Acceptability – with the number of apartment-dwelling
audiophiles music fans on the rise, a multi-component system housed in a rack and powering twin towers might no longer be as domestically acceptable as it once was. Twice so for minimalists who’d rather their audio gear maintain a certain physical discretion rather than serve as a source for bragging rights.
Driving down the footprint of electronics is a snap: choose a super-integrated that puts a combination of amplifier, DAC, phono stage and streamer inside a single chassis. Hello Vinnie Rossi, Devialet, Peachtree, AURALiC, Moon by SIMAudio, Micromega, Gold Note, Rotel, McIntosh, Bel Canto, Naim or NAD. Bye bye interconnects. Sayonara hifi rack.
Loudspeakers are a little trickier. Standmounts are the obvious choice for apartments but low bass is often the first casualty. And when stands are required does physical intrusion not remain similar to that of floorstanders?
Keeping an acceptably lower profile is Neat Acoustics’ IOTA Xplorer loudspeaker – a 2.5 way that builds on the IOTA Alpha platform [that we first saw at Munich High-End 2016] to specify better drivers and isobaric bass loading. A rear-firing bass port means some attention must be paid to the IOTA Xplorer’s proximity to the front wall.
However, at only 74cm tall, the IOTA Xplorer aren’t as visually intrusive as other floorstanders. Their upper third angles Neat’s own P1-R3 mid/bass driver and Dayton Audio’s Air Motion Transformer ‘tweeter’ to fire upwards/forwards from a sealed enclosure.
Maintaining low frequency action in the lower section sit a pair of downward-firing isobaric bass drivers, which Neat invite us to view as an integrated subwoofer.
From the floor of 2017’s Warsaw AV Show Neat Acoustics’ Export Sales Manager Doug Graham talk us through the IOTA range before honing in on the new Xplorer:
All Neat loudspeakers are handmade in the north of England and are available internationally. The IOTA Xplorer sell for £3500/pair, the IOTA Alpha for £1385/pair and the shelf-friendly, wall-mountable IOTA for £995/pair.
Further information: Neat Acoustics