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Revel Concerta2 M16 Bookshelf Speaker Measurements and Analysis

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The Revel Concerta2 M16 speakers were measured in free air at a height of approximately 9 feet and gated at 14 ms. At this window gate, some resolution is lost below 140 Hz, and accuracy is almost completely lost below 70 Hz and so that range should be ignored.

testingRevelC.jpg

Loudspeaker Test Rig to do full 360 degree outdoor measurements with Revel M16

M16 response curves.jpg

Revel Concerta2 M16 on-axis response, early reflections, and listening window.

The on-axis response of the M16 speakers is impressively flat for the most part. There is a bit of a bump at 100 Hz, but it is not severe, and since that bump occurs at such a low frequency, any halfway decent room equalization should be able to taper it down for those perfectionists who are worried about it. There are some ripples at 6 kHz and above that are likely anomalies from the microphone stand, and the true response is sure to be flatter than what is depicted in these graphs. The ‘listening window’ curve is an average of the responses out to a 30 degree horizontal angle and 10 degree vertical angle from the speaker’s central axis, and the ‘early reflections’ curve is an average of the angles that are likely to be the first acoustic reflections heard by the listener in a typical room. The significance of the ‘early reflections’ and ‘listening window’ measurements is touched on in Objective Loudspeaker Measurements to Predict Subjective Preferences. The direct axis response and the listening window for the M16s is nearly identical, which indicates this speaker can cover a broad listening area very well.

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Revel Concerta2 M16 Bookshelf Speakers unsmoothed horizontal frequency response +/-90 degrees from axis: 3D view

 revel final 2d.jpg

Revel Concerta2 M16 Bookshelf Speakers unsmoothed horizontal frequency response +/-90 degrees: 2D view

The off-axis response follows the shape of the on-axis response for a highly consistent dispersion pattern. As was mentioned before, this all follows Harman’s (Revel’s parent company) design philosophy, which can be roughly summarized that the most preferred sound by most listeners is a neutral on-axis response, with an off-axis response that does not greatly differ from the on-axis, as the reflected sound from the off-axis acoustic radiation should match the on-axis for the most convincing soundstage. This philosophy is backed by extensive research and is not something that some audiophile just mused one day; here is a white paper by Dr. Floyd Toole that discusses these design principles and some of the research behind it. The M16 exhibits a very good on-axis response and a stellar off-axis response.

 M16 Polar Map.jpg

Revel Concerta2 M16 Polar Map

The above polar map shows the same data as the graphs above it, but in a different manner. The M16 exhibits very good uniformity out to 50 degrees from the main axis. This is a superb showing and goes a long way toward explaining the M16’s realistic and natural sound. What can be seen here was heard in the listening sessions as the M16’s remarkably lucid soundstage. Among the benefits of this kind of performance is the wider area of coverage for a good sound than what is had with many other speakers. This makes the M16s a great choice for situations that need to accommodate a multitude of listening positions, although there are benefits for a single ‘sweet spot’ listening position as well with this kind of dispersion pattern.

 revel vert 3d final2.jpg

Revel Concerta2 M16 Bookshelf Speaker unsmoothed vertical frequency response +/- 90 degrees off-axis: 3D view

The above graph is the M16’s vertical response out to 90 degrees off-axis. This set of measurements isn’t nearly as critical as the horizontal frequency response, so long as it is not completely chaotic and the angles near the main axis are not badly mismatched from the main axis curve. The performance here is pretty good; there is a dip that occurs just under 2.5 kHz between 20 degrees and 50 degrees, which is the lobing effect where the tweeter and wooofer interfere with each other. This is typical for this type of speaker given the driver-alignment and is not a cause for concern. It is unlikely to have any serious audible impact; in fact, there are plenty of speakers whose horizontal dispersion does not measure as well as the M16’s vertical dispersion. Overall, this is an above-average vertical dispersion pattern for this type of design.

m16 impedance.jpg 

Revel Concerta2 M16 Bookshelf Speaker Electrical Impedance and Phase

Revel specifies the impedance of the M16 speakers at 6 ohms nominal. Looking at our impedance measurement, it would be difficult to dispute that rating. The M16s would not appear to present a fairly easy load for the vast majority amplifiers. A low-quality, entry- level AVR might struggle with the low-impedance valley centered around 150 Hz if cranked at loud volumes for long periods, but most receivers and amplifiers will have no problems with these speakers. All of the steep phase changes happen at high impedances and so are not cause for concern. There is nothing to worry about here unless you have a very badly-engineered amplifier in which case it's time for an upgrade.

Revel specifies sensitivity for the M16s at 86 dB for 2.83v at 1 meter, and our testing showed good agreement, 85.5 dB, which is a typical sensitivity for this type of bookshelf speaker. Again, this isn’t a speaker you want to build a THX-certified dedicated home theater around, but most users will probably never put more than 20 watts through these at which point they would be quite loud. However, if your listening position is going to be a more than 15 feet or so from the speakers, and you like to listen at high volumes, you may want to consider something more powerful or at the very minimum bass manage them by adding a powered subwoofer to increase system efficiency and bass extension.

Conclusion

If you have read this review up to this point, you might guess that I liked the M16 bookshelf sperevel m16 b.jpgakers, and you would be correct. The Concerta M16s are a very well-rounded bookshelf speaker, and I have a difficult time finding any serious shortcomings with them when considering their intended application. If I absolutely have to nit pick, if only for the sake of some balance, I might say that some people would like a choice of wood finish instead of only black and white. But, few people could argue that they don’t look nice, so that criticism doesn’t have any real weight. I could point out that their frequency response isn’t perfect, but it is quite linear for the price, and I would be hard-pressed to name something that has a flatter response while keeping such an excellent dispersion for the same money. There may be bookshelf speakers out there that have more revealing treble, or more powerful bass, or exceed it in some other performance metric, but the M16s do a lot well and for a very reasonable price. 

The M16s are very attractive speakers, and they are also true high-fidelity speakers as can be seen in our measurements.  At $900 a pair, I consider them a good deal for anyone on the market for a solid set of bookshelf speakers, and if you can get them for less, I would consider that a bargain. I began this review by asking if Revel was justified in bringing the M16s to a crowded market of similar speakers, and I will end it by concluding that, yes, these speakers absolutely deserve serious consideration.

 

Revel Concerta2 M16 Bookshelf Speaker Review
MSRP: $900/pair

HARMAN Luxury Audio Group
8500 Balboa Blvd,
Northridge, CA 91329

www.revelspeakers.com
(Toll-Free) 1-888-691-4171

The Score Card

The scoring below is based on each piece of equipment doing the duty it is designed for. The numbers are weighed heavily with respect to the individual cost of each unit, thus giving a rating roughly equal to:

Performance × Price Factor/Value = Rating

Audioholics.com note: The ratings indicated below are based on subjective listening and objective testing of the product in question. The rating scale is based on performance/value ratio. If you notice better performing products in future reviews that have lower numbers in certain areas, be aware that the value factor is most likely the culprit. Other Audioholics reviewers may rate products solely based on performance, and each reviewer has his/her own system for ratings.

Audioholics Rating Scale

  • StarStarStarStarStar — Excellent
  • StarStarStarStar — Very Good
  • StarStarStar — Good
  • StarStar — Fair
  • Star — Poor
MetricRating
Build QualityStarStarStarStar
AppearanceStarStarStarStarStar
Treble ExtensionStarStarStarStar
Treble SmoothnessStarStarStarStar
Midrange AccuracyStarStarStarStar
Bass ExtensionStarStarStarStar
Bass AccuracyStarStarStarStar
ImagingStarStarStarStarStar
Dynamic RangeStarStarStarStar
Fit and FinishStarStarStarStar
PerformanceStarStarStarStarhalf-star
ValueStarStarStarStarhalf-star
About the author:

James Larson is Audioholics' primary loudspeaker and subwoofer reviewer on account of his deep knowledge of loudspeaker functioning and performance and also his overall enthusiasm toward moving the state of audio science forward.

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Recent Forum Posts:

KenM10759 posts on July 18, 2016 06:33
A “missing middle palette” isn't a term I'd ever heard associated with KEF's R300. I find them to be particularly good in that range and just a touch laid-back at the very top end.
shadyJ posts on July 17, 2016 22:24
Haven't heard the R300s or ML speakers, but I have heard the LS50s on many occasions, and they always sounded nice to me. I wouldn't try to draw a comparison with the Revels unless I heard them in the same room while A/B'ing them. Aural memory is too poor to do otherwise. Both are excellent speakers, and both sport very good measurement sets. The Revel Concerta2 M16s can be had for significantly less than their MSRP, in fact they can be had for around the same price as the KEF Q300s. The Revel speaker that is comparable to the LS50 or R300 would be the M106. You can't go wrong with any of these.
DrJohnRead posts on July 17, 2016 22:07
I recently heard three bookshelf speakers:

Kef LS50
Kef R300
and Martin Logan 35XT

I am keen to know how these fit into this group…

For me the choice was clear as follows, so far:

1. Kef R300
2. Kef LS50
3. ML 35XT

Yet the R300 was a little bright and good base with a missing middle pallete…but very spacious great sound stage…against it is a rather large - deep - size speaker (15.2 x 8.3 x 13.6 in.)
TheWarrior posts on July 16, 2016 10:03
shadyJ, post: 1146005, member: 20472
In the future we will be doing the full spatial averaging graph a la Harman ‘spin-o-rama’ and the CEA-2034 measurement presentation. In this review we only did on-axis, early-reflections, and listening window.

As for a crowd funded anechoic chamber, Canada kinda had something like that with the facilities at the NRCC. Floyd Toole said that Canadian companies were able to get their speakers measured for a sing, and that was a big help to Canadian speaker manufacturers. I don't think we will ever see something like that in the USA, anechoic chambers are very expensive.

As for the pollution of rare earth metals, it looks like taking them out of the ground is even more ecologically damaging than trying to put them back in.

Outstanding! I really admire your efforts toward quality measurements. Effort, being the ‘key’ word! Just as with an anechoic chamber, it's not the design that's difficult, it's the labor in placing a large number of materials with greater accuracy than that of a conventional house. But, if there's the ‘will’, there's a way!

And yes, I'd like to see a lot more of the reducing and reusing going on. Which also means placing standards that prevents a large number of manufacturer's from producing bad speakers, or ‘wasting’ raw materials that really should no longer be mined!
shadyJ posts on July 15, 2016 21:30
TheWarrior, post: 1145989, member: 57254
It's just another viewpoint, and a prettier, more intuitive one for the masses. And since you can only choose resolution in one domain or the other, I'm happier knowing there aren't any resonances hiding! You get a great idea of how balanced the speaker is off axis. The lack of consistent off axis spikes shows there are no significant resonances, no ringing! Pretty good for outdoor measurements!, I think!

On the subject of consistent measurements, I'd just like to see Harman's spinorama data on every speaker! Maybe we need to crowd fund anechoic chambers? It would eliminate so much wasted rare earth metals from entering the market place and subsequently the dumpster (for those that don't recycle, shame!) in the first place!

Olive and Toole were able to achieve a .86 coefficient correlating 70 anechoic measurements to listener preferences. Most manufacturers won't even post as much info as you do, Dennis!
In the future we will be doing the full spatial averaging graph a la Harman ‘spin-o-rama’ and the CEA-2034 measurement presentation. In this review we only did on-axis, early-reflections, and listening window.

As for a crowd funded anechoic chamber, Canada kinda had something like that with the facilities at the NRCC. Floyd Toole said that Canadian companies were able to get their speakers measured for a song, and that was a big help to Canadian speaker manufacturers. I don't think we will ever see something like that in the USA, anechoic chambers are very expensive.

As for the pollution of rare earth metals, it looks like taking them out of the ground is even more ecologically damaging than trying to put them back in.
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