Sonus Faber Lumina II: a brilliant little Italian speaker


Mis à jour le 9 November 2021.

The Sonus Faber Lumina II is the largest of the two bookshelf speakers in the Sonus Faber Lumina range. Equipped with a 6” midbass driver, a bass-reflex enclosure and a silk dome tweeter, the Sonus Faber Lumina II is designed to be powered by an amplifier with an output ranging between 30 and 150 watts.

Sonus Faber Lumina II
The Sonus Faber Lumina II bookshelf speakers have a very appealing wood and leather finish that looks the part in both classic and modern interiors.

Sold for €1,099 per pair, can this speaker adorned with black leather and real wood compete with models in the same price range, notably the Dali Opticon 2 MKII and Jean-Marie Reynaud Folia Jubilee?

Sonus Faber Lumina II: packaging & accessories

The Sonus Faber Lumina II bookshelf speakers come in a double cardboard packaging to protect them from damage during transport. They are secured with two blocks of packing foam (one on top and one underneath) and wrapped in a synthetic fabric cover. A polyethylene foam film is inserted in between the front of the speakers and their respective magnetic covers.

Sonus Faber Lumina II: presentation

The Sonus Faber Lumina speaker range is the gateway into the Italian brand’s sonic world. Nevertheless, we find the manufacturer’s trademark design, with the finest materials (real wood and leather cabinet) that enhance the simple and elegant silhouette of the speakers. The listener can either enjoy the beautiful wood finish or hide the front of the speaker with the magnetic grille to make it more discreet. The brand’s acoustic technologies are also present with a tweeter equipped with proprietary D.A.D. (Damped Apex Dome) technology, adopted by all Sonus Faber speakers, and a 6” midbass driver with a natural fiber cone developed by the manufacturer. The Sonus Faber Lumina speaker has an impedance of 4 ohms and a sensitivity rated at 86 dB. It is ideal for listening to music in a living room, with or without a subwoofer. It can also be added to a home theater speaker pack and used to reproduce surround sound effects or the front channel, in combination with the Sonus Faber Lumina Center I speaker and Sonus Faber Lumina III floorstanding speakers or Sonus Faber Lumina I bookshelf speakers, depending on your preference. A Sonus Faber Gravis II subwoofer with matching finish can be added to the setup.

Elegant leather and wood finish

Like all Sonus Faber speakers, the Sonus Faber Lumina II compact speaker is characterized by its refined appearance. Although it has a simpler, more classic silhouette compared to the brand’s other ranges, its real wood baffle and black leather finish are very impressive and instantly captivating.

The Sonus Faber Lumina II’s minimalist design showcases the quality of the materials used.

Damped Apex Dome tweeter

The Sonus Faber Lumina II speaker features a 1.1” D.A.D. (Damped Apex Dome) tweeter whose dome is topped by a conical spike. The latter is mounted on an arch and positioned just above the top of the cone. It provides local damping to avoid phase inversion that could cause early attenuation of high frequencies.

A small rounded point is positioned just above the top of the tweeter to eliminate phase inversion in this area of the cone.

Powerfully motorized, the silk dome tweeter is characterized by its excellent linearity, ensuring a precise and effective reproduction of the highs.

The Voice of Sonus Faber

The Sonus Faber Lumina II’s tweeter is accompanied by a 6” midbass driver whose cone is made of natural fibers that are mixed with paper and air-dried. This combination of drivers provides what the Italian manufacturer calls the Voice of Sonus Faber: a warm and captivating sound with substance and very accurate, natural tones in the mids and highs, characteristic of the brand’s DNA.

The Sonus Faber Lumina II’s laminar port is front-firing and integrated into the base, which allows the speaker to be placed against a wall or on a shelf.

This driver benefits from a bass-reflex enclosure with a front-firing laminar port in the base of the speaker. As a result, the speaker is much easier to integrate: it can be easily placed on a bookshelf, unlike speakers with rear-firing ports, where being placed too close to a wall results in excessive bass.

The Sonus Faber Lumina II can be placed on a bookshelf thanks to its front-firing port.

Optimized crossover filter

The crossover of this speaker has been optimized to offer a more linear impedance and make it easier to power. The two pairs of nickel-plated screw terminals are compatible with banana plugs and allow for bi-wiring or bi-amplification.

The Sonus Faber Lumina II’s two pairs of screw terminals are compatible with banana plugs and allow for bi-amplification.

The Sonus Faber Lumina II has a frequency response from 55Hz to 24kHz. Its rather low sensitivity rating (86 dB/2.83 V/1 m) is partly compensated by its 4 ohm impedance, but we recommend that you connect it to a powerful amp with a solid power supply if you want to listen to music at high volume. The 30 watts per channel delivered by a modest amplifier such as the Rega IO are enough for the Sonus Faber Lumina I to express itself with conviction in a 20 to 30m² room.

Sonus Faber Lumina II: key specifications

  • 2-way bass-reflex, frontal laminar port
  • Bi-amplification compatible terminals
  • 6” natural fiber midbass driver
  • 1.1” silk dome tweeter
  • Recommended amplification power: 30 to 150W RMS
  • Frequency response: 55Hz to 24kHz
  • Sensitivity: 86 dB/2.83V/m
  • Impedance: 4 ohms
  • Dimensions: (HxWxD): 304 x 180 x 263mm
  • Weight: 5.8kg (per speaker)

Sonus Faber Lumina II: listening conditions

For our review, we installed the Sonus Faber Lumina II speakers on a pair of NorStone Stylum 2 stands and connected them to the Rega IO stereo amplifier using two NorStone Arran MC cables. We also used these speakers with the Rel Acoustics T-Zero subwoofer during several of our listening sessions.

We tested the Sonus Faber Lumina IIs with the excellent “little” Rega IO stereo whose 30 watts were more than enough to make the speakers sing.

Sonus Faber Lumina II: listening impressions

The Sonus Faber Lamina II speakers gave nice width to the soundstage, which also benefited from appreciable height and depth when the speakers weren’t too close to the walls. The instruments were precisely positioned and clearly defined, with clean attacks and nicely sustained releases. The vocals were well centered (no phasing issues) and the sweet spot effect wasn’t too pronounced. However, it is best to toe the speakers in towards the listening area a little to optimize the distribution of the highest frequencies.

We were pleased to rediscover the lively and realistic character that we had enjoyed with the small Sonus Faber Lumina I (read our review of the Sonus Faber Lumina speakers). However, the Lumina IIs delivered fuller and slightly deeper lows, which also benefited from the roundness of the Rega IO in this frequency range. The 6” driver also added substance to the low mids which were denser, with vocals that were more expertly reproduced. However, it was a little less responsive than the Lumina I’s 5.1” driver, which impressed us with its extreme liveliness.

Equipped with a larger midbass driver and a larger enclosure, the Sonus Faber Lumina II speakers (left) provided deeper lows than the Lumina I (right), giving the soundstage more depth and magnitude.

After a break-in period of around 10 hours, our listening sessions revealed beautifully consistent frequency ranges thanks to the optimized crossover filter: no frequency was artificially emphasized. On the contrary, the Lumina IIs were balanced and weren’t tiring to listen to over long periods of time. At ease with both simple scores and more complex tracks, they managed to layer the soundstage effectively for great clarity, even at high volume.

Like the Italian manufacturer’s other speakers, the tweeter was bright and crisp while remaining soft, illuminating the soundstage with a multitude of details. The Voice of Sonus Faber was definitely present thanks to optimal integration with the midrange. The two drivers excelled at reproducing vocals: whether the lyrics were whispered or expressed with power and intensity, they had a wonderful presence and were always intelligible. The same applies to the string and brass instruments, whose accurate tones added to the realism of the soundstage. 

The lows were deeper and fuller than those delivered by the Lumina I, due to the size of the driver, providing the soundstage with more texture. The lows seemed a little less responsive, which can be partly attributed to the character of the Rega IO, which is a little less rigorous in this frequency range than the Lyngdorf TDAI-1120 used for the review of the Lumina I. 

Although it is not absolutely essential, the addition of a subwoofer allows you to enjoy even more energy and depth for a sound with more intensity and texture. It is ideal for a room exceeding 30/35m².

Despite its modest size, the Rel Acoustics T-Zero subwoofer allowed us to extend the low frequency response and added a little more substance and texture to the sound delivered by the Sonus Faber Lumina IIs. Once again, we can only stress the advantages of a 2.1 hi-fi system in terms of amplitude and depth of the soundstage.

Sonus Faber Lumina II: compared to…

Dali Opticon 2 MKII (€1,200)
The Dali Opticon 2 MKII speaker features a 1.1” tweeter and 6.5” wood fiber cone midbass driver.

With very similar characteristics to the Lumina II in terms of power handling capacity, impedance and sensitivity, this Dali speaker has a slightly larger midbass driver and a fabric dome tweeter of the same size. The drivers are housed in a slightly larger cabinet with a more austere look. Although it doesn’t go lower than the Italian speaker, the Danish speaker is more energetic and reactive in the bass. Both models provide a spacious soundstage, offer soft and precise highs and are quite easy to power, as long as the associated amplifier is equipped with a solid power supply. The Sonus Faber Lumina II comes out on top in the mids, which are a little more subtle. In our opinion, the Sonus Faber Lumina II also prevails visually thanks to the combination of wood and leather.

Jean-Marie Reynaud Folia Jubilee (€1,150)
More imposing than the Sonus Faber speaker, the JMR Folia Jubilee benefits from a more complex enclosure that provides a better transient response and deeper lows.

Not as deep but much taller than the Sonus Faber, the French JMR Folia Jubilee speaker doesn’t have the same look as the Italian model. Its asymmetrical tuned loading system requires a larger enclosure but produces deep and responsive bass despite the use of a 5.1” driver. Its size means making some compromises when it comes to placement, but the sound it delivers is very impressive: the expertly integrated frequency ranges, excellent transient response and dynamism characterize this incredibly musical speaker. The Sonus Faber is equal in terms of spaciousness and spatialization as well as tonal accuracy. However, it is a step below the French model in terms of velocity and responsiveness. Aesthetically, the JMR’s matte finish doesn’t look as good as the Italian speaker’s warmer wood and leather finish.

Sonus Faber Lumina II: who is it for?

The Sonus Faber Lumina IIs will impress music lovers looking for a pair of speakers capable of bringing music to life with a spacious and energetic sound. Elegant in more ways than one, notably with their luxurious finish, they also impress with their balanced and nuanced sound with extensive lows, particularly effective mids and beautifully clear highs. Comfortable with all musical styles, they will sound best in a room ranging from 20 to 30m², or in a larger space with the support of a subwoofer.

Sonus Faber Lumina II: conclusion

The Sonus Faber Lumina II manages to combine the essential qualities that have been the success of the Italian manufacturer for years, while maintaining a reasonable price. Tonal accuracy, balanced frequencies, a full midrange, spatialization and an extensive soundstage are all there to provide an emotion-packed listening experience.

The Sonus Faber Lumina II speakers are perfect for listening sessions in a reasonably sized room but are also comfortable in a living space larger than 30m² when paired with a sufficiently powerful amplifier.

They give their best performance when paired with a stereo amplifier or a WiFi/Bluetooth amplifier with an output power of at least 50W into 4 ohms. The addition of a subwoofer, even one with a relatively small driver like the Rel Acoustics T-Zero, brings texture and amplitude to the soundstage.

We liked

  • The very elegant design and finish
  • The front-firing port that makes it easy to place
  • The precise highs
  • The tonal accuracy

We would have liked

  • For the lows to have been more responsive

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