Opera Mezza review

Look suave and sound good, but don’t possess the sonic assertiveness of some Tested at £850

What Hi-Fi? Verdict

Look suave and sound good, but don’t possess the sonic assertiveness of some


  • +

    Smart appearance and finish

  • +

    Balance, unified sound

  • +

    Good detail, well-defined bass


  • -

    Timing could be a touch better

  • -

    Low frequencies lack authority

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You can always trust the Italians to bring some style and sophistication. Opera’s Mezzas are undoubtedly classy speakers and their fit and finish definitely make them one of the more attractive and desirable pairs we've had recently.

Opera Mezza review: Design

Unbox the speakers and each veneered cabinet feels solid and sturdy to the touch. And, adding to their visual appeal, each Mezza tapers in slightly to the rear – these are cabinets fitted with the precision and grace of an Italian suit.

The trim and finish is no less smart: a strip of leather runs around the edge of each cabinet giving a plush, refined feel to the unit. Suffice it to say, you certainly don’t feel shortchanged for your £850.

Each speaker contains one 25mm fabric-dome tweeter and a 13cm treated-paper, mid-bass driver. Looked at straight on, the Mezzas don’t look as showy as a KEF, B&W or Tannoy. However, there’s a lot to be said for the elegant way the drive units blend into the front of each cabinet.

Opera Mezza

Opera Mezza

Opera Mezza review: Performance

Sonically, the Mezzas do their best to charm and seduce. After a quick audition, your attention is drawn to their smooth and sweet midrange. Spin Kylie’s acoustic treatment of I Should Be So Lucky and Ms Minogue’s vocals are sharp and precise.

Biwiring the Mezzas isn’t an option, but careful positioning and a pair of solid speaker stands will help solidify those low frequencies. Opera recommends positioning its smaller speakers around 30cm from a back wall. In practice we wouldn’t really place them any further away from a boundary.

Put them well out into free space, and you’ll find that the midrange and treble have a tendency to veer towards the shouty and even get a touch edgy.

Given their dimensions, the Operas still manage to bestow the listener with a decent amount of bass. They don’t sound malnourished at all and cope with the excursions during Eminem’s Without Me reasonably well. The speakers capture the basic flow of the song well and manage to sketch out the general path of even complicated tracks such as Thelonious Monk’s Played Twice.

Low-level dynamics, though, just aren’t delivered with enough grunt and aggression when the need arises. The Mezzas are fine with the first few seconds of Madonna’s Sky Fits Heaven but when the track shifts up a gear, the Operas don’t quite have the reserves in the tank to cope.

Opera Mezza review: Verdict

In true Italian fashion, the Mezzas look super-smart and are dressed to impress. Sonically, they’re steady as opposed to stunning, but there’s still plenty to admire about the way they go about their business.

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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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