The Monitor Audio Bronze series was first introduced somewhere around 2000. I remember auditioning them back then but they left me unimpressed. It’s not that those were bad speakers by any means, but unlike Silver series they just didn’t have that something to captivate my attention.
Fast forward almost two decades, 6th Bronze generation is about to come to the market and I found myself looking at the nicely discounted Bronze 2 of 5th generation. I really wanted to revisit the budget offering of this British manufacturer so two days later I took them out of the box, and two weeks later I bring this review.
BUILD AND FEATURES
Monitor Audio Bronze 2 are a nice looking pair of speakers, there’s no doubt about it. The build is fine, especially when you count in their price. Bass reflex is located in the front, beneath the 165 mm (6.5″) bass driver. Above it sits a gold dome tweeter protected with a metal mesh. I like this touch of not having to worry about the tweeter even with grills off. Grills are of a magnetic kind so there are no ugly holes in the cabinet. On the back we find bi-wiring binding posts of a decent quality.
The positioning of Bronze 2 proved to be easy and they don’t mind being a bit closer to walls. That said, if you have to put them really close to the wall it’s worth experimenting with provided bass-reflex foam bungs. In my room, I didn’t feel the need to use these but I feel good knowing that they’re there if the need ever arises.
Right out of the box, Bronze 2 tends to sound a bit sharp and edgy but worry not and give them some time to settle. I haven’t really timed it, but it took around 50 hours for them to shake off that slight sharpness and show their true colors.
Once that’s settled it was clear that we have a pair of fast and agile sounding speakers. Digging plenty of details across the frequency range is something these do with ease. What’s even more important, all of the instruments and vocals are clearly separated and securely positioned. Sound-stage width is very good, and so is depth if you place Bronze 2 a bit away from the wall and into the empty space. These speakers have a real sense of pace and rhythm too, so listening to something like Violent Femmes – Blister in the Sun is a foot-tapping experience.
Few songs in, it’s clear that Bronze 2’s baseline is not particularly weighty and punchy. They prioritize speed and agility instead. That’s perfectly fine with me and I’ll take light-footed but precise bass over the heavy but blunt one any day. Just be aware that if you’re a fan of heavy electronic music or something similar requiring some heavy bass roaring, these might not be what you’re after.
Bronze 2s are not particularly picky when it comes to finding proper gear to run them. First of all, they’re quite sensitive at 90 dB/W and you don’t need a powerhouse to drive them properly. In terms of sonic matching, I’d say it’s safe to pair them with anything going from neutral to warmer sounding equipment, depending on your taste of course. Avoid pairing them with lean and analytical sounding gear if you don’t want to emphasize those traits.
While hooking them to a decent budget system provides good results, Bronze 2s are capable enough to appreciate you feeding them with a more capable gear. In that case, they’ll treat you with even bigger and more detailed soundstage than you’d expect them to.
Monitor Audio Bronze 2 proved to be a very entertaining, nimble sounding speaker and I loved spending time with it. I’m glad to say that modern Bronze models went a long way from that first entries back in 2005. There’s more good sound to be heard from this newer generation than I expected and that made me very happy.
The 5th gen series is soon to be replaced by the 6th gen. That doesn’t deduct anything from the fact that Bronze 2s are a very capable set of speakers. On the contrary, every generational transition is a good opportunity to get good, stock clearing, prices for an already proven model such as this one.
|MONITOR AUDIO BRONZE 2 – CHARACTERISTICS|