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Perlisten R7t Floor-Standing Loudspeaker Measurements & Conclusion

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R7t ground plane

The Perlisten R7t speakers were measured in free-air at a height of 6 feet at a 2-meter distance from the microphone, with the microphone raised to an 8’ elevation that was level with and aimed at the tweeter center. The measurements were gated at 11-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 1/24 octave resolution.

R7t on axis vs listening window

these speakers aren’t fussy regarding angling or placement.

The above graph compares the on-axis response to the listening window response. The listening window is an average of horizontal responses out to 30 degrees and vertical responses out to 10 degrees. The first thing to note about these responses is how extraordinarily flat they are. That means we are dealing with an exceptionally accurate loudspeaker. The second takeaway is how closely the listening window resembles the on-axis response. That means there will be very little change in the sound at any reasonable listening position, so these speakers aren’t fussy regarding angling or placement. Listeners will be exposed to an accurate sound over a broad swath of area in front of the speakers. Different toe-in angles may produce slight changes to the character of the soundstage, but it will not impact tonality.

R7t 3d waterfall response

R7t 2d waterfall response

the R7ts don’t need a lot of expensive acoustic treatments to sound good.

The above graphs depict the R7t’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. Here we get a look at how well the R7t’s off-axis responses correspond to the on-axis response as well as each other. Again, this tells us that this speaker maintains an accurate response over a broad angle. We do see some slight directivity errors develop in far off-axis angles, but even these are so narrow and low in amplitude as to be audibly inconsequential and of academic interest only. Again, the keyword for this set of measurements is accuracy; indeed this is more accurate than most studio monitors. In fact, these speakers could easily be used for recording, mixing, and mastering in a studio environment, and they would work better in that application than most loudspeakers made specifically for that application.

What these graphs also tell us is that the R7ts don’t need a lot of expensive acoustic treatments to sound good. Since there is such good correspondence between the shape of the on-axis curve to off-axis curves, the in-room acoustic reflections will not have a dissimilar sound from that of the direct sound of the speaker itself. In other words, listeners do not have to be protected from a subpar off-axis response by acoustic treatments as they might if the speaker had problems in this respect.

R7t polar map color bar

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 loudspeaker measurement article.

In this graph, we can see the width of the dispersion better. Up to around 3kHz, the dispersion covers around a 90-degree angle out from the on-axis angle. It tightens up a bit above 3kHz and narrows down to around a 60-degree angle. Above 17kHz or so, the tweeter starts to beam, but it is maintaining a wide dispersion well above what most dome tweeters are able to do. In fact, I rarely see such a high-frequency dispersion in upper treble aside from ribbon tweeters. All in all, this is a very good showing, and these R7ts will cover the listening area with a full sound from low bass to high treble. The best region to be in would be the dark red area where the response would be flat as a pancake, and we see it holds a consistent beamwidth at 30 degrees off-axis from just above 500 all the way to 20kHz which is exemplary directivity control much like we saw with its big brother, the S7t. It isn’t surprising considering past achievements from Perlisten, but it is still extremely gratifying to see as a technical feat.

R7t Vertical Responses

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 the zero degrees angle is level with the tweeter. The R7ts maintain their extreme linearity from +10 degrees to -10 degrees where their response is ruler flat for most of the bandwidth. At +/-15 degrees, some dips centered around 2kHz do start to appear, but the response is still very good overall and much better than average for that angle. Seated listeners will be within a +/-10 degree vertical angle of the on-axis response, so there is mostly just very good news exhibited here. While I wasn’t able to measure the entire circumference of the vertical axis, I would expect it to behave much like the S7t where the DPC array greatly reduces output above and below 25 to 30 degrees on the vertical axis. That means there will be very few acoustic reflections from vertical surfaces, so again, this is a speaker that negates the need for acoustic treatments; there is no need for absorption or diffusion if there is nothing to absorb or diffuse.

R7t Low Frequency Response

The above graphs show the Perlisten R7t’s low-frequency responses that I captured using groundplane measurements (where the speaker and microphone are on the ground in a wide-open area). Here we see a dead flat response that tapers off into a gradual roll-off down to the tuning frequency in the upper 20Hz range. Below that point, it falls off at a more rapid 24dB/octave slope typical of ported system. This is a common response target for many floor-standing loudspeakers. The reason is that room acoustics always boosts the low end to some degree, so a flat response would sound too bass-heavy in normal rooms in a home. This sort of curve should yield a more natural in-room response than a flat curve, and room gain should net a strong response down to 30Hz in most rooms. If this response still proves to be too much in a small room, users can seal the ports with Perlisten’s included port plugs. On the other hand, if users want a stronger bass response, they can always place the speakers closer to a back wall which will increase the low frequencies via boundary gain.

R7t impedance

The above graph shows the electrical behavior of the Perlisten R7t. Perlisten specifies this speaker to have a 4-ohm nominal load, and that is what we see. The impedance is relatively steady instead of taking big swings in values, and that should help to make for a predictable load for amplifiers, There aren’t any dips into very low impedances nor are there any steep phase angles at lower impedances, so this isn’t an extraordinarily difficult load for most amplifiers. Entry-level amps might have a hard time driving these speakers at loud levels, but I am guessing that no one who buys these speakers will run them on entry-level amplifiers. We can see from the nadir between the saddle peaks in the low frequencies that the port tuning frequency looks to be around 30Hz. 

Conclusion

R7t hero shot2Before bringing this review to a close, I will briefly go over the strengths and weaknesses of the product under review, and, as always, I will start with the weaknesses. Historically, Perlisten products are so well-engineered that they hardly have any weaknesses, and that remains true for the R7t speakers. But speakers of this build quality and finish quality will always have the catch of being pricey. There is no way to build something like this cheaply, so the expensive pricing is not something that can be fairly held against them. $10k for a speaker pair is a tremendous amount of money for most people, but that is not out of reach for a determined middle-class audiophile, and in my estimation, you do get $10k worth of speakers, so the R7ts are not overpriced in the slightest. However, their pricing places them out of reach for a lot of people, sadly. It’s a shame because I am sure that the sound that these things can make would blow a lot of people away. One thing I would like to see from Perlisten is a more utilitarian version of these speakers that does away with all of the luxury flourishes and just focuses on those components that further sound performance. A studio monitor version might be a great way to bring its sound performance down to more affordable levels.

The Perlisten R7ts are such accurate speakers they can be used as studio monitors.

Something else I would like to see is a finish in something other than just gloss. At the moment, the R7ts can only be had in gloss black, although there is a gloss white version in the works. This is a more personal nitpick, but I would really love to see these speakers in a fine satin finish. A satin black would be swank, but a satin white would be absolutely stellar.

Moving on to the strengths of the R7t speaker does make for a long list since these speakers excel in every category. First and foremost is the sound; These are very accurate loudspeakers that have a magnificently controlled dispersion pattern which maintains their neutral sound character over a wide area. As we said before, they are easily accurate enough to be used as studio monitors if anyone wanted to use them for recording, mixing, and mastering. The sound integrates at close proximity, so these could be used for near-field listening, but they have a tremendous dynamic range, so they are powerful enough for larger rooms and more distant placements as well. This grants them a unique flexibility among hi-fi floor-standing speakers, most of which do need a good distance from them for the sound to cohere. What is more, many high-end floor-standing speakers do not have the same level of directivity control, so they may need a bevy of expensive and intrusive acoustic treatments to reach their potential, but the R7ts’ vertical and horizontal dispersion characteristics mean they can work splendidly in a typical domestic room, and additional acoustic treatments just aren’t needed at all to obtain an excellent sound.

They are great choices for either a simple two-channel stereo rig or as a part of a larger surround sound system, and, as we noted, they would even work superbly as studio monitors for those who need an accurate and uncolored look at what their mix sounds like. While they can benefit from lots of clean power, they don’t need anything special in terms of amplification to sound good. Despite their unusual and sophisticated crossover network, they still present a very smooth and even electrical load on amplifiers, so nothing particular or fancy is needed for amplification.   

Their sound quality is matched by their impressive build quality, and the R7ts have a solidity that imparts a feeling that they will last for many decades. A ‘knock-test’ anywhere on the speaker reveals more about the fragility of human bones than they do about the speakers since it is like rapping on a granite slab. In addition to the sound and feel of the speakers, the R7t speakers look the role of formal hi-fi luxury speakers as well. They are attractive speakers and look very serious and business-like.

R7t pair14

Perlisten R7s vs S7t: Which One Should You Buy?

With the bottom line being that the R7ts are really good speakers for the money, one question that comes up would be are the Perlisten S7t speakers worth the premium? My answer is that it depends on what the user prioritizes. The S7ts are more sensitive, have a wider dynamic range, lower bass extension, and have an even better build quality. They are undoubtedly a better speaker, but the core sound character is the same. I would say if you don’t need the absolutely massive dynamic range of the S7ts, it takes away a major argument in spending the extra money to get them over the R7ts. For those who will be crossing the low-frequencies over to subwoofers, that also negates an advantage of the S7ts. If you are OK with merely outstanding build quality and don’t need the extreme overkill build of the Signature series, the Reference is a worthy alternative.

Perlisten badge

If I were shopping for speakers in this price range, the R7ts are definitely among the top choices I would be looking at. There are a lot of good loudspeakers in this range, but this brand-new speaker from a relatively new brand in the loudspeaker market more than holds its own as a compelling option. There are a lot of situations where I would go straight to the R7ts as a no-brainer such as if I wanted some high-performance tower speakers in a small room; they can work just as well in a small room as a large one. Much like its bigger Perlisten brother that we reviewed, the R7ts shows that there are still opportunities for innovation left in passive loudspeaker design. While most companies were touting minor changes in driver motor structures, diaphragm composition, and enclosure construction techniques, Perlisten has rethought how drivers and crossover circuits can be arranged in controlling the way the sound pressure wavefront is launched from the speaker. It’s a revolution in hi-fi loudspeaker design in an age-old industry that is mostly characterized by modest evolutions.

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 QualityStarStarStarStarStar
AppearanceStarStarStarStarStar
Treble ExtensionStarStarStarStarStar
Treble SmoothnessStarStarStarStarStar
Midrange AccuracyStarStarStarStarStar
Bass ExtensionStarStarStarStar
Bass AccuracyStarStarStarStarStar
ImagingStarStarStarStarStar
Dynamic RangeStarStarStarStarStar
Fit and FinishStarStarStarStarStar
PerformanceStarStarStarStarStar
ValueStarStarStarStarStar
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.

View full profile

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dutchholic posts on November 20, 2022 20:02
Golfx, post: 1580280, member: 93641
Your comment above regarding “trustable reviews from platforms that are not advertisers for the brand….” to me seems a veiled attempt to cheapen the integrity of Audioholics’ reviews. Was that intended? I find that Audioholics strikes a valuable balance between AV customers‘ viewpoints and those of the manufactures. This balance leads to newer products with better designs and more reliable implementations. Products that receive unfavorable bench measurements are submitted to the manufacturer for corroboration and/or correction. A trust has to be established and maintained by Audioholics with the manufacturers and certainly the customers. From time to time manufacturers can veto publication of poor bench measurements but these bench measurements are never altered to suit a manufacturer. Audioholics is more than just reviews. It also serves as host for these forums and offers news and articles. I doubt our volunteered membership fees offset the need for any advertisers.
I understand your reply. From all websites/platforms/magazines that publish reviews and take money for advertisements; Audioholics is the only platform that I actively follow and fully trust. So no. In this case I missed the distortion measurements, that's why I said that. If it was included in this review I wouldn't have said that.
highfigh posts on November 19, 2022 17:28
TLS Guy, post: 1578163, member: 29650
The excellence of their speakers is not in dispute, nor their marketing operation. What was very unwise in my view, was basing their manufacture in China. I see that as the greatest risk they face, and if I were them, I would be planning to make a move away from China. China is no longer our friend, if it ever was. Personally I doubt it ever was, and my feeling is that there are going to be a lot of the “proverbial chickens” coming home to roost. If a situation comes about and they can't make product, a far from remote possibility, then it makes the excellence of their speakers moot.

WRT China being our friend- a line from a song goes “What do assassins call assassins anyway?, ”My friend".

Money talks- once China was allowed to be ‘Most Favored Trading Partner’, we were screwed. They clearly don't care about intellectual property rights and flaunt them on every occasion, they take over businesses that have become successful, they don't maintain quality and if the PRC is allowed to take over Taiwan, the better manufacturing base will be gone.

I wonder if they would do a demo at their office, or some prearranged location that's not far from their office. I might be interested in going to that.
Golfx posts on November 19, 2022 09:27
dutchholic, post: 1580261, member: 96854
I want an external party to make a review about it. I need to see measurements about it. I always look for reviews first. And the most trustable reviews come from platforms that are not advertisers for the brand but are 100% financially independent to the manufacturer. I couldn't find it anywhere.



Agree with the first part. If Perlisten is able to grow and is able to establish a position in the market. Then the consumer can get a “normal price” too, like what's now possible with the other mentioned brands from the competitors. But until then, they are not an easy purchase to make. Since Revel, Focal and Kef are IMO more competing. But let's see what the future brings.

I don't agree with that people that spend 400K on a reference theater don't look at money. I have quite an expensive setup when you count everything in total and I look with each component on how to get the best deal+performance. Of course not everyone does that(some even hire others to do it for them, and pay extra/over the top), but I believe that most people do and compare. There is no reason not to compare to the competitors. It's not the case that other brands don't have competing offers.

I also want to say that Perlisten DOES offer great speakers, that's why I'm looking at the brand/their reviews. It's great to have a newcomer that offers such high quality speakers and focuses on NEUTRAL sound instead of “house curves”. Maybe I sound quite negative here, so I should have started with this in the beginning probably. Because Perlisten is more than welcome in the audio world!
Your comment above regarding “trustable reviews from platforms that are not advertisers for the brand….” to me seems a veiled attempt to cheapen the integrity of Audioholics’ reviews. Was that intended? I find that Audioholics strikes a valuable balance between AV customers‘ viewpoints and those of the manufactures. This balance leads to newer products with better designs and more reliable implementations. Products that receive unfavorable bench measurements are submitted to the manufacturer for corroboration and/or correction. A trust has to be established and maintained by Audioholics with the manufacturers and certainly the customers. From time to time manufacturers can veto publication of poor bench measurements but these bench measurements are never altered to suit a manufacturer. Audioholics is more than just reviews. It also serves as host for these forums and offers news and articles. I doubt our volunteered membership fees offset the need for any advertisers.
dutchholic posts on November 18, 2022 19:55
everettT, post: 1580225, member: 78951
Distortion has to be low in order to meet the THX spec and at Dominus reference level. When the distortion measurements are available I can guarantee you they will be very good.
https://www.thx.com/blog/dominate-home-theater-thx-certified-dominus/

I want an external party to make a review about it. I need to see measurements about it. I always look for reviews first. And the most trustable reviews come from platforms that are not advertisers for the brand but are 100% financially independent to the manufacturer. I couldn't find it anywhere.

everettT, post: 1580227, member: 78951
I'm sure discounts will be available at some point, just like with every brand you mentioned. Also the people who are buying these speakers aren't gonna pass on them because they couldn't get a discount. If your goal is getting good deals, good for you and I'm good with that, but not all people have that mindset. When you're spending 400k to build a Dominus reference theater, their concerns are not the same as yours.

Agree with the first part. If Perlisten is able to grow and is able to establish a position in the market. Then the consumer can get a “normal price” too, like what's now possible with the other mentioned brands from the competitors. But until then, they are not an easy purchase to make. Since Revel, Focal and Kef are IMO more competing. But let's see what the future brings.

I don't agree with that people that spend 400K on a reference theater don't look at money. I have quite an expensive setup when you count everything in total and I look with each component on how to get the best deal+performance. Of course not everyone does that(some even hire others to do it for them, and pay extra/over the top), but I believe that most people do and compare. There is no reason not to compare to the competitors. It's not the case that other brands don't have competing offers.

I also want to say that Perlisten DOES offer great speakers, that's why I'm looking at the brand/their reviews. It's great to have a newcomer that offers such high quality speakers and focuses on NEUTRAL sound instead of “house curves”. Maybe I sound quite negative here, so I should have started with this in the beginning probably. Because Perlisten is more than welcome in the audio world!
dutchholic posts on November 18, 2022 19:42
dutchholic, post: 1580206, member: 96854
If you're so interested: I got one of the speaker series that you mentioned in your list(not B&W) and I got them for~38% under MSRP, and I closed the deal in less then one hour. I spend actually 30 minutes in an audio store, just to get the deal through the seller because I only looked at the measurements of the speakers. And no, I didn't buy anything extra with them, they are connected with proper copper cables. So your judgement about people couldn't be worse.
Why did this get double downvoted? I should have paid MSRP to support the audio stores? Or I should have bought some exclusive speaker cables? I replied to "I bet this guy would be a time waster in an audio store" I never did. I should spend more time there?
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