Simaudio MOON Voice 22 Loudspeaker Page 2

Do pay heed to the manual, however, as the Voice 22's bass output benefits from sensible positioning. It never gets boisterous or overblown – this speaker is too polite to earn those sort of adjectives – but from my experience it becomes the dominant element of the performance if you've given the woofer too much of a boundary gain boost. With around 10cm clearance and the ports left open, the thudding rhythm section and phasey guitar riffs in Deep Purple's 'Perfect Strangers' from the 1984 album of the same name [Polydor 546 045-2] were impressively weighty, but it didn't take me long to realise Ian Gillan's vocals, and the outro keyboard solo, were facing an uphill struggle to cut through.

Restricting the ports with Simaudio's inserts yielded an improvement, but I still preferred the Voice 22s left unsealed, on stands and placed into the room. The soundstage is open and three-dimensional here, the Deep Purple track full of heft yet sharply focused. 'Hefty and focused' would also be a fine description of the speakers' handling of Lynyrd Skynyrd's 'Railroad Song' [Nuthin' Fancy; MCA Records 112 024-2], which rolled along with both a taut bottom end plus a distinctive clarity to drummer Artimus Pyle's 16th note hi-hat hits.

Staccato instrumentation, punchy rhythms, and low octave elements are all in the Voice 22's wheelhouse. Listening to them with the volume up, you get that happy confusion of an impactful sound emerging from deceptively small boxes. They ensured the finger-clicking funk of Michael Jackson's 'Don't Stop 'Til You Get Enough' [Off The Wall, Epic; Tidal Master] was conveyed with the necessary sharp-edged, stop-start energy. Meanwhile, Quincy Jones' everything-but-the-kitchen-sink production (including, apparently, three different percussionists) found clear space between the speakers.

On this piece, much of Jackson's vocals – and occasional onomatopoeic outbursts – are sat back in the mix, yet other refrains are overlaid front and centre. These parts enjoyed due prominence, momentarily focusing attention away from the fun-filled backing track. Elsewhere, however, the Voice 22's well-constructed sound did lose its balance. Norah Jones' career-defining ballad 'Come Away With Me' [Parlophone; 192kHz/24-bit] should be all about her close-mic'd, soft and silky vocal, but here it felt almost too much the star of the show.


MOON's 2nd-order crossover is not split so the Voice 22 is fitted with a single set of 4mm terminals. The rear-facing port is mounted into the same solid rear plate

Good Omen
All things considered, however, it's this speaker's controlled and revealing nature that comes to the fore. There's no sign of a nasty edge to treble nor an obviously smoothed high-frequency response, and the two cabinets mesh well to create a soundstage with a precise central image. The sound is insightful and detailed, and this applies to the speaker's low-end performance too.

This was shown to fine effect by the supple acoustic bass of Red Hot Chilli Peppers' 'Road Trippin', from their 1999 album Californication [Warner Bros. Records 9362-49530-5] and the solidity of the kick drums throughout the group's recent Unlimited Love set [Warner Bros. Records; Tidal Master].

A glance at the Voice 22's headline specification suggests a welcoming loudspeaker in terms of sensitivity and nominal impedance and although PM's lab report reveals it's a tougher drive than expected, neither did it strain my amplification, letting me sample Jerry Goldsmith's delightfully spooky title theme for The Omen […Original Motion Picture Soundtrack; 44.1kHz/16-bit download] in full flight.

Played by the National Philharmonic Orchestra, this piece presents low piano and brass, ominous timpani, quivering strings and male and female plainsong. Surprising here was the sheer depth of the soundstage the Voice 22 cabinets created, unearthing a cavernous recording space. Yet also enjoyable was the scale of the performance, which sent violins soaring. And, above all, the Voice 22s captured the mood of the piece. I don't speak Latin, so have no idea what Goldsmith's massed choir is chanting, but it scared the hell out of me – as it should.

Hi-Fi News Verdict
The unflashy appearance of Simaudio's first loudspeaker carries over into its sound – this isn't a model that seeks to grab attention via a warm voicing or attacking treble. On the menu instead is refined musicality, the Voice 22 offering clarity and control all the way down to a low-end that's surprisingly potent for a modestly-sized cabinet. Now, how about a floorstander to go with the MOON 888 monoblock?

Simaudio Ltd
Quebec, Canada
Supplied by: Renaissance Audio, Scotland
0131 555 3922