The Planarmedia 7 speakers pack the same bright sound as the PM9s, but lack the level of bass the PM9s packed to counterbalance the satellites. The PM7s are hard to recommend when compared in direct light to the PM9s. The subwoofer fails to meet the quality of comparable budget speaker sets. Planar UltraRes User Manual 8 Introduction Planar UltraRes 4K professional display is a family of 84” and 98” Ultra HD displays that produce resolution and picture quality not before seen in large format LCD displays. Designed specifically for resolution-rich commercial applications, Planar.
|Monsoon PlanarMedia 7|
August 9, 2002 Greg Gant
Monsoon Planar Media 7 User Manual Guide
The Planarmedia 7 speakers pack the same bright sound as the PM9s, but lack the level of bass the PM9s packed to counterbalance the satellites.
The PM7s are hard to recommend when compared in direct light to the PM9s. The subwoofer fails to meet the quality of comparable budget speaker sets. The PM7s lack the clean responsive sound of the PM9s, due to unbalanced and underpowered satellites. The sound also noticeably distorts at lower volumes. The satellites are clear and crisp at lower volumes and slightly tinny just like the PM9s. As a whole, the satellites carry the same sound as the PM9s.
Those looking to save the $20 difference between the PM7 and PM9 sets probably should look elsewhere or consider eating top ramen for half a week to save the extra $20 for the PM9s.
The underpowered subwoofer fails to provide the power that gamers crave. Storming the beaches of Normandy with weak-sounding explosions doesn't really inspire excitement, and a house party in The Sims just doesn't sound like a real house party without abusive bass.
The only real advantage to the Planarmedia 7 is that its subwoofer is smaller and could be stashed in a smaller space, although the PM9 sub is no larger than the average computer sub.
|Monsoon PlanarMedia 7|
|Monsoon PlanarMedia 14|
May 7, 2003 Greg Gant
Click to enlarge
The PlanarMedia 14s follow the tradition of the Monsoon speakers, featuring true flat panel speaker satellites and a standard longthrow subwoofer. Each satellite uses a slightly updated PFT 100 series Planar Ribbon Traducer developed by Level 9 Sound. The biggest difference is the large eight-inch woofer versus the six and half inch woofer in the PlanarMedia 9s. Also, the 14s sport a total of 100 watts RMS, which is noticeably greater than the 76 watts RMS found in the 9s and the 35 watts in the 7s.
Setting up the PlanarMedias was like revisiting an old friend. First and foremost, I noticed Monsoon now includes illustrated instructions that show correct speaker positioning. The guide can also be found at Monsoon's website as well. The PlanarMedias are highly directional and have a very defined sweet spot, so proper placement is important for the best listening experience. Out of the box, the satellites need a fair amount of break in time; Monsoon recommends roughly 35 hours. During the break in period, the speakers sound tinny and judgment shouldn't be passed without giving them a full session.Of all the speakers I've reviewed, the Monsoon speakers have the best wired remote - it is simple and very efficient. The remote features a bass dial, a volume dial, a mute button, and a oft omitted headphone jack. The headphone jack is slightly noisy but useable. The remote can also be tucked neatly under either satellite.
By nature, transducers are bipolar, meaning the speakers are able to produce sound from the front and rear. The advantage of bipolar sound is that it generates a natural reverberation, which creates a naturally full sound. The results will vary depending on the acoustics of the room. Bipolar speakers are generally more expensive due to the fact that they usually need additional drivers/woofers at the rear of the speaker, which in turn also causes them to be less efficient. Since Monsoon uses a transducer, they are able to produce bipolar sound without adding any additional drivers, mitigating price and power inefficiency.
Another property of transducer-based satellites is the bright sound they produce. Overly bright speakers can cause the listener to feel discomfort after long periods of time, a condition called ear fatigue. The severity of ear fatigue varies greatly from person to person. Personally, I am not a fan of overly bright speakers.
On the other hand, the satellites produce very detailed and well-imaged sound. One would be hard pressed to find any speakers in the price range that produce a soundstage that feels as spacious and three-dimensional. Unfortunately, the lower midrange lacks the strength and presence that the highs do, which makes for thin sound.
Lastly the satellites are very directional, moreso than a horn driven speaker. Proper placement makes a large difference. If you don?t have these speakers positioned correctly, you?re not getting the full effect.