Everything But The Box’s Venus Fs are a brave design effort that should be applauded. In a market sector populated by rectangular wooden boxes, their egg-shaped enclosure and aluminium construction are a welcome addition.
Apart from the distinctive styling, we think budding interior designers will also enjoy the mind-numbingly large array of colours on offer – the company claims no less than 16,000 choices.
Everything But The Box Venus F review: Sound qualityLet’s start with what the Fs do well. First, that curved cabinet shape promotes dispersion, and the Venus Fs generate a wide, seamless sound stage that stretches well beyond the speakers themselves.
They are relatively small – just 9.8 litres in volume – so truly deep bass isn’t on the cards. Even so, that 13cm Kevlar mid/bass driver manages to deliver a decent dose of low-frequency weight, particularly if placed close to a wall. Get it right and you can still enjoy a decently precise sound stage with a fair dose of authority.
Delve further in their performance, however, and disappointment awaits. When it comes to detail resolution, integration and dynamic expression they struggle to outpoint the likes of the ATC SCM 11s (£1000), let alone something at the same price level.
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Though that low end has decent weight, it lacks precision and punch. The overall presentation suffers from an over-projected midrange and a hard-edged, slightly detached treble. These traits made even good recordings such as Johnny Cash’s Solitary Man hard work to enjoy.
Everything But The Box Venus F review: VerdictWe really wanted to like these speakers, but it looks like all the effort has gone into making the visuals distinctive rather than delivering a sound that justifies that rather hefty price. That’s a shame.