In common with other ProAc designs, the Studio 140s look ordinary – and in most ways, they are: their cabinets are just tall, well-built wooden boxes, while their drive units have nothing in them to make rival manufacturers curious. Yet, rather like a master chef cooking with everyday ingredients, ProAc's engineers have concocted something quite extraordinary.
The Studio 140s exhibit very few weaknesses – provoke the tweeter with really aggressive recordings or a very bright system and it'll draw a little too much attention to itself, but otherwise, and used in the kind of room where a design of this size would be expected to work, they turn in a mesmerising performance.
These speakers get all the essentials spot on. Dynamics are bold enough to do justice to something as demanding as Holst's Mars, and there's little sign of restraint, even at high volume levels.
Power, punch and insightThe Studio 140s just flow with the music, delivering power, punch and insight as and when they're needed. Timing is equally impressive, delivering a hard-charging beat from the likes of Massive Attack and stopping and starting with an agility not far short of the very best standmounts – except smaller speakers don't have the same bass extension.
The 140s' twin 16.5cm mid/bass drivers, tuned with a downward-firing port, promise some proper seismic bass activity, and they don't disappoint in that department.
More after the break
So, these towers do the muscle thing very well, but ask them to speak softly and they'll enunciate like they went to a Swiss finishing school. If you're a fan of great vocalists like Nina Simone or Stevie Wonder, you'll find vocal nuances delivered as clear as day, so the emotional impact of a song is turned up to 11.
Want to impress your friends with some flashy-looking speakers? Buy something else. Want to impress them with great music? Start here…