For whatever reason there are not a lot of dynamic, high efficiency bookshelf loudspeakers out there. Over the years speakers have become more complicated and less efficient and for some reason bookshelf loudspeakers have seemingly suffered the worst. It doesn't make a lot of sense for you'd think bookshelf loudspeakers would have more simplified crossovers, be easier to drive and be easier to mass produce and yet that doesn't seem to be true, judging by the current crop of bookshelf loudspeakers available today. Hell, some bookshelf loudspeakers have efficiency ratings in the low to mid 80's, which is Magnepan territory if you think about it. Thankfully there's Zu Audio and their latest bookshelf the OMEN Bookshelf.
• Read more bookshelf speaker reviews by HomeTheaterReview.com's staff.
• Explore subwoofer pairing options in our Subwoofer Review section.
The OMEN Bookshelf retails for $650 a pair and are sold direct via Zu's own website. They measure 18 inches tall by 12 inches wide and 12 inches deep. They weigh 35 pounds apiece, thanks in part to their solid MDF construction. Their cabinet is wrapped in real wood veneer and comes standard in three finishes: Ghost Black, Honey Walnut and Sangria Red. Custom finishes are available at an extra cost including automotive paint schemes a-la Wilson Audio. The OMEN Bookshelf features Zu Audio's trademark 10-inch full-range driver mated to a billet super tweeter. The OMEN Bookshelf's reported frequency response is 50 to 25,000Hz and employs no crossovers or filters. The OMEN Bookshelf's super tweeter isn't crossed over into the full-range driver; instead it adds sparkle to the sonic performance beginning at 12,000Hz. Earlier I mentioned the OMEN Bookshelf is efficient, which it is, boasting an efficiency rating of 98dB into a nominal 12-Ohm load, making it ideal for a wide range of electronics, be they entry level to high-end. The OMEN Bookshelf can be powered on as little as four Watts on up to 200, which is its maximum recommended input power rating.
In terms of sound the OMEN Bookshelf has a lot in common with its other OMEN stable mates; that is to say it's articulate, smooth and largely uncolored throughout the midrange with remarkable speed and clarity across the entire frequency spectrum. The OMEN Bookshelf has surprising bass for its size and build, though a subwoofer will be necessary for true full-range performance. Dynamically the OMEN Bookshelf's are stunning and are also capable of playing plenty loud despite being a compact bookshelf loudspeaker. The OMEN Bookshelf speakers also image well and completely disappear from the space, provided you've taken the time to set them up in your room properly. Read about the high points and low points of the OMEN bookshelf speaker on Page 2.