Cuttin-Edge, On-the-Spot Reporting

Have You Seen?


I have an issue taking a ridiculously priced product seriously if there’s not a credible explanation of why it costs as much as it does—or unless it delivers sound that catapults me to Mars. There are several such components on the market that fail this test, and the Børresen Acoustics M1 two-way standmount loudspeaker is one of them.

Børresen is part of Audio Group Denmark, which also owns the Ansuz, Axxess, and Aavik brands. When I last looked at and listened to Børresen’s M1 in Warsaw at Audio Video Show 2022, it sold for $100,000 per pair (all prices in USD). At least that price includes matching stands, but even so, I couldn’t hear (or see) how a pair of M1s could be worth $100,000—or even a fraction of that amount. Børresen also offers the 01, another two-way that needs a stand. Right now, its base price is $38,500 per pair, but the price tag can soar to $55,000 per pair depending on upgrades. Cheaper, for sure, but why in the world does it cost that much? Neither its sound nor its appearance has catapulted me even out of the atmosphere.

To the brand’s credit, it’s aware that people like me scoff at those prices, because it’s now catering to us with sensibly priced products. Last year at Florida International Audio Expo, the company introduced the X3, a big floorstander priced at $11,000 per pair. It was hard to believe that a speaker this price and this size was coming from Børresen. But it was. This year, Børresen introduced the X1, priced at a “reasonable” $5500 per pair without purpose-built X1 stands, $6600 per pair with them. Now that the brand is offering sanely priced products, I had to look closer and listen longer, especially since the X1 was making its worldwide debut at Florida International Audio Expo 2024.

Like its bigger siblings, the X1 has a bespoke ribbon tweeter. According to Børresen, “[t]he tweeter chosen for the Børresen X-series has the same design used in all other Børresen loudspeaker series. However, there is a reduction in magnet and iron mass.” Apparently, there’s a drop in sensitivity in this new tweeter design, from 94 to 90dB, but the company touts that “this is still an amazing efficiency for a tweeter.” I’d just add “if true.” Augmenting the tweeter’s output and shaping its dispersion is a squared-off horn.


The tweeter hands off to a custom midrange-woofer at 2.5kHz. The midrange-woofer has a TeXtreme carbon-fiber cone and a motor system with “double copper caps on the pole rings to achieve high flux and low inductance.” Børresen explains in its literature that lower inductance “means fewer spikes in the impedance curve,” which helps to make “a lower load on the amplifier.”

Available in high-gloss white or black, the cabinet is made from “a heavily braced wood composite material that has the property of eliminating sound distortion.” The matching stand is “made of a natural-based composite material, to ensure resonance control that stays uncompromisingly true to Børresen’s design principles.”


Enough tech talk. I listened to the X1s on a few occasions as I traipsed through the show. They were in a room hosted by Illinois-based dealer Next Level HiFi. The new speakers were driven by an Axxess Forté integrated amplifier ($5500), which is rated to deliver 100Wpc into 8 ohms and has a built-in DAC and streamer. Wiring came from Ansuz. As mentioned, Axxess and Ansuz are both sister brands.

Given that I haven’t been wowed by Børresen’s stratospherically priced products, I wasn’t expecting the X1s to look or sound like much. But I was more than impressed by what I saw and heard. The X1 doesn’t look that special from the front, but it’s quite attractive from the sides and rear. The stand looks really good and is built well.


When I walked into Next Level HiFi’s room for the first time, some techno music was playing, which showed that the speakers could generate punchy bass quite loudly. I walked around to the backside of one speaker, put my hand behind the triple-tube porting system, and was a little alarmed by the air pumping out of each tube. Of course, we listen to the speakers from the front, so I sat in the center for a good, long listen and really liked the way vocals were presented—natural tonality along with high resolution, allowing details to be easily heard. During a subsequent demonstration, the rep played “The Sound of Silence” by the Ghost of Johnny Cash. This recording sounds great on almost any system—and it sounded really good here, which was no surprise. I liked that the vocal wasn’t too present or bloated; instead, there was a precision to the sound, along with loads of detail that was ear-opening. Another demo involved the Stevie Ray Vaughn track “Tin Pan Alley,” which sounded clear, dynamic, and surprisingly bassy.

The only thing that was off was the precision of the imaging—it was vague, though the soundstages were very wide. I think that had mostly to do with how far apart the speakers were spaced. That seems to be a Børresen thing, because the M1s I listened to in Warsaw were also spaced far apart. I don’t know if that company does that to project the sound more broadly so that it spreads more evenly across many seats, or if they do it to get some wall reinforcement to pump up the bass. If the speakers were placed closer together, the images within the soundstage might tighten up, but it would be interesting to learn if the bass would suffer.

In the past, I couldn’t recommend that anyone listen to a Børresen speaker. But the X1 changed my mind. The new speaker didn’t quite get me to Mars, but it got me closer to it than other Børresen speakers I’ve heard—and did so at a fraction of their prices.

Doug Schneider
Founder, SoundStage!