I have heard a few German Blumenhofer Acoustics speakers here and there but I always associated this brand with horn designs, so the Mini model was kind of a surprise for me. There are a few reasons why this is true, so let’s cut to the chase and talk about it.
Build and Features
I am not sure if you can see that from the photos but Blumenhofer Acoustics Mini is one tiny speaker. It measures only 280 x 140 x 270 mm (11 x 5,5 x 10,5 in) which makes even my pair of KEF LS50s look chunky next to these. But size aside, Acoustics Mini is your typical two-way design with a silk dome tweeter and a small 100mm (4″) paper cone woofer. The Crossover frequency is set at an unusually high 6000 Hz, making that 4″ driver more of a midrange unit than the woofer. The speaker itself is built of MDF and finished to a high standard in a beautiful real wood veneer. Mentioning veneer, the pair that I had on test came with a beautiful Zebrano finish but different ones can be chosen when ordering.
For more tech specs refer to the table at the end of the page, because now we talk about performance.
I listened to these speakers hooked to Hegel H190 integrated, as well as to my Acoustic Invader separates. Later on, I exchanged the preamp for Schiit Freya+, and used several different DACs in the process: Ladder Schumann, Topping D90LE, Musician Pegasus, etc. All of these different pairings revealed the speaker’s own character quite well.
Blumenhofer Acoustics Mini is one mighty transparent-sounding speaker. Feed it with capable electronics and be amazed by the amount of detail that this speaker will let through. But make no mistake, being detailed is not equal to being sharp or analytical because this speaker has a very natural way of presenting each tone. Midrange is probably the most spectacular with rich texture detailing and very natural tone timbre. Play any vocal, male or female, or acoustic instrument, and Mini is bound to impress. Even more, there’s plenty of space and that sense of airiness around each tone. This is one of those skilled products that manages to sound very open and revealing, but silky smooth and natural at the same time. If you think I’m praising it too much, I say I probably didn’t praise this part enough.
But let us move to the bass region. The bassline is quick, tight, and simply beautifully controlled. It’s once again rich with inner tone texture, just like the midrange is. Unfortunately, there is not much bass depth and weight to talk about here. Well, at least not in my 4.4 x 7 meters (14 x 23 feet) listening room. Luckily, I had a REL T/5x subwoofer at hand so I put some effort into integrating these two. Once properly tuned, REL brought that much-needed weight and sense of wholesome sound that little Blumenhofer was simply lacking in my listening room. On the other hand, if your setup is located in a smaller space, this kind of bass extension can be a blessing in disguise. Not having much of the lower bass extension means that there’s much less chance room modes will be awakened. This will make Blumenhofer Acoustics Mini sound tight in small spaces too.
Dynamics is another thing that is somewhat limited with this kind of small speaker. While adding subwoofer fixes lean tonality, it doesn’t do much to help with dynamic swings. Those will remain in line with what you can expect from a such small box – very modest. So if you’re into classical music and big orchestras, better look elsewhere. But when it comes to vocals, acoustic music, jazz, and small bands – this speaker simply shines.
KEF LS50 the original version (not Meta) is another small speaker. But with a slightly greater internal volume and bigger woofer, KEF managed to tune LS50 to output noticeably more bass. Because of this, LS50 sounds more full-range, or let’s say meatier than Blumenhofer Mini. Where Mini strikes back are overall clarity, tone texture retrieval, and overall smoothness. Blumenhofer sounds tonally richer in the midrange, it outlines each tone better and makes LS50 sound slightly muddy in direct comparison, especially in the mid-bass region.
Given that I was able to pair both of these with REL T/5x, I had a clear preference for Blumenhofer Mini. If that wasn’t the case, I would probably sacrifice some clarity and impressively tight and open sound for the fuller-bodied presentation of LS50. That said, I might feel differently if this comparison was done in a smaller space.
Blumenhofer Acoustic Mini is a very small and very skilled speaker. It excels with vocals, acoustic music, and small bands, and it would be well-suited for smaller rooms. In bigger spaces, adding a subwoofer is basically a must to achieve a full-bodied tonality. That said, if your specific needs and use case match their specific skills – they can bring tons of sheer music enjoyment that would be hard to match.
|BLUMENHOFER ACOUSTICS MINI – CHARACTERISTICS|
Enclosure Type: 2- Way Bass Reflex