Atlas Element review

A fine budget upgrade, but you don't have to spend too much more to do quite a bit better Tested at £3.00

What Hi-Fi? Verdict

A fine budget upgrade, but you don't have to spend too much more to do quite a bit better


  • +

    Focused, spacious sound with good detail levels

  • +

    discreet and manageable


  • -

    Not as forthright in the bass as is ideal

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If you peruse the speaker cable review section of this website, it's apparent that less than a fiver per metre spent on speaker cable doesn't give the very best results.

Atlas's fiercely priced Element cable, a slim, unassuming design, is aiming to offer a bit of authentic quality to the owners of micro-systems, cinema-in-a-box set-ups and the like.

It gets most of the way there, too. John Robinson's I Am Not For Sale sounds well-organised and potent via the Atlas, with a briskly attacking, nicely textured top end.

The midrange in general, and voices especially, sounds intimate – there's plenty of detail on display and a pretty agile way with dynamics. It times well, too, the first hit, pluck or breath of notes packed with information.

Great as a micro system boost
Switching to Gang Starr's Full Clip exposes the Element's slightly tentative low-frequency reproduction. There's no shortage of detail or tonal variation to bass sounds, but the outright weight and punch the music demands is only partially present.

There's a soft centre to kick drums and so on that leaves us hankering after a bit more substance.

Still, the Atlas Element is in an entirely different league to the speaker cable your micro-system came with, and an upgrade from that to this reaps real rewards.

Read all our speaker cable reviews

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What Hi-Fi?

What Hi-Fi?, founded in 1976, is the world's leading independent guide to buying and owning hi-fi and home entertainment products. Our comprehensive tests help you buy the very best for your money, with our advice sections giving you step-by-step information on how to get even more from your music and movies. Everything is tested by our dedicated team of in-house reviewers in our custom-built test rooms in London, Reading and Bath. Our coveted five-star rating and Awards are recognised all over the world as the ultimate seal of approval, so you can buy with absolute confidence.

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