For such a relatively young company in the pro audio world, Barefoot have jumped straight into the highest of rankings. The significant names that Barefoot count among their endorsers isn’t to be sniffed at. Here, they say they have packaged their speaker technology into a smaller ‘footprint’, aiming to bring their speakers to smaller facilities and private studios with their new Footprint01 series.
Barefoot Sound Footprint01 Monitor
I’ve used Barefoot’s MicroMain27 near-field monitors in London’s Livingston studio, and I can still remember their sound. While that room has a lot of ‘furniture’ shall we say, in the shape of a 72-channel SSL G Series console, the response from these mid-sized monitors is special. I can certainly see why so many professionals are turning to this young brand. The release of the Footprint01 monitors is really exciting, allowing smaller facilities and professionals on lower budgets, to buy into these interesting designs.
Barefoot not only represent a high-quality reference point, but they’ve also brought some exciting new ideas to the world of speaker design. The opposing woofer design is a truly fantastic concept, avoiding the need for porting and all the issues associated with ports. The effects on the cabinet must be less, providing an efficient and un-cloured system. I’m also intrigued in the dual-ring radiator tweeters for greater coverage. We’ve seen several variants of dual-ring tweeters over the years, and these appear to be a more refined design. These ‘little’ boxes should pack a punch with 650W of power, offering a 3-way design at a price point most other manufacturers can only offer a 2-way.
Have they done enough?
We could argue that Barefoot hasn’t done more with their DSP. For example, if their MEME technology can simulate other monitors so accurately, why can’t it be used to tune the system to the room? They also haven’t approached any AoIP technology yet. However, they have clearly focused on building the best speakers they can. Perhaps these relatively new areas might come in future models.
It’s not clear what the dispersion characteristics are for these monitors, especially with the opposing woofers. Presumably, they are fairly omnidirectional in the low frequencies, which could prove difficult to manage in some smaller spaces. If you are going to consider these, then you might need to reconsider your acoustic treatment, perhaps moving some panels in your room. I’d love to try a pair and see how they behave in a small space. Maybe we’ll see a new subwoofer developed to accompany these, which might help to control the low end. Who knows? Time will tell.
Head over to the webpage on Barefoot’s site to read all about the new Footprint01. There they list the recommended retail price for a pair at 3,495 USD. That’s an interesting price point, landing somewhere between Adam / Genelec, and PMC options. Presumably, there’s room for an even smaller one in the future. A 6″ ‘Babystep’ version perhaps?
Here’s the Footprint01 trailer as seen on the Barefoot Sound YouTube channel. This is certainly one of the better promo video’s we’ve seen in the pro audio world, balancing the marketing and the techie stuff well.