The British firm Epos is known for subtle, suave-sounding compact monitors and floorstanders, but it has really outdone itself with its new K2 floorstanders ($1,750/pair) and K1 stand-mount monitors ($795/pair). Interestingly, both speakers feature drive units mounted-from the rear and removable rear panels.
In the future, Epos plans to offer active versions of the K1 and K2 featuring Creek-designed amplifier/crossover modules. Interestingly, it should be possible to upgrade the passive K1 and K2 models to active status simply by swapping out passive rear panel for the active rear panels, connecting a few hook up wires and bolting the active panels in place. But note: Even in passive form, both K-models offer impressive low-frequency extension for their size (K1, 52Hz; K2, 41Hz).
Focal’s newest models are its Aria-series speakers which feature woofers and/or mid-bass drivers that use composite drivers that blend man-made matrices with natural Flax fiber materials (a literally home-grown alternative to Kevlar, fiberglass, or carbon fibre materials). The result is a range of speakers that, no pun intended deliver a pleasingly open and “organic” sounds that in many respects rivals that of more costly Focal models. According to a company spokesman, one of the most universally well-like models in the new range is the flagship Aria 948 floorstander ($4,999/pair).