Spendor A3 review

The pint-sized Spendor A3s are talented for their size Tested at £1295

What Hi-Fi? Verdict

The A3s are talented for their size, but the leanness in the bass is a little off-putting


  • +

    Detailed midrange and treble

  • +

    punchy sound

  • +

    solid soundstage

  • +

    assured timing


  • -

    Bass lacks body and weight

Why you can trust What Hi-Fi? Our expert team reviews products in dedicated test rooms, to help you make the best choice for your budget. Find out more about how we test.

Being short doesn’t mean you can’t sing. Just look at Kylie – and these Spendor floorstanders.

Until recently, the shortest speaker in the company’s A-Line series was the excellent A5, measuring in at 79cm tall. The new A3 shares the same footprint but is 3cm shorter, £400 cheaper and uses a different driver configuration.

The new model is a two-way design, fitted with a 15cm mid/bass driver and 22mm wide-surround tweeter.

Because of the smaller cabinet (and to help hit the pricepoint), Spendor has had to replace its trademark linear flow reflex ports with more traditional-looking ones.

They’ve been tuned and fitted with bungs to help with positioning and bass response.

Flexible on positioning
And they aren’t fussy in practice, either, working equally well up against a wall or 60cm or so away from it. Toed-in slightly, the A3’s lock on to the listener, firing out a precise, focused soundstage.

Spin Rihanna’s Only Girl (In The World) and the Spendors organize all the elements of the track efficiently, bouncing it along with great vigour.

The midrange and treble have an impressive amount of detail, and the speakers follow every note and dynamic shift intently.

But though we accept that a cabinet of this size is never going to deliver seismic bass, we still demand greater weight and warmth from these. Without it, they don’t fully engage the listener.

The A3’s will do a job, but we’d save for those extra 3cm and the A5s. Sometimes bigger really is better…

Follow whathifi on Twitter

Join whathifi on Facebook

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.

Read more about how we test