|Min OS X: Any Version Requires: Minijack Audio Port|
|Monsoon PlanarMedia 7|
August 9, 2002 | Greg Gant
The PlanarMedia series is the latest offering from flat-panel speaker manufacturer Monsoon. The Planarmedias are designed to wow ears, eyes--and pockets. The Planarmedia 7 is the smaller of the two sets offered in the series, ringing in at a very affordable $79.
SpecificationsThe PM7s come with two satellites, a subwoofer and a Versatile Control Center (hand held volume control). The two satellites have a tiny footprint, measuring 4 3/8” wide, 3/4” deep, and 7” tall. The entire set weighs in at a light 6.15 pounds. Each unit also uses a 200 Hz crossover.
The PM7s offer 8 Watts of power per satellite and a 19 W subwoofer for a combined 35 Watts. The subwoofer sports a 4” driver. The system's frequency response is 55 Hz – 20 kHz.
Sweet Spots, Dipolar Speakers and TransducersThe PlanarMedia 7s and 9s buck the trend of current speakers. For the sake of not repeating myself and posting the same review twice, the speaker philosophy and what makes them tick is explained in detail in our Planarmedia 9 review, but I’ll tread the same water here explaining each feature briefly.
Dipolar speakers are speakers capable of projecting sound on the front and backsides of the speaker, creating a natural reverb and a spacious sound. Most speakers do not project dipolar sound.
The PlanarMedia 7 speakers also feature another unusual property: the satellites are completely flat. In order to achieve this, Monsoon uses flat pieces of metal suspended between magnets instead of traditional magnet-driven cones. This is also what makes the sound dipolar.
The PlanarMedia speaker series have a very defined sweet spot (i.e. the position from which the speakers sound best due to their placement). Its crucial for the speakers to be properly placed, otherwise they will sound flat and lose the open sound that makes them unique. They should be placed roughly two and half feet to three feet apart, about foot or two below the listener’s ear, and pointed towards the listener at roughly a 30 degree angle. The downside is that you have to sit in the sweet spot for the speakers to sound their best. If you want to listen from a distance for a movie or causal music listening (not at the desk), then the speakers must be repositioned, or they won't sound as good.
Hand held control unitThe PlanarMedia 7 features the same excellent control unit as its big brother, sporting volume and bass controls as well as a mute button (which doubles as power on/off) and a headphone jack. Like the PM9s, the headphone jack is a bit noisy, but still usable.
Unlike most computer speaker sets, the bass control is on the remote itself (usually it's a dial on the back of the sub), which allows you to adjust the sub from a distance.