PMC DB1S-AII review

They might be lacking in the looks department, but these PMCs have a sound that's able to charm the birds from the trees Tested at £2060.00

What Hi-Fi? Verdict

They may not look it, but these PMCs sound like every penny’s-worth


  • +

    Superbly composed, detailed and, above all, engaging sound


  • -

    Humdrum finish

  • -

    could dig deeper

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It's easy to overlook the PMC DB1S-AIIs. Smaller even than the Dynaudio Focus 110As, finished in just one colour of less-than smooth plastic and with a kind of overbite at the back where the amplification is bolted on, they don't meet our expectations of what a £2000+ loudspeaker should look like.

The sound, though… the sound is a different proposition. Before we bowl headlong into the eulogies, let's consider the specification.

200 Watts of Class D power, and a 140mm driver partnering a 27mm tweeter is impressive when you consider the PMCs are only 155mm wide; and balanced XLR inputs are welcome. It doesn't read like two grand's-worth, though, does it?

Unshowy, yet faithful to the music
You don't have to get far into a listen to TV On The Radio's Wolf Like Me for the price to seem fair enough, mind: the PMCs just don't put a foot wrong.

All the warmth and weight you could desire from such modest cabinet dimensions is present, but it's the unshowy detail retrieval, remarkable midrange fidelity and wide-screen, authoritative presentation that really grab your lapels.

Rhythmically surefooted, thoroughly engaging and as eloquent and even-handed a pair of speakers as you're likely to hear anywhere near this price, the PMCs have what it takes to keep you sitting, rapt, in front of them for hour after hour.

Some listeners might hanker after greater low-frequency presence – but in the light of the PMCs' extensive suite of talents (particularly their mastery of transients, timing and integration) we're happy to accommodate a teensy lack of bass extension.

These PMCs have the kind of charm that lasts and lasts.

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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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