-   On the forward side of neutral.   These speaker's aren't what I'd call aggressive or 'in your face', but they are tilted up just a little in the upper midrange and treble.  This gives them a forward presentation that gives the listener a perspective that puts them closer to the 'front row' of a musical performance.

-   The speakers are also surprisingly refined for the money.  There is also a delicacy to the sound that is quite pleasant.  Even the most subtle notes reign through with exceptional clarity.

-    Despite the speakers using a ribbon tweeter and woofers with metal cones, the tone of the presentation is quite musical.  Yes, the signature of the metal woofer(s) certainly makes itself known while listening to music - becoming most apparent while being tasked to render female voices, but it's not what I'd call offensive.  Especially for the money.

-   All in all, the BOW A-2 makes for a great first impression.  Huge, pin-point imaging.  Effortless clarity.  Refinement.  Full-range.   Gorgeous looks.   Easy to place.  Not too picky about music types.  Sounds great at low to mid volumes.  They capture most of the tenets that audiophiles listen for, yet find a way to be enjoyable across many different situations.


The Specifics

-   I expected the treble to sound very tilted up and bright.  Instead, I'm surprised by how smooth it really is.  The only time it begins to sound harsh is when the speaker is tasked to play at higher volumes.  Otherwise, the top end is airy, effortlessly detailed, a bit forward, yet still tolerance of less than perfect (digital) recordings.  Well done!

-   I expected the midrange to have a distinctly metallic sound, and while the tone of those woofers are present - it's not a trait that dominates the music.  The upper midrange is a bit spiked up.  Everything within the midrange is effortlessly clear.  Subtle notes leap from the presentation as though they were never meant to be hidden within the mix.  The midrange also does a great job of capturing both the leading AND trailing edge of a musical note.  A talent that's quite rare for a speaker at this price.

-   The bass may be the weakest point.  It can sound a little disconnected from the rest of the presentation and isn't as 'quick' as the metal woofs that it crosses over with.  Now, this could be nothing more than the speaker requiring more space, but I have another rear-ported speaker with a similar sized side-firing woofer (Infinity Kappa 600), and it's bass is insanely tight and fast in the same space.  And in the same position, no less.  Still, the bass digs deep and should offer up the kinda bottom end that will keep most listeners satisfied.

-   The imaging is as you'd expect from a speaker with such a small baffle.  Fucking huge.  The imaging is also very pin-point, something that most audiophiles (to include myself) will appreciate.

-    And lastly, we have the dynamics.  On one hand, I think people could criticize the speaker for not being dynamic for its size.  On the other, I think the dynamic range of this speaker is respectable for it's price point.  No, it won't rattle organs or surprise you with its ability to move a lot of air in a short period of time, but it certainly isn't flat sounding either.  Should be good enough to satisfy most listeners.


Other Observations


-   Tends to sound best at low to medium volumes levels.  It can get loud, but I think the sound becomes a little too forward and 'hard' once the speaker is pushed.

-   Off-axis imaging is good.  Off-axis tone is just OK. 

-   Average efficiency.  Fairly easy to drive.  

-   For a speaker that has a very traditional "hi-fi" sound, I'm impressed by how easy it is to work with.  Placement is simple, gear matching isn't rocket science, and it sounds good with an incredibly wide variety of music.  I didn't expect the latter.  It's been a nice surprise.  :)

-    Lastly, I already have people who are ready to pull the trigger on the A2's.  They are sexy as hell.  I also think they have a sound that many people will like.  Heck, even I like them, and normally I don't care for anything that uses metal woofs.  You guys have done a great job with these.  My only request is to PLEASE use better packaging materials or, at the very least, double box these speakers before they are shipped to your customers.


Alright, that's all for now.  Like I said, please let me know whether or not you think I'm on the right track with these observations.
 
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