Herr Frammox the Second. With the stands too short to clear my work desk, Midi 150 hopped aboard without. This bumped off the usual Eversound (now Fenix Audio) Essence actives on the usual wooden riser boxes to clear the extra monitor shelf. Without USB—Fram's only serious omission at present—I had to generate an S/PDIF feed off my standard HP Z230 work station PC. Into the utility closet it was to avoid feeling flummoxed by a standard computer's lack of coaxial output and instead rummage through assorted hifi accessories for a solution.

Top cable = RCA connection to passive left speaker; next cable down = power lead to the external SMPS; lowest cable the coaxial input signal.

Voilà, an Audiobyte Hydra X+ battery-powered USB bridge with AES/EBU, I²-on-HDMI, coax and BNC outputs. A quick visit to their website downloaded the necessary driver for my Win7/64 machine.

That installed glitch less which was far better than gormless. Launching JRiver Media Center, I selected display mode for a photo op and the Tord Gustavsen Trio's latest for a sonic one.

The first attributes of sonic change I latched onto over the Swiss cubes were greater soundstage depth despite the big visual barrier of a hulking 34-inch display; and increased resolution particularly in the upper registers. Those were first served up by the percussionist's cymbal trills and Tord's uppermost right-handed work, later by the triangles and assorted bells on Hang Around from the purist label Tonian Lab. The next improvement occurred on the quality of tone which due to more powerful bass had gained in black-value saturation.

Despite the Essence being true not approximate point sources with their custom coaxial drivers, the rather costlier Midi 150 focused better still to heighten localization and sorting. With more cubic inches of enclosure volume and those two passive radiators adding cone surface in the bass, the Fram also didn't need the downfiring ports of the Swiss to reach low. Again and very noticeably, this improved textural continuity for better midband visibility without port fuzz. It also produced bass beats with superior stop'n'go precision for no overhang. That's vital for ambient music like TJ Rehmi's which lives on strong synth beats for its grooviness. When the musical scenery is this clean, it takes no high playback levels to hear it all. That's a major boon for long-term comfort without fatigue; and doing it at odd hours when anything louder would disturb others.

Getting tweeters at ear height is a must. This setup did the business and created the desired toe-in.

Obviously €4'000 for desktop speakers which still need a USB bridge are very far from casual coin. A desktop thus isn't the intended primary habitat when, by bracketing a TV, the entire family could partake instead of leaving selfish greedy dad in the home office to it by his lonesome. So let's quickly depart this crime scene with its noisy evidence of conspicuous consumption and move into more social spaces and graces. But in passing, let us make no mistake: the Midi 150's driver array, build quality, cosmetics and slightly larger than CD-squared footprint (the long side of a jewel case) are all perfectly poised for exactly such an executive office setup. They're simply overkill when your sonic diet at the desk consists of compressed feeds of YouTube, CNN news and the occasional Spotify. But upgrade to full-resolution Redbook files and a strong foreground music focus with far more serious expectations than some amorphous sonic drizzle. Now the Midi 150 could change your religion. At the very least it'll have you wish that you were a sound professional who could justify such a premium desk system.