“A tiny trio mighty on sound”: Hi-Fi Choice recommends Exposure’s compact yet commanding XM7/XM9 amplifier combo

“It’s difficult to believe, but the wretched, guilty truth is that not everyone that plays music in high-quality stereo wants large areas of their house to be occupied by hi-fi equipment,” writes David Price in the November issue of Hi-Fi Choice. Fortunately, British audio brand Exposure has come to the rescue with its niche XM series which packs “a serious punch in half-sized boxes”. Price puts the XM7 preamp/DAC and XM9 mono power amps to the test.

Diminutive in size they may be, but neither the XM7 preamp/DAC nor the XM9 mono power amp is short on features. “A lot of stuff has been shoehorned inside,” writes Price.

The XM7 sports a Wolfson WM8742 DAC chip served by two coaxial and two optical inputs plus a Class 2 USB. Analogue-wise there are two line inputs and an MM phono stage, and there’s also a headphone stage with switchable sockets. Under the hood is a mighty 200VA toroidal transformer, discrete transistors for the audio output stages, and some impressively high quality circuitry.

The XM9 monos are a direct-coupled Class AB design, putting out 80W RMS each onto 8 ohms. Again, they feature a 200VA toroidal transformer, as well as discrete Toshiba power transistors and cascade circuitry for improved power supply immunity.

“There’s something inescapably Exposure about this little threesome, and I mean it in a good way,” says Price… “a fulsome and warm bass, lots of detail across the midband – which has a wide soundstage – and a smooth yet spacious treble… it’s easy on the ear yet satisfies your soul.”

Price puts the Exposures’ analogue and digital capabilities through their paces with tracks in a variety of formats and ranging from Supertramp’s Just Another Nervous Wreck, through Microdisney’s Peel Session version of Town To Town, to Linx’s early eighties funk You’re Lying.

“This is a great system’” he concludes. “Exposure is to be congratulated for coming up with a compact yet highly capable setup that gives audiophiles their listening rooms back.”

Read David Price’s full review in the November 2017 issue of Hi-Fi Choice.

Discover more about Exposure’s XM series and find your nearest dealer at www.exposurehifi.com