Right off the Raidho X1.6 impressed with exceptionally powerful bass, almost too potent for my 25m² room when installed less than half a meter from the front wall. With 80cm of clearance, the tuning with my room was better. Now the bass drum of Brendan Perry's "This Boy" still had power and physical impact and the electronic bass of Yello's "Kiss the Cloud" from Toy continued to cut through with authority. Even with my freer wall setup, the low end still showed minimal substance enrichment hand in hand with a slight softness. Famous bass-in-a-vise brutality didn't really factor but raw reach surprised. Only the big organ's very bottom end from Cantate Domino didn't really emerge in ways I could still hear or feel. That was amazingly mature performance not many compact speakers will match. The trade-off in terms of control and articulation was an earlier blind eye than for example the significantly costlier €12K/pr Magico A1 which dispatched similarly powerful even lower bass from this track but gave it a firmer crash barrier. This characteristic meant that the X1.6 tended to emphasize the body and sustain of an instrument especially if it had high bass content like a bass drum or upright to round off the transient a bit. The bass' impulse response was still quick and keen but softer. Expressed as a virtue, it was less harsh and dry than I hear from compacts like Wilson Benesch's €8K/pr Precision P1.0 or Grandinote's €6.6K/pr Mach 2R. The just reviewed €5.5K/pr ATC SCM20PSL slotted itself somewhere in-between. With the Raidho dynamically demanding voltage swings felt powerful if just a bit mellower though with amazing output capabilities.

As expected, the treble was a special highlight. This was not least due to how skillfully these designers couple foil to dynamic cone. Overall treble felt minimally laid back but by itself completely linear from the filter frequency on out into the bat sphere. I found no transitional seams or breaks between these two disparate drivers. Chilly Gonzalez's piano on Room 29 was cohesive across the range. It never seemed that Raidho put any superficial focus on their treble's unique selling proposition despite its truly grandiose prowess. This became clearer still once I inspected its microdynamic and transient fidelity. Take the Hadouk Trio's "Théatre des Singes". I can't quickly think of a sub €10K speaker that depicts metal percussion so relaxed, airy and microdynamically differentiated. What a sensual feast regardless of whether we listen very loud or quiet. The X1.6 expressed this rare quality so nonchalantly that its analytical chops only became apparent when I focused down to now find resolution virtually sans pareil in this class. It almost pains me to say but when it came to sheer overwhelming detail density with minimal stress, even the beryllium tweeters of Magico's A1 could still learn from Raidho's planar. Take the fine synth textures of "This Never Happened Before" from Sylvain Luc's Joko album. They were so silky, fragrant, clear and teased out that even an experienced reviewer still gets goosebumps. How open, free and airy Raidho's foils tracked the swirling bells of Erika de Casier's "Polite" across the room was impressive, too. Hardly any other tweeter I know manages so light-footed and weightless; and certainly none in this range.

How did this perfected inconspicuousness tie to minimal tonal restraint in the presence region? On one hand I think that it contributed to the softer attacks mentioned earlier on macrodynamically demanding impulses to promote a minimal softening of the snare drum and slap bass in Stanley Clarke's "Hot Fun". On the other hand, the finely resolved brasses in this song came across truly incarnated yet without any glare. The latter is a routine occurrence when upper midrange and presence region are overdone. Vocals? Here too the X1.6 delivered decidedly smooth readings. Be it Jacintha, Erika de Casier or Bruce Springsteen, the X1.6's singing voices played a touch on the fleshy corporeal side. It never seemed as though the Raidhos could reproduce a voice with any unpleasantly harsh or overcooked sibilants. Fortunately however, in no way did this good-naturedness come at the expense of transparency excellence. It simply felt unusually free from any interference. Only in direct comparison to voice specialists like ATC's SCM20PSL was it apparent that ultimate vocal openness could go a bit farther still when a recording allows it.

Soundstaging as well as tonal balance remained largely constant regardless of seated position. In principle these monitors do not cast the stage as far behind themselves as omni speakers but neither do they project it at the listener's nose like so many horns. Depending on production, instruments and voices began more or less at the baffles. Soundstage width extended well beyond the speakers without requiring Q-Sound recordings and didn't seem to have height limits either. A particular talent of the X1.6 was being able to display complex soundscapes like the many choral voices in Loreena McKennitt's "Dante's Prayer” from The Book of Secrets completely unfazed by the rest of the action to appear phenomenally three-dimensional, tangible and precise. Eyes closed, I almost believed that I could reach out and touch these singers. This ability makes the Raidho X1.6 dream choices for soundstage freaks. Tonal balance exhibited a surprising tendency towards warmth given these hard metallic drivers and their coincident ethereal analysis. These Dansk compacts distinguished themselves further with impressively varied microdynamics, stress-free high resolution and beautifully tangible three-dimensional imaging. Thanks to bass authority, they even got on with rowdier fare like Metal or Hip-Hop; and in rooms of ~20 to almost 40m². I'm hard-pressed to identify any musical limitations safe perhaps for explicitly brutal bass attacks. On the other hand, I could enjoy brasses, acoustic guitars, lively electronica and percussion for hours on end. These easily driven speakers should pose no amplifier threats other than for 300B. Already warm or dark systems might reinforce the foil tweeters' tendency toward a more discreet treble and possibly soften the sonic imagery too much. Ideal electronics will be of wide bandwidth and tonally neutral even analytical. These brilliant tweeters transmit at even the highest resolution without any stress but instead a slight tonal effulgence.