Sailing solo – against/around the world in a tiny boat. To even well-seasoned 'philes like your scribbler, Jern's 15H should be a mind funkator of the first order. Even against a first-rate sub for a firm reality check, its unassisted performance left very little to be desired. True, I was back on omni bass. That meant wholesale room involvement which Ripol dispersion so neatly cancels by well more than half. So the overall gestalt thickened. The bass grew more resonant and apparently less controlled. It wasn't really less control, just far more reflections loading up reverb aka time delay plus two primary room modes. 99.9% of listeners just wouldn't notice. Having never heard cardioid Ripol bass, they're used to the textural discontinuity of directional highs versus omnidirectional bass. They consider it normal, any removal of its extra fat and blur called warmth undesirable. More germane to this discussion? Pulling the sub plug didn't register serious truncation. The shallower fall-off from sealed loading did enough to disguise the absence of the first octave which most music rarely breaches. Yanking the leash with high-SPL club beats showed nary visible shudders inside the Seas hoops. Rather than excurse out of control, the air spring behind the diaphragms kept visible motion in tight check. Not leaking energy through a lossy cab to instead funnel all of it through the cone seemed another key contributor to such unexpected bass power. A key giveaway of proper tonal substance were the modern cellos of the Rubato Quartet, Matthieu Saglio, Redi Hasa or Anja Lechner. None of them portrayed lean like scaled-up violas. All were proper miniature double basses so redolent and woody. Just so, the high-passed reading was still more resolved and dynamically nuanced. It further rode speed as an absence of micro blur, thickness and any related minor transient indecisiveness. With a thicker softer pen, it's harder to make out where exactly white paper stops and drawn line begins. As has become a stuck-on-repeat personal missive, my primary reco for the hi/lo-passed controlled-dispersion subwoofer addition isn't extra bass. It's superior timing and expanded microdynamic gradation well above it. In the context of this review, that's simply a detour most buyers won't make. So it's mentioned as a mere aside to keep things honest.

Far more relevant is reminding you of my signal path: ultra-resolution Sonnet Pasithea DAC direct to high-bandwidth class A/B lateral Exicon amp. Variable reference voltage on the R2R ladders for volume. No active preamp. No tubes. Just 25/45wpc 8/4Ω power but at my SPL, still ~15dB below unity gain off standard 2Vrms source outputs. No strategic boundary assist. Classic 'free-space' stereo triangle. Wide baseline without any collapse or thinning of center fill. Sailing solo against my world of musical choices, the li'l Jern never swerved off course. I think John Darko would really appreciate it standing in for his €10K/pr Wilson Audio TuneTot and not feel a need for his KEF sub even on Jamaican Dub. The requirement for satisfaction in casa Ebaen was simple: higher output impedance on the amps to not push this speaker's excellent self damping into overdrive. That's also why it ought to be brilliant on sufficiently powerful valve amps: not because it needs help with tone colors or body but because it does very well on higher Ω.

A jerning for cute. To close out getting cute, one pays extra for the 15H packing such performance into so compact and wind-slippery a form. If one knows where—Acelec Model One—very equivalent performance also on 1st-order filters awaits in a classic rectangular box. For that it's easier to find a stylistically seamless stand. The Jern should look best on something purpose designed even if here I still find the base on Jern's own stand too grotesque. Since the 15H's unique selling proposition is the atypical combo of ambitious high-end performance with lifestyle looks and a honey-I size, its maker might want to revisit their stand to complete the fashionable aspect to the proverbial 't'. Just because Jern promote a new Iron Age doesn't mean they sell to the Flintstones; and their credenza destination is already fully baked with the optional rubber rings. May smarter-looking stands follow.

Office beauties.

And that's all the nits I could muster; plus that low-SPL whisper sessions weren't as ace. That's rather common for 85dB not 98dB speakers. They want more voltage to wake up fully. I'll end up by saying that to notice the 15H amongst the stacked competition requires intelligence. One must already know that for a medium-sized room, nothing more is needed. Those who still hunt the most or largest drivers for their coin; the biggest possible cubic volume; 20Hz specs; or only buy from catalogues sanctified by reams of glossy reviews… they're bound to skip right over Jern. Remember the press Steve French mentioned for their first Munich exhibit? "Unless one has an upstairs glass room, few will visit. We tried in the past with a downstairs cabin. Nobody of the international press bothered unless they were friends or we managed to snag their walk-by attention."

Consider your attention snagged now. Like dumb-blonde jokes, insisting that cute looks and premium performance couldn't coexist or in this case be mutually dependent is so very Stone Age. And as we all know, that came long before the Iron Age. So get with it, would ya?