I am thrilled when my friends told me about oBravo audio company which is based in Taiwan. My friends told me how promising audio quality of oBravo audio system, since then I started to noticed oBravo audio company. Upon browsing through their official website, I am really impressed now on how innovative oBravo is, first of all, they keep announcing products that are very intuitive and new to the market, which some of them employing wireless technology.
I will be reviewing their top of the line desktop speaker today, the AI25P (The small stereo/bookshelf speaker, with a 70mm midrange unit and SSIT Air Motion Tweeter – Ribbon tweet) and AIS100 (6.5 inch,133mm subwoofer), which selling for 1,299USD and 429USD respectively.
I knew that you must be screaming and feel like want to close this review because the price is setting you off, before you are making any decision, Me myself, thought oBravo is insane as well before for two reasons:
- There is not much computer/desktop speaker selling as expensive as AI25P and AIS100, some of them available in the market for long time already.
- For the price, I can get a proper stereo amplifier and bookshelf/floorstanding speakers already.
However, when I have got them in hand I knew that my perception is totally wrong because:
- They are desktop speaker but not just any computer speaker. They performed way better and sounded more expansive than any computer/desktop speakers that I know.
- This is a new concept, it is not bookshelf nor floorstanding speakers, it is a Near Field Listening – NFL speakers.
Design, Build Quality and Finishing
AI25P is a very solid build quality and build by aluminium alloy with CNC machine, result is a undestructable solid unit. It is quite small and no larger than typical desktop speaker, but it is quite heavy. Speakers is not same as headphones, while heavy headphones will lead to serious comfort issues, heavy and solid speakers can eliminate internal vibration and reverb, I heavily believe that this is also one of the main reason that contributes to excellent sound quality. The X-bar in front of the midrange drivers and woofer units are not for decoration purpose only but also that is what oBravo use to tuned the sound.
Source : Soundaware D100 Pro Deluxe Edition
DACs : Firestone Audio Tobby, Arce MDAC3, Kingrex UD384 and UPower, Asus Xonar Essence One, M2Tech Hiface DAC
I have tested the oBravos in one set, which means I matched up the AI25P with the AIS100, honestly I think that they are tailored for each others and pointless for me to test them separately. Both of the AI25P and AIS100 are very good in terms of audio quality, honestly I can’t find any flaws to state in my review, at least none of them is really worth mentioning. I found myself have been easily blended with music lately with the aid of AI25P and AIS100. The wonderful ribbon tweet is packed with insane level of details, at least for speakers I have never experienced this kind of detail level in this price range, no, please forget about the desktop \/speaker setup which is not only miles away from the oBravo matching, they are not even close. Not only the detail level is impressive but the way AI25P present the detail is very natural and not that kind of bright feeling (Which boost treble to make a scene that is detailed), when I say detailed here it is really detailed. Not only the AI25P is very detailed but also the AIS100, AIS100 present some of the most detailed low bass body that I have ever came through.
Now the most interesting part is that not only the detail level is impressive but the overall spectrum it is, it is quite balanced and neutral in tone even without the AIS100. I will be describing more on added up the AIS100 later, now lets focused on the combination first. I don’t really put extensive care on the placing of speaker though, to be honest the base is not that optimum in my listening room, it is just a plywood underneath (Quite thick in term of thickness however), I am thinking to ordering an isolation pad or speaker stands but after some listening, I think that oBravo has done a good job to sort out design and the factor that will affect audio quality. Midrange sounded natural and nice, with a bit sense of forwardness. Treble is not bright although it has a AMT ribbon tweet implementation, bass of AI-25P is enough already, not only it has a good impact for its size, the quantity is not excessively nor anything destructive, in fact low body is quite clean and fast.
The best thing is when using this pair of small speakers is for musics like Bonjovi and Aerosmith, the engaging and fire characteristic of it will make you sing together when the music played. So you must be thinking now besides from Bonjovi and Aerosmith AI25P do nothing good, then you must be wrong if you think in this way. In fact I have not yet found any types of music that AI25P cannot be good with, maybe it can’t cope very well with R&B and electronica but others than this, I found that it perfectly suit every types of my musics in playlist very well.
Adding up the AIS-100
So both of the AI-25P and AIS100 are obviously made to comply each others, However is it really worth to add up another 429USD for the AIS-100 along, the answer for me is yes. The bass performance of AIS-100 is very huge and gigantic, capable to fill up my room but it is not anything related to muddy or bass heavy, it is clean, precise, deep, detailed and huge. AIS-100 itself is not really very big in size, I was never expecting the bass of this little thing will be this huge and nice. I have found that oBravo is very clever to employ space, for example, AI25P produce soundstage that is much bigger than its size. Adding up AIS-100 is compulsory, why?
When I am listening to AI25P alone I don’t find anything is really lacking there, but after adding up the AIS-100 the low body detail simply just stand out, to be honest the bass is really very detailed and heavy. AIS-100 bring up the ambient that is very positive. Just this along I think it worth the 429USD already, Besides, bass is extended to the very end with no muddiness.
oBravo AI-25P and AIS-100 are really very good. They have performed far beyond my expectation, they are very goodand I decided to make them my daily use speakers and I finally make them my reference unit. Price is quite stiff though but if you can squeeze out the budget and I am sure oBravo AI-25P and AIS-100 will do you every bits of justice.