What Hi Fi Sound and Vision Fri, 22 Jul 2011, 10:54am

Acoustic Energy Neo One v2

Tested at £210
80100
4

Real ability in most areas but the Neos don’t gel like they should

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For

  • Expressive midrange and bass
  • dynamic sound
  • good with vocals

Against

  • Rather coarse treble performance
  • not the most rhythmic

Twice as tall as they are wide, there’s a hint of Peter Crouch about the Acoustic Energy Neo One v2s.

Slip off the magnetic grilles and there looks to be a fair bit of MDF around and between the 25mm neodymium ring radiator tweeter and 13cm alloy mid/bass driver.

Playing Nick Drake’s bucolic Saturday Sun the Neo One v2s sound smoothly engaging, perhaps a tad midrange-forward but focused and eloquent.

Low frequencies in particular are detail-packed and expressive, while vocals are
poised. Challenge them with some orchestral action and the Neos demonstrate ample shove, shifting from near-silent to all-out without problems.

Lack a little oomph
For all the bottom end’s tonal variance and detail, though, the Neos lack a little oomph, even if the recording they’re playing demands greater drive, while at the other end of the frequency range, treble sounds are fractionally thin and peaky (a familial trait that crops up with the Aegis Neo 4s, too).
 
This relative lack of refinement is at considerable odds with the rest of the Neos’ otherwise balanced approach and results in a presentation that’s less unified than it ought to be.

If you want a pair of upgrade speakers that seem to have been voiced to offer splendid detail, articulacy and poise to voices, these Acoustic Energys should definitely be on your must-audition list.

If you’re after surefooted rhythmic ability and seamless integration of the whole frequency range, though, you should be looking elsewhere.

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