My first exposure to Monitor Audio’s Radius-series speakers came through a stereo system based on a small subwoofer and an adorable pair of tiny cube-shaped Radius R45 satellites—satellites so small they could fit in the palm of your hand. “Cute,” I thought, “and obviously well made, but they’re probably too small to use in a full-sized surroundsound system.” But these days the Radius family has grown to incorporate much larger and more capable models including six satellite/center-channel speakers and two powered subwoofers, plus necessary stands and accessories. The new models reflect the design aesthetics of the original R45s, but in a more sophisticated form (picture speakers that combine compact, flat-panel dimensions with an almost Scandinavian sleekness, tempered with gently rounded enclosure edges that add a touch of warmth and whimsy). What is more, the new, larger Radius models are suitable for use in surround systems that can fill a good-sized family room with sound.
There are more Radius system configurations than I can count, but to give you a sense of the scope of the lineup, I chose a review system based on a pair of flagship Radius R270 floorstanders as left/right main speakers, an R250 center channel, a pair of R90 satellites with optional floors stands as left/right surrounds, and the R720 powered subwoofer. Radius models are available in a delicious variety of finishes (rose-mahogany, walnut, silver, piano-black or piano-white.) Our pianoblack review samples proved so attractive that, after seeing them for the first time, TPV/AVguide Art Director Rob Amoroso (who knows an elegant design when he sees one) said, “I want them.”
Like all Monitor Audio speakers, the Radius series emphasizes advanced drive-unit technology, with most models featuring the firm’s signature CCAM alloy gold dome tweeters and MMP2 (metal matrix polymer) midbass drivers. The Radius system also excels in attention to small, critical details: Drive units are cinched tight into their cabinets by fasteners that apply tension from the rear, making the enclosures stiffer and less prone to resonance. Floorstanding models such as the R270 place binding posts out in the open and down at floor level, greatly simplifying cabling (bless you, Monitor, for not putting binding posts high above the floor or beneath the speakers). Wall-mountable Radius models ship with appropriate brackets, hardware, and mounting templates. Finally, as a welcome nod toward aesthetic flexibility, Radius speakers come with two sets of mesh grilles in contrasting colors. Monitor Audio attends to details others sometimes overlook.