Cabasse XO2 review

Musical heritage brought up to date

TechRadar Verdict

This Cabasse system is well worth checking out

Pros

  • +

    Good value

    Stylish

    Impressive sound

Cons

  • -

    Slightly underpowered sub

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The Cabasse brand may not be as familiar as some other names, but with a musical heritage dating back to making violins in the 18th century, the company obviously has big aspirations for home cinema in the 21st. Its XO2 system is an affordable packages, but you'd be pushed to tell that from looking at it; it's surprisingly well crafted and stylish.

The five satellites are certainly distinctive. Perfectly spherical, they are designed to be either stood on their attached feet or wall mounted, which is where they work best, using the wall boundary to boost the sound from their smallish cabinet.

The partnering sub is dressed in the same silver, and uses a 100W amplifier to drive a single downward-firing 210mm subwoofer. It also comes with a gizmo called the Max! which takes the signal from your amp's speaker terminals - where the satellites are also connected - and sends this to the sub, helping with setup and sonic balancing.

As a cheap system, you might think the XO2 deserves some leeway in terms of performance, but it doesn't need it. The small satellites are capable of going very loud, and don't sound harsh until well after the point your neighbours would be reporting you to a Channel 4 documentary crew.

Body of sound

There's an impressive body to the sound, too, although this system doesn't pressure load the room in the same way as some of its rivals. This is primarily down to the subwoofer offering a mildly underpowered performance.

Still, the majority of the time the diminutive satellites do a great job of delivering detailed dialogue at the front and subtle effects at the back. It should also be said that the system sounds really fast - imaging is taut and crisp.

A tad cheaper than KEF's best-selling 'Eggs', the XO2 more than gives that system a run for its money. The bass performance of the KEF system is more refined, but at this price point, we feel a choice between the two could come down as much to aesthetics as sound quality, in which case if you like the look of it, this Cabasse system is well worth checking out.

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