What Hi Fi Sound and Vision Mon, 7 Feb 2005, 1:00pm

Mission M-Cube

Tested at £600
100100
5

As innovative and covetable as it was on day one, the Mission is as appealing as ever

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For

  • Brilliantly discreet
  • larger, more immersive sound than seems credible

Against

  • Subwoofer demands careful placement
  • not really very musical

Everything we've ever admired about the achingly dinky M-cube package in is still holds true today. Those five speakers, for instance, are a vanishingly small 9 x 9 x 9cm – it looks small written down, but they look even tinier in situ. The finish is clean, and the cubes can have their soft-touch fabric finish changed to one of four supplied colours. As a solution to pacify your inner interior designer, the Mission package remains untouchable.

Connecting the system is rather less elegant: a 3m-long ‘umbilical' joins to your amplifier's speaker outputs at one end, and clips into the subwoofer at the other. The little speakers then wire to the subwoofer's speaker outputs.

Flat-panels, small speakers
The M-cubes are so small thanks, in great part, to the NXT flat-panel technology they utilise, which places a mjor burden on the subwoofer. NXT panels are poor-going-on-useless at reproducing low frequencies, so the sub has to work much higher up the frequency range than any rival.

Luckily, the Mission does a fine job, filling in the (fairly) low frequencies the speakers can't manage, and modulating well.

Classic war soundtrack
Playing the soundtrack to our Full Metal Jacket Blu-ray, the system startles all over again with the expansiveness of its soundstage, its winning lack of positional giveaways when moving effects around the room and the unlikely scale of its performance.

It's not without flaws – we wouldn't recommend it to anyone who intended to play lots of music, as the NXT panels aren't able to focus as precisely as music requires, and the hard-working sub can occasionally be wrong-footed – but the Mission is a formidable cinema system.

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