Anyone with a serious interest in cinema sound will have encountered that moment where you have to work out whether you can actually afford a Miller & Kreisel speaker system. Sadly, for the vast majority, the answer has been a heart-wrenching no.
However, that may soon change thanks to the arrival of the K5 system, M&K's most affordable setup to date. Is the extra outlay worth it, or has the American cinema guru taken the magic out of its products to reduce the cost?
Initial impressions are good. The small K5 satellites look like traditional M&K speakers - dark grey, solidly built, and unlikely to win a beauty contest against more stylish systems. But perhaps that's the point: these are designed to be used in dark rooms by people who care more about sound than style - when the lights go down, aesthetics are meaningless.
The K10 subwoofer is similarly bland, but it helps you understand the seriousness of M&K's affordable message when you consider that it employs some of the technology from its high-end subwoofers, albeit in a smaller enclosure.
It also has a low power rating (75W), but with the low-end effects of a hectic soundtrack the K10 is never found wanting, instead providing agile and convincing bass when called upon.
It's the same for the system as a whole; even at high volumes it never shouts. It's less impressive with music, but this is a cinema fan's system first and foremost!
Let's cut to the chase: if you are a home cinema buff, then this is a great-sounding system. Obviously the fact it's the most expensive has something to do with that, but it's about more than just price.
This is serious home theatre, with years of M&K know-how compressed into a set of small, reasonably affordable speakers. The K5's create an almost effortless soundfield that belies their size - they are, in a word, magnificent.