Working for a pro audio retailer, I get to demo lots of different speakers; most of them sound fine, but I rarely hear something that stands out from the pack. That changed this week when I had the opportunity to listen to several pairs of monitors from Amphion, a loudspeaker company based in Finland.
The first thing that I noted about Amphion was their list of endorsements; Grammy winners Bruce Swedien (Michael Jackson), Dave Reitzas (Madonna), and Norberto Islas (Pepe Aguilar) all being swayed by a small European speaker company that seemingly came out of nowhere? It seemed that there had to be something special about these things, and lo and behold – there is!
It turns out that Amphion has been around since 1998. In that time, the company has turned from a custom speaker company to a full-blown speaker manufacturer with worldwide distribution, and a quick demo of their speakers shows why – they sound incredible!
Aesthetically, most speakers in the Amphion line will immediately bring to mind the often-maligned but still-everywhere Yamaha NS-10’s, which they resemble quite closely with the white speaker cone on a black enclosure. Aside from also being a passive speaker, that is where the similarities end.
I was able to listen to several models and sizes of speakers, but my favorites are the Amphion One15s, which runs a cool $2,000 for a pair. They were named for the fact that the diameter of its single woofer is 15 centimeters (the Two18 has two 18 cm woofers – you get the gist). The stereo imaging on these speakers was fantastic, but the imaging is usually good on most speakers in that price range; the difference here is that the imaging is good everywhere in the room, not just in the sweet spot in front of the desk. From 15 feet away, sitting down, and off to the side, I was still able to clearly perceive the sound field. Impressive!
Another notable feature of all Amphion monitors is that the crossover is at 1.6kHz, whereas the standard crossover in most two-way monitors is almost an entire octave higher at 3kHz. This makes the crossover virtually undetectable!
The One15’s are perfect for near-field monitoring situations, but are still powerful enough to fill a large room with quality sound. Compared to the One18, the One15’s are tighter, with a punchy midrange and smooth top end, while the One18’s crank much more low end. If you need something more powerful, Two15 and the Two18 are both worth considering. If you have a small room, the One12 might be more your speed.
All Amphion monitors are passive, and pair very nicely with Amphion’s proprietary power amp.
About the Author:
Rob Dobson is an LA-based musician, composer, and engineer, as well as Press & Content Coordinator at Westlake Pro. He earned a BA in Music from Virginia Commonwealth University, where he spent his spare time experimenting with recording techniques and obsessing over liner notes to his favorite records. In addition to several years working as a recording engineer, Rob has experience with sound design, voiceover work, and live sound. Rob spends as much of his time in the studio as possible, composes music for film and television, plays guitar and bass as a session musician, and leads a rock band called Big Air.