BSA 4CF review

These BSAs are good in parts, but aren’t complete enough to worry the best at this price level Tested at £330.00

What Hi-Fi? Verdict

These BSAs are good in parts, but aren’t complete enough to worry the best at this price level


  • +

    A fast and agile performer

  • +

    good integration between drivers


  • -

    Sound lacks weight, warmth and authority

  • -

    finish disappointingly basic compared to the class leaders

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Never heard of BSA? That doesn't surprise us. It's the brand name given to Bravox's in-house speaker range. Bravox is a 55-year old Brazilian company that has made quite some name as a drive-unit supplier. The question is whether it can make a complete speaker as well?

On this showing the answer has to be yes. Don't let the three star rating dissuade you from trying these speakers. In some ways the 4CFs are right up there with the class leaders.

They're fast, beautifully integrated and have as seamless and cohesive a sound as you can find at this price level.

Listen to something like Tracy Chapman's Let It Rain and the 4CFs sing. They pick up plenty of detail and deliver it in a forthright and direct manner. Their grasp of timing is good and overall clarity is impressive.

However, these speakers aren't fully rounded performers. They're small – standing 23 cm high – so deep bass doesn't even get a look in.

Sonically thin presentation
That we can forgive, but unlike the similarly sized and considerably cheaper Dali Lektor 1 the final presentation is rather lean and undernourished.

The natural richness of instruments and voices is lost, and along with it a fair dose of emotional impact.
Not helping matters is a forward and pinched sounding treble, which, if the speakers are poorly matched with say a Pioneer budget stereo amp, would prove wearing over the long term.

Well-judged system matching can minimise these issues, but it can't do anything about the 4CF's rather cheap appearance or the lack of the kind of luxury finish that has become standard at this price level.

Make no mistake, these BSAs are decent speakers, but at this price level that isn't good enough to gain anything other than an average rating.

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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