofer.
- Sensitivity: 88 db.
- Finish: Black, White or Walnut.
The new Taunus series from Canton has excellent workmanship. The Canton Taunus 30 model we studied is notable for its screwless speaker setup (using a 1” ceramic tweeter and a 6.8” mid/bass driver with a metal diaphragm), magnetic grills, and as much as 140W of power. The sound of Canton Taunus 30 surprises with its scale and attack – we are used to hearing such handwriting in taller floorspeaker.
Canton Taunus 30 Specifications
- Engineering Principle 2-way bass reflex
- Nom. /Music power handling 90 / 140 watts
- Frequency response 38…40.000 Hz
- Crossover frequency 3.000 Hz
- Woofer 1 x 174 mm (6,8”), titanium (Wave surround)
- Tweeter 1 x 25 mm (1”), ceramic
- Nominal Impedance 4…8 ohms
- Dimensions (WxHxD) 21 x 36 x 28 cm (8,3″ x 14,2″ x 11″)
- Weight 8,1 kg
The refined Sonus Faber Lumina II is the quintessence of Italian style. The model is equipped with a 1.15” tweeter and a 150mm main driver with a cellulose cone, the speaker cabinets are made of multilayer plywood and are finished with varnish and leather – it’s hard to look away when looking at such splendor. Provide speakers with powerful and stable amplification (their sensitivity is not very high, and the impedance is 4 ohms) – and you will be rewarded with an exceptionally lively and moving performance.
Sonus Faber Lumina II Specifications
- SYSTEM 2-way shelf loudspeaker system. Vented box design.
- SENSITIVITY 86dB SPL (2.83V/1m)
- LOUDSPEAKERS Tw: Ø 29mm high definition DAD™ driver. Mw: Ø 150mm paper cone driver.
- NOMINAL IMPEDANCE 4 ohm
- CROSSOVER Optimized amplitude/phase response for optimal space/time performance. Crossover frequency: 1800 Hz.
- SUGGESTED AMPLIFIER POWER OUTPUT 30W – 150W, undistorted signal
- FREQUENCY RESPONSE 55 Hz -24.000 Hz
- DIMENSIONS (HXWXD) 304 x 180 x 263mm 12 x 7,1 x 10,3 in
- WEIGHT 5,8 Kg 12,8 lb
Technics SB-C600E-K can stun both with their performance characteristics (frequency range extended from above to 100kHz) and playback quality (provided that the speakers are equipped with powerful amplification – after all, their sensitivity is 83dB). Using the achievements of the floor-standing model SB-G90M2, the company’s engineers have created a real engineering masterpiece using branded coaxial aluminum (anodized aluminum) Phase Precision Driver speakers (25mm with a Linear Phase Plug and 152mm), mounted in a case using the tricky Balanced Driver Mounting system Architecture (the speaker is not attached to the front panel of the speaker cabinet, but to the internal baffle). Audiophile components (polypropylene capacitors) complete the picture.
Technics SB-C600E-K Specifications
- Type 2-way 2-speaker Bass Reflex (Coaxial 2-way Woofer/built-in tweeters)
- Woofer / Tweeter 15 cm (6″) Cone type x 1 / 2.5 cm (1″) Dome type x 1
- Impedance 4Ω
- Input Power (IEC) 60W (Rated), 120 W (Max)
- Recommended Amp Power 40- 120 W (Speaker tested by IEC60268-5 Short Term Max Test)
- Sound Pressure Level 83 dB / 2.83 V (m) 80 dB / W(m)
- Frequency Range 40Hz – 100kHz (-10dB)
- Crossover Frequencies 2kHz
- Dimensions (W x H x D) 173 mm × 293 mm × 283 mm (Include net 8mm and terminal 15mm)
- Weight Approx. 6.3 kg
The Focal Aria 906 K2 will not put a serious strain on the amplifier – the model has an impedance of 8 ohms and a relatively high sensitivity of 89.5dB. For its money, the French novelty seems like a gift – the transparent and light sound of the speakers never causes a hint of fatigue, while the model is just as adequately controlled with dynamic bursts. The design is simply superb – glass top panels and eco-leather trim. The speakers use 1″ and 6.5″ drivers.
Focal Aria 906 K2 Specifications
- Type: Bass-reflex 2-way bookshelf loudspeaker.
- Speaker drivers: 61/2″ (16.5cm) K2 Bass/Midrange Inverted dome TNF tweeter Al/Mg 1″ (25mm)
- Frequency response: (±3dB) 55Hz – 28kHz.
- Low frequency cut-off (-6dB): 47Hz.
- Sensitivity: (2.83V/1m) 89.5dB.
- Nominal impedance: 8 Ohms.
- Minimal impedance: 4.6 Ohms.
Wharfedale Elysian 1, weigh 15 kg each – such a mass is not always found even in modern floor models. As it is immediately clear, the loudspeakers are stunning in the scale of the formed sound picture – so their high price seems to be quite justified. Serious amplification is required – 7” woofers, cone midrange speakers and ribbon tweeters, despite the sensitivity of 89dB, require sufficient current strength.
Wharfedale Elysian 1 Specifications
- General description 2-way standmount speaker
- Bass driver 7″(180mm) Coated Fibre Glass Matrix Cone
- Treble driver 27*90mm AMT
- Sensitivity (2.83V @ 1m) 89dB
- Recommended amplifier power 25-175W
- Peak SPL 108dB
- Nominal impedance 4Ω (Compatible 8Ω )
- Minimum impedance 3.8Ω
- Frequency response(+/-3dB) 49Hz ~ 22kHz
- Bass extension(-6dB) 44Hz
- Crossover frequency 2.5kHz
- Cabinet Volume(in litres) 21..6L
The Heco BellaDonna uses solid 8” mid/bass drivers (kraft paper cones are selected) and large 30mm silk dome tweeters. Asymmetric speakers are assembled from 25mm plates and complemented by a system of internal struts, so that the model is absolutely tolerant of resonances. Heco Bella Donna weigh as much as 17.8kg each, and it is difficult to make any complaints about the sound quality.
Heco BellaDonna Specifications
- Construction: 2-Way
- Tweeters: 1x 1.2 inch (30mm)
- Woofer: 1x20mm Kraft paper
- Cabinet: MDF 25mm
- Connection: Bi Wire (double pair of cables – optional)
- Impedance: 4 Ohm 8 Ohm
- Sensitivity: 91dB
- Power (RMS): 150W
- Recommended amplifier power: 30-250 W
- Frequency Response: 28 – 52.000Hz
- Crossover frequency: 2600Hz