What Hi-Fi? Awards 2016 winner: Monitor Audio Bronze 2 speakers

314446monitoraudio_bb_stereo-speakers_monitor-audioFor a range of speakers that Monitor Audio politely calls their most ‘democratically’ priced, the Bronze series (an evolution of its award-winning predecessor, the BX) offer an extraordinary ‘bang for buck’ ratio. We take a closer look at some of the innovations in this new collection…

The past five years have been extremely kind to the Essex-based speaker brand, with the aforementioned BX series sweeping up a myriad of awards from reviewers across the globe on an annual basis. Not that this was just good fortune and luck, mind. The BX were a triumph of design, both at their price point and above, not to mention the fact that they sounded brilliant.

Making a revision to a range that has been so successful required deep thinking, and it’s not hard to imagine that Monitor Audio have been working on them since their first award. Now that they’ve finally downed tools, it’s time for us to take a look at the latest version of the Bronze series.

A first look at the entire Bronze range from Monitor Audio.

The Bronze range from Monitor Audio.

With seven models making up the complete range, we’ll be looking specifically at the Bronze 2 bookshelf speaker. Elsewhere, Monitor Audio have offered like-for-like replacements for all of the previous iterations, so updated smaller bookshelf speakers are available, as well as two pairs of floorstanders, and a subwoofer, centre speaker and bi-pole speakers for Home Cinema enthusiasts.

The stylish cabinet has attractive magnetic grilles and tapered corners, it’s the same shape and size as before, but a few nice touches have been added to make it even more aesthetically pleasing. For example, the all new drive units are now a brushed metal finish, rather than the white of the original, adding a touch of class to go with its improved sound quality.

Inside the C-Cam drive unit is brand new, as is the tweeter. The driver fuses aluminium and magnesium topped with a ceramic coating, making it light and rigid at the same time, while tweaks to the HiVe porting system (another Monitor Audio patent) deliver not only more, but better sounding bass than before. Time to see how all these changes stack up.

After a period of running in to get them up to full speed, the Bronze 2s were ready to shine. We put them through our Cambridge Audio 851 reference system in our hi-fi demo room, playing CDs and streaming – we hit them with some Alabama Shakes, a Blues-y, roots quintet from Alabama in the good ole’ US of A.

The Bronze 2s projected the music admirably, capturing the fuzz of guitar chorus perfectly and giving a more than passable rendition of the bass drum heft, particularly for a bookshelf design. There was scant sign of shrill treble, with a noticeabley smoother top end than the BX2s, but with none of the expression lost as a trade off. Soundstaging was impressive in its width, if not a little lacking from front to back. This happens to be a trait of most speakers in this price range, and the Bronze isn’t trailing behind the competition by any stretch.

Switching gears to something a tad quieter, Nils Frahm’s live album ‘Spaces‘. The intended sense of scale, both impactful and intimate as the songs see fit, was reproduced with aplomb on the Bronze 2s, really playing to their strengths with fantastic dynamics and accuracy.

Monitor Audio have clearly understood that evolution rather than revolution was necessary with this new series, having taken what made the BX range such a fantastic, popular speaker and eeking even more out of the design with their new drive units. What has followed is a brilliant budget bookshelf design. Anyone in the market for a new bookshelf speaker simply must listen to these, and those after a floorstander would be equally well served by auditioning the Bronze 5 or 6. Well done Monitor Audio!

Pop in-store or give our Telesales team a call on 0333 900 0093 to find out more about or audition our incredible range of new and award-winning speakers. With our friendly advice you could you could be enjoying them in your living room very soon!

Author: Chris, Liverpool store