Monitor Audio Bronze 5 Floor standing speakers

As any good restaurant owner understands, you don't stint on your house wine. Whereas something decent creates a durable impression of the positive kind, cheap plonk just makes an unpleasant aftertaste. It makes good business sense and it is an approach that pays dividends across a wide range of product hierarchies, not hifi.

Essex-based loudspeaker maker Monitor Audio certainly gets it. Within the last few years and four preceding generation cycles, its Bronze variety of speakers, while entry-level in placement, has tended to look and sound anything but and, as such, done the reputation of the business for quality and worth no damage in any way.

The newest Bronze Medal has just reach the shops and, perhaps even over the much-acclaimed outgoing BX lineup, appears intent on making the case for cutting-edge evolution to the broadest audience. The model arrangement, driver arrangement as well as carton size of the new range are unchanged, as is the remit to cater for simple stereo and multi-channel home cinema systems. Two bookshelf models, the Bronze 1 and 2, are matched by a set of floorstanders, the 5 its you see here and larger sibling the Bronze 6. A center, surround speaker and Bronze W10 subwoofer complete the variety.

A slender floorstander, the Bronze 5 is destined to be a range stalwart, just just like the BX5 forerunner. Besides the vinyl wrap finish choice that is newest, you'd be hard-pressed to tell the difference involving the two with the grilles on. Nearly everything under the hood, nevertheless, is new and (to press home the idea of a budget product with a premium look, feel and sound) charged in the blurb as being "acoustically over-engineered" with "low distortion architecture" and a good amount of drip-down content from MA's more high-priced layouts.

The most noticeable change is the look of the two 140mm C-CAM (ceramic-coated magnesium alloy) primary bass/mid drivers. They have been completely reengineered to utilise a new kind of dished cone that doesn't have a center pole-bit aperture and so uses the whole cone surface to radiate sound. Because it doesn't have a hole in it, Monitor Audio asserts the cone is efficient and fundamentally more stiff and less prone to break up modes when driven hard. Finished in a steel-like grey, it seems classy, too.

The 25mm C-CAM golden dome tweeter has also been overhauled. Boost damping and this is said to lower distortion.

Fantastic in every sense. Similar focus on detail is afforded the crossover components, which feature laminated steel core inductors and air core and polypropylene film capacitors. With slightly higher total impedance than the BX5, and a promised 90dB sensitivity, it ought to be simpler to drive, too.

Like the previous BX5, the Bronze 5 is a two-and-half way system, yet this time using the motorists working in separate acoustic chambers in conjunction with all the rear-firing HiVe port tuned differently to the one firing forwards to achieve higher efficiency and greater low-frequency expansion. Additionally round the back, the floor-level binding post panel is a good event that allows tidy speaker cable arrangements, particularly if you want to bi-wire. Given its modest size, the promised 37Hz - 30kHz frequency response looks generous, as is the claimed 120W power.

Sound quality

The old BX5, while faithful to Monitor Audio's clear, crisp and thorough house sound was also something of a good-time speaker having a big, bold and sometimes slightly overblown presentation.

Well, you'll be able to forget a large element of this. Instead, it seems like it should cost at least GBP1,000. and looks Just how do I am aware this? I got a few of well-honored GBP1k the Bronze 5 more than holds its own floorstanders to hand and, in many regards.

All right, perhaps not such a typical system context given the Bronze 5's target market, but Monitor Audio's best speakers never run shy of a gifted source and straight away I'm hooked by the bijou tower's powers of resolution and ability to dig deep into a recording. The internal detail it gets can occasionally look mesmerising, especially with laid back material, exhibiting the sort of poise and graceful balance that entices listening into the early hours. Yes, refinement oodles of that lovely capability and couth to sound simultaneously airy and tactile. Not a bit of it. Whack up the impetus along with the volume and impact grows just as you'd expect, but with no loss of grip and precision. It might get down and dirty, however only as down and dirty as the recording, with almost no discernible contribution from the enclosures or overworked motorists. What you may expect to be the unmistakable and inescapable instant when what you're hearing hardens and is no more comfortable to hear never comes.

Neither does it resort to man-made midrange emphasis and treble lift to improve presence and sparkle. The presentation is coherent and natural using rock solid picture stability, wide soundstage and a solid, rhythmic bass.


It's when Marcus Miller smacks that bottom G on his custom Sire bass guitar, Oscar Peterson takes off having a stunning two handed sprint up the keyboard, the London Philharmonic gives it the bunch or Joni Mitchell takes it down into a husky whisper that the measure of Monitor Audio's achievement with all the Bronze 5 hits home. Dynamics that such persuasive clarity hold and tremendous musical insight could be experienced in a beer budget price is a powerful affirmation from a box that was slim. It augments the argument that, pound-for-pound, Britain makes a few of the very finest hi-fi loudspeakers on the planet. And that's something we can all enjoy.

Monitor Audio Bronze 5 Floor standing speakers photo

Review price £549 / $823.5