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Everything But The Box Venus F review

We like the brave styling, but not the poor performance or high price Tested at £1700

Our Verdict

We like the brave styling, but not the poor performance or high price

For

  • Distinctive styling
  • Vast range of finishes

Against

  • Lack of insight
  • Poor dynamic expression
  • High price

Everything But The Box’s Venus Fs are a brave design effort that should be applauded. In a market sector populated by rectangular wooden boxes, their egg-shaped enclosure and aluminium construction are a welcome addition.

Apart from the distinctive styling, we think budding interior designers will also enjoy the mind-numbingly large array of colours on offer – the company claims no less than 16,000 choices.

Everything But The Box Venus F review: Sound quality
Let’s start with what the Fs do well. First, that curved cabinet shape promotes dispersion, and the Venus Fs generate a wide, seamless sound stage that stretches well beyond the speakers themselves.

They are relatively small – just 9.8 litres in volume – so truly deep bass isn’t on the cards. Even so, that 13cm Kevlar mid/bass driver manages to deliver a decent dose of low-frequency weight, particularly if placed close to a wall. Get it right and you can still enjoy a decently precise sound stage with a fair dose of authority.

Delve further in their performance, however, and disappointment awaits. When it comes to detail resolution, integration and dynamic expression they struggle to outpoint the likes of the ATC SCM 11s (£1000), let alone something at the same price level.

Though that low end has decent weight, it lacks precision and punch. The overall presentation suffers from an over-projected midrange and a hard-edged, slightly detached treble. These traits made even good recordings such as Johnny Cash’s Solitary Man hard work to enjoy.

Everything But The Box Venus F review: Verdict
We really wanted to like these speakers, but it looks like all the effort has gone into making the visuals distinctive rather than delivering a sound that justifies that rather hefty price. That’s a shame.

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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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