OK, we admit it – we were a bit late to the Motive 2 party. Now we wish we hadn't been so tardy – these are outstanding speakers in many ways.
For a start, there's the diminutive proportions and (literally) laidback looks. There's a reason for those design features: the small size makes them easy to accommodate, while the slant means that though the cabinets are short, the drivers are aimed at your ears.
Neither are these speakers fussy about position. Certainly, they sound best given a little space, but if they need placing near a back wall, or if you're listening off-axis, they'll still do a decent job.
No compromiseA floorstander that takes up less space than a standmounter? Surely it's compromised? Nope: the Neats combine the best qualities of both types. They have the weight, authority and punch of a floorstander, and the rhythm and small-scale dynamics of a standmounter. True, a good floorstanding speaker has more bass, but the Neats' low frequencies are deep enough, and have punch and detail to match.
They don't have the exceptionally fine detail of the very best in their class, but they're cohesive, complete and compelling. This is partly down to the timing, which is absolutely spot on.
More after the break
Spin Nirvana's Nevermind, and the Neats have the power to make the room shake, and the transparency to allow the spiteful performance through unmolested. Switch to some Sigur Ros and the sound is expansive, delicate and haunting, just as it should be.
Yes, the treble can be over-exuberant when really pushed, but the Neats remain cohesive, authoritative and downright exciting.