Geneva Lab Model L review

This brutal-looking docking system fires out a wonderfully musical sound Tested at £1000.00

What Hi-Fi? Verdict

More musical than your usual dock'n'speakers combo, the L is able to fill a room with quality iPod sound


  • +

    Thoroughly enjoyable, pacy sound from iPod, CD or FM

  • +

    sturdy build, glossy finish


  • -

    Brutal looks

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    you will need to buy the stand

Why you can trust What Hi-Fi? Our expert team reviews products in dedicated test rooms, to help you make the best choice for your budget. Find out more about how we test.

£850 (plus an 'optional' £150 for a stand that should probably be considered 'essential') seems a fair bit for what, at first sight, looks to be an oppressively sized centre speaker.

Fortunately for all our sensibilities, the Geneva Model L is more than that.

It's an iPod dock, a CD player and FM radio. It has amplification rated at 50W per channel, which drives two 1-inch tweeters and a pair of 5.25-inch mid/bass drivers.

It's got a pair of analogue inputs, a decent remote control and a display so big and bright you could read it through a fog.

Stand and deliver
You'll need the stand because all the L's connections are near the bottom of the cabinet and it's a big boy to balance on the top-plate of a speaker stand.

Once positioned (Geneva provides a long mains lead) and with an Apple Lossless file of Gogol Bordello's American Wedding playing via the iPod dock, the Geneva impresses with the scale and brio of its presentation.

A technology Geneva calls EmbracingSound allows a dramatically wide soundstage to be liberated from the Model L's single enclosure, and in terms of punch and drive the L wants for nothing.

Voices are expressive, high frequencies sparkle without hardness and the frequency range is well integrated. Wind the volume to antisocial levels and the L gets louder with no loss of composure.

It's a similar story with CD playback: fast, attacking and poised. FM radio, too, is expressive and clean.

So if you're looking for an iPod-based, true all-in-one with a lot more musicality than the norm, you need to hear the Geneva Model L.

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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