Yesterday I took a trip down to dv247 in Acton to test out the new sE Egg 150 monitors and amp combo, after hearing about the hand made ‘matched amp’ that is supplied with the audio ergonomic speaker design.
To give a good reference I decided to test them against the Adams and KRK’s in the same range (and price bracket)
At first glance the speaker units did seem a tad on the B&O side, with it’s funky design and stands, but was told by sE that this design actually helps with the natural flow of sound, given that sound actually oscillates as it moves, which is scientific fact, So when we are only offered ‘box’ type designs, this raises the question, is this design actually correct for housing speakers, as a box would always create tangential modes (google it), before exiting the front of the speaker. So the egg design would therefore allow the sound to exit and envelope the speaker in a more natural way, giving a more natural response of sound.
I chose to use an acoustic track featuring piano, and acoustic guitar, in order to get a good audio reference..
First up was the KRK’s, which I had to lean into to get the mid range, which by definition was missing.. The colouration on the bottom end did seem way too much and to be honest I was instantly not impressed. (eek my mate just bought some!)
With a quick flick of a button the Adams was now in play and I was then confronted with the complete opposite of the KRKs… loads of mid range came at me, which was quick, punchy and bright.. which made me think that after monitoring for a few hours your ears would indeed be suffering. (Just to point out I never monitor loud and was testing all the monitors at just below normal hearing, which means ‘not loud’).
Then came the eggs.. and the overall flat response I got from these speakers was amazing.. no leaning forward to get the mid range..the top end was clear and actually sat at the top.. the bottom end was perfect, not to heavy or coloured in anyway. I could here plenty of definition within the sound overall, which I had noticed due to the piano sound sitting very well with the acoustic guitar with no one sound masking another.
The fullness of the overall sound was incredible, as with the other monitors, the bass end seemed to roll around the front of the speaker and then the room, but with the sE’s the bottom end seemed to sit very neatly within the sound field. This I believe has something to do with the shape of the box.. as the egg shape acts like the human head and rolls off its reflections rather than bouncing off.
I flicked back to the KRKs and Adams for a quick 10 secs of the same song.. and again the sound become cloudy and somewhat misty.. but as soon as the eggs came back on the sound seem to be so definite, immediate and responsive.
Also offer a zero downtime on this product, which means that if they fail in anyway, would take them away and give you a replacement set of monitors and amp, while yours are being fixed. So why would you NOT want to buy these!!? Simple.
This is the truth…
I am in the market for a set of quality monitors.. And if you are like me and do not have a endless stream of money.. and like me, you do your research for any product and buy for longevity, not just because it’s the latest cool thing… then the eggs has to be on your list to check out..
And this, in part, is responsible, due to the companies research and development, which in very simply terms means..
“they give the kids what they want”.
Marc J Beard. 10/10
footnote: i did try the Genlecs too.. (briefly) but was put off immediately due to price.
Last edited by Jules; 1st December 2011 at 10:54 PM..
My introduction to the sE 150 Egg Monitoring system was completely by accident. I had read the reviews posted in a magazine that I trust where they had made the cover recently. I perused the review, specs and professional evaluation listed there, and was not only convinced in their performance and quality, but also interested in my own pair. Fast forward about six weeks later, as I walk into a friend’s studio outside the Boston area to listen to and help mix a clients project. There, on stands beyond the console, was a pair of sE Egg 150's. The conversation immediately began.
Seeing them immediately sent my mind to the review I had read, and I needed to hear them in action.
A pause here, if you will. The monitors in this studio, besides the 150 eggs are an older set of large Genelic monitors, a pair of JBL LSR6328’s and a pair of Bowers and Wilkins Nautilus speakers. This provided quite the range of high-end monitor and speakers to compare the Eggs to in the same acoustically treated room. The eggs passed, with flying colors, and were an attractive monitor visually, in relation to the very elegant B&W’s.
I was allowed to sift through the Cd’s in shop, and initially pulled Black Dub’s CD out, due to the striking vocal range that I have observed in this album, recalling the reviews of these monitors. The monitors in a flat response EQ setting (more about the rack mounted control unit in a bit) yielded a crisp, crystal clear sound, with amazing separation and response. The vocals seemed to levitate out of the monitors and sit in front of me, while the instruments danced behind them. Bass response was crisp, punchy and surprisingly full for a cone of this size. The response was so good, I next went to a local Boston bands’ CD for the reasons that I knew the mix intimately, as well as the 28 inch kick drum in it. “Ghosts of Jupiter” which had flattened speakers and subs in the past, SNAPPED through the monitors, and the kick drum did nothing to tax the response at all. I was more than impressed at this point.
One of the albums that I have always gone back to over time whether testing speakers or amplifiers or monitors is the Cowboy Junkies, due to the way that it was recorded. I am a traditionalist of sorts, and figure that if a band can record an album using one microphone, and placement of members, then there is no better way to test a true unbiased monitor. The Eggs outperformed the B&W’s noticeably in this area, as there was no warmth or fullness imparted into the sound other than what was initially captured. The JBL’s were a bit closer in my opinion than the B&W’s, however still a noticeable second to them. The Genelic’s only outperformed the Eggs in the area of sheer headroom, but we needed to crank everything up to uncomfortable levels for that to occur. In a mixing situation in a studio, I have never needed to bring levels that painfully high, and do not see a need to ever in the future. The Eggs have more than enough power and room to push the gain to the limit to fill any studio that I can think of.
sE has built a winner in this monitoring system. Teaming with acoustic designer Andy Munro, they have produced a pair of interestingly attractive monitors that sound phenomenal. Coming in at approximately 18 inches tall, 12 inches wide and 10 inches deep, they are a somewhat standard bookshelf size. With stands that are low profile and marginally adjustable (the speakers can be tilted downward to fire down, but not upward) they make an attractive addition to a mixing console in the near field monitor area. The design and power of these monitors also allow them to be placed further back from the console in a midfield monitoring position, as well, with no degradation in performance. While moving them around a bit in the studio to test drive them, I was also made aware of the very handy feature of a recessed blue LED in the cabinet, which allows one to position them optimally in line with the engineer. The lights are no distraction, and can be turned off from the control unit.
The system is essentially two passive monitors, attached independently to a control unit/amplifier that is rack mountable (2U). Front controls include large Main and AUX gain knobs, and smaller knobs to control the Mid EQ and balance between inputs. The mid EQ provides a slight but noticeable boost or cut in the mid frequencies under a designation of either “soft” or “hard”. In adjusting this, I was able to move vocals in or out slightly in the mix, but little else. This was not a distracting option at all, since flat response is the goal in monitors. Back panel connectors are XLR for the mains, RCA for the AUX and a non-standard neutrik speakon connection to the monitors. (I am informed that the wiring of the speakon cables is non-standard, due to powering for the LED’s on the monitors, so they cannot be hooked up to other speakon connections.) There also four independent trim potentiometers located on the rear to better shape the performance of the monitors to the room in use. Separate HF and LF pots for each speaker allow you to tailor the power, sound and response of these to a wide range of rooms.
These monitors, as I listened and tested them are hands down the best sounding and performing monitors I have ever enjoyed listening too. As happy as I am with my own KRK’s in my home studio, I have to admit that I would gladly place them on eBay to make room for a set of sE 150 eggs.
I've had my sE Egg 150's for a couple of weeks now and couldn't be happier. The setup was intuitively easy. The manual is brief but gives the all the essential information and setup advice I needed. The speakon connections have a nice, secure feel to them. The 'aiming LEDs' work great. I still haven't turned mine off...they're not that annoying to me.
I have my Eggs sitting on my studio console, on acoustic foam padding, angled downward to the listening position, ~4 feet apart and ~2 feet from the back wall. The sound is outstanding. My experience was consistent with the published reviews to date but the psycho-acoustic experience goes beyond that description. The transparency is incredible. The imaging is precise and remarkably 'durable' if you're a little out of position. Even though I had read the bass response was exceptional for monitors of this size, I was totally unprepared for the experience. The bass is tight, well-defined and very clear with no appreciable smearing that I could hear on my reference material. I was very pleasantly surprised at how low the monitors reached. Just as a note, I have found the mid range cut/boost to be very subtle to my listening experience. Finally, the monitors do have plenty of clean, undistorted power...more than I will ever need.
I highly recommend these to anyone looking to upgrade their studio monitoring.
The Eggs sound as brilliantly as they look! At first sight the Eggs are a shock thanks to their peculiar egg-like shape, but once you hear these bad boys, you realise just why sE shaped them the way they are. They power out the clarity and low end only the most godly monitors would have, the price is an underestimate of what these monitors can deliver, personally I wouldn't be able to put a price on them!
The sE Egg 150, Well all I can say is wow.
Firstly, In my opinion they look really amazing, even if its just sitting there be it in a professional studio or a home studio, I don’t usually like Egg shaped items but these monitors are in all fairness beautiful little things. Who would have though that a good monitoring system would also be stylish ornaments for your studio?
Now what really matters in a monitoring system is obviously the sound, and well does the sound deliver?
The simple answer is yes.
I've only had a brief encounter with this system after seeing the good reviews in SOS and other magazines and just had to see if they lived up to their reputation, could such a small, well priced system deliver the clarity and tone I desired and was expecting? Of course it did, I was blown away that a small system could reproduce sound so well.
Hats off to Andy Munro for these little beauties, I can't wait to get my hands on my own pair and I'm looking forward to any possible Eggs that may be released, Keep up the good work.
On the down side, for a home studio they are maybe a little on the expensive side, but if you can afford them then it surly is worth every penny.