High End 2023 - Munich, Germany
- Written by Doug Schneider Doug Schneider
- Parent Category: Shows-Events Shows-Events
- Created: 18 May 2023 18 May 2023
High End 2023 Product Coverage: Estelon Aura Loudspeaker
Since its founding in 2010, Estonia-based Estelon has focused on making sculpture-like speakers where form and function appear to be on an equal footing. According to CEO Alissa Vassilkova, this form-and-function approach has been guided by her father, chief designer Alfred Vassilkov. From the beginning, his goal has been to make speakers that look and sound beautiful. Estelon’s latest speaker is the Aura, which was announced a few months ago. As far as I know, High End 2023 was its first public showing. It sells for €17,500 per pair.
Alfred Vassilkov and Alissa Vassilkova
This statuesque loudspeaker stands 53″ tall but is only 15.1″W at its widest point. The Aura looks extremely elegant in its white finish, which was shown at High End 2023. Black is also available but wasn’t shown at High End.
The sculpted profile is enabled by the use of “thermoformed proprietary mineral-filled composite” for the entire cabinet. A grille often detracts from a speaker’s appearance, but the way the Aura’s grille swoops from wider at the top to narrower at the bottom—the opposite of the cabinet’s shape—really enhances the visual presentation. It’s as if the speaker is driving a stake into the ground, almost as though it’s planted in place and making a statement.
To be sure, the Aura is a thing of beauty, but it’s also a serious speaker. It’s is a three-way design with a 26mm (1″) Scan-Speak Illuminator soft-dome tweeter vertically flanked by a pair of 13mm (5″) Satori midrange-woofers, which have Egyptian papyrus cones. A 250mm (10″) Faital paper-cone woofer is mounted to the bottom of the cabinet, so it’s downfiring. The woofer vents out of a slot between the cabinet and the base, and under the base as well—there’s a large hole cut into the base, and tall spikes hold the entire speaker up and off the ground. Sensitivity is specified at a high 90dB (2.83V/m), though the impedance is a little low at 4 ohms nominal, but with a 2-ohm minimum at 58Hz, so it would be wise to partner a pair of Auras with a solid-state amp that can deliver ample current.
According to the company’s literature, “the acoustical environment” within the Aura’s sealed bass chamber creates “an additional low-pass filter. This low-pass curve is deeper than the electrical filter. Therefore the higher frequencies that are produced by the bass driver, at around 80Hz, are eliminated.” So that woofer is only producing deep bass frequencies, which will radiate omnidirectionally into the room, while the two midrange-woofers handle the rest of the low-frequency range up to the point where they hand off to the tweeter. Clearly, the Aura is much more than a pretty speaker—it seems to possess a well-thought-out acoustical design as well.
Placed well away from walls, the Auras filled Estelon’s moderately large display room effortlessly. Bass was solid to below 40Hz, which is fairly deep. Doubtless, closer-to-wall placement would flesh out the Aura’s low-frequency output even more. This is an interesting speaker design that we plan to learn more about. We’ve been promised a review pair, so stay tuned for a much deeper dive.
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