Scansonic M20 Loudspeaker Rise Of The Compact

Rise Of The Compact

The appeal of small floorstanding speakers isn't hard to fathom: they look more 'of a piece' than standmount models atop stands, however elegant those stands may be. And when you're up into the world of more ambitious small speakers, the economics make sense, too. For example, a pair of KEF's LS50 Metas [HFN Jun '21] will set you back £999, with the matching stands at £400/pr, and we're already close to the price of this Scansonic model…

So, it's not surprising that many manufacturers now make compact floorstanding speakers. The B&W 603 S2 Anniversary Edition [HFN Jan '21] stands under a metre tall and is a slender 19cm wide – though the stabilising plinth adds a bit to those dimensions – while even Wharfedale's Diamond 12.4 is just 1.1m tall. And companies have worked on ways of overcoming the performance limitations of small floorstanders. The Kudos Cardea C20 [reviewed next month] is only 92cm tall and uses a downward-venting bass-tuning port, making it easy to place in the room.

Meanwhile Neat Acoustics has gone even further with its Iota Alpha model [HFN Oct '16], mounting its mid/bass driver and AMT tweeter on an angled panel, aiming the sound higher for a 'floating in air' effect, while a downward-firing woofer fills out the low end. The company's larger – but only 74cm tall – Iota Xplorer speaker [HFN Jul '18] follows the same design, but sports twin bass units in an isobaric arrangement for even more extension and clout.

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