Acoustic Energy combines Compact and Neo speakers in high-performance 6.1-channel package

Due in the shops next week is a new Compact/Neo 6.1 surround speaker package from Acoustic Energy. Combining the company's Compact One speakers for all six channels with the Neo subwoofer, it will sell for £850.

Acoustic Energy says the system 'has been designed to offer the sound quality and integration of a full-size loudspeaker system yet offer the discreet look and affordable price-tag of a typical compact sub-sat package'.

Unlike many similar set-ups, it uses the same speaker for all six 'satellites', rather than having a dedicated centre speaker. That should ensure better integration around the soundfield, with no tonal shifts when moving between speakers.

The compact Ones are designed to be used vertically, but can also be used on their side if required, or wall-mounted with the brackets supplied. Bungs are provided for each speaker's rear port to limit bass energy if they're used close to a wall or, in the case of the centre channel speaker, on a shelf or inside a cabinet.

AE says that the Compact 'features a heavyweight MDF cabinet with extensive bracing, a minimalist ‘clean path’ crossover and two new drivers. The soft dome tweeter delivers a smooth and extended top end while the wood fibre mid-bass driver with AE’s signature conical dust cap has been tuned team to offer sweet midrange and tightly controlled low frequency response.'

The Neo subwoofer supplied in the system comes in the same Vermont Walnut finish as the Compact Ones.

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Andrew has written about audio and video products for the past 20+ years, and been a consumer journalist for more than 30 years, starting his career on camera magazines. Andrew has contributed to titles including What Hi-Fi?, GramophoneJazzwise and Hi-Fi CriticHi-Fi News & Record Review and Hi-Fi Choice. I’ve also written for a number of non-specialist and overseas magazines.