In fact the general sonic impression continued more in the thin-film panel vein than as a box with big cubic inches and heavy driver artillery. That's because the bass exhibited the same control and nearly spooky transparency. Subjectively extension exceeded the publicized 55Hz. Even the lowest woofer tickles on Nicolas Jaar's "Colomb" [Space is only noise] and Pete Belasco's title track from Deeper were at least suggested to avoid sensing that anything significant was amiss.

Everything came off precisely timed and taut, just without extreme slam.Shove and physical pressurization are left to other designs.

What's an tap here is one-piece coherence and intelligibility, two further echoes of full-range planarmagnetics or e-stats without hybrid dynamic bass systems. It'd be interesting to see how a recommended Starke Sound subwoofer—they have seven different models on offer—would alter or complement that personality.

 As this old-school metal head also feels about nearly all dipole panels, I found electric guitars like on "Everybody dies" from Ayreon's The Source a bit too lightweight. My sole criticism of these speakers then is missing a bit those large-scale wall-of-sound pressure antics or the will, discipline and reserves to live up to really massive attacks. To get those plus speed and transparency at Starke potency requires significantly higher investments. If you don't do heavy metal and prioritize maximal lucidity and insight also in the low registers, the IC-H1 Elite has you fully covered.

Unlike many a dipole or omni speaker, soundstaging wasn't a distanced number with out-sized slightly diffuse actors but a holographically sorted believably layered projection whose dimensions were impressive. I liked that the speakers didn't apply any one-size-fits-all regulation on relative perspective. The recording dictated whether the presentation was full frontal or set back, even spectacularly cavernous. Regardless, it was always highly specific. Even on generally flatter productions, certain effects could still pop up extremely remote or skip forward at the listener.

Distances and relative proportions felt realistic, with a tendency for more compact highly focused rather than out-sized images but enveloped in capacious air. The nearly tactile illusion particularly on acoustic fare like Beethoven's "String Quartet No. 16 in F Major" with the Belcea Quartet or purist electronica à la Jean-Michel Jarré's "Oxygene Part IV" could be spooky in the best sense. With speakers like these, I love to submerge in floating virtual vistas, then parse them in my mind's eye as though I were freed from all physical restrictions. For listeners like myself who enjoy to visualize their music internally, this ability alone was very fair compensation for today's asking price.