This review page is supported in part by the sponsors whose ad banners are displayed below

Ion+ is a rear-ported 2-way with 1-inch Titanium tweeter and 4.5" aluminum mid/woofer, 1600Hz filter transition, 52-25.000Hz ±3dB response, 86dB sensitivity and 6kg mass in a 268x134x220mm box. Basic color options are black, white with black and solid white with many colorful grilles. How does the Ion+ differ from the nonplussed Ion aside from replacing the latter's paper-cone mid/woofer and adding a kilo? How is it distinguished from the square-edged Helium 410 except—again—for that metal rather than paper mid/woofer? Is the Ion+ really a trickle-down from the all metal-driver Argon1 in a smaller box, Apple-friendly soft corners thrown in as a fashion statement?
"Ion+ shares the enclosure with the classic Ion, nothing more. Its tweeter development started a few years ago. The unit comes from the same French supplier as the classic Ion's. Ion+ and Ion classic thus share the same 25mm Titanium dome but that's where the similarities end. Magnet structure and tweeter construction have been completely reworked. This tweeter was actually developed for our soon-to-launch professional series. Seas of Norway makes the 12cm aluminium woofer to my designer Corrado Faccioni's specs.
Kantola's Nu-47 mic
"Due to its high-quality magnet structure and rigid cone, Ion+ has surprising bass extension. This tiny speaker really goes jaw-droppingly low but without any trace of artificial upper bass boost which might be the hot ticket for a teenager but for those in the know only ends up veiling the midrange. The waveguide/tweeter combo matches the new high-performance driver well and allows for a simple crossover. High-quality drivers, advanced acoustical engineering and a simple crossover all translate into much improved midrange clarity.

"With a high-resolution signal chain this allows discovering new information from recordings you thought you were familiar with. Our focus in developing the new pro range of Amphion monitors was to give recording engineers a large and clean window into the music. Now music enthusiasts can simply enjoy the same technology to hear deeper into their favorite recordings.

"More Ion+ refinements came from different directions. Resonance control was one. Corrado has made recordings using specific resonance control solutions. He knows exactly what they do. Some of those insights flowed into the Ion+ too. Getting rid of what he calls 'spurious harmful electrical fields' ie. stray fields was another. Both essentially focus on optimal signal transfer. The resonance control solution isn't another audio band-aid by the way. If you want to expand your horizons, Corrado can drop by with his magic tricks. He has already used the technology also on a lot of musical instruments like Dave Holland's bass.

Home of many audiophile recordings: the Pauler Acoustics studio behind the German Stockfisch label.

"The world around music—be it recording, playback or how people consume music—is perhaps changing faster than ever before. The world in general is integrating. Nothing in audio is immune from this trend. Ion+ thus is a speaker made for forward-thinking quality-conscious customers. Unlike many others we did not start making the best little speaker in the world. We first analyzed the needs a modern user has for a speaker now and made Ion to meet those needs. Ion+ on the other hand started life as microphone evaluation kit until professional and some other great ears said they wanted one.

Amphion in action in Hollywood - Sony Columbia lot

"Today audiophiles still tend to segregate themselves into two different groups. They either favor 'musicality' or 'neutrality'. Often the term musicality is used when a speaker deviates from an absolutely straight response by making the tonal balance more pleasing to listen to. Some call that better musicality, others call it midrange mush. Neutrality refers to a 'correct' linear response measurement. Quite often the neutral speaker is the more demanding to set up and also more demanding of recording quality. Many have a tendency to sound too cool or even irritating on bad recordings. We wanted to know if it was possible to have both.

Ion+ in Bruce Swedien's studio - YouTube video here

"My main problem with 'musicality' when altering a speaker's balance to make things nice and more romantic is this: does she look a bit pale and yellow to you? Are her eye lashes a bit short?  Surely many would agree that she would look prettier with makeup. So let's add a bit of eye liner and eye shadow. Make those cheeks redder. But would she be the Mona Lisa then? I feel the same about music. Music is a precious sometimes even sacred thing. We have no right to change it. Yet we would if we made our products 'musical'. Obviously we have chosen neutrality. The problem with a traditional neutral speaker is that it's not at its best with lower-quality recordings. So what happens if your favorite music is musically perfect but in audiophile terms not - like this one for example?

"Before starting a hectic two-year stint to develop the new pro range—which by the way is being used in quite a few interesting place even before its launch date (one example here)—I though that if one does not want to romanticize the sound and prefers Mona Lisa au naturel, one has to accept that some bad recordings will simply sound bad. I am so happy to state that I was wrong. During the past few years of working together with our microphone partner and Corrado Faccioni who both look for the soul of music in their slightly different ways, we have managed to come up with a product that is totally neutral yet completely musical at the same time. Ion+ and Argon7L are the first models where we tested new ideas for the consumer world. It is really interesting that products can measure ruler flat but not sound 'flattened out to death'.   

New pro-range Amphion Two15 monitors "with the Svenska Theatern (Swedish language theater situated in Helsinki). These ABBA legends Björn Ulvaeus and Benny Andersson have overseen production of Kristina från Duvemala for which they are currently getting rave reviews."