This pair of nearfields from EMES offer precision monitoring for small rooms.
The small company EMES specialise in professional monitor speakers, most of which seem to be named after colours, the smallest of which is the Pink TV Active. This might sound like a gay porn channel, but in reality it is a deceptively small, reflex-ported active speaker (170 x 290 x 200mm) that teams a hefty 25mm neodymium soft-dome tweeter with a 140mm bass/mid-range driver, the latter featuring a composite-paper, fibreglass and Kevlar cone for stiffness and low mass. A machined depression in the baffle acts as a waveguide for the tweeter to control directivity and also to provide a smooth transition from driver to baffle. A port slot is located at the bottom of the baffle and the bass/mid-range driver has a trim ring that mounts flush with the baffle to smooth the transition from the driver edge to the baffle.
The cabinets, which are made from machined MDF, have a textured matt Nextel finish to the baffle and a metallic grey paint finish elsewhere. Decorative rubber trims are used to conceal and protect the corner joints and the amplifiers are mounted inside the metal rear panel, which also doubles as a heat sink. A pair of identical monolithic 80W (60W RMS) amplifier is used to power the tweeter and bass/mid-range driver. These are kept electrically separate to eliminate crosstalk and are fed from switched-mode 'digital' power supplies that have the advantage of low weight and a very quick response to demands for current. Both drivers are magnetically shielded and the crossover point is set at 1.5kHz with a second-order Butterworth response.
On the back of the cabinet are three sets of four-way DIP switches for setting the level, low EQ and high-frequency gain (see photo). The input signal feeds in via a balanced XLR connector and power is via a conventional IEC socket. Technically, the speakers are highly specified and matched within 0.5dB. The free-field response is quoted as 58Hz to 20kHz (±2dB) with a slightly flatter response when wall mounted. The -3dB point is at 56Hz, which is impressive for such a physically small speaker, and the maximum SPL (long term) at 100Hz is 106dB, where the harmonic distortion is specified as just 0.8 percent. All this technology weighs only 5.5kg per speaker.
It's clear from the moment you switch on the Pink TV Actives that their designers have worked very hard to get these speakers sounding as accurate as possible, the small cabinet notwithstanding. At normal monitoring levels the speakers work effortlessly, delivering a tight, solid bass, and while this is not as extended as the Mackie HR824s I normally use, it's certainly enough for most project studio rooms.
The mid-range is well controlled and detailed, complemented by an open, well-focused high end that sounds beautifully smooth — unless you feed it rough-sounding mixes! As you'd expect from small monitors, the stereo imaging is particularly good, and my overall impression is that these little speakers tell you exactly what's going on in your mix without flattery. If your mixes are bad, these speakers will let you know.
Cost-wise, the Pinks are not cheap in the UK, but then neither is their performance. Though there are other good-quality nearfield monitors available at a similar price, few are as compact and accurate as these. Certainly I'd put them in the same quality category as Mackie, Dynaudio and Genelec, and if your need is for a smaller-than-usual set of monitors that you can use as a main mix reference, I'd have no problem recommending you add these to your 'must audition' list, provided that they fit your budget.
- Smooth, detailed sound with tightly controlled bass.
- Good stereo imaging and overall clarity.
- Well engineered.
- Magnetically shielded.
- Not cheap.
These are excellent little monitors that pack main monitor performance (in a typical project studio room) into a nearfield-sized package.
X-Vision Audio UK +44 (0)1803 209239.