What Hi Fi Sound and Vision Tue, 18 Nov 2008, 12:00pm

Mirage Nano 5.1 HGB

Tested at £600
80100
4

A compact, cleverly designed system that bar a lacklustre bass delivery provides a fine surround solution

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For

  • Smart, solid styling
  • excellent cohesion
  • exciting, fast listen
  • good with music, too

Against

  • Softness of subwoofer harms overall solidity and bottom-end bite

The ‘Style' moniker not only frees up manufacturers when it comes to form, but it tends to have a knock-on effect and cause a little re-think when it comes to function, too.

Sure enough, this Nanosat package from US  company Mirage – part of the Klipsch Group – approaches the problem of filling a room with sound from a tiny speaker package from a fresh angle.

There are four satellites here alongside a dedicated centre channel (you can also get a basic Nanosat package that uses five identical satellites) and a compact subwoofer.

Each satellite employs a 2.75in titanium cone woofer, a 0.75in ‘hybrid tweeter', and some nifty proprietary technology. The ‘Omniguide' module uses two deflectors to aid dispersion of sound both towards the listener and reflecting off walls and ceilings.

Mirage claims this will help to create a more cohesive, whole surround sound. Sure enough, this system integrates confidently, with sound panning smoothly across the front three, as well as seamlessly from front to back, enveloping us as we listen. 
 
Crisp and lively at the top end

The obvious trade-off would be for a lack of precision, but the Mirage manages to keep a solid hold of sounds, too. As Bruce Wayne merrily destroys an ancient ninja hideout in Batman Begins, the audio is fast, agile and detailed. Swooshing swords sounding crisp and sharp, too, the lively treble adding plenty of excitement.

In fact, it's at the other end of the sound scale that this package stumbles. The subwoofer lacks solidity and tightness, providing slightly flappy, soft bass notes. This has an adverse effect on the rest of the system, with even dialogue lacking authority as a result.

It's a shame, as even with music this Mirage is again impressive, sounding detailed and cohesive, if lacking a little grunt. Listening to the Dolby TrueHD soundtrack on the Legends of Jazz Blu-ray disc, we're impressed by the detail and resolution on show, with only bottom-end sounds not quite delivering the goods.

The Nanosat certainly has much to offer, delivering an exciting, agile and integrated surround sound inside a tidy machine. Sadly, its lack of solidity due to the hint of bass softness means it falls short of a glowing five-star verdict.

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