What Hi Fi Sound and Vision Fri, 28 Oct 2011, 10:30am

Acoustic Energy Radiance 2 5.1 package

Tested at £1895
80100
4

Good but not great, this is a decent system let down by its bottom end

Write your own review

For

  • Size and styling get a tick
  • decent detail and dynamics
  • cohesive, nice tonal balance

Against

  • Subwoofer is a little loose – overall sound lacks some punch
Acoustic Energy has been treading carefully in recent years, taking time to fine tune its range of speakers. And with success: this system, from AE’s newest Radiance range, has been one of its most popular additions, we’re told.
It’s the floorstanding Radiance 2s that have been attracting the most attention, and they take on the task of the front left and right channels. They’re joined by a pair of Radiance 1 speakers at the rear, the Radiance 7 centre and the closed-box, forward-firing Radiance 8 subwoofer.
Acoustic Energy is a brand upon which you can rely for high-quality build and simple but effective styling. 
It’s easy enough to accommodate too, with the size just about right – big enough without being too imposing, with relatively compact centre and rear channels. All the speakers here are biwirable in to the bargain. 
We give the package plenty of time to run-in, then put it through its paces with some music. The Ray Charles: Live at Montreux disc comes with a great-sounding DTS-HD 5.1-soundtrack – it’s a decent picture too, if you can look past the profuse sweating all round – with plenty for any system to think about.
Decent scale and insight
We like what we hear. Though relatively slender and unassuming for a pair of floorstanders, the Radiance 2s are capable of good scale and insight with a healthy dose of bottom-end weight to make for an authoritative listen. 
It’s a solid, integrated sound, too. All the speakers in the range sport AE’s DXT Lens technology around the tweeter, which aims to match the dispersion of treble sounds better with those from the mid/bass drivers. It seems to work; the speakers sound focused in isolation but also cohesive as a collective unit – the rear channels blend nicely. Nevertheless it’s not quite grabbing us by the collar.
We switch to something a little less smooth: 28 Days Later demands power with precision to get you jumping out of your seat. But this doesn’t quite deliver the goods. Bass grunts are a little flappy and detached, the loose subwoofer detracting from the punch of the system. It remains an easy enough listen – but in this competition, that’s not enough.
Our impression of this package’s looks was that, while it wouldn’t set the room alight, it was a nice addition: and it’s a similar story for the sound. 

Acoustic Energy has been treading carefully in recent years, taking time to fine tune its range of speakers. 

And with success: this system, from AE’s newest Radiance range, has been one of its most popular additions, we’re told.

It’s the floorstanding Radiance 2s that have been attracting the most attention, and they take on the task of the front left and right channels.

They’re joined by a pair of Radiance 1 speakers at the rear, the Radiance 7 centre and the closed-box, forward-firing Radiance 8 subwoofer.

High-quality build and style
Acoustic Energy is a brand upon which you can rely for high-quality build and simple but effective styling. 

It’s easy enough to accommodate too, with the size just about right – big enough without being too imposing, with relatively compact centre and rear channels. 

All the speakers here are biwirable in to the bargain. We give the package plenty of time to run-in, then put it through its paces with some music.

The Ray Charles: Live at Montreux disc comes with a great-sounding DTS-HD 5.1-soundtrack – it’s a decent picture too, if you can look past the profuse sweating all round – with plenty for any system to think about.

Decent scale and insight
We like what we hear. Though relatively slender and unassuming for a pair of floorstanders, the Radiance 2s are capable of good scale and insight with a healthy dose of bottom-end weight to make for an authoritative listen. 

It’s a solid, integrated sound, too. All the speakers in the range sport AE’s DXT Lens technology around the tweeter, which aims to match the dispersion of treble sounds better with those from the mid/bass drivers. 

It seems to work; the speakers sound focused in isolation but also cohesive as a collective unit – the rear channels blend nicely.

Nevertheless it’s not quite grabbing us by the collar. We switch to something a little less smooth: 28 Days Later demands power with precision to get you jumping out of your seat. 

Subwoofer lacks punch
But this doesn’t quite deliver the goods. Bass grunts are a little flappy and detached, the loose subwoofer detracting from the punch of the system. It remains an easy enough listen – but given what close rivals have on offer, that’s not enough.

Our impression of this package’s looks was that, while it wouldn’t set the room alight, it was a nice addition: and it’s a similar story for the sound. 

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