Monopulse 82A review

If you can overlook the odd manufacturing flaw, the overall presentation of the 82As is quite sensational Tested at £2495.00

What Hi-Fi? Verdict

Almost any other speaker at this price is better made; and almost none sounds as amazing


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    Precision, balance, detail, definition and all-round excitement

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    envelopingly wide soundstage

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    unique looks


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    Unique looks

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    imperfect fit and finish

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    need space to work their best

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    treble not quite as well defined as mid and bass

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.

MonoPulse is serious about timing. The company's idea is to get the leading edge of all notes, from the entire frequency range, to the listener at the same time.

It's what single-driver speakers are famed for, but MonoPulse uses two precisely placed drivers in conjunction with a specially designed crossover to create a 'single impulse wave-front'. The result should be a rhythmically seamless presentation. It is.

Play the scuzz-rock/disco-pop mix of Marmaduke Duke's Everybody Dance and the 82A's astonishing precision results in attacking excitement by the bucket-load. Every note begins with pinpoint precision, but there's no sacrifice in texture or natural note degradation – these aren't clinical to the extent of sterility.

A joyful presentation
Where previous MonoPulses have tended towards the lean side, the 82As are chunky and full-bodied, with sensational bass punch, depth and definition. Vocals are equally impressive – full of life and nuance.

The overall presentation has excellent width and three-dimensionality. Dynamics, both small-scale and large, are a joy, and although the rhythmic integration of instruments is seamless, it doesn't prevent separation in the soundstage, allowing you to identify individual strands with ease.

So the 82As combine the best of a single-driver speaker with the best of a more traditional multi-driver array. But that doesn't make them perfect.

The treble isn't quite as well-defined as the midrange or bass, and can sound a smidge sharp. And care is required with positioning: MonoPulse recommends you leave 85cm between each speaker and a wall. We'd add that toeing them out a little more than usual helps them sound their best.

Then there's the quality of the finish. There are imperfections – foam panels and filling that stick out more on one speaker, and slight bowing on some metalwork.

If you expect manufacturing perfection for £2500 (and why wouldn't you?), walk away. But if you can overlook the odd flaw, and are happy with the materials, the MonoPulses are fabulously, uniquely brilliant.

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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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