Epos K1i speakers are the latest version of Epos bookshelf model and feature significantly stiffened cabinets, removing virtually any resonance issues. In addition, a new high specification crossover design with improved components is featured with Epos tradition of solid core internal wiring.
Epos K1i for sale
Two-way compacts, stand-mount or floorstanding, have steadily chipped away at an old laundry list of small-speaker limitations— from output deficits to attenuated bass extension and overly compressed dynamics. The K1 reflects constructive developments in all these areas with a character that’s open, dynamically engaging, and mainly neutral in tonality. Its spectral balance is lighter overall as befits its pint-size profile, but it’s not a lightweight sonically. The midrange has a slightly forward lean and descends smoothly into a nicely proportioned mid-to-upper bass region. The K1’s output in the upper bass is very good for the speaker’s modest size, which lends it a welcome warmth that secures music’s foundation and pulse, and generates a sense of gravity—a quality often lacking in sub-12″-tall compacts. While the addition of a good subwoofer reveals the full range of ambience and acoustic air in a recording, the Epos K1i, in a good setup, is quite convincing on its own.
The K1 reproduces vocals of all stripes with point-source-like solidity, as it demonstrated on Audra McDonald’s “Lay Down Your Head,” a vocal and string quartet track that underscored the attractively full-throated midrange of the Epos K1i. On a 24-bit/96kHz high-resolution track like Ana Caram’s bossa nova cover of “Fly Me To The Moon” the reproduction of Caram’s soothing vocal, the gentle energy of the classical guitar, and the softly brushed snare and metallic crackle of the hi-hat were detailed, beautiful, and lifelike. Similarly Eva Cassidy’s soaring version of “Fields of Gold” highlighted the ability of the K1 to reproduce the expansive and immersive reverberant field around the singer. Treble response was quite smooth, pleasantly open, and well integrated into the greater tonal spectrum. The sibilance range was kept nicely in check. There were minor hints of darkness on the very top, with less than the full load of speed, brilliance, and detail found in the finest tweeters; nonetheless, the K’s tweet is a top competitor in the under-$1k class.
The Epos K1i offers superior balance and poise on small-to-medium-scale music, but can also rise to the challenge of full-range symphonic pieces like Copland’s Fanfare for the Common Man – which has dynamics that can give fits to even the largest loudspeakers. Certainly the smallish mid/bass driver can be pushed beyond reason, or asked unfairly to fill cavernous volumes of cubic footage. But in these instances, the K-1s compress evenly and undramatically, adjoining images shrink slightly, and tonal decay is somewhat attenuated. Basically the K-1 is an amazingly potent little speaker that pretty much doesn’t know the meaning of the word “uncle.”
Epos K1i Drive Units
K1i features a 25mm soft dome and high-temperature voice coil in a reservoir of Ferro-fluid that is driven by a high-quality neodymium magnet system. The bass and midrange uses a 150mm drive unit of piston area made from a polypropylene cone with a 25mm high-temperature voice coil along with a shielded magnet system.
The 1st order crossover feeds the tweeter and comprises of a 2.2uF high-quality Polypropylene capacitor and metal oxide resistor. The 2nd order low-pass filter for mid and bass features a large iron-core inductor and high-quality Polypropylene capacitor.
There’s lots we like about the Epos K1s. They sound solid and lively. Detail definition is decent, with enough energy and dynamics to get you snapping your fingers and tapping your feet in time with the music. It’s a smooth, weighty sound that’s a pleasant listen.
We like the even tonal balance of the speakers. There are no hard, bright edges to the horns in Quincy Jones’s Blues In The Night. Nor does the bassline in The White Stripes’ Seven Nation Army turn into a woolly, booming monster.
The K1s give a performance to match their capabilities – and price range – and while they may not be as transparent, precise or powerful as some class rivals, they deliver an inoffensive sound that’s easy to listen to.
On the flip side, they can be overwhelmed by complex arrangements. They don’t quite have the authority and subtlety to fully convey the dramatic, dynamic upheavals in Hans Zimmer’s The Dark Knight soundtrack, and we could do with more nuance and clarity from voices here too.
It’s always worth bearing in mind, though, that the K1s cost $500. The Award-winning B&W 685 S2s offer more excitement and insight, but they will cost you a hundred quid more.
The Cabasse MT32 Antigua speakers (also $600) offer a bigger, wider soundstage, too, but the K1s have a more focused soundfield that’s best suited to smaller rooms – they would be lost in a large listening space.
The all new K-Series marks the beginning of a new era for Epos. Featuring an unusual front firing slot port, rear mounted drivers and painted cabinet finishes; the K-Series is not only sleek and stylish, it also has a clever trick hidden up its sleeve. Out of the box, the K1i is a stylish and sonically impressive passive loudspeaker, built to a very high standard.
Active-K Module Option
K1i also features a latent upgrade path that allows them to be converted from a passive to a sophisticated ‘active digital’ product using an optional Active-K module. Active-K allows the K1i to be at the heart of a 21st century ‘Hi-Resolution’ audio system. This Active-K module upgrade is available separately.