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Epos Encore 50 review

They have an awesome capability for power handling, but at this kind of price, we'd expect much more from these Epos floorstanders Tested at £4995.00

Our Verdict

These Epos floorstanders do some things well, but lack the all-round talent to standout at this price level

For

  • Impressive ability to go loud without compromising refinement
  • truckload of bass
  • adjustable crossover aids

Against

  • Lack of attention to detail
  • not the most involving listen

We've reviewed thousands of speakers over the years, but this is the first time we've come across one that comes with its own skateboard.

It's needed, too. Each Epos Encore 50 stands 1.2 metres high and weighs in at 45kg: it's an awkward lift for two and virtually impossible for one person to unpack and set-up safely.

The skateboard makes it easier to move the speakers without causing damage.

A lack of attention to detail
The birch-plywood/MDF box is immensely solid but there's a lack of attention to detail when it comes to finishing areas that aren't immediately visible.

Our review samples had poorly finished bases, and the bolt holes on both plinths were drilled roughly.

The Encore 50 is up against some fabulously built products at this price level, and anything less than immaculate isn't good enough.

Once set-up properly – in free space with a touch of toe-in – these speakers continue to produce mixed results.

They go loud, very loud in fact, without struggling. They're rated at 500 Watts power handling, and that's easy to believe.

Listening to Tinchy Stryder's Catch 22 at ever increasing levels we gave up long before the '50s even showed signs of hardening up.

They remained composed and refined no matter what we threw at them. If a recording is bright or aggressive they'll reveal the flaws, but they absolutely refuse to be provoked into over-reacting.

Massively scaled sound
The combination of high volume levels and great bass produces a sound of massive scale and authority but, unlike some other Epos speakers, the Encores don't time particularly well.

They fail to convey the pace of a piece of music with enough skill and make less of the interplay between instruments than they should. Couple these shortfalls to a lack of attack and rhythmic drive
and you end up with a speaker that's hard to love.

A decent level of detail resolution and fine integration aren't enough to save things.

If you're a fan of complex, large-scale orchestral works there are few speakers at this price level that can deliver such power and poise but, important as poise and refinement are, they're no substitute for entertainment.

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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, New York 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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