Monitor Audio is rightly making plenty of noise about its 50th anniversary, and hot on the heels of the Silver 100 Limited Edition speakers comes the mind-boggling Concept 50.
Looking like they could have flown straight from the set of Star Wars, the Concept 50 speakers are a prototype design that is set to be turned into a fully-fledged flagship speaker by the end of the year, and aims to deliver "the absolute pinnacle in loudspeaker development". No pressure, then.
They certainly looked and sounded the part in a packed demo room at High End Munich, showcasing an innovative design built around "The Array". This is a cluster of six mid-range drivers in a circular array and a new MPD tweeter, which together promise a wide bandwidth and smooth crossover. The positioning of the drivers aims to create a flat baffle around the tweeter to minimise distortion. It's all mounted within a solid aluminium baffle.
Meanwhile, the Concept 50's four 20cm bass drivers are anchored together in pairs, facing each other for a "force cancelling" configuration. The bass cabinet is made of mineral and acrylic stone.
Monitor Audio’s design director, Charles Minett, said: "Our mission to create a loudspeaker like no other both in performance and looks was no easy challenge. However, by using Concept 50’s two unique driver configurations as the backbone of its structure, we have been able to create a unique aesthetic that demands attention but does not overpower a space like many of its contemporaries. This allows us to make a statement that looks forward not back. Concept 50 is about generating ideas that can form the basis of our loudspeaker development for the next generation of audio enthusiasts." A thinly veiled dig at the trend for retro speakers? Who knows.
The Concept 50 may be a prototype for now but Monitor Audio assures us the speaker will continue to be developed before going into production later in the year. A brand-new Monitor Audio flagship speaker promising the pinnacle of hi-fi sound? We can't wait to hear the finished article.
For more news from the show, head over to our Munich High End 2022 round-up.