Scandyna The Drop £540

10th Aug 2011 | 08:30

Scandyna The Drop

The Drop is one of the most distinctive-looking speakers on the market

TechRadar rating:

4 stars

Like:

Bold design; Easy placement; Open and detailed sound

Dislike:

No shortage of competition; Limited bass

Scandyna has been producing its distinctive pod speakers for over a decade and there is now an eight-strong range of stereo models with supporting subwoofers and amps. The Drop is, however, as the name suggests, modelled on a droplet – even down to the 'separating stem'-effect at the top of the cabinet.

Plastic fantastic

The Drop retains many classic Scandyna features, including a cabinet formed of ABS plastic.

This contains a five-inch Kevlar midbass driver (a nod towards the original point of origin of the concept being Bowers & Wilkins) partnered with a 25mm soft-dome tweeter. A single pair of sprung terminals will support banana plugs if you are careful with them. Our review pair were in red, but the speakers are also available in black and white.

Scandyna places great emphasis on the mounting options and The Drop can be wall- and ceiling-mounted, in addition to a stand or shelf. The speaker is supplied with three rubber feet, but can also have longer 'Sputnik' spikes to increase isolation.

The cabinet is sealed, which further simplifies placement and using the supplied rubber feet, we obtained perfectly respectable results on a variety of surfaces. As each unit only weighs 2.3kg, it is unlikely to overload a shelf, either.

Sealed design

The consequence of the sealed design is that the speaker is not a true full-range unit. Output at 50Hz is down -6dB and, as a result, bass output is going to be considerably lower than a conventional standmount at the same price (or less). How much this matters is going to depend largely on where you intend to use them.

As a speaker on a shelf in an office, kitchen etc, its unfussy placement and appealing design will outweigh its lack of bass. If you are looking to replace a conventional standmount speaker, it may prove more of an issue.

Fit and finish is good, although due to the materials used The Drop will understandably feel less substantial than something constructed out of MDF. The build is good and the rubber feet and uppermost point of the cabinet attach in a straightforward way.

Scandyna quotes a sensitivity of 89dB/w into four ohms, which means the speaker would benefit from an amp of reasonable power output, which may be something to bear in mind if you are partnering it with an all-in-one system.

Fast and agile

The Drop is pleasant to listen to. The lack of low-end output is noticeable, but partly countered by how fast and agile the presentation is. This is, in part, down to there being less low-end inertia to overcome, but the entire frequency spectrum feels dextrous and fleet. The result is a very open and airy presentation.

The overall tonal balance of The Drop is slightly forward of neutral and this lends it a sense of liveliness and excitement that can be beneficial. Acoustic material and voices in particular sound very real and, on occasions, extremely explicit.

Pushed hard, this can make The Drop sound aggressive and a little loud, but this will generally occur at higher levels than we imagine it will be used. When used with rock or dance music that lack of absolute low end can become more noticeable, but generally the speaker sounds more full and cohesive than might be expected from the specs alone.

Attractive and flexible

The speaker is not a perfect solution and some similarly priced designs have fewer compromises. We have seen the Danish make online for nearer £400, which does improve its value.

Compared to the even more striking-looking Elipson Planet L, it feels slightly insubstantial and is certainly weaker in the bass. On the other hand it is an attractive, flexible and well-thought-out product that fills a distinct role in the market.

If you need a striking speaker to operate in close confines away from stands it is well worth considering.

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