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HECO Aurora 1000 Floorstanding Loudspeaker Review

by May 17, 2022
Heco Aurora 1000 Loudspeakers

Heco Aurora 1000 Loudspeakers

  • Product Name: Aurora 1000 Floorstanding speaker
  • Manufacturer: Heco
  • Performance Rating: StarStarStarStarhalf-star
  • Value Rating: StarStarStarStarStar
  • Review Date: May 17, 2022 09:00
  • MSRP: $ 799/each
Heco Aurora 1000 Speaker Review Youtube Discussion
  • Frequency Range: 22 - 42,500 Hz
  • Drivers:
    Tweeter: 1.1" fabric dome
    Woofers: Two 7.9" paper cone
    Midrange: 6.7” paper cone
  • Design: 3-way floor-standing loudspeaker, bass reflex
  • Crossover frequency: 260 Hz, 3,300 Hz
  • Load capacity (RMS/ max): 230/380 watts
  • Impedance: 4 - 8 ohms
  • Efficiency (2.8V / 1M): 93 dB
  • Finish options: Ebony Black, Ivory White
  • Size (WxHxD): 9.25”x47.2”x14.7”
  • Weight: 58.6 lbs.


  • Tonally accurate
  • Wide dynamic range
  • Broad and even dispersion
  • Good sensitivity
  • Not difficult load for amps
  • Not back-breakingly heavy despite size


  • Imitation wood veneer isn’t very convincing
  • Enclosure could use more damping or rigidity


Heco emblemHeco Aurora 1000 Speakers Introduction

While I am by no means an encyclopedia of loudspeaker brands, as a speaker reviewer, I fancy myself as being pretty familiar with the current landscape of the loudspeaker market and most of the available brands. This is why I was surprised when I was approached by the retailer Audio Advice about reviewing some HECO loudspeakers, since I had never even heard of the brand. A few internet searches didn’t reveal much, except that HECO (pronounced “hey-ko”) had been an older brand in Germany that produced loudspeakers from the 50s to the 80s. The brand is now owned by the German loudspeaker manufacturer Magnat. They seem to have more of a presence in Europe than in the USA. Audio Advice would like them to be better known in the USA, which is understandable on Audio Advice’s part since they are the only place that HECO can be purchased in the USA. I quickly agreed to the review since it is rare that I can approach a brand with no preconceived notions that come from their history or reputation. It is on that blank slate today that we take a look at the HECO Aurora 1000 floor-standing loudspeakers. They are a largish three-way tower speaker pair for $1,600/pair: not very expensive for large three-way towers but they aren’t giving them away either. There are a lot of other tower speakers around this pricing, so how do they fare amongst the competition? Let’s dig in to find out…

Unpacking and Appearance

The Aurora 1000 speakers arrived in sturdy cardboard boxes. Internal packing was some Styrofoam blocks that capped the ends and a packing piece to shore up the midsection. The speaker was covered in a cotton sleeve to protect against moisture and scuffs. This level of packing should give it adequate protection for typical shipping, but the Styrofoam pieces will get busted up if the transit gets rough. Were these heavier speakers, I would say this packing provides insufficient protection, but they don’t weigh a whole lot considering their size, so this packing should be ok.

1000 pair grilles  1000 pair

1000 boxesOnce unpacked, the Aurora 1000s turn out to be nice looking given the pricing but not luxuriant. Many towers at this price point just turn in a black box with a textured black vinyl veneer, but the Aurora 1000s have a white finish option available that looks considerably less dour than most loudspeakers. The front baffle and top use a white finish that HECO calls satin white. It isn’t quite a real satin finish, but it is not bad-looking. The side panels use an ‘ivory’ woodgrain laminate that isn’t bad looking at a distance, but up close it is easy to see that it is not a real wood finish- not that anyone should expect such large speakers to use a real wood finish at this price. The black driver cones stand in contrast to the light finish, but an included grille with white fabric can be used to hide the driver cones. The outriggers are some thick plastic pieces, and there is a HECO badge in the lower part of the front baffle. The binding post plate and the ports look like brushed aluminum, but a closer inspection reveals them to be a disguised plastic. Overall, the Aurora 1000s like nice and should not clash with a typical interior decor, but they aren’t going to be mistaken for a true luxury product, especially with a close inspection. But again, they do not have the pricing of a true luxury product. 

Design Analysis

1000 tweeter driver  1000 tweeter motor

To state the obvious, the HECO Aurora 1000s are large three-way ported floor-standing speakers. Getting deeper into their design, let’s first talk about the drivers, and we will start with the tweeter. The Aurora 1000 uses a 1.1” fabric dome tweeter surrounded by a corrugated flange in a system that HECO calls the “Fluktus” tweeter. The faceplate of the tweeter has computer-modeled waves shaped into it that are supposed to assist with the dispersion, so they act as a waveguide somehow. I don’t understand how they could do that with ripples in the faceplate, except perhaps by modulating baffle diffraction in some manner. The tweeter uses a ferrite motor with a bucking magnet attached. In the ‘old days,’ bucking magnets were used to contain stray magnetic fields from interfering with CRT televisions. They can also have the added benefit of slightly raising driver sensitivity which is why I would imagine HECO is using them here.

1000 midrange driver 1000 midrange motor

Moving on to the midrange, we have a 6.7” treated paper cone attached to a stamped steel frame with a relatively large half-roll surround and Nomex spider. The motor uses a 3” diameter x ¾” thick magnet and is vented under the spider. It also has a bucking magnet attached, presumably to raise sensitivity. In the product brochure, HECO boasts that the paper pulp used in the cones comes from renewable forests in Canada and Europe, but whatever environmental points that get them are negated by using Chinese MDF for the cabinets. A good idea in the design here is the mounting of the midrange above the tweeter; other manufacturers might have placed the tweeter above the midrange but that would have lifted the optimal listening angle a bit too high for regular seating. The way HECO has arranged the tweeter and midrange driver, the tweeter is much more likely to be level with the ears of listeners which is the ideal height.

1000 bass driver  1000 bass driver motor

There are two 7.9” bass drivers that use the same paper cone material as the midrange attached to a stamped steel frame. The motor uses a 4 ¼” diameter magnet with a ¾” thickness (although what really counts is the actual magnetic field strength in the voice coil gap rather than the magnet size and HECO doesn’t tell us that). The backplate is bumped out a bit, and venting is done through the pole piece. There are no bucking magnets for the bass drivers.  

1000 crossover

1000 rearThe bass drivers cross over to the midrange at 260Hz, and the midrange driver crosses over to the tweeter at 3.3kHz, and that gives the midrange a fairly wide range of operation. This will be a welcome attribute to those who do not want any phase rotation from crossover frequencies in the midrange frequencies where human voices are most prominent. The crossover circuit itself looks adequate for the job and uses a host of steel laminate inductors, polypropylene and electrolytic capacitors, and resistors. I would guess, from the number of components, that this crossover circuit is largely using 2nd-order filters. Dual five-way binding posts enable the Aurora 1000 to be bi-amped or bi-wired, but those shopping for speakers in this price range are not likely going to buy extra amplifiers in order to do any of that. That being said, the 230-watt RMS power handling spec of these speakers suggests that they could handle a beefier amp than what normally comes in a typical mid-level AVR. 

One thing HECO could have done with the bass drivers that might have been a bit better in placement is to mount them on the bottom of the front baffle instead of in the middle; that way the speaker would have greatly reduced ground bounce cancellation where the woofer’s acoustic reflections off the floor interfere with the direct sound from the woofers at the listening position. By mounting the woofers near the bottom, the sound waves coming from the woofers cannot bounce off the floor since they originate near that point. The wavelength of the crossover frequency from midrange to bass driver should allow for such a layout without much penalty. However, this speaker does have one unusually good attribute that such an arrangement might have compromised, as we will see when we get to the measurements section…

The Aurora 1000 cabinet is made from MDF. The front baffle is 1” thick, and the side panels are ½” thick, as are the three window-pane braces that divide the interior of the enclosure. Corner bracing lines the inside of the enclosure edges to give the cabinet some reinforcement at the edges. There is some polyfill-type stuffing lining the interior as well for some acoustic damping. The enclosure uses some thick plastic outriggers to hold it upright, and they do their job; this would not be an easy tower speaker to knock over. There are two ports: each port is about 5” in length with a 1 ⅞” diameter. The ports are flared on both ends to minimize audible turbulence. The Aurora 1000 cabinet isn’t overbuilt, but it does intelligently allocate its budget to the places where a significant difference would be made, i.e., the front baffle and internal bracing. 

The overall design implies a fairly sensitive tower speaker with significant bass ability: a large enclosure with relatively large diameter cones combined with their very light material. The speaker is spec’d at 93dB for 2.83v at 1 meter, which is certainly above average for a floor-standing speaker in this price range (although that spec differs from our measured value somewhat, which we will discuss in the ‘Measurements’ section). Let’s now see how this design comes together in some actual use…

Listening Sessions

In my 24’ by 13’ (approximately) listening room, I set up the speakers with a few feet of stand-off distances between the back wall and sidewall and equal distance between speakers and listening position. I experiments with toe-in angles and ended up angling the speaker to face my listening position directly. The listening distance from the speakers was about 9 feet. No equalization was used and no subwoofers were used.

Music Listening

One recent release that I found on Qobuz which had superlative production qualities was “Regina Angelorum” by Ensemble Vox Arcangeli which is a choral group founded in 2010 that focuses on sacred vocal music of the 16th century. In “Regine Angelorum” (Latin for “Queen of the Angels”), they perform a selection of works by Hans Leo Hassler, an important Nuremberg composer of the late 1500s who was one of the first to usher in the baroque sound in vocal and organ music. The performance is recorded in St. Michael’s Church in Vienna, an 800-year-old church, one of the oldest in Vienna, with its celebrated Sieber organ that was installed in 1714. This astonishingly gorgeous production from the Naxos label features their usual top-notch sound engineering and is available in 24-bit/96kHz streaming. Needless to say, this album makes for a terrific demonstration of sound system fidelity.

The Heco Aurora 1000s were able to render an impeccable sense of depth from the singers and organ being centered in a reverberant space.

From the speaker’s ability to image, I could tell pretty quickly that the mic was rigged at a medium distance above the performers, close enough so that they had distinctive positions within the soundstage, but also far back enough that the reverberation of the church had a strong presence in the recording as well. Indeed, these performers within this acoustic environment sounded utterly ethereal, very much living up to their name. Through the Aurora 1000 speakers, I could understand why St. Michael’s Church has been such a desirable performance location for so long, hosting the likes of Haydn and Mozart performances in their day; the reverberation gave the voices a sonorous body but without swamping out the singers with endless decay. Likewise, details of the Sieber organ could be heard through the enveloping reverb of the church nave, and this rich sound was beautifully delivered by the Aurora 1000s. Tonally, everything sounded evenly balanced, and the voices sounded realistic and uncolored. This wasn’t a bass-heavy recording, but what bass was there was ably reproduced. The speakers were able to render an impeccable sense of depth from the singers and organ being centered in a reverberant space. In the end, I did not find the Aurora 1000s lacking in any way for this exquisite recording.  

Regina Angelorum   opening

Another brand-new release with an excellent recording quality that I found on Qobuz was “Opening” by the Tord Gustavsen Trio. This music is fairly minimalist jazz and is played by Tord Gustavsen on piano, Steiner Raknes on double bass, and Jarle Vespestad on percussion. Given the austere nature of the compositions as well as the exquisite recording quality, this album gives these instruments a high level of scrutiny thereby making “Opening” a good demonstration of a sound system’s ability to resolve these instruments. This release comes courtesy of ECM Records and can be streamed at 24-bit/96kHz.   

The cymbal details were relayed with veracity, and muting, brushing, and ringing techniques were all vividly realized through the Aurora 1000s.

It was evident right away that each of the instruments was close mic’d from how they individually spread across the soundstage. The effect of this kind of recording is to make the speakers the instruments’ location instead of having the speakers recreate the performance as well as the acoustic environment that the performance occurred in. This puts the performers in your room rather than converting your room into the performance space. The different heads of the percussion set spanned the width of the soundstage, and the pitch of the piano keys increased as they moved further to the right. Double bass was planted firmly in the center. Through the Aurora 1000s, it was easy to tease out the subtleties of the shifting positions of sound sources within each instrument. I would imagine that to listen to this recording with headphones would be like having your ears inside the instruments themselves. The details of the way that the heads and cymbals were being played were relayed with veracity, and muting, brushing, and ringing techniques were all vividly realized through the Aurora 1000s. Likewise, double bass playing techniques were easy to hear, and I could discern the minutiae of picking, muting, and sliding of the instrument throughout the tracks. The low-frequency extension of the speakers was deep enough to give the double bass a solid foundation and made it the rhythmic anchor of each track. “Opening” was an oh-so-satisfying listen on the Aurora 1000s; I have been on a minimalist jazz kick recently, and this album on these speakers really hit the spot for me.

Raum  Not Forever

Tangerine Dream has been around for over 50 years in one incarnation or another and should be considered an electronic music institution more than a mere music group at this point. They have been through many different phases, some that I enjoy more than others, but their current phase is a delightful mix of new sounds and modern production methods combined with the familiar musical structures their fans know very well. A new release from them in February 2022 is “Raum,” and it shows us what Berlin-style electronic music can achieve with modern production techniques. The intricate compositions, wide array of synthesizer sounds, and sophisticated studio trickery all combine to make this a vibrant album that is best experienced on a serious sound system.

the bass was strong without being overbearing on the Aurora 1000s.

In “Raum” by way of the Aurora 1000s, I could hear the lead synth hold a center image while arpeggiated accompaniments swirled all around against a background of ethereal atmospherics. In some tracks, lead synths would playfully pan across the soundstage as though the sound itself were dancing. Some tracks used purely electronic percussion but others used acoustic percussion, or at least emulated acoustic percussion, and those moments lent the music a slightly psychedelic rock vibe. In the more ambient tracks, slow attack pads swept over the scenery, and the Aurora 1000s seemingly projected this soundscape well outside the bounds of the speakers’ placement. A warm synth bass sound shored up the intricate sequencer patterns, and on the Aurora 1000s the bass was strong without being overbearing. At times, banks of synths would form dense patterns of interlaced melodies and rhythms, and the speakers never lost the individual definition of each synth in either tonality or spatial location. “Raum” was an engaging and delightful album that proves Tangerine Dream is still a musical force to be reckoned with after all these years, and I am glad to have listened to it on speakers as capable as the Aurora 1000s proved to be.  

For something that could exercise the dynamic range of the Aurora 1000s as well as demonstrate their capability in bass, I listened to The Upbeats’ “Not Forever,” a 2021 release from Vision Recordings. This album is a blend of pop music with drum’n’bass, so it goes heavy on electronic percussion and bass. As such, it is a good stressor for loudspeakers at elevated levels. It also happens to be a lot of fun to listen to. The speakers looked like they could handle high volumes, but it was something that had to be checked to be sure, so, as my duty as a reviewer, I cranked the volume to see if the Aurora 1000s could take some of that drum’n’bass heat. 

While the Aurora 1000s had bass, it was not exaggerated bass. Nonetheless, they could belt out the low frequencies when called upon to do so by “Not Forever.” Kick drums were given genuine punch, and bass lines had enough muscle that subs were not needed to get the intended sensation of this music. Subwoofers might have added a bit more grunt and made the lower notes a bit thicker, but the Aurora 1000s definitely brought the mid-bass thump as well as some deep bass rumble. The speakers could take the higher volume levels without complaint, and I think I would need a more powerful amp to get them into trouble. My 120-watt RMS per channel amp was more than sufficient for the loudness level I could tolerate, and I am sure that level is likely more than what most people would crank these speakers at. Lead synths and vocals remained crystal clear at any loudness level, and the snares had the snap I would have expected of a live drum kit. One highlight (among many) was the track “Villain's Cowl,” and the last track “Horizon” sounded terrific at a high level. These speakers killed it with “Not Forever,” and anyone looking for a speaker that can rock without breaking a sweat at a reasonable price has a great option in the Aurora 1000s.

Movie Watching

if your ready to move up from your soundbar system, the Heco Aurora's are a HUGE step up in sound quality!

While I had the Aurora 1000s, I watched the recent horror movie “Antlers,” which is about a boy hiding a terrible secret in a Northwest Pacific community where people are going missing. The trailer promised a creepy supernatural thriller and possibly a good demonstration of what the speakers could do for a traditional monster movie. In any monster movie with good sense, the source of the scares is kept out of sight until the end, and so the movie relies largely on sound cues to gin up its scares until then. “Antlers” wisely follows this formula, and so good sound reproduction is critical to getting the full experience in a movie like this. A surround sound system might have put more effects sounds behind or above my listening position, but the Aurora 1000s did a great job of sourcing effects noises anywhere in the space in front of me. I did not miss surround speakers at all nor the center for that matter, although I was listening at an equidistant point between the speakers where a center speaker isn’t as advantageous. Javier Navarrete’s evocative orchestral score was led by an eerie piano melody backed by some apprehensive strings, and it shined on the Aurora 1000s. The speakers gave the music a wide breadth and depth that is fitting for a cinematic score, or, to put it another way, the speakers gave the music an open, big-screen sound instead of a squashed presentation that a soundbar might have had. Watching “Antlers” proved that the Aurora 1000s can bring a movie theater sound experience into my living room rather than just get louder than normal speakers, although they have no problems getting loud. If you are ready to move up from your soundbar system, a pair of these would be a huge step up in terms of sound quality.

Antlers  The Batman

One film I had a chance to watch using the Aurora 1000s was 2022’s “The Batman.” Word of mouth had been very good for this film, and I wanted to see it but hadn’t yet found a chance, so its arrival on HBO Max along with my tenure with the Aurora 1000s provided me with an opportunity to see what they could do with a major action movie sound mix. A near 3-hour Batman movie with a 185-million-dollar budget is undoubtedly going to be an aural endurance test, so I cranked the volume to see how close the Aurora 1000s could replicate a night at an IMAX.

The Aurora 1000s delivered the big-screen sensation I was hoping for.

“The Batman” proved to be a thrilling movie experience, and the Aurora 1000 speakers turned out to be a great choice to hear this movie. The Aurora 1000s conveyed the sonic palette of Gotham City in fine detail, from the light tapping of raindrops, distant sirens, leaking music from clubs, and the hustle-bustle of everyday city life. I was surprised that this movie, despite its length and budget, was more subdued than the Christopher Nolan or Zach Snyder Batman movies, so it didn’t quite leave me as fatigued by the end despite its 3-hour length. That isn’t to say it wasn’t lively, and the Aurora 1000s were able to give the action scenes with the kind of gusto one would expect from such a large speaker, but rather there were much smaller scale, personal interactions that didn’t need blazing loudness, and the Aurora 1000s attended to those moments with an eloquent reproduction as well. Micheal Giacchino’s pensive musical score was a great match for this Batman’s moody and methodical character style, and, on the Aurora 1000s, it gave the movie a deep undercurrent of tension that was reminiscent of a horror film. The other aural highlight of the movie was undoubtedly the Batmobile, which, in this version, is a melange of muscle cars with a rear-mounted V10 that had absolutely ferocious growl. It sounded fantastic on the Aurora 1000s, although I do think a subwoofer might have added a bit more of an infrasonic buzz. All in all, “The Batman” sounded fabulous on the Aurora 1000s, and they definitely delivered the big-screen sensation that I was hoping for. 

HECO Aurora 1000 Floorstanding Loudspeaker Measurements & Conclusion

 1000 outdoor testing

The HECO Aurora 1000 towers were measured in free-air at a height of 4 feet at a 2-meter distance from the microphone, with the microphone raised to a 7.5’ elevation that was level with and aimed at the tweeter center. The measurements were gated at 8-milliseconds. In this time window, some resolution is lost below 400 Hz and accuracy is completely lost below 200 Hz. Measurements have been smoothed at a 1/12 octave resolution.

1000 3D waterfall response

1000 2D waterfall response

The Aurora 1000s  displayed astonishingly good measurement performance that many more expensive speakers would be hard-pressed to match.

The above graphs depict the Aurora 1000 tower’s direct-axis and horizontal dispersion out to a 90-degree angle in five-degree increments. Information on how to interpret these graphs can be read in our loudspeaker measurement article. This is an astonishingly good response and pretty much holds a +/-2dB window near the on-axis angle. It’s a neutral speaker with no serious problems on or off-axis. In fact, the off-axis responses are remarkably good, and there are no evident crossover problems or driver directivity mismatches. The tweeter does beam a bit at very high frequencies, but that happens too far off-axis and too high in frequency to be audible for the vast majority of listeners. There is a slight 2dB bump at around 600Hz, but that is a very mild artifact that also isn’t going to color the sound very much. All in all, this is a fantastic showing for a loudspeaker of this price point. I’ve tested a good number of much more expensive speakers that would be very hard-pressed indeed to match this performance.

1000 Polar Map 

The above polar map shows the same information in the preceding graphs but depicts it in a way that can offer new insight regarding these speakers’ behavior. Instead of using individual raised lines to illustrate amplitude, polar maps use color to portray amplitude, and this allows the use of a purely angle/frequency axis perspective. The advantage of these graphs is they can let us see broader trends of the speaker’s dispersion behavior more easily. More information about interpreting this graph can be read in our loudspeaker measurement article.

Here we see the Aurora 1000 maintains a pretty even dispersion out to nearly 10kHz which, again, is an extremely impressive showing for a large tower of its modest pricing. We get very good coverage out to a 70-degree angle off-axis, so these speakers cover a very wide area with a neutral, balanced sound. As mentioned above, we do see the tweeter start to beam a bit above that point, but that is characteristic of dome tweeters when not loaded in waveguides. Even despite the beaming, we still see a strong even response out to 15kHz at a 30-degree angle, so the beaming behavior of this tweeter is relatively mild compared to other dome tweeters. Maybe there is something to that “Fluktus” tweeter faceplate after all? There is some slight waist-banding (where dispersion tightens across a narrow frequency range) just above 1kHz, but it is almost too mild to be worth mentioning; in fact, I only bring it up just to have something else to comment about, since this is such a good overall measurement set.

1000 Vertical responses 

the Aurora 1000 speaker is relatively forgiving of listening heights not exactly level with the tweeter.

The above graph is a sampling of some of the vertical angle responses at and around the on-axis angle. Negative degrees indicate angles below the tweeter, positive angles indicate angles above the tweeter, and zero degrees is level with the tweeter. The flattest overall response occurs on-axis, but the rest of the vertical angles shown here hold a very good response. What this graph tells us is that this speaker is relatively forgiving of listening heights that are not exactly level with the tweeter. This is unusual for a loudspeaker with such large drivers. In our previous discussion of the bass driver placement, I mentioned that the bass drivers could have been placed on the bottom of the front baffle instead of the middle, and that would have negated ground bounce cancellation. However, such a change in the driver placement might possibly have made the Aurora 1000s much less forgiving for different listening heights on the vertical axis. This is another very good showing, and we can see that you do not need to have your head fixed in a vice for the exact same altitude as the tweeter in order to get hit with a good sound. This speaker should sound good for higher or lower seating positions.  

1000 low frequency response 

The above graph shows the Aurora 1000’s low-frequency response captured using groundplane measurements (where the speaker and microphone are on the ground at a 2-meter distance in a wide-open area). This is an interesting response. What we see here is an overdamped port response that holds an approximate 12dB/octave slope down to the port tuning frequency. Some manufacturers do this not to use ports to increase bass output but rather to reduce distortion generated by large excursions of the bass driver. At around port-generated frequency output, back pressure produced by the port restricts travel of the woofer so that it is hardly even moving at the resonant frequency of the port. An advantage of this is that the voice coil is in a very comfortable and controlled position within the magnetic field of the motor at such a deep frequency, so any non-linear output is extremely low. I wouldn’t guess that these bass drivers have tremendous excursion ability, so this is probably an intelligent strategy. The Aurora 1000s could produce a nice, punchy, controlled bass but I wouldn’t exactly describe it as thunderous. I think many people would be quite happy with the bass that they deliver. However, home theater aficionados and electronic bass music fiends will probably want to complement these speakers with some subs.

1000 impedance 

The above graphs show the electrical behavior of the Aurora 1000. HECO’s spec is pretty ambiguous and not very meaningful: “Impedance: 4 - 8 ohms.” I think that spec is there to reassure less-informed consumers who are looking for a matching impedance spec with whatever receiver or amplifier they own. In that sense, it is useful since although these are four-ohm speakers, they are not a tough electrical load otherwise. The impedance minima occur at 4 ohms around 100Hz but not with a very steep phase angle. Most AVRs should be able to drive these just fine, although I wouldn’t rock really hard for an extended time on an entry-level AVR with an electrical load like this.

1000 binding post plate closeWe do see some small ripples in the response here, and these are cabinet resonances. It’s a large speaker, and while there are three window-pane braces, the side panels are not tremendously thick which is a necessary sacrifice in order to make the speaker affordable. The audibility of panel resonances has always been questionable, and in my view manufacturers have often taken to extreme measures in order to strengthen the cabinet. The good news is that it is very easy and inexpensive as a DIY project for anyone who would want to add further rigidity and stiffness to the enclosure. Gluing in additional braces or adding mass to the panels would help here, as well as adding serious stuffing in the enclosure such as shredded denim insulation on top of an adhesive bitumen layer to damp internal pressure waves.

We can tell from the dip in the low-frequency impedance curve saddle that the port tuning frequency looks to be about 30Hz or perhaps just a tad below. The peaks of the saddle have nearly the same height, and that informs us that the resonant frequency of the bass drivers is not that different from that of the enclosure, so it is a relatively balanced system.

I measured the sensitivity to be 90.9dB for 2.83v at 1 meter, which is a bit below HECO’s 93dB sensitivity spec. Even so, 90.9 (let's call it 91 dB) makes the Aurora 1000s a bit above average in sensitivity, and you don’t need a monster amp to get these things loud. A hundred watts should be capable of pushing it to pretty darn loud levels, 110dB at one meter anechoically, and that is quite a bit louder than most people would ever listen to. 


1000 outdoor2

these speakers are legitimately good performers.

The HECO Aurora 1000 is a surprising speaker. It is not an expensive speaker, and when I received it, it didn’t feel or look expensive. It was relatively lightweight for a large speaker, the packing used Styrofoam which can often be an indication of cost-cutting, and the speaker had elements about it that made it seem like it was trying to seem like a higher-end product than it really was. The faux-wood vinyl veneer wasn’t very convincing, multiple plastic components were painted to appear otherwise, the woofers looked like budget paper cones, and the “Fluktus” tweeter design seemed like marketing gibberish for a nonsense design element. Since I had never even heard of HECO despite their claims of being a 70-year-old German brand, my guess was that it was someone co-opting an old, trusted name for a quick buck. To be honest, I was expecting something akin to a ‘white van special,’ in other words, a cheaply-made speaker pretending to be high-end for a massive markup.

Aurora logo2 

However, when I first powered the speakers up, I thought that the speaker didn’t sound half bad or at least any problems it had were not immediately evident. I was thinking perhaps I would encounter their flaws when I sat down to give them a closer listen. And when I did give them a close listen, nothing leapt out as being wrong or off in any conspicuous way that I could readily identify. I remember thinking, “Are these speakers actually OK or am I losing my hearing?” I enjoyed listening to anything that I threw at them, contrary to the impression I took from some of their design qualities. And then I was stunned when I took the first measurements of them; I thought “these can’t be that good?!” But the measurements backed up what I was hearing - these speakers are legitimately good performers.  

1000 pair7I have to admit to making a judgment about a loudspeaker before even hearing it, obviously not a great move for an audio equipment reviewer. In this particular case, I am absolutely delighted to have been shown to be wrong. The HECO Aurora 1000s are terrific speakers, especially when considering their cost. They are not perfect speakers, and as was mentioned, some aspects of their build quality and appearance seem like merely the lowest-cost way of getting that aspect done. The enclosure might benefit from thicker panels or better internal damping. Also, despite their large size and dual 8” bass drivers, they don’t really excel at powerful deep bass; they can produce some deep bass but not like a subwoofer can.

Whoever was in charge of the Aurora 1000s decided to make a genuinely good loudspeaker out of fairly humble components. No single part of these speakers looks especially advanced or exceptional. The key to their performance is how everything was put together. In other words, this is a product of serious engineering. It has great balance: every area is at least good. Like they say in golf, it’s not the achievement of eagles and holes-in-one that win the tournament. It’s the avoidance of disastrous double bogeys that carries the day. The Aurora 1000s do nothing bad and they do some things extremely well.

The Aurora 1000s are terrific speakers with serious engineering.

In the audio world, someone once said that it costs just as much to make a bad loudspeaker as it does a good one, and thankfully someone at HECO cared enough to make sure the modest cost of these ingredients added up to a good sound instead of a middling one. The Aurora 1000s have accurate tonality, a wide dynamic range, excellent dispersion behavior, good sensitivity, and a reasonable electrical loading for amplifiers. It’s not expensive, yet is a true high-fidelity loudspeaker. I had not heard of HECO before, but they are certainly on my radar now, and I am looking forward to seeing if their other speakers can match the sound quality and value of the Aurora 1000s.

The Heco Aurora 1000s are available in the USA from our channel partner Audio Advice.


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
Build QualityStarStarStar
Treble ExtensionStarStarStarStar
Treble SmoothnessStarStarStarStarStar
Midrange AccuracyStarStarStarStarStar
Bass ExtensionStarStarStar
Bass AccuracyStarStarStarStar
Dynamic RangeStarStarStarStar
Fit and FinishStarStarStar
About the author:
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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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