when i unpacked these active monitors (which the firm itself calls "personal active speaker system"), i thought that i would have to resort to streamlined phrases like "for my own money" or "considering the price range" and so on. indeed, everybody understands that in our time of miracles one can only wait with a certain amount of conditionality, exactly what "considering the price range" means. and if something conditionally inexpensive plays well, then everybody understands that it's "good" - it's not exactly "good", which is what cool expensive devices mean. that's why it's from the colossus.
Fostex PM0.5d is most reminiscent of a professional near-field monitor, and probably in fact it is. But not quite. In favor of monitorability says the identity of the speakers, that is, they are not divided into right and left (in contrast to many even inexpensive multimedia models). They have a 6.3 mm input and a sensitivity control. But the company avoids giving its model a fully professional status. There is a usual RCA connector. They are sold as a pair in one box. And finally they are called "personal active system", which, you agree, can be understood: PM0.4 и PM0.3
The loudspeakers look modest and simple, but at the same time very neat, versatile, modern. The quality of assembly is high. The loudspeakers are monolithic, with a nice matte slightly rough finish - not luxurious, but not utilitarian at all. Grills are not provided (or maybe sold separately). Their design is phase-inverterior, the oval opening is located at the back. The fact that they are active speakers can be understood by the blue LED next to the logo of the company - perhaps too bright - but this is the only thing I did not like. In the absence of a signal the speakers go into hibernation, and the togg
The design of the speakers is classic - it's a miniature 5" woofer, made of fiberglass. Above it there is a soft fabric dome of ¾-inch squeaker. Nothing else remarkable in appearance, it's a speaker made as if by stealth technology - put it in place and forgot about it (but, of course, the blue indicator will not do it). The company claims two amplifiers, each on its own speaker, so we have a bi-amping.
So, what's "good" about them, which I promised to tell you at the beginning of the article. I'll start with what I expected from them is a sufficiently detailed, dry sound, with pressed bass, good spatial characteristics and a legible, articulate pitch. Only good space and articulation proved to be true from the predictions. With space, everything is not just good, but very good. Continuing the stealth idea, the speakers dissolve in space not only for the visual, but also for the auditory. The sound is completely disconnected from the speakers, they seem to be absent - and this is in the near zone of the sound.
Contrary to expectations of austere looks and miniature size, the speakers play unexpectedly juicy, full-bodied, saturated. I would describe their pitch as completely neutral, they don't have any noticeable colour and rather convey the character of the source. More than one would expect from such inexpensive speakers.
No one is surprised by detail today, even among relatively inexpensive models, so there is nothing wrong with detail - if you do not go beyond the operational limits, you will not even think that you can demand something more in terms of details - they are more than enough for comfortable listening and working.
"What kind of 'operational constraints' is he talking about?" - you're probably already asking yourself. So. You have to understand that these are near-field monitors, i.e. they are designed to be placed in close proximity to the listener, giving voice to his personal space. At this short distance, they give adequate dynamics, no distortion, freedom of sound extraction, consistency, detail - whatever you want. They even give quite high volume without loss of clarity and without audible compression. But do not try to give voice to your whole living room with them - yes.
Let's go back to the adequate frames - and now we hear a very good, believable imitation of bass - confident, legible, rounded and juicy. And this perception is preserved even when the speakers are freely placed - away from the walls. Why "imitation"? Because you can't jump beyond the 5" speaker, and its ability to transmit deep bass is very limited - almost any 5" speaker. But within this frame everything is just fine, and if you close your eyes and immerse yourself in the music, these kids can cheat you in a good way.
At one point I caught myself thinking that, strange as it may seem, these speakers can play almost like quite big and quite expensive brethren. Again, if not to depart from the limitations I mentioned above, they have everything - balance, dynamics, intelligibility, bass and just a great display of space. But they also have the ability to convey intonations, a subtle sense of rhythm, in short, you can have a little musical celebration with them. And it seems that this is what Fostex is all about, promising exceptional high value (exceptional high value).
I think these speakers will find their place not only in small home and professional studios, but also will be used for high-quality sounding of the space around the computer, in addition, they are excellent for enthusiasts of personal audio - owners of high-end players and portable DACs, for those cases when you want to listen to music not only one and not only in headphones. In general, very true was the name of Fostex - personal speaker system.
Text and photo: Yury Volobuyev
Information: detailed analysis