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Accolade Model 1 review

There's much to like about these standmounters, but they're not perfect Tested at £720

Our Verdict

In some ways the Model 1s are deeply impressive, but they have some issues too

For

  • Precise midrange
  • excellent insight
  • terrific resolution
  • unfussy about positioning

Against

  • Treble lacks refinement
  • lack of consistency across the frequency range

What Hi-Fi? Verdict

In some ways the Model 1s are deeply impressive, but they have some issues too

Pros

  • + Precise midrange
  • + excellent insight
  • + terrific resolution
  • + unfussy about positioning

Cons

  • - Treble lacks refinement
  • - lack of consistency across the frequency range

Never heard of Accolade Audio? It’s a new brand, part of the Arcaydis group, sitting alongside the well-regarded (but online only) EB Acoustics brand.

Never heard of Accolade Audio? It’s a new company, part of the Arcaydis group, sitting alongside the well-regarded (but online only) EB Acoustics brand.

The Model 1’s technology highlight is that Accolade uses BMR (Balanced Mode Radiator) drive units, which allows its drivers to cover a much wider frequency band than traditional alternatives. The 64mm BMR in the Model 1 crosses over

to the partnering 10cm paper coned bass driver at 720Hz as opposed to the 2.5-3.5 kHz crossover point found in most rivals.

Articulate, expressive midrange

This engineering difference makes itself

felt with vocals: there’s a precision from

the midrange upwards that’s hard to find

in similarly priced rivals. Listen to Adele’s 21 and it’s hard not to be deeply impressed by the Accolade’s articulate nature or the impressive degree of clarity on offer. There’s also plenty of resolution on tap, and a pleasing ability to unravel musical strands in a complex piece such as Stravinsky’s The Rite of Spring with ease.

The Model 1s are small, standing just 30cm high, so deep bass is off the menu.

In our test room they sound best close to, though not right against, a rear wall. This placement gives the rear-ported design’s low-frequencies just a little (needed) reinforcement. Set-up properly, the Model 1’s soundstaging is impressively broad,

and stays stable over a wide range

of listening positions.

Criticisms? The treble performance isn’t great. For all the insight on offer, it sounds

a little too unrefined, hard and monotonal for our tastes. There’s also a notable variation in character between the BMR driver, which sounds massively taut,

and the conventional bass driver below it, which sounds relatively soft and laid-back.

In many ways the Model 1s are terrifically capable. They’re just not quite all-rounders, so audition carefully before buying.

The technology highlight of the Accolade Model 1 is that the company uses BMR (Balanced Mode Radiator) drive units, which allows its drivers to cover a much wider frequency band than traditional alternatives.

In fact, the 64mm BMR in the Model 1 crosses over to the partnering 10cm paper coned bass driver at 720Hz as opposed to the 2.5-3.5 kHz crossover point found in most rivals.

Accolade Model 1: Performance
This engineering difference makes itself felt with vocals: there’s a precision from the midrange upwards that’s hard to find in similarly priced rivals.

Listen to Adele’s 21 and it’s hard not to be deeply impressed by the Accolade’s articulate nature or the impressive degree of clarity on offer.

There’s also plenty of resolution on tap, and a pleasing ability to unravel musical strands in a complex piece such as Stravinsky’s The Rite of Spring with ease.

Accolade Model 1: Positioning
The Model 1s are small, standing just 30cm high, so deep bass is off the menu. In our test room they sound best close to, though not right against, a rear wall.

This placement gives the rear-ported design’s low-frequencies just a little (needed) reinforcement.

Set-up properly, the Model 1’s soundstaging is impressively broad, and stays stable over a wide range of listening positions.

Accolade Model 1: Criticisms
Criticisms? The treble performance isn’t great. For all the insight on offer, it sounds a little too unrefined, hard and monotonal for our tastes.

There’s also a notable variation in character between the BMR driver, which sounds massively taut, and the conventional bass driver below it, which sounds relatively soft and laid-back.

In many ways the Model 1s are terrifically capable. They’re just not quite all-rounders, so audition carefully before buying.

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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 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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