Many Xavians are musical and warm. This goes along with massive low frequencies felt not just heard. No model from this Czech stable I've met ever acted like a magnifying glass. A sterile clinically cold approach isn't something Roberto Barletta is after. His warmth and musicality are from the quintessential Czech-Italian school. It's about fun above all else. With speakers like the Neox 1 and 2, one can get along for years without any changes at all. Sheer joy pours into the listener's room even with fairly affordable models. For the Perla I suspected something similar. I knew they had Barletta DNA inside and those solid wood cabinets looked warm. Those factors add up. Yet I was wrong. This mistaken assumption turned out to be a very positive surprise in the end. As it happened, the Perla had few things in common with the Xavians of my acquaintance. These were more mature and refined. For starters, it's important to know what the Perla isn't. In comparison to an LS50 for example, Xavian's latest won't fill a 25+ sq. metre room with sound. Leaving too much space between left and right box won't net positive results. Besides that, those speakers have their border frequencies audibly trimmed, especially the bass. Yet after giving them a listen, it turns out that everything is in its proper place, the tonal balance even. The bass is there but about quality, not quantity. The same thing occurs with the upper treble. It neither shines nor attacks with more than a decent amount of information. Again, it's about quality. So the upper frequencies are very good to the degree that their delicate castration isn't something most listeners will be pained about.


Of course some people like their gut massaged by tectonic bass, their hair clipped by razor-blade treble. The Perla is about natural smoothness and doesn't pretend to be something it is not. Roberto Barletta doesn't tantalize us with big meaty bass promises like KEF's LS50 do. He doesn't tempt us with spaciousness so majestic that the walls dissolve. Nothing like that happens. Some people might see this as a neat and polite way of putting Perla's flaws between the lines. But that's not the case. Let me explain. This Xavian's sound signature is extremely coherent, smooth and enjoyable. Not many speakers I know will glue the frequency range together in such mature quality fashion. The Perla isn't bluntly warm and fuzzy but natural, barely touched by pleasant sunshine. In comparison to the Neox1, the temperature has dropped audibly, their colourful way evolved to fidelity in a smooth refined manner. Tonal balance seems so spot because the trim in both extremes maintains the tonal centre in the middle.


The Perla won't fatigue yet provide realistic sound of excellent quality across the range. Instruments have proper texturing, decays are generously differentiated. I believe that any metallic tint is something these are incapable of. Not to mention that the highs are so well done that once one gets used them, their informative character stands out as well. The lowest regions are neither thin, cuddly nor flatulent. From a technical perspective, things are just right. The rest is a subjective matter. Despite not being overly analytical, the Perla still possesses this great ability of revealing recordings inside and out. There's always a physiological element added to the mix along with a touch of smoothness. Imaging is something Xavian's latest do more than well but again, it's about quality not quantity. Instead of going big in all directions, emphasis is put on proper proportions, marvelous carving of detail and lots of layers in front. On top of that, these can disappear from a room without any issue at all. The amount of air is generous as are dynamics. They are neither sleepy, stuffy nor exceptionally invigorating. It's a walk down the middle for a best-of-both-worlds attempt.