The Quad L-ite Plus’s biggest problem isn’t some major flaw in its performance. It’s the quality of its rivals. Its price puts it between B&W’s all-conquering MT50s (£1100) and Monitor Audio’s classy Radius R90HT1 (£1500). Not a comfortable place to be.
Our first impressions are positive. All the speakers, including the compact subwoofer, come in a single large cardboard box. It’s all tidily packaged, and the speakers are nicely made.
Should the white finish not appeal there are black and ‘ruby red’ gloss options.
This 5.1 package consists of a dedicated centre speaker, two pairs of L-ite Plus satellite speakers and the subwoofer.
The sub is a small unit (just 31 x 34 x 24cm), but still packs a pair of 15cm side-firing drivers worked by a 200W amplifier.
The centre and surround speakers use common drive units. Their 25mm soft-dome tweeters use fabric diaphragms and have carefully shaped faceplates to help dispersion.
The single mid/bass drivers, meanwhile, use 10cm resin-impregnated Kevlar cones, which are claimed to be light, rigid and well damped.
Given a couple of days to run-in, this system sings. We start off with the entertaining World War Z and are struck by its integration. Not only does the subwoofer blend seamlessly with the surround channels, but the centre and surrounds are consistent too.
When a voice starts off in the centre and moves to the right-rear channel it doesn’t change in tonal balance or size – important for convincing surround results.
Don’t think this package can’t deliver a big sound just because it’s so small. That little sub may not dig quite as deep as some, but it sounds solid and punchy.
Tonally, the balance is even, with no part of the frequency range dominating – so it’s easier to ignore the speakers and concentrate on what’s happening on the screen instead.
With more subtle fare the Quads move down a gear effortlessly, the package’s insightful midrange coming to the fore and doing a superb job of revealing the nuances and emotions in voices.
Low-key effects are communicated with all the precision and delicacy they deserve too.
The speakers’ treble strikes a nice balance between resolution and refinement, so even aggressive soundtracks stay on the right side of acceptability.
This delivery also means this package isn’t going to be unduly fussy about partnering equipment.
We’re just as happy with the L-ite Plus when we move on to music performance. The Quad package is decent with rhythms – the fine integration between the agile subwoofer and the satellites helps here – and dynamic shifts are managed well.
This package, then, delivers a really good performance both with music and movies – but it’s not quite class leading. Its measured delivery sacrifices entertainment for analysis to a certain degree.
It’s in the classic rock/hard-place situation, with excellent rivals both above and below it in price, and that’s enough for us to dock it a star.