GOODSOUND!GoodSound! "Equipment" Archives

Published January 1, 2002

 


Amie and Ian Colquhoun of Axiom Audio

2001 Product of the Year: Axiom Audio Millennia M3Ti SE Loudspeakers

GoodSound!'s existence is a celebration of affordable audio equipment, as our regular readers will attest. Therefore, the GoodSound! Product of the Year must represent a great value among great values. While a POTY must offer quality at a fair price, it must also be good beyond qualification. And this year, do we ever have a dandy.

The GoodSound! Guys have chosen the Axiom Audio Millennia M3Ti SE as the GoodSound! Product of the Year for 2001. At $275 per pair, you should expect good sound and a solid value, but what you get with these speakers is great sound and an extraordinary value. And that makes them something worth talking about.

When you un-box the M3Ti SE several things stand out right away. The first is the aluminum-cone drivers. You don’t expect to see such high-tech (or high-cost) parts on a $275 pair of bookshelf loudspeakers, but the drivers are only the start. From the all-metal binding posts to the trapezoidal cabinet, designed to break up internal standing waves (which Axiom calls Anti Standing Wave or ASW for short), the M3Ti SE simply screams performance. And while the measurements help to confirm this truth, listening to your favorite music through them tells the whole story.

And -- you better believe it -- the M3Ti SE delivers great performance. Our GoodSound! Guys have waxed lyrical about the sound of the M3Ti SE. Doug Schneider said, "It has soaring, extended highs that never fatigue the listener and quite extended bass, given the small size of its box." You certainly get more at the frequency extremes than you expect. It's what’s in the middle, however, that seals the deal. Doug elaborated: "What really sets this speaker apart -- and I mean really sets it apart -- is its midrange performance. It has an exceedingly clear, you-are-there presentation that can fool you into thinking you are listening to a speaker that’s far more expensive."

The M3Ti SE can serve as the heart of a more complex system, too. As good as these easy-to-drive speakers are on their own, what excited John Potis is, "how easy it is to integrate them with a quality subwoofer for a presentation that combines their delicacy and finesse with the brawn and wall-flexing power of a much more expensive system."

Vince Hanada captured the little Axiom as well as any, stating, "When I think of the M3Ti SE, I think balanced.  Although other bookshelf speakers may exceed certain aspects of the M3Ti SE's performance, no bookshelf speaker to which I've listened has offered such balanced sound."

And that last bit really sums up the point of GoodSound!. When you can spend so little and get great sound across the board, you’ve really accomplished something. The Axiom Audio Millennia M3Ti SE has certainly accomplished a lot in the past year, including our award for Product of the Year for 2001.


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