At High End, companies usually showcase very expensive products. But at High End 2023, the focus of UK-based Professional Monitor Company, aka PMC, was affordability.
Unlike most manufacturers exhibiting at High End, PMC addresses both the professional (i.e., studio) and home markets. At a well-attended press conference at 1:30 p.m. on the first day of the show, PMC unveiled the Prodigy1 and Prodigy5 standmount and floorstanding speakers. These are PMC’s latest products for the home market, as well as the most inexpensive—they’re priced respectively at €1495 and €2395 per pair.
Though cheaper than PMC’s other offerings, both Prodigy models are still made in the UK. And they have the hallmarks of previous PMC speakers, notably Advanced Transmission Line (ATL) bass loading and Laminair venting. ATL is said to allow the speakers to achieve deeper bass than other speakers with similar cabinet volumes. Laminair smooths the flow of air from the transmission-line vent for cleaner sound.
The Prodigy1 and Prodigy5 share the same 27mm (1.1″) soft-dome tweeter and 130mm (5.1″) midrange-woofer. The two drivers are crossed over at 1.7kHz in both speakers. The tweeter is said to be “a development from the PMC result6,” one of the company’s popular professional monitors, while the midrange-woofer is said to come from PMC’s CI line, which is aimed at the custom-install market. So the Prodigy drivers have a proven track record.
The only available finish is Silk Black, which is a simple matte-black paint job. I thought it looked quite nice in the press-release photos and when I examined the new models in person at Munich. The matte-black finish gives the Prodigy speakers an industrial look in keeping with their professional pedigree. Magnetically attached black-fabric grilles for driver protection are optional but cost only €120 per pair. The price for grilles is the same for both models.
Oliver Thomas and Elliott Whyte
I have a confession: I didn’t make it to the press conference on time. I was about 15 minutes late, by which time chief technology officer Oliver Thomas and product development manager Elliott Whyte had finished discussing and demonstrating the Prodigy1 and had moved on to the Prodigy5. So I can only tell you about the sound of the floorstander.
The Prodigy5 stands only 40″ tall (41″ with spikes). But at PMC’s Munich demo, the Prodigy5s sounded like much bigger speakers, likely because of their transmission-line bass loading. On every track, these svelte floorstanders flooded the large room with reasonably deep bass. And when PMC cued up a Billie Eilish song, I was struck by the Prodigy5’s midrange clarity.
I sure would’ve liked to have heard the Prodigy1, because I’ve got a thing for reasonably priced standmount speakers that can deliver big sound. Unless I get back to PMC’s exhibit for a demo—which is doubtful given all the ground I have to cover—I’ll have to request a review pair so I can listen to them in my own home. Of course, that’s the best way to know how good a hi-fi product is. For now, I can say that if you’ve had a thing for PMC speakers but couldn’t fit them into your budget, the new Prodigy line looks very promising.