Monitor Audio Bronze 100 and Bronze 200 review: next-gen compact and floorstanding speakers

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The Monitor Audio Bronze 100 compact speakers and the Monitor Audio Bronze 200 floorstanding speakers are part of the new Monitor Audio Bronze 6G speaker range. For this 6th generation of Monitor Audio Bronze speakers, the British manufacturer has revamped its C-CAM Gold dome tweeter which is now equipped with a waveguide. The C-CAM midbass drivers feature new cone geometry, a larger voice coil and a concentric damping system. The crossover, which is composed of audiophile components, is optimized and the brand’s Hive II technology has been used once again for the bass-reflex models.

The Monitor Audio Bronze 200 floorstanding speakers on the left, and the Monitor Audio Bronze 100 compact speakers mounted on NorStone Stylum 2 stands (natural oak finish) on the right.

According to the manufacturer, the improvements made to the C-CAM Gold tweeter provide a better dispersion of high frequencies and an optimal time alignment with the other drivers for a balanced and lively sound. The updated C-CAM drivers are supposed to provide smoother and tighter lows.

We will be verifying these claims during our review of the Monitor Audio Bronze 100 compact speakers (€459 per pair) and Monitor Audio Bronze 200 floorstanding speakers (€779 per pair).

Monitor Audio Bronze: the brand

Monitor Audio is a British manufacturer that has been designing acoustic speakers for over 40 years. Monitor Audio’s catalog includes stereo and home theater speakers, as well as a wide range of outdoor hi-fi and in-wall/in-ceiling speakers. The British brand places great importance on design and finish quality.

Espace passion Monitor Audio

Over the years, Monitor Audio has become an expert in designing metal cone drivers, which it prefers to more traditional materials (paper or plastic) for their superior acoustic properties and realistic sound reproduction. The British brand has also developed several proprietary technologies that contribute to the acoustic qualities of its speakers.

RST drivers

The cone of Monitor Audio’s RST technology drivers have circular indented patterns.

RST technology uses specialized modelling for the driver cones, which feature small recesses on their surface. This design prevents standing waves and improves transducer damping. It can be found in the speakers in the Monitor Audio Silver (6G) range as well as certain Monitor Audio in-wall/in-ceiling speakers.

Hive port

https://www.son-video.com/images/illustration/guides/passion/monitor-audio/PL-HiVe-II-port.jpg
The Hive bass-reflex port is rifled for better, faster and turbulence free air flow.

The HiVe (High Velocity) system considerably improves the performance of bass-reflex enclosures by enabling higher air velocity inside the port. It uses one or several profiled and rifled ports that optimize air flow. This improves the transient response and ensures tight bass.

C-CAM drivers

C-CAM technology, which can be found on the Monitor Audio Bronze 100 and Monitor Audio Bronze 200 speakers, is used on tweeters, midrange drivers and woofers.

The C-CAM Gold tweeter on Monitor Audio’s speakers is coated with a thin gold film.

C-CAM is the acronym for Ceramic Coated Aluminum Magnesium. C-CAM drivers have a ceramic-coated aluminum-magnesium alloy cone. This design allows them to be both incredibly light and extremely rigid. C-CAM cones therefore provide an excellent impulse response for lively note attacks, while eliminating the risk of distortion from the lowest to the highest frequencies.

This C-CAM Monitor Audio midbass driver has a concave cone without a dust cap.

In-wall/in-ceiling speakers

In addition to having a large catalog of hi-fi and home theater speakers, Monitor Audio has developed an extensive range of in-wall and in-ceiling speakers, whose drivers benefit from the same technologies as the classic series. The Monitor Audio Bronze and Monitor Audio Silver speaker ranges can now be complemented by Monitor Audio in-wall/in-ceiling speakers with identical sound signatures to reproduce surround sound and Dolby Atmos effects in a home theater setup. This is essential for enjoying 5.1 and 7.1 Atmos and DTS:X audio tracks with perfect audio consistency across every channel.

The Monitor Audio in-wall/in-ceiling speaker range is very large. These speakers use the same proprietary driver technologies as the British manufacturer’s traditional speakers.

Monitor Audio Bronze: packaging & accessories

Monitor Audio Bronze 100

Both Monitor Audio Bronze 100 compact speakers come in one cardboard box. Each speaker is wrapped in a synthetic fabric cover and held securely in place by polystyrene blocks. Also in the box are two acoustic fabric grilles, a pair of foam plugs for the ports, non-slip and damping adhesive pads and a hex wrench in case the screws need tightening (after moving, for example).

The Monitor Audio Bronze 200 compact speakers come with magnetic speaker grilles, plugs for the ports and pads to stick underneath the speakers.

Monitor Audio Bronze 200

The Monitor Audio Bronze 200 speakers come in two separate boxes (one for each speaker and its accessories). Each speaker is wrapped in a synthetic fabric cover and held in place by polystyrene blocks. Each comes with a magnetic acoustic fabric grille, a pair of foam plugs for the ports (2 plugs as each speaker has 2 ports), as well as a set of feet, screws and two hex wrenches. The feet come with the decoupling spikes already mounted. However, these spikes can be unscrewed and replaced with the included damping pads.

Monitor Audio Bronze: presentation

The Monitor Audio Bronze 100 speaker is the largest compact speaker from the 6th generation Monitor Audio Bronze speaker range. This 2-way bass-reflex speaker is equipped with two drivers that feature the brand’s C-CAM technology: an 8” midbass driver and a 1” tweeter. The speaker is just over 23cm wide, 37.6cm high and 32.5cm deep (including the grille), making it a generously proportioned compact speaker.

The Monitor Audio Bronze 200 is the range’s “small” floorstanding model, while the Monitor Audio Bronze 100 is the bigger of the two compact models.

The Monitor Audio Bronze 200 is the smaller of the two floorstanding models in this range. It has a 2.5-way bass-reflex design with two 5½” midbass drivers and the same 1” C-CAM Gold tweeter as the other speakers in the range. Its cabinet only measures 16.6cm across, 88.6cm high (90.1cm with the feet and damping pads) and 26.5cm deep (with the grille). Consequently, it has a slimmer silhouette that makes it easy to integrate. The base of the speaker measures 22.5cm in width by 30.5cm in depth.

C-CAM Gold tweeter and waveguide

All the speakers in the Monitor Audio Bronze 6G range feature a C-CAM Gold tweeter with a Uniform Dispersion (UD) waveguide. This technology guarantees a more balanced sound dispersion in the highs while providing a better time alignment with the other drivers. The directivity is wider, ensuring a richer, more vivid listening experience for listeners, even those outside the speaker’s axis. The hexagonal pattern of the tweeter’s grille adds to the aesthetic unity of the Monitor Audio Bronze 6G speaker series. Depending on the lighting, this grille reveals the manufacturer’s distinctive golden dome tweeter.

C-CAM midbass driver

The C-CAM midbass drivers that equip the Monitor Audio Bronze 100 and Monitor Audio Bronze 200 speakers feature new, concave cone geometry as well as DCM (Damped Concentric Mode) technology. The surround, which is also concave, provides a very long throw while perfectly controlling the cone’s movement. According to the manufacturer, this design provides a deeper sound in the lows whilst retaining the precision and purity of the mids. Each of the C-CAM midbass drivers used in Monitor Audio Bronze 6G speakers is held firmly in place inside the cabinet by a through screw. This mounting method improves the stability of the driver and also provides greater rigidity as well as better driver/baffle decoupling.

HiVe II bass-reflex port

The Monitor Audio Bronze 100 and Monitor Audio Bronze 200 speakers both have a bass-reflex enclosure that uses one port for the compact model and two for the floorstanding model. These HiVe II vents are streamlined and rifled to optimize airflow and eliminate turbulence. This solution helps improve the transient response and ensures punchy lows.

The ports are situated on the rear panel of the Monitor Audio Bronze speakers. Consequently, the speakers can’t be placed too close to walls. However, if you have no choice but to place them close to a wall, you can use the included foam plugs to partially block the ports and amend the response in the lows.

Audiophile crossover and double terminals

The Monitor Audio Bronze 100 and Monitor Audio Bronze 200 speaker feature a high-quality crossover filter that uses carefully selected components. These include electrolytic and polyester film capacitors and low-loss air inductors for improved signal integrity and reduced distortion.

The internal wiring of the Monitor Audio Bronze speakers has also been carefully designed. The Pureflow cable is made of silver-plated OFC (oxygen-free copper) to ensure that the transmission of the electrical signal to the drivers is flawless. Lastly, the gold-plated terminals are compatible with bi-wiring and bi-amplification.

Reinforced cabinet, understated aesthetic

The Monitor Audio Bronze 100 and Monitor Bronze 200’s cabinets are made of 15mm-thick MDF, making them very robust. The straight lines and angles also increase rigidity while giving the speakers a sleek, modern look. Strategically positioned braces inside the cabinets reduce unwanted vibrations.

The speakers in the 6th generation Monitor Audio Bronze range have an understated design with simple and refined silhouettes and come in four contemporary finishes. The sleek front panels contrast with the cabinet and can be covered with magnetic fabric grilles for an even discreeter look.

We received the Monitor Audio Bronze 100 compact speakers in Walnut and the Monitor Audio Bronze 200 floorstanding speakers in Black for our review.

Monitor Audio Bronze: key specifications

Monitor Audio Bronze 100

Design

  • 2-way design
  • 1 x 1” C-CAM gold dome tweeter with UD waveguide
  • 1x 8” C-CAM midbass driver
  • Bass alignment: Bass-reflex, HiVe II port
  • Crossover frequency: 2200Hz

Measurements

  • Frequency response (-6dB): 52 – 2500Hz (Free field) / 37 – 3000Hz (in room)
  • Sensitivity (2.83V @ 1m): 87dB
  • Nominal impedance: 8 ohms
  • Minimum impedance: 4.5 ohms
  • Maximum SPL: 110 dBA (pair)
  • Power handling RMS: 100W
  • Recommended amplifier power: 30 to 100W

Dimensions & weight

  • External dimensions (including grille and terminals, H x W x D): 376 x 231 x 325mm
  • Weight (each): 7.8kg

Included accessories

  • Magnetic fabric acoustic grilles
  • Foam plugs for the ports
  • Rubber pads
  • Hex wrench

Monitor Audio Bronze 200

Design

  • 2.5-way design
  • 1 x 1” C-CAM gold dome tweeter with UD waveguide
  • 2 x 5½” C-CAM midbass driver
  • Bass alignment: Bass-reflex, HiVe II port
  • Crossover frequencies: 700Hz / 2400Hz

Measurements

  • Frequency response (-6dB): 45 – 2500Hz (Free field) / 35 – 3000Hz (in room)
  • Sensitivity (2.83V @ 1m): 88dB
  • Nominal impedance: 8 ohms
  • Minimum impedance: 4.4 ohms
  • Maximum SPL: 112 dBA (pair)
  • Power handling RMS: 120W
  • Recommended amplifier power: 40 to 120W

Dimensions & weight

  • External dimensions (including grille and terminals, H x W x D): 886 x 166 x 265mm
  • Weight (each): 12.8kg

Included accessories

  • Magnetic fabric acoustic grilles
  • Foam plugs for the ports
  • Feet, screws, hex wrench
  • Decoupling spikes
  • Rubber feet

Monitor Audio Bronze: listening conditions

For our review of the Monitor Audio Bronze 100 compact speakers and Monitor Audio Bronze 200 floorstanding speaker, we used the Yamaha MusicCast R-N803D amplifier in a living room that was about 40m². The speakers were connected to the amplifier’s A and B terminals using NorStone W250 wire. The Monitor Audio Bronze 100 compact speakers were placed on NorStone Stylum II Natural Oak finish speaker stands.

We connected the RCA stereo output of the Pioneer UDP-LX500 Ultra HD 4K Blu-ray player to the amplifier’s CD input to run in the speakers using the Jean-Marie Reynaud Magic CD before listening to a few CDs.

We also took advantage of our Qobuz Studio subscription via the MusicCast app on an Android smartphone to listen to several playlists containing CD-quality and Hi-res tracks.

Because it is possible to switch directly between the A and B terminals on the amplifier using the remote control, it was easy for us to compare the two pairs of speakers after becoming accustomed to each of them.

Monitor Audio Bronze: listening impressions

Monitor Audio Bronze 100

We began our test with the Monitor Audio Bronze 100 compact speakers and Hugh Coltman’s track “Civvy Street” on Qobuz (album Who’s Happy, 24-bit/44.1kHz). Thanks to the sounds of the street (slight rustling from the left, a pedestrian moving from right to left, voices in the background), the first seconds of this track allowed us to measure the width and depth of the soundstage as well as the speaker’s level of detail. The Monitor Audio Bronze 100 didn’t disappoint and offered a nicely spatialized soundstage, more so in width than in depth. The footsteps were excellently reproduced, the heels clicking on the ground were realistic and the various voices created a convincing sonic background.

Connected to the Yamaha MusicCast R-N803D WiFi/Bluetooth amplifier, the Monitor Audio Bronze 100 and Bronze 200 speakers gave us some wonderful musical experiences.

From the first notes of percussion, the 8” C-CAM drivers displayed depth and energy. Then came the first piano chord with a note that lasted several seconds before fading out slowly while the discussions continued in the background. The guitar then entered the stage, nicely centered and rather well delineated, to introduce the singer. Hugh Coltman’s voice was accurately rendered and stood out nicely from the instruments. The percussion was dense, the guitar notes were fast, the backing vocals unfolded and the brass instruments sounded realistic. The tweeter was particularly effective with the highest frequencies and displayed a lot of smoothness and finesse.

During the first notes of “hey rose” by Son Little (album Invisible, Qobuz, 24-bit/44.1kHz), the lows were deep and nuanced, and the singer’s voice was clear and in the foreground. The claps were realistic. The voices of the backing singers spread out beautifully in width while the electric guitar played in the background. The jingle of the tambourines was transparent and appropriately bright.

Monitor Audio Bronze 200

We then switched to the Monitor Audio Bronze 200 floorstanding speakers and played the same tracks. The presentation immediately seemed clearer with a more precise sound placement and better definition. Overall, the instruments and vocals were better delineated, each more easily identifiable. This contributed to a better perception of details and a more spacious soundstage. The feeling of space was better, with more depth than the compact model. The timbres also seemed more accurate with these floorstanders.

In contrast, the Monitor Audio Bronze 100 didn’t seem as accurate. Its 8” driver, which provides depth in the lows, wasn’t quite as precise in the mids as the floorstanding model’s dedicated driver. The tweeter of the compact speaker may go a little lower, but it wasn’t enough in comparison. As a result, the sound of the Bronze 100 was slightly “darker” with more dominant bass than the more balanced Bronze 200 floorstanding speaker.

Although the Monitor Audio Bronze 200’s C-CAM driver is smaller, we were far from frustrated by the lows. The bass had good impact and seemed both drier and more responsive. The interaction between the different frequency ranges was also very satisfactory. The midrange was clearer and better delineated than with the Bronze 100, whose midrange was slightly veiled.

These impressions were confirmed as we continued our listening session, listening to track after track from our playlists…

Monitor Audio Bronze: compared to…

Elipson Prestige Facet 8B: the Monitor Audio Bronze 100 compact speaker is equipped with a bigger midbass driver than the Elipson speaker, which allows it to go lower and have more authority than the French model. The highs produced by the Bronze 100’s tweeter are crisper and clearer, but not overly so. In comparison, the Elipson speaker’s bass is less intense, but isn’t frustrating to listen to. The French model has better overall balance, with more precisely delineated instruments and vocals, as well as better rendering of the mids.

Q Acoustics 3050i: the Q Acoustics 3050i is the recipient of the EISA Award for Best Floorstanding Speaker 2018-2019 and excels at creating a spacious, deep and aerial sound image. The Monitor Audio floorstanding speaker is almost identical in this respect, offering a soundstage with perfectly delineated elements and a multitude of details produced by its C-CAM Gold tweeter. The Q Acoustics model’s lows are “rounder” than those of the Monitor Audio Bronze 200, but don’t color the sound too much. However, they aren’t as deep or energetic. Consequently, the Monitor Audio model is slightly livelier in practice.

Monitor Audio Bronze: conclusion

The Monitor Audio Bronze 100 compact speaker has a lot of great qualities, starting with deep and nicely articulated lows, convincing spatialization and a precise exploration of the highs that doesn’t cause any auditory fatigue. Sold for less than 500 euros, it is a very good investment for a first hi-fi system.

The Monitor Audio Bronze 100 compact speaker and Monitor Audio Bronze 200 floorstanding speaker expressed themselves without restraint in our living room. Their power handling is remarkable and produces no distortion, even at high volume.

The Monitor Audio Bronze 200 floorstanding speaker impressed us even more with better overall balance as well as a more spacious and detailed soundstage in which the different elements are more accurately delineated.

What we liked

  • The understated look and the finish quality
  • The detailed and smooth highs with both speakers
  • The spatialization of the soundstage
  • The overall balance and spaciousness with the Bronze 200 floorstanding model

What we would have liked

  • More spaciousness/precision with the compact model

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Traductrice et rédactrice avec des goûts très éclectiques en matière de musique et de cinéma. Lorsque je ne suis pas au travail, vous pouvez me retrouver en train de regarder “Lost in Translation” de Sofia Coppola pour la centième fois, ou d’écouter un disque de David Bowie, Kate Bush, Joy Division ou Daft Punk sur ma platine Rega Planar 1. Étant d’origine britannique, je suis également adepte de séries à l’humour absurde comme Monty Python’s Flying Circus et The Mighty Boosh !

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