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Monitor Audio Radius system review

Sith Lord or Princess Leia?

Our Verdict

Performance is good, but looks won't be to everyone's taste

The Force is with these bulky speakers, but after a simple set-up procedure we're still not sure whether they are more Sith Lord or Princess Leia.

It's not that the light silver system as a whole is ugly, but it's certainly an acquired taste - and surround sound setups are at least half about looks for most people. The curvy, double-spined stands (not pictured) of the rear '180' speakers are as dominant as Darth and the front '225s' are intrusive - especially the centre - unless wall-mounted next to a similarly appointed flatscreen. That can't be said of the thin '360' subwoofer, however, which manages to remain inconspicuous - but only in terms of looks.

Still, the noisy The Empire Strikes Back scene where the Rebel transporter gets away from Hoth past an Imperial Starship gives the Radius its first catch of the day. While the fronts deliver impeccable stereo and tight, punchy dialogue, the rears manage to pick out the splatter of debris from an exploding AT-AT and the whizz of every snowspeeder. But it's the subwoofer that really wows us. It accurately portrays the sudden self-destruction of the Imperial droid on Hoth as Han and Chewbacca look on, and with music it serves the integrated finesse of the speakers very well.

Also worth a mention is that although this package does not include cabling, it comes with rear stands and smaller stands for the left and right speakers, as well as idiot-proof and discrete wall-mounts for all speakers.

Hard to fault in terms of sound performance, the Radius nevertheless remains a dominating system that could offend aesthetically. One for the wall-mounters among us.