Magnat Signature Edelstein Loudspeaker

hfncommendedThese super-compact loudspeakers are simply the tip of the iceberg for Germany's expansive Magnat brand whose ranges encompass the gamut of 'lifestyle' to 'purist'

Bigger is better' seems to be one of those unwritten rules of hi-fi that ensures every audio show is packed with speakers towering high above the audience. Unfortunately, out there in the real world most people don't have the space to wheel in a pair of Wilson Audio Alexx Vs [HFN Jan '22] or Focal Grande Utopias [HFN Dec '18]. So, in an age when tiny houses are proclaimed as the way to go, Magnat's Signature Edelstein might be the speakers that better fit the zeitgeist. But these are not especially low-cost petite models. As 'Edelstein', or gemstone in German, indicates, these particular Magnat boxes – priced at £949 – are positioned as small and luxurious.

If all this sounds familiar, you're not mistaken. The new Edelsteins are not the first foray into the miniature speaker space for this 50-year-old German brand. Ten years ago it launched the Quantum Edelstein – a similar concept that boasted the same aesthetic. Taking a broader look, the two-way Signature Edelsteins fit into a peculiar mini segment of super-small but opulent speakers where you'll also find ELAC's new BS 312.2 and the DALI Menuet. Even Wilson Audio's TuneTot [HFN Nov '18] could be considered as something similar, albeit at far higher cost!

Deep Thinking
Cleverly, the Signature Edelsteins pull off a neat optical trick. Viewed front on they appear very small – they're only 232x135mm (hxw). Their 'secret' is their depth, which at nearly 25cm isn't extreme but gives the cabinet more volume than you'd first expect, making them not many cubic centimetres away from Musical Fidelity's recent LS3/5A homage.

While the Edelsteins' elongated shape makes them challenging to install on speaker stands with small top-plates, it's arguable that a freestanding location is not the right choice for these models anyway. Furthermore, it doesn't take a genius to realise that small loudspeakers like these aren't meant for use in large rooms. That said, if you aren't seeking bass thrills or, perhaps, are prepared to run the Edelsteins with a subwoofer, then they can perform very admirably in a larger living space at normal listening levels.


Magnat's 25mm soft dome tweeter, with large roll surround, nestles in a waveguide formed by the thick alloy baffle faceplate. The 115mm alloy coned mid-woofer is stiffened by ceramic (oxide) on its front and rear surfaces

As for their looks, it turns out 'Edelstein' is not just a smart marketing label; the speaker also incorporates a design element with a jewel-like aspect. Separating the machined alloy base from the rest of the cabinet is a clear 'crystal acrylic' layer that, from a distance, creates an illusion of cabinets floating above the shelf, desktop or stands on which they're sat. The Signature Edelstein's heavy, layered base section also lowers the speaker's centre of gravity, helping to improve stability.

Little Beauty
The rest of the speaker is finely crafted, too. The hefty MDF cabinet is finished in a satin white or black that exudes a function-before-form vibe, but this is extinguished the moment you remove the (black or light grey) front grille to uncover the brushed metal baffle. Incidentally, the white edition is the 'looker' of the two, with the textured alloy baffle complementing the lighter cabinet finish to pleasing effect.

Even though Magnat is wont to combine tweeters and supertweeters, the Signature Edelstein is graced with a single 25mm dome tweeter – albeit a very capable one. This is sunk into a large waveguide machined out of the alloy baffle plate and combined with a 115mm 'woofer' that utilises Magnat's '3L Sandwich' cone material – a magnesium alloy stiffened by an outer surface of ceramic. This driver is reflex-loaded via a deep port that exits through the rear of the cabinet.

The Edelstein's sensitivity is rated at a high 90dB, which would be an impressive number for something this compact – PM's Lab Report paints a different picture, so you'll need a bit more oomph when it comes to amplification. Then again, few are likely to combine a pair of circa-£1000 speakers with a tiny, budget amp.

sqnote Speaker Surprise
Setting aside my usual larger testing kit, I connected the Signature Edelsteins to an analogue-only Primare I15 amplifier [HFN Oct '18] with a WiiM Pro Plus for streaming and a Pro-Ject X1 turntable [HFN Aug '19] for some vinyl fun. Electing to audition the speakers with a real-life, keep-it-simple system felt truer to form in this case. At the same time, the Primare amp has a measured 2x140W/4ohm to drive the more demanding Edelsteins, and its slightly laid-back character turned out to be a good match. When I subsequently used Magnat's speakers with NAD's C 658 pre and C 298 power amps [HFN Oct '21], the sound edged in a more analytical direction.

Premium Audio Company GmbH
Pulheim, Germany
Supplied by: Henley Audio Ltd, UK
01235 511166