Product review: Monitor Audio Silver range


We’ve been huge fans of the original Bronze and Bronze BX series of Monitor Audio speakers for a long time now, so when it was announced we’d be stocking their bigger stablemates, the Silver series, we were seriously excited.

Smothered with praise and awards from across the globe, the Silver series offers up some unique technology in a beautifully finished package, and with such a wide range of models, there’s something for everyone.

There’s the Silver 1 and Silver 2 standmount speakers, the Silver 6, 8 and 10 floorstanders, the Silver Centre and FX speakers for home cinema use, and finally the W12 subwoofer.

Whilst all of the speakers have their own characteristics, the range shares materials across each model, and these are something Monitor Audio has worked on tirelessly in the pursuit of fantastic sound. Even aspects of the firm’s range-topping Platinum and GX series speakers have been utilised, boosting the Silver’s performance and value credentials.

Shared across all of the series is the use of Monitor Audio’s patented C-CAM drive units. Ceramic-Coated Aluminium/Magnesium (C-CAM) is an ultra-light yet ultra-tough material that originally began life in the aerospace industry. These are made even stronger again by using another Monitor Audio patent – Rigid Surface Technology. If you’ve seen the surface of a golf ball before then you’ll be familiar with the pattern! Effectively, all of the drive units feature small dimples that increase the rigidity even further, allowing for an even greater, more accurate performance even under high duress.

Silver 2

Typically for Monitor Audio, these speakers are serious lookers, using a real wood veneer rather than the cheaper laminate-on-MDF of less expensive speakers. Available in six different finishes, there’s pretty much something for any household. Another really nice touch is the fact that the drivers are ‘bolt through’, which not only improves sound quality but enhances the aesthetic even further, leaving no screw fittings on display anywhere on the front fascia.

Given the huge choice we had to work with, we decided to pick one standmount and one floorstander to listen to. Settling on the Silver 2 and Silver 6 gave us a good understanding of what these speakers were capable of, and their shared traits can be expected elsewhere in the range. Both pairs hugely benefited from a period of running in, sounding slightly harsh and tight when new out of the box. 48 hours later they’d improved dramatically, and the results after 100 hours confirmed that this process was ongoing until around this point. On to the listening!

Anyone who’s ever been to a hi-fi show is likely to have heard the Acoustic Live album by guitarist/singer Nils Lofgren. Recorded on tour in 1997, the album perfectly captures the essence of a Lofgren live show. Whilst he’s probably best known as the guitarist in E Street Band, playing to tens of thousands of Bruce Springsteen fans in stadiums the world over, Acoustic Live is Lofgren, his guitar and an intimate venue, where the whoops and whistles of his fans can be heard just a few feet from the stage. There’s probably not even a security guard in the building!

On Keith Don’t Go, an ode to Rolling Stones legend Keith Richards, Lofgren puts in an exemplary shift. The Silver 6 picked out every micro detail, painting its aural picture with a fine-tipped brush. Every knock, every brush of a string was clear. Lofgren’s guitar solo was as much of a delight as it ever has been, climbing up the registers before exploding into life. Through the Silvers, there was no trace of hardness, the sounds crisp and clear, but never harsh. The room was kept intact from the recording, too, with the close proximity of crowd to musician always apparent, really helping the listener to immerse themselves in what’s happening.

Silver 6

Switching to Radiohead’s 2007 masterpiece, In Rainbows, the Silvers showed excellent front-to-back soundstaging. On Jigsaw Falling Into Place, each band member has a clearly defined space in the room, with lead and rhythm guitars sat ahead of bass, and Phil Selway’s drums furthest back. The perception of size this gave the music was incredible. With all of the instruments separated out, the performance was still left intact, the band tight and well-oiled. Bass was room-filling when called upon but possibly wasn’t quite as deep as the Dali Opticon 6’s. This wasn’t a problem as such, and it possibly contributed to the Silver’s enhanced perception of speed. This was evident in the vast majority of tracks. The Monitor Audios seemed to always be on the attack, always ready to pounce. Rather than leave the listener feeling fatigued, it always kept us wanting to just listen to one more track, always reaching to turn the volume up that little bit higher.

The 2s were an admirable standmounter. Their cabinets are on the big side for the category, but assuming you can site them, you’ll find a speaker that offers exceptional clarity, a wide and incredibly deep soundstage and always a fun listen. The 6s were more of the same, but with heftier bass performance (as expected of a floorstander) which in turn lead to a slight thickening of the mid-range. Well-recorded vocals sounded gorgeous, with the stridency of the top end virtually non-existent, with detail and expressive clarity in its place. Both speakers’ sense of fun and excitement made them great for those who really want to get involved in their listening, not sit passively (although we’re sure they’d be great for a quiet night in, too!). In terms of looks, build, design and, most importantly, sound quality, the Silvers proved a revelation. Anyone looking to take their home listening to the next level would be well and truly doing themselves a favour in auditioning these Monitor Audios. Hugely recommended.

To arrange a demonstration of the Silver range and many others, please call or pop into your local Richer Sounds store today!

To find out more about the Monitor Audio Silver range, click here.

Author: Chris, Liverpool store