High End 2023 - Munich, Germany
- Written by Doug Schneider Doug Schneider
- Parent Category: Shows-Events Shows-Events
- Created: 21 May 2023 21 May 2023
High End 2023 Product Coverage: Stenheim Alumine Two.Five Loudspeaker
Switzerland’s Stenheim used High End 2023 to launch the new Alumine Two.Five loudspeaker, which the company describes as “a passive two-way, floorstanding, high-performance speaker that incorporates the company’s essential design attributes in an elegant tower that adapts to most living spaces.” The Alumine Two.Five reportedly “builds on the simplicity of the original bookshelf Alumine Two, but with greater cabinet volume and double bass drivers for lower extension.”
As the name suggests, the Two.Five’s cabinet is made of aluminum—like all of Stenheim’s speakers. It stands a hair over 37″ tall, so it’s compact, which is clear when you see it in real life, but it weighs 100 pounds, so it’s dense—and feels it. Although the Two.Five is a two-way design, it has three drivers: a 1″ soft-dome tweeter and two 6.5″ midrange-woofers. The two midrange-woofers cover the same frequency band, and both transition to the tweeter. Sensitivity is claimed to be 93dB in “half space” conditions, which means 3dB higher than one would get in an anechoic chamber. No measurement distance or input voltage is specified, though I’ll assume it’s the industry-standard 1m distance with a 2.83V input. Impedance is said to be 8 ohms, which makes it easy for any amplifier to drive.
As we learned when we reviewed the Two, the company likes to quote its prices in Swiss francs, so it’s 21,500 Swiss francs per pair. Currently, euros and Swiss francs trade at roughly par, so the Two.Five is also about €21,500, but that’s without Europe’s value-added tax (VAT), which Stenheim told me would bring the price up to roughly €25,800 per pair.
Typically, small and quite-expensive speakers don’t automatically appeal to me, but this one is a little different. That’s because when Diego Estan reviewed the Alumine Two on SoundStage! Hi-Fi in January 2022, he found the sound “difficult if not impossible to find fault with. Except for the bass, that is.” The problem with the bass was that there wasn’t enough of it, so Diego had to add his subs.
The Two.Five’s extra bass driver and increased cabinet volume could mitigate that deficiency, so I took the time during High End to visit Stenheim’s exhibit for a listen. I thought there was promise, since I was presented with a clear sound that was reasonably fleshed out in the low end. Would they fully satisfy Diego or me? We’d have to try a pair in our homes to know, so we’ll see if we can make that happen. But as I said, there was promise in what I heard—and under show conditions, that’s the most you can ask for.
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