Axis Loudspeakers Voicebox S Monitor Speakers Review
The Voicebox S is the latest design from Australia’s own speaker gurus, Brad Serhan and John Reilly, of Axis Loudspeakers.
Both names have strong links to the audio fraternity both locally and abroad and have combined to create a seemingly simple stand-mount, monitor loudspeaker.
The two-way bass reflex design calls upon a Fountek 50mm Ribbon Tweeter and 5-1/4” Nomex Mid Woofer. With a fantastically perfect black piano finish, on the rear there are large binding posts adjacent to the 30mm port.
The enclosure measures just 182×195×313mm (WxDxH), while the advertised frequency response is 60Hz to 20kHz (±2dB).Gracing the rear of the enclosure is the name plate featuring the Axis logo, and Chinese characters which apparently translate to “Love of Sound”. And while Axis Loudspeakers may well be producing these in a factory in China, the fit, finish and presentation is such that you could be forgiven for thinking they’d come out of a quality factory anywhere else in the world.
While advertised as a stand mount speaker, these boxes would fit nicely on a shelf, desktop or on your entertainment unit.
First previewed back in 2009, these speakers have been refined further, and the outcome is a very attractive compact speaker. The final assembly is very nice – right down to the metal insert which fixes the terminals onto the box.
The detachable grilles had us a little confused at first; we couldn’t get the darn thing to go on the first speaker – no matter what we tried. It seems that the cabinet maker has inserted the neo magnets into the speaker box backwards – this means that the grille is repelled, rather than attached to the front of the cabinet. The other speaker was correctly magnetised, and the grill was solidly located on that cabinet’s front panel.
A quick call with our findings to Audio Marketing, who handle local distribution on behalf of Axis, it seems our demo pair may have been a very early production model as they had not yet even received serial numbers. Fair enough.
Chris Jones' 'Long After You're Gone' was first up on the cue list, and I was surprised by the smooth and articulate bass from these relatively small speakers. Likewise, the midrange and highs are very clear, with perhaps just the slightest hint of sibilance from those ribbons.
The standout here though is the width of the soundstage; expansive and layered with a phenomenal amount of detail and dynamics.
Damien Rice's '9 Crimes' is a great track for male/female vocal discrimination and upper midrange transparency and resolution. I found the Voicebox S to have a slight rise in the very high frequencies. This had the effect of creating an apparent dip in upper mids, to my ears in the vicinity between 3 - 6 kHz. Angling the speakers slightly off-axis to overcome this top end rise seemed to help.
With that said, when pushed, these speakers did not lose one ounce of composure; they just got louder. This can be difficult to achieve as some speakers shift their response around at varying excursions. The drivers chosen and the crossover design obviously control the sound well and is testament to Serhan’s design.
While the Axis Voice Box S loudspeakers have been designed primarily as a stand mount near-field monitor, they have no trouble filling a medium sized room with immersive sound. Those with larger rooms may opt to add in a subwoofer.
Overall, the Axis Loudspeaker Voicebox S are highly capable speakers, with resolution and bass to die for given their compact size. They punch well above their weight and an audition is highly recommended.
For more information visit the Axis Loudspeakers brand page.
- 60 Hz to 20 kHz (mic on tweeter axis +/- 2dB)
- 45 Hz to 20 kHz (1/3 octave pink noise +/- 3 dB)
- Sensitivity: 83 dB
- Impedance: 5 ohms
- Power rating: 100W RMS
- 8 element electro-acoustic Linkwitz-Riley 4th order @ 3kHz
- 5.25” NOMEX paper
- Tweeter: 50mm metal true ribbon (custom)
- Weight: 6.4 kg each (14 lbs)