Harman International Group has always remained successful in making their special place among the audio companies. And why not, the group holds the maximum number of audio companies and has even managed to maintain a separate identity for each of them, be it the utility, application or target audience. For instance, JBL is mainly targeted towards young and enthusiastic audiophiles, Lexicon and AKG has a dedicated following among industry professionals and Revel is all about home audio.
Here, we review Revel’s Concerta HT speaker package for our home theatre special.
Out of the Box
At first glance, most of you would be slightly confused about the exact application of this particular package, and so were we. But it turned out that the Concerta speaker package, comprising M10 (fronts), C10 (centre), M8 (surrounds) and the B120 (subwoofer) components is an on wall speaker package. For those who wouldn’t consider speakers hanging off their walls, Revel has made provisions for stands, so that they can also be used as an in-room set-up. In fact, the arrangement allows the fronts, i.e. the M10s, to be at three different heights to accommodate an audiophile’s preference. We like that! There is no doubt that the speakers are aesthetically appealing for their sleek and slender form that comes across as flawless.
The Revel Concerta M10 Towers (Fronts)
The real test of an HT speaker package is to make you feel that the action taking place on your TV screen is happening around you. It is not just about generating sound for each action that you see, but the trick is to make it sound as if it is coming from one single source.
Manufacturers have tried numerous methods to achieve this by incorporating different loudspeaker designs, shapes, and build material into the speakers. Similarly, Revel has also made sure that the entire Concerta speaker package works in tandem with each other.
The drivers in all Concerta on-wall woofer, mid-range and tweeter diaphragms are constructed of Micro Ceramic Composite (MCC), a material specially created by anodising both sides of an aluminium core. Anodising both sides of an aluminium core adds strength and stiffness—although very little weight—exactly the properties that we all look for in an ideal speaker driver. In addition, the drivers are housed in rigid aluminium enclosures that lend the speakers more stability and sturdiness. The B120 subwoofer also incorporates MCC for the 12-inch woofer that it houses. The driver boasts of a 1.5-inch peak-to-peak excursion and 250W amplifier.
The Revel Concerta C10 Center Speaker
A huge 2-inch in diameter copper voice coil on a Kapton bobbin, along with sophisticated cooling further contributes to the impressive power handling. The spider incorporates a superior-strength Nomex/cotton blend with optimized geometry for increased linearity. For the speaker cabinets, they have opted to go for the regular MDF with extensive internal bracing that comes in handy to reduce cabinet-induced colourations. And to add to the ease of use, the B120 comes with adjustable controls, parametric room equalization and multiple connection options as well.
With the help of the elaborate manual that comes along with the Concerta speaker package, you can adjust the height of the M10 by yourself. However, you need experienced hands to follow the instructions given with the diagrams. Once you are through the installation, placing them isn’t an issue as the light weight of the speakers make it easy to manoeuvre them around the place.
The only hindrance is the weight of the B120 subwoofer, because it is mighty heavy, weighing approximately 23kg. Ensure you have an extra hand, while you shift this one. Quite exhausted after we finally got the subwoofer in place, we immediately parked ourselves on the couch with some action packed Blu-rays, like ‘Captain America’ and ‘Green Lantern’, to see what the Revel Concerta speakers had in store for us.
The Revel Concerta M8 Surrounds
The Concerta speaker package in our studio provided us with a surprising blend of sounds that we had never heard before. The trick was the sleek, slender and very fast satellite used with the bulky subwoofer.
While the satellites were instrumental in bringing out the speed and energy required in the sound while watching an action-packed movie like ‘Captain America’, the weight and the expanse of the B120 provided the necessary depth in the sound. A characteristic that we noticed here was that the bass, though very deep and engulfing, wasn’t ‘boomy’ or overshadowing. In fact, it was very much in sync with the fast movement of the satellite, making us truly believe that we were part of everything that we were watching on the screen.
With ‘Green Lantern’ and later ‘Transformers: Dark Of The Moon’, it got even better as the package was able to convey the urgency and magnitude of all the sounds in tandem with the visuals that we could see on the screen with utmost accuracy and detail. In ‘Green Lantern’, the fight between Hal Jordan (Ryan Reynolds) and Sinestro (Mark Strong) was simply a treat to watch. While the characters wrecked each other all around on the screen, we could feel their presence in our studio, as if they were throwing each other on our walls. This again was particularly possible because of the very fast and highly directive nature of the satellites, courtesy the unique ceramic composite drivers.
The Revel Concerta B120 Subwoofer
Put in any sound FX oriented movie and we are sure that the Revel Concerta will not disappoint you. While the package thoroughly impressed us for its sonic abilities in a surround sound experience, the set-up wasn’t able to strike the chord in a stereo set-up. This was the only time when we thought that some more bulk and body in the M10s would have been helpful. Its sleek and slender form factor did not really help the speakers reinforce the lower end, resulting in a slightly incomplete sound. But once you rope in the subwoofer, it will definitely sound complete.
Verdict/Price in India
Priced at around Rs. 2, 00,000, the Revel speaker package does seem steep. Once you consider the following features - strong build quality extending its longevity, the overall aesthetic appeal, ease of use, and finally the splendid surround sound performance of the Concerta HT, they make it worth the splurge. We did, however, have a concern that was related to the versatility of these speakers, as they did not fare well in a stereo set-up. But, if you are essentially looking for the best surround sound experience, then the Revel Concerta speaker package is the apt choice to make, nevertheless.
AV MAX is a special interest audiophile magazine that focuses on reviewing high-end AV equipment like amplifiers, stereos, floorstanding speakers and related news