Not sure whether to pick one of the best soundbars or go a little more traditional with a set of the best stereo speakers this holiday season? French speaker company Cabasse has a lovely alternative option: a new pair of active mounts with TV connectivity and built-in streaming intelligence and TV connectivity.
The product is called the Rialto, and in each of the pair of speakers Cabasse has placed a coaxially aligned 13cm midrange/tweeter unit, with each driver powered by a 300W amplifier module.
Interestingly, the bass is controlled by a 17cm ‘HELD’ (High Excursion Low Distortion) bass driver that is rear-firing and powered by a third dedicated amplifier, this time a 450W one. Cabasse went with something called a ‘DEAP’ (Digital Enhancement of Acoustical Performance) DSP tuner to boast a low frequency range of 30Hz.
In terms of connectivity, you get HDMI eARC, TOSLINK, analog RCA and Ethernet options on the back of the ‘main’ speaker (even if they are advertised as active speakers rather than simply powered, a box still takes the lead. ), plus Bluetooth, Spotify Connect, Tidal Connect, Apple AirPlay plus Qobuz and Deezer built right into Cabasse’s StreamCONTROL app.
You also get Cabasse’s proprietary room compensation software and a volume control ring above the main speaker, which wraps around a touch panel screen for playback controls and even cover images. And while you can certainly say that Cabasse does too supernatural spherical options (opens in new tab)this is a more sensible aesthetic entirely.
Opinion: Good stereo speakers offer much more nuance and separation than standalone soundbars
Why might you opt for a mount speaker set instead of a five-star bar of a box? Because you have a bigger room or a very low TV maybe?
Perhaps, but mostly it should be because when the stereo speakers are placed a little further away from your TV (possibly closer to the corners of your room, depending on your dimensions and acoustics), positioned at the ideal distance from a back wall and ‘ toed in’ to create the ideal listening point, they offer far more separation, nuance and detail than almost any high-end soundbar on the market.
That’s the beauty of the mobile wireless audio kit; it’s not just placed under your TV along with all your other consoles and Blu-rays (you still have them, right?). These two driver-packed boxes can be moved and tilted so the frequencies hit you just the right way!
The speakers are named after the oldest and most famous bridge in Venice, and with his own Rialto, Cabasse says he wants to bridge the gap between traditional hi-fi and the latest connected technologies he has developed over the past 10 years (see what did they do there?).
While distribution in the US and UK is not yet finalized (we are waiting), we know that the Cabasse Rialto will retail for €2,990 (i.e. around $3,000, £2,596 or AU$4,650) per pair at your choice. in black or white.
It’s probably not a product we should expect to see on any Black Friday deal. Then again, you never know…