Monitor Audio Silver RS1 AV review

An extraordinary set-up, which can be powerful as you like but is also versatile enough to adapt to subtler demands Tested at £1650.00

What Hi-Fi? Verdict

The Monitor Audio Silver RS1AV is undoubtedly a class-leading speaker package in its price sector


  • +

    Transparent delivery of movies and music

  • +

    superb levels of detail

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    subwoofer integrates well delivering tight, punchy bass


  • -

    Striking looks might not appeal to everyone

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.

'Special' is exactly how we'd describe this outstanding set-up. The amazing sonic ability of the Monitor Audio Silver RS1AV more than justifies the price-tag.

The sound is spacious and creates a fantastic atmosphere, whether you're watching the gung-ho, explosive action of XXX: The Next Level or the more stirring, emotional soundtrack of Gladiator.

The package can be powerful and forthcoming, but is also versatile enough to adapt to subtle moments on a movie soundtrack or CD. Dialogue via the RS-LCR centre channel is natural, emotive and clear: in XXX: The Next Level, it delivers the moody gangster attitude in Ice Cube's voice perfectly.

The rear RS-FX speakers come with their own wall-fixing kit and can be used in either bipole or dipole form – it's worth experimenting to see which you prefer.

The subwoofer is special
The system's RSW-12 subwoofer also deserves a special mention. It integrates with the rest of the system without a problem and delivers a hefty and precise low-end kick that drives home and gives real presence to any explosions on your DVD soundtrack. The sub's ability also helps to ease the load on the front left and right speakers.

A word of warning – ensure all the speakers are given a generous amount of time to run in or things will sound a touch bright at the top end. Also, you'll need to invest in a decent pair of speaker stands for the front left/right RS1 speakers and this will raise the price slightly.

Okay, so the RS1AV system is pricey, but we're convinced it's worth every penny. If you want cinema sound without going to your local multiplex, then the Monitor Audio is our top pick.

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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