Audiophiles may recall a time where bigger and newer did not necessarily mean better. Many people recall a time when people raved about small monitor speakers manufactured in Britain back in the 1970s, by companies like KEF, Rogers, Spendor, and Harbeth. Welcome those days back, with a new speaker by Harbeth!
The Harbeth P3ESR monitor speakers may only be 12 inches tall, but they pack a fantastic sound. Comparable to old-school British monitor speakers such as Rogers LS3/5As marketed around 30 years ago, those who love quality audio will seek out the P3ESR to ensure quality sound.
The real plus with these speakers: just like the good old days, the P3ESRs are manufactured in-house, something other British brands like Monitor Audio, Quad, and Bowers & Wilkins take care of via outsourcing in other countries. The speaker stands at 12 inches high and is quite solid, with a gorgeous real cherry wood veneer. The front baffle contains a 5-inch woofer and 0.75-inch tweeter made by Harbeth, with no bass port due to its sealed box design.
The driving force behind the P3ESR's optimum sound: the RADIAL2 woofer. It is Harbeth's own RADIAL2 cone technology, brought from their larger monitor speakers to the P3ESR, that provide a clarity and natural quality of sound unmatched by other speakers of this size.
Most small speakers are limiting when it comes to dynamic range, especially if you have tower speakers. That said, this isn't the speaker for you if you are looking to blast your music at maximum volume. Acoustic music, however, loves these speakers. When listening, you'll notice the instruments and voices are richer and more full-bodied than on your average or even above average speakers, no matter what their size. If you reside in an apartment with little space or are looking for the right system for the reception desk of your office, choose the P3ESR.
This is a high-tech speaker, relying on numerous expensive components to optimize your listening experience, bringing you the type of quality sound that is built to last. One should also take care to keep these speakers away from the wall and raised up to ear-level to ensure the best possible sound quality. While the sound is still decent on the ground, these speakers perform best when in ear range.
The price tag might be a bit scary at first, but for what you are getting, $2,095 a pair really isn't that bad – if you’re looking for high-quality speakers, that is. If you factor in the sound quality, the attention to detail by Harbeth while manufacturing the product, as well as the real cherry wood cabinet, that's a pretty good deal. Besides, if you search for old school LS3/5A speakers on eBay, you'll see a very similar price tag, which attests to the fact that a good, quality speaker really does last a lifetime. That being said, these speakers are a perfect choice for the audiophile in a small space.