Today I have new speakers to test in a new article titled Monitor Audio Bronze 100 Review.
As the larger bookshelf model of the new Bronze series, the Bronze 100 loudspeakers have a difficult task ahead of them: to continue the path of success established by previous generations.
I am sure that there is almost no fan of good sound who has not encountered Monitor Audio speakers at some point, especially when it comes to more affordable models and the beginnings of assembling audio systems. Such long-term popularity and prevalence have a solid foundation: in the lower segment, Monitor Audio has always provided great reproduction quality and undemanding start-up, all packaged in modernly designed and brilliantly made cabinets, which looked far better and more luxurious than class rivals. More experienced audiophiles know that there is no such thing as the best device, speaker, or system – there are simply too many factors, and circumstances can change. But for many of us, the Bronzes represent a stage in the audiophile journey that we fondly remember, even when they reach much more expensive speakers and systems.
Monitor Audio Bronze 100 Specifications
- System Format: 2-Way
- Frequency Response (-6 dB): 52 – 25,000 Hz (Free field), 37 – 30,000 Hz (In room)
- Sensitivity (2.83v @ 1m): 87 dB
- Nominal Impedance: 8 ohms
- Minimum Impedance: 4.5 ohms
- Maximum SPL: 110 dBA (pair)
- Power Handling (RMS): 100 W
- Recommended Amplifier Requirements: 30 — 100 W
- Bass Alignment: Bass reflex – HiVe II port system
- Crossover Frequency: 2,200 Hz
- Drive Unit Complement: 1 x 8″ C-CAM bass/mid-range driver, 1 x 25 mm C-CAM Gold Dome tweeter with UD Waveguide
- External Dimensions (Including Grille and Terminals (H x W x D)): 376 x 231 x 325 mm (1413/16 x 91/8 x 1213/16″)
- Weight (each): 7.8 kg (17 lb 3 oz)
You can download the manual here->Monitor Audio Bronze 100 Manual
Construction & Design
Compared to the previous generation, the first thing to notice is that the Bronzes have grown considerably, which is mainly contributed by the conspicuously larger width of the cabinet. The previous ones, Bronze 2, were quite compact boxes that do not burden the space, while the new Bronze 100 already show that they are serious speakers with their dimensions. The design direction has also been changed and now there are sharp edges and clean lines, which, together with the increased volume, give these boxes a much bulkier look. This is followed by the front side, which in the case of the black and walnut finish is highlighted with a matte gray color, so the Bronze 100s seem more serious and robust than their predecessors. However, some things have not changed, and here I mean first of all the quality of the finish: down to the last detail, it was executed flawlessly.
In an average living room, you will hardly be able to get deeper bass even from larger floor-standing speakers.
The applied technical solutions have improved the reputation of the more expensive series, so on the front side we find a honeycomb metal tweeter mesh, which is used in the Silver and Gold series and which the manufacturer states is completely acoustically transparent. The domed membrane with a diameter of 25 millimeters is made in the well-known C-CAM (Ceramic-Coated Aluminum/Magnesium) technology and additionally gold-plated on the outer surface, and is placed in the new Uniform Dispersion director.
Underneath the tweeter is a mid-bass unit with a diameter of eight inches (203 mm), which is another important novelty in this series. The large mid-bass membrane is also made in C-CAM technology, with the already recognizable absence of a dust cover in the center, which allows the entire surface to be used to create sound waves. In addition, the new DCM (Damped Concentric Mode) technology is applied to the diaphragm, which the manufacturer states provides a fuller sound and deeper bass while maintaining a clean and precise presentation.
The speaker cabinet is made of medium-density fiberboard (MDF), with a wall thickness of 15 millimeters, while the front side is reinforced to a thickness of 21 millimeters. In addition to this, an additional measure in the fight against unwanted vibrations is represented by structural reinforcements inside the cabinet, as well as the well-known single bolt-through system, which eliminates the rigid connection between the mid-bass unit and the frontal buffer. Due to the increased diameter of the mid-bass driver, the opening of the bass reflex has been moved to the back of the new Bronze 100, with the already-known HiVe II technology for reduced swirl and improved airflow. Under the port, there is a panel with two pairs of gold-plated metal terminals of very high quality, which enable bi-wiring and bi-amping, while the complete wiring in the interior is made of PureFlow copper cables without admixture of oxygen (OFC).
With a nominal impedance of eight ohms and a declared sensitivity of 87 decibels, the Bronze 100s are not a particularly difficult task to start up, and connecting them to the much more expensive Exposure 2010S2 amplifier and Chord 2Qute D/A converter allowed them to fully display all their strengths and weaknesses. As these Bronzes are no longer such small speakers, and their genetic predisposition indicates a certain requirement in terms of space, it is necessary to pay attention to positioning and turning (toe-in). After a bit of experimentation, in my medium-sized room, it turned out that the distance of the speakers from the rear wall must be at least 40 centimeters, with a very slight toe-in for improved focus.
Since just one look at the mid-bass unit is enough to raise certain expectations regarding the lowest tones, I started my critical listening by evaluating the bass. The low end is really well presented, with the speakers’ ability to go down quite deep – in fact, in the average living room you’ll hardly be able to get deeper bass even from larger floor-standing speakers without having to pull them out into the middle of the room. Another important thing is that the deep tones are accompanied by a suitable mass, which sometimes even outgrows the size of the cabinet, so the Bronze 100 undoubtedly brings a desirable enthusiasm factor and a powerful disco effect, which is difficult to remain indifferent to. The rhythm that comes out of these boxes is strong and striking, and the low-tone background is stable even when you use the system as a soundtrack while watching movies. Finally, the low tones are perfectly defined in all circumstances, so the deepest basses, as well as complex and fast sections in the upper basses, are presented clearly and without narrowing the stage.
The middle part of the spectrum builds on the bass with a clean and open presentation. Although Monitor Audio speakers are known for their direct presentation and brighter tonal balance, I would say that this is also slowly changing – the color is closer to neutral, and the mid-tones provide a good balance between precision and velvety layering. The precision is at a very high level, and the abundance of details is shown quite clearly, even so much so that it can occasionally divert the attention of the listeners from the basic flow of the music. Namely, in more complex performances, such as orchestral pieces of classical music, the Bronze 100 does not always manage to set the tones according to the hierarchy and to focus on certain groups of instruments, so there may be a loss of focus.
Despite the increased diameter of the mid-bass membrane, the Bronze 100 maintain close contact with the auditorium and provide excellent insight into the fine subtleties of the sound. The heated atmosphere of the jazz club is presented convincingly, with a handful of ambient sounds and the murmur of the audience, while the stage is quite well recreated in all directions. The gold-plated C-CAM membranes of the tweeters, which seem to know no limits in terms of resolution, greatly contribute to the precise display. The treble is outlined with perfect definition and clarity, to such an extent that if you are used to speakers with less resolution, this may be difficult at first. Simply, the amount of displayed detail will make you listen to many familiar tracks again. On the other hand, the same virtue can turn into a flaw, because the upper part of the spectrum is occasionally separated into a separate unit, which leads to a loss of coherence during reproduction. Therefore, even though they are low-end speakers, the Bronze 100 still reacts to different sources and amplification, so I recommend careful pairing with the rest of the system.
Monitor Audio Bronze 100 Video Review
Finally, let’s go back to the distance from the back wall: the mentioned 40 centimeters is only the minimum distance, and the Bronze 100 will be grateful if you give them even more free space. This is a consequence of moving the bass-reflex opening to the rear, but we admit that it is a compromise that has also brought significant advantages, because boxes of this size with such a powerful, deep, and precise bass are rarely found. Connect them to a high-quality and stable rest of the system, even a higher-end one, and the Monitor Audio Bronze 100 will be able to take advantage of this and will repay you with a detailed and transparent sound, which significantly exceeds their modest price.
Monitor Audio Bronze 100 Pro & Cons
- Excellent build quality
- Classic and elegant design
- Transparency and definition
- Powerful and precise bass
- They require more space