Amphion MobileOne12: Too small for a big sound?
Amphion sound for the road - coming to NAMM 2017
This isn’t exactly the typical release you might expect from a brand like Amphion. However, for those who know and love the ‘Amphion sound’, the MobileOne12 package could be ideal. Mobile studio-style monitoring solutions have popped up over recent years, but this could be one of the most expensive seen so far. Typically a heavier price tag results in better sound quality, which may well be the case here. However, not having heard these monitors and understanding they roll-off at 78Hz, I can’t help but question how heavy their sound really is.
Amphion MobileOne12 Mobile Monitor Package
Specialist brand Amphion from Finland aren’t the most common choice of studio monitor, but that only adds to how their perceived status as an ‘elite’ manufacturer. For example, I’ve been in this game for nearly two decades and can’t really say I’ve ever worked on a pair. However, I am aware that avid users find their range of speakers very honest and un-cloured. Something I’d really like to hear for myself one day. But with such few users, how many will actually make the significant investment required for the MobileOne12 package, just to take that sound on the road with them?
Going mobile for Amphion is also a slight surprise because they use passive speakers and separate amps. While we can discus the pro’s and con’s of active vs passive until NAMM 2018, making a system portable is potentially easier with an active setup. However, perhaps that is what part of this release is trying to do, defying the modern myth of active = portable. It has to be said that their Amp100 mono block amplifiers look like really neat little products by themselves.
Even in a contemporary wooden carry case, there’s no denying that this is clearly a quality product. I’m fairly confident that there are many aspects to the sound of this system which should be very accurate. However, the specified roll-off at 78Hz seems too high for a product at this price point. I believe we’ve come to expect more from modern monitoring solutions today. Sure, these One12 speakers might sound phenomenal with a subwoofer, but Amphion are specifically packaging these products as a stand-alone solution.
What’s the true meaning of mobile? I quite like the fact that there isn’t any DSP or crazy modern digital wizardry going on here. It’s like these represent a good old-fashioned, fossil fuelled car which makes all the appropriate sounds, while we are all trying to get our heads around hybrid or electric vehicles that don’t quite feel right. However, if they are going to stick with the passive speaker approach, I believe they’ve missed an opportunity with the amps. To fully market this as mobile system, why not have a USB or even ethernet connection available? Therefore, you wouldn’t need to also pack a sound card for life on the road.
Head over to Amphion’s webpage for the MobileOne12 package for more information, and the One12 monitor page for specifications on these little speakers. The MobileOne12 package, complete with wooden carry case, speakers, amp and cabling comes in with a recommended retail price of 2,520 EUR.