It's been a bit of a speakerfest around here recently, what with the new models from Mordaunt-Short and Sonus Faber (below). But none of those designs is as radical as the new Naima, from Danish company Kibri, which uses a conventional two-way driver arrangement in an unusual cabinet, sloping the front baffle at an angle of around 45 degrees to give a semi-omnidirectional dispersion pattern.
In common with manufacturers like American company Shahinian, Kibri is a strong believer in this sloping baffle design, saying it gives the speaker a dispersion much more like that of natural sounds. As the company says, 'Every sound in the universe has an omni directional waveform away from its point of source. This is why we at kibri, build semi-omni polar speakers.
'Imagine a live performance: dozens of instruments are played simultaneously and it’s impossible to pinpoint each single instrument, though you can target the location. For some reason this imaginary pinpoint soundstage has been the norm in conventional hi-fi judgement for several years. We don’t believe in this.
'Real music in real space is more like a mass of sound emanating from general locations - an omni polar speaker will be much more faithful in reproducing this than a conventional forward-firing panel speaker.'
So now you know.
In the Naima, which sells for under £1700 through UK distributor Walrus Systems, you get a 17cm paper-cone bass unit with twin bass reflex ports and a 27mm fabric-dome tweeter in its own sub-enclosure inside the cabinet, which stands a maximum of 42cm tall. It's designed to be used on lightweight open-frame stands on solid surfaces.
The cabinets come in birch, bird, black ash, ebony and maple, with a choice of white, pearl or black grilles.