It is very hard to be all things to all home cinema enthusiasts, but that is exactly what AudioPro has attempted to do with the FX01 5.1 sub/sat system. The individual, bookshelfstyle enclosures are sensibly sized yet look beautiful, and significantly, they offer an impressive performance, both for their size and their price.
The array is based on a small teardrop-shaped enclosure. Finished in lustrous Piano black, it's easy to become obsessed with polishing them, as they show every speck of dust and grubby paw print.
The speaker is wide enough at the front to house a 5.25in rubber suspended driver and a special tweeter on its mounting plate. The box then swells to a wider dimension immediately behind this front baffle, before becoming skinnier again, in the shape of a tear to the rear, as described.
Sealed, not ported, the box features a single pair of gold-plated binding posts, one above the other on the back, to affix your speaker wire. This is the FX-01 and is used both front and rear, left and right.
Taking centre duties is the CX-02. It reaches a full five cycles lower down than the FX-01 and plays a whole decibel louder as well, by way of its greater cubic capacity and second 5.25in cone. However, this additional cone is not actively driven; instead it's a passive radiator for the driven cone to shake around. A passive radiator enclosure can drop as deep as the suspension of the cones will allow.
Just as clever is the mounting cradle for this centre. Comprising a flat slab of piano-black wood, the upper surface is perfectly matched in curvature to the flank of the centre speaker. Two strips of grippy neoprene tape on this curved upper surface mean that whatever angle you gently rake your centre to point at, it'll stay put with perfect grip.
The 400W active Sub Bravo subwoofer is another gorgeous lump of piano blackness, with a 10in long-throw woofer and a simple LED below the front round grille, inset into a badge that says 'Ace-Bass', a proprietary technology used to enhance low frequency performance.
Unfortunately, I was not trusted with any more information about it in the otherwise excellent general loudspeaker placement and application manual you get with your speakers. (Incidentally, the pack also contains a pair of white cotton gloves to handle your shiny black speakers with!)
The back of the sub has some fins to cool excess heat away. There's an On/Auto switch as well as a 0-180° phase flip switch. There are stereo inputs and outputs at speaker level and a single pair of phono signal inputs for use with an LFE feed. You get a variable crossover point dial and a gain pot and that's it. Very easy to set up, position and enjoy, the FX01 system was a joy from the start.
It took me some time to realise just how good the high frequency performance of this set really is. With five annular ring tweeters firing at once, all of which can reach up to frequencies above 40kHz, you get every nuance, detail, edge and tiny sonic cue that is missing from systems with lesser drivers.
High tones are perfectly delivered, with speed, detail, dynamics and an amazing edge/attack to strings. Vocals, in particular, are delicious.
This system is capable of taking unreasonable amounts of raw power, simply getting louder as the volume rises. The set never sounded stressed. If anything, it could sound a tiny bit HF-bright and I felt that sometimes there was a lack of energy at the crossover point between the sub and the satellites, due to the powerful HF performance.
The system was equally happy whether delivering multichannel music or pounding movie soundtracks, thereby making it a fantastic all-round entertainer.
Overall, the Bravo FX01 is highly impressive. It's gorgeous to look at (superbly built yet not compromised by design), easy to set up and capable of an engaging performance.
This is not a sub/sat system to break windows, but it sounds so good that you will be utterly gripped the moment your music or movie starts up, which is all most enthusiasts require. Sophisticated yet versatile, these are a great solution for those hankering for superior performance.