As the full care package, Rethm's Maarga lands in a very interesting place. Cube's Nenuphar sounds fabulous but costs €6K more, is visually far plainer and chunkier of profile. My daily Boencike driver scores very high on looks and size too plus sounds terrific but at twice the cash is the most expensive and needs lots of room to shine. Maarga is the most affordable of this group, by far the least demanding on associated hardware, needs very little room to get going, sports generous bass adjustments to score high on in-room compliance and looks hot to boot. From these financial and practical perspectives, Rethm's is the most domesticated and reasonable choice. Of course many would position Nenuphar even higher on overall refinement and ease and based on memory, I'd agree to quite an extent. My W11 SE+ can sound no less fetching but do so by different means. They pull imaging stunts like nothing else and are stouter. But when it comes to shopping, we take into account sound quality, price, visuals, necessary space plus associated hardware needs. Here Rethm ticks off all the boxes very well. And that's as admirable as it is rare.

Although I understand why many diehard purists might view today's unorthodox widebander a blasphemy, I see its active bass augmentation as smart and practical. Fairly recently several manufacturers previously known for purist widebanders have also adopted this approach whose advantages Jacob George understood already more than a decade ago to have followed it ever since. As clever as it is impressive, his 3rd-gen Rethm Maarga is the outcome of a long journey and the know-how its maker amassed in the interim.

Rethm's departure from the industry box staple to embrace most unusual aesthetics might not float your boat but surely did mine. To me Maarga was neither overdone, unnecessarily complex nor quirky but refreshingly distinctive, pleasantly modern and sleek enough for a light appealing look. Not only could I happily live with Jacob's second best in my fairly small living room, its built-in bass tailoring would in fact make it perfectly adept. Needless to say, the necessary two extra power cords are a negligible price to pay for that.

Many designer audio goods prioritize looks over sonics. Rethm's Maarga covers these bases equally well. It unmistakably belongs to the widebander genre yet goes beyond the usual passive suspects to exceed even most regular multi-way speakers on bass reach, heft and slam. These traits blend seamlessly into a nicely executed package of civilized frame to turn the arguably biggest drawback of passive widebanders—limited bandwidth—into a major virtue. Not only is it a fully domesticated, fine-sounding very approachable specimen for all types of listeners, it's a lot of a speaker for the money. If you're after living-room friendliness and unlimited bass power/reach as much as you're after full-range expressiveness and sophistication, Rethm's Maarga fits your profile brilliantly.