Kudos X2 review

Kudos' entry level floorstanding speakers borrow tech from the high-end Cardea range

Kudos X2
Mounted well clear of walls, the X2 delivers a surprisingly entertaining performance that belies its measured uneveness

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The measured findings might lead one to believe that this floorstander would put in a rather indifferent performance, but that wasn't the case at all. Mounted well clear of walls, as the in-room measurements indicated, the X2 delivers a surprisingly entertaining performance that belies its measured unevenness.

Driven by a high-class system, based mostly around Naim amplification components, the sound is lively, coherent, expressive and quite dynamic, with little of the 'boxy' or nasal colorations that the measured unevenness might lead one to expect.

The relatively small size of the bass/mid drive unit was evident in the significant harmonic distortion that was produced when feeding the speakers with high-level 20Hz sine waves in order to carry out the in-room measurements.

Despite its lively coherence, this is not a particularly sweet-sounding speaker and it can become a bit aggressive when being driven hard. However, it's the top end where this starts to become most apparent and at anything like normal listening levels this didn't prove to be a problem.

Indeed, the midband and top end are this speaker's real strengths, delivering music and speech with fine coherence, good timing and plenty of brio and enthusiasm that makes the X2 a thoroughly entertaining listening experience.

The bottom end is rather less impressive, lacking a bit of warmth and rather more in the way of grip and authority. Its net energy level here is about right to match up with the mid and treble, but definition, poise and timing are less than the best, so the overall effect is of a speaker that leads with its midband and top, leaving the bass as a bit of an afterthought. Depth also seems a shade constrained when playing naturally recorded choral material.

Inevitably, in view of the ingredients, the X2 does have its limitations. Although the measured behaviour might have been better, the sound quality is what really matters, and here the X2 is always involving and entertaining, providing the volume level isn't pushed too hard.

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