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24 Brook Rd, Rayleigh, Essex,
SS6 7XJ, United Kingdom
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Monitor Audio

From its beginnings near Cambridge – then home to so many British hi-fi companies – in 1972, Monitor Audio has been all about innovation, rethinking the way speakers and their components are designed. The company says that founder Mo Iqbal ‘worked with a tight-knit team of engineers, assembling loudspeakers by hand – with quality, precision and a near-maddening perfectionism which is still with Monitor Audio today,’ and right from the start the brand combined novel engineering solutions with the high-quality finishes seen right up to the latest models, combining fine wood and lacquer looks to make the speakers a talking point in any room.

With the company founder involved in everything from the design of the speakers to the sourcing of exotic wood finished for some flagship models, and even assembling some of the early designs, the brand became all about quality and doing things differently; it actually launched its own turntable back in 1979, and by the mid-1980s was fitting metal drive-units into its speakers, with the ‘gold-dome’ tweeters still used across the range appearing in 1986. Hot on its heels came a metal/ceramic sandwich mid/bass driver, designed for stiffness without extra weight, and in 1991 came the C-CAM (Ceramic-Coated Aluminium/Magnesium) cone material, derived from the aerospace industry.

Made is Essex

By 2000, Monitor Audio had expanded into new premises in Essex, where it’s still based, and was still innovating, developing its ridged and dimpled Rigid Surface Technology cones for even more stiffness and accuracy, and later adding gun-barrel-style rifling to its bass-tuning ports to create its HiVe (High Velocity) design, for faster, smoother airflow and thus greater bass accuracy.

Today the development continues, with the addition of ribbon-style Micro-Pleated Diaphragm tweeters for extended treble response, and successive generations of its low-distortion Rigid Diaphragm Technology for mid/bass drivers.

Turning 50

And while these innovations inform all the models the company makes, from the entry-level Bronze models to the flagship Platinum line-up, the company marked its 50th anniversary with the launch of its most radical design to date: the outlandish-looking hyphn speaker combines stunning styling with a raft of technological developments – many of which will no doubt soon be appearing in the company’s mainstream speakers.