- Can hang them on the wall, easy on the ears, affordable
- No bass, mid-range lacks punch
The Magneplanars won't suit everyone.
Price$ 1,799.00 (AUD)
American loudspeaker manufacturer Magnepan is famed for its stylish, planar-magnetic, "Magneplanar" flat-panel speakers. The problem is, Maggies tend to be rather large. Without a traditional woofer-type cone to move air, they require a large surface area and a substantial amount of space around them, because Magneplanar speakers are dipole (sound emanates equally from the front and rear of the speaker). With this, and the growing popularity of flat-panel TVs in mind, Magnepan created the MGMC1, a much smaller wall-mounted speaker (although still 117cm tall and 25cm wide). A simple hinge mechanism on one edge of the cabinet allows the entire thing to be mounted on the wall and the panel angled in towards the listener.
We were sent a full five-speaker surround package for home theatre containing four MGMC1s and the MGCC3 centre channel--a virtually identical speaker but horizontally mounted and curved.
First things first: these speakers need a subwoofer. No ifs; no buts. You simply don't have a choice, because these puppies produce nothing below 80Hz. Not a peep. And if you're fussy about music you'll need a sub capable of operating competently at frequencies well over 100Hz. According to the supplier, the MGMC1s should be relatively flat to about 120Hz before rolling off--a manageable crossover point but one I was unable to attain in my lounge. Even though I had the speakers positioned on the room boundary, close to the corner as per manufacturer's instruction, the frequency response of the two front speakers, though reasonably flat, started rolling off at about 300Hz. Expecting a subwoofer to operate to 300Hz is asking a lot, since most subs top out between 100 and 200Hz. With bass performance so reliant on the listening environment the Maggies may not suit every room.
Another thing to consider is that Magneplanar-type speakers create a distinctive listening experience. Because they're dipole, sound bounces off the wall behind them creating a soundfield that is quite relaxed, slightly diffuse and expansive. Also remember there's no cabinet to colour the sound with its own resonances. While this strips a little mid-range punch, the overall effect is rather soothing--an aggressive speaker the MGMC1 is not. Whether this is a good or bad thing depends entirely on your own unique musical preferences. For instance, take a live track like Nils Lofgren's 'Keith Don't Go'. Lofgren doesn't so much play the guitar here as attack it and the Maggies tend to calm the man down a bit, creating an enjoyable, though not quite as visceral, interpretation of the performance.
That's not to say the high end is weak, however, and the crisp, accurate detail the MGMC1s produce is good enough that only an A/B comparison with more expensive speakers will expose shortcomings.
Home theatre is one area where these speakers excel, particularly the MGCC3 centre. Its reproduction of dialogue and sound effects is so vital it's frightening--good enough that I'd go as far as saying it's my favourite centre speaker to date. While the same lack of mid-bass punch is evident here, the crisp detail makes up for any failing in its cinematic guise.
Are the Magneplanars for you? Quite possibly, but they won't suit everyone. They're a gentle speaker that'll take a bit of effort to get performing well and they need powerful amplification (they're 85 to 86dB efficient, 4 ohms). But in this price bracket, and if you're after something relatively discreet, the Maggies will do nicely.
Join the newsletter!
Bringing VR out of office and study spaces will serve to help it attract the new audiences it needs to continue growing
Most Popular Reviews
- 1 Panasonic Lumix G9 review: A mirrorless moulded to the needs of still-shooters
- 2 LG 65E7T Ultra HD OLED TV review: The South Korean thoroughbred is still first past the post
- 3 Hisense takes the fight to home entertainment heavyweights with flagship Series 8 and 9 ULED TVs
- 4 D-Link Omna 180 Cam HD DSH-C310 review
- 5 Ring Video Doorbell review
Latest News Articles
- Samsung’s Next TV is a Real Frame-Changer
- Express Your Style With Ultimate Ears WONDERBOOM Freestyle Collection
- HomePod review roundup: 'Room filling,' 'best-in-class' sound, but Siri is 'embarrassingly inadequate'
- Sonos say Aussie Alexa support for One smart speaker won't arrive until Autumn 2018
- Apple confirm $499 HomePod for February 9th launch
PCW Evaluation Team
The printer was convenient, produced clear and vibrant images and was very easy to use
I would recommend this device for families and small businesses who want one safe place to store all their important digital content and a way to easily share it with friends, family, business partners, or customers.
It’s easy to set up, it’s compact and quiet when printing and to top if off, the print quality is excellent. This is hands down the best printer I’ve used for printing labels.
Brainstorming, innovation, problem solving, and negotiation have all become much more productive and valuable if people can easily collaborate in real time with minimal friction.
The print quality also does not disappoint, it’s clear, bold, doesn’t smudge and the text is perfectly sized.
The Huddle Board’s built in program; Sharp Touch Viewing software allows us to easily manipulate and edit our documents (jpegs and PDFs) all at the same time on the dashboard.
- Oppo A73 review: The budget smartphone that sets the bar for 2018
- Sony a7R Mk III review: Full, in-depth review
- Which 2018 Smart Speaker Should I Buy
- Which flagship TV is best? Sony 4K HDR Bravia 2016 versus LG 4K HDR OLED 2016
- 10 Blu-ray movies / Best looking Blu-ray movies
- FTBusiness Process BAOther
- CCTeam / Process / Project Coordinator ? Telco ? 6 mth contract - Nth SydNSW
- FTMid-Level Drupal Developer (Brisbane Location)NSW
- FTJava Developer - AWS MicroservicesOther
- FTSoftware Media Applications SpecialistOther
- CCBusiness Intelligence Analyst ProgrammerQLD
- FTSalesforce ArchitectNSW
- FTDigital Content ProducerOther
- FTWFM Support Analyst (Kronos)Other
- CCDevops EngineerQLD
- CCNetwork Test EngineerVIC
- FTSAP Test AnalystsOther
- TPSenior Business AnalystQLD
- FTSenior Business AnalystOther
- FTSnr MS SQL Developer- Australian only- security clearanceOther
- TPSoftware Asset Management Program ManagerNSW
- CCEnterprise Architect (Software/API background)QLD
- CCData Migration LeadACT
- CCProject Manager - Utilities SectorVIC
- CCJava Full stack developer - Telco domainVIC
- FT2 X Graduate roles - Exciting opportunityQLD
- CC.Net DeveloperNSW
- CCXamarin DeveloperVIC
- FTSolutions Architect - Business Process Solutions - MelbourneVIC
- FTAutomation Developer - RPAQLD