What Hi Fi Sound and Vision Mon, 31 Oct 2011, 3:52pm

Mission MX15.1

Tested at £600
80100
4

If you listen to music and movies in a medium-sized room, this should be on your list

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For

  • Five-matching satellites provide great integration
  • good with music
  • fast and detailed

Against

  • Lacks the dynamics and power of some rivals
  • sounds a little small and closed-in

On paper, this is a fine package. The Mission MX1 stereo speakers, two pairs of which do the lion’s share of the work here, saw Mission roar to Awards success last year with a quality of sound that belied their price tag.

They’re joined by the MX-C1 centre and the MS8 subwoofer – so we have high expectations.

While we like the way they sound, the design of these speakers is less exciting. There’s a hint of studio monitor about the matte-black design, while the four satellites are on the large side at 28cm tall.

With two sets of the speakers here, those dimensions are more of a consideration: the speakers’ size makes it more likely that you’ll need to pair them with a decent set of stands.

Well integrated, but needs more oompf
On the flip-side, the centre channel and sub are compact and feel well put together. Apart from one aspect: the subwoofer’s spiked feet. Four spikes screw into it for
a bit of ground clearance, and we found it impossible to stop them working loose and rattling when the system is working hard.

So, to business. We try some music first, thinking we’ll be on easy street with the MX1s, which proved so effective as a stereo pair.

This package can clearly hold a tune, following the basslines on the DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 soundtrack to Stevie Wonder’s Live at Last Blu-ray, and delivering precision and tight rhythms. Vocals have detail and warmth but could be more open.

The signs were there with Stevie but a blast of Inception confirms that this system integrates nicely between front and back, while the solid sub beds in nicely.

Explosions lack punch and thud
We enjoy its interjections, but the system as a whole could do with more weight; explosions lack that pleasing punch and thud.

While the system is assured with intricate music or busy soundtracks, it doesn’t reach the dynamic heights or excitement of some we’ve heard at this price.

Similarly, despite being a decent size it won’t fill a big room the way others can.

But there’s much to like: as you’d expect, it’s capable with music in 5.1 and stereo.  Competition is tough, though, and the best offer a little more clarity, energy and scale.

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