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OS Acoustics DB7

Active Monitors
Published April 2018
By Phil Ward

OS Acoustics DB7

New British company OS Acoustics impress us with their high-performance debut monitor.

As if to prove that old axiom that if you have to wait a while for a bus, then two will come long together, the subject of my review last month was the HEDD Type 20, which was unusual in featuring, through its Lineariser app, time-domain normalisation. And the KEF LS50 Wireless, reviewed back in January 2018, incorporates some time-domain normalisation too. But hang on — there are actually three buses at my stop, because up for review here is the DB7, from UK monitor start-up company OS Acoustics, and this also features an element of time-domain normalisation, albeit not full bandwidth. It seems to me there’s a trend developing here...

For those who missed either of those reviews, and before I get on to describing the DB7, I’d better do a quick recap. Put simply, all speakers display phenomena, be they electrical or acoustic in nature, that result in a degree of in-out latency that varies with frequency, from single-figure milliseconds or less at mid and high frequencies, up to tens of milliseconds at low frequencies for some ported monitors. The idea behind normalising in the time domain is to apply DSP-based delay compensation selectively to slow the arrival of frequencies that would otherwise arrive at the ears ‘early’, so that the entire audible bandwidth arrives simultaneously. Many speaker engineers and audio-geeks, me included, believe such time-domain normalisation brings some significant subjective benefits (although there’s a similarly significant bunch of folk who are sceptical), although it also of course brings the disadvantage of potentially problematical full-bandwidth latency.

The Ins & Outs

Moving away from time-domain normalisation and back to focussing on the DB7 specifically, this is a relatively conventional-looking two-way, ported, active nearfield monitor with, as ever, its amplifier...

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Published April 2018