“Welcome, audiophiles, enthusiasts, music fans and lovers of all things luxury to our annual Yearbook,” writes editor Paul Miller in the magazine’s introduction. Perhaps this year, more than ever, we’ve needed “the hardware that inspired our senses and the music that sustained our souls and sanity.” Among the selected “awe-inspiring” products is MBL’s Radialstrahler 101E MkII loudspeaker.
Few loudspeakers are as instantly recognisable as German MBL’s Radialstrahlers, the name translating directly as ‘radial emitters’. While most loudspeakers manage to be omni-directional at low frequencies, they become less so as the music moves up the octaves. The Radialstrahlers, in contrast, “are as close to full-range omni-directional designs as currently exist,” writes Hi-Fi News.
The 101E MkII is one down from MBL’s top-of-range 101 X-treme and it creates “a truly huge but meticulously crafted soundscape.” This latest MkII edition arrived in the UK a decade after the 101E’s original incarnation and “it was worth the wait”.
“They revealed the sampled layers on Massive Attack’s Unfinished Symphony with the same clarity as the haunting overtones of the vocals, while the title track from Amy Winehouse’s Back to Black found the singer pouring her heart out, nay excoriating.”
“To listen to them is never less than an experience.”
Read the review in full, and discover the complete list of ‘Ultimate Hi-Fi 2021’, in the latest Hi-Fi News Yearbook.