The latest speakers from this European stylist look truly fantastic, but they just don't fit in with the podplan
Strong yet detailed sound
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'Leave no mould unbroken' could be the motto of Spanish-Danish speaker manufacturer Scandyna. Having dispensed with the regular 'monkey coffin' rectangular box loudspeaker design with its Minipod speaker system, it then broke its own rules with 'The Drop'.
Looking like one of the cartoon British Gas flame characters (especially in the bright blue finish, with black, white, red, yellow and silver finishes also available), the small droplet shaped speaker is a sealed-box two-way speaker.
It uses the same 125mm Kevlar mid-bass unit and 25mm dome tweeter common to other speakers in the pod range, including the Cinepod centre speaker used in this system. The ABS cabinet comes with rubber feet and an 'antenna' (which is just a styling exercise as this is not a wireless loudspeaker) as standard, but optional spikes, stands and wall and ceiling mounts can be had, too.
The Cinepod is perhaps better known and features the more sculpted design of the Minipod laid on its side. Sporting two of the 125mm Kevlar units flanking the same dome tweeter, it has a front-firing port below the tweeter. Once again, the ABS cabinet can be had in any one of six bright colour schemes to match the Drop, plus an extra three Minipod/Bass Station finishes.
The Bass Station itself looks like a small ABS footstool, with an up-firing 250mm bass unit coupled to a 70W power amp. It sits on three 75mm long 'spikes' that give the sub a distinctive space-age look (and, more importantly, give the down-firing port room to breathe).
There is a fundamental difference in sound between a ported and a sealed-box speaker design. The former tends to sound deeper and more dynamic, the latter more taut.
In this context, the Drop sounds a mite faster and brighter than the Cinepod and the integration round the room suffers.
It's not that the Drop or the Cinepod is a particularly bad design (both are extremely good) but the system would benefit from an all-ported or an all-sealed approach, as demonstrated by the subway scene in Spider-man 2.
It's not too big a stumbling block, as the integration between all five speakers and the sub is excellent. Bass is deep without overawing the satellites and fast enough to keep pace with action feature, although the subwoofer is best used in small to medium sized rooms.
In this setting, the pod package can sound exceptionally loud and fun. The sound of the pod designs in general is extremely detailed and the Cinepod is very good at delivering articulate voices. That overcomes the Drop/Cinepod integration issue... almost.
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