Revel Performa M22 Monitor Loudspeaker Reviewed

Revel Performa M22 Monitor Loudspeaker Reviewed

Reviewer Andrew Robinson was thoroughly impressed with the M12s, stating that "for late night or ambient music listening, I'm not sure it gets better than the M12 for the money." It possess a "full-bodied, rich sound that has a delectable midrange and a very sweet and detailed high-frequency response that doesn't become harsh or fatiguing..."

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When it comes to high-performance monitor loudspeakers, $2,000 per pair seems to be the Holy Grail price most manufacturers aim for with many top-flight offerings in the class. Revel is no different, which is apparent with their new M22 two-way monitor loudspeaker, which retails for $2,200 a pair. The M22 builds on the success of the former F series loudspeakers from Revel, but don’t call it an update, as the M22 is a whole new speaker design.

The M22 is a true two-way monitor, featuring a single six-and-a half-inch bass/midrange driver mated to a one-inch titanium dome and a wide dispersion tweeter. The M22 is compact, well-braced and features a fit and finish that defies its asking price. The cabinet itself comes in two finishes, black ash and cherry, though the entire cabinet is not wood veneer; the rear quarter of the M22 is finished in a smooth semi-gloss black, giving it a unique, sophisticated look. Along the M22’s backside rests its flared bass port and single-wire binding posts and treble attenuation controls, a Revel Performa staple.

Additional Resources
Read Andrew Robinson’s Revel Ultima Studio2 Speaker Review here.
Read a review of Revel’s Concerta M12 bookshelf speakers.
• Read a review of Revel’s Performa F52 speakers from HomeTheaterReview.com.
• See an entire archive of audiophile floorstanding speaker reviews on this resource page.
• Follow Steve Stone’s audiophile blog at AudiophileReview.com.

The M22 has a stated in-room frequency response of 46Hz to 15kHz and a sensitivity rating of 85dB into an approximately six-ohm load. The M22 uses a high-order crossover set at roughly 2kHz. Due to the M22’s relative lack of efficiency, you’re going to need to bring a fair amount of quality power to the M22 party for them to sound their best and, for truly full-range performance, you’ll want to pair the Revel monitors with a capable subwoofer.

High Points
• The M22s are sublime, sophisticated and poised little performers that make sweet music at a level unheard of at or around their $2,000 price point.

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• The M22’s wide dispersion tweeter and articulated bass/midrange driver cast such an expansive and detailed soundstage that it will have you thinking the M22 is larger than it actually is. The M22, while possessing pinpoint accuracy, doesn’t force you to lock your head in a vise to enjoy that all-important sweet spot. 
• The M22’s fit and finish is first-rate, looking best in cherry, but an elegant design statement in all finishes. 
• Treble attenuation controls, located on the M22’s backside, help with room placement and integration.

Low Points
• Because of the two-way design, you’ll want to bring a subwoofer or two to the party to obtain a truly full-range performance from the M22. By adding a subwoofer, the M22’s actual cost of ownership does go up, but this is the case with most if not all $2,000 monitors. 
• The M22 is not a terribly efficient loudspeaker, which means you’re going to spend a bit more on electronics than you might with other monitors in the M22’s class. The extra money for better power will reward you in spades, but it will cost you a little more dough to get to the audio promised land.
• The M22s are monitor loudspeakers, not bookshelf speakers, which means you’re going to need a pair of stands. Revel makes a pair (sold separately, $220 per pair), which are essential to get the most from the M22s.

Conclusion
At $2,200 per pair, the Revel Performa M22s are quality monitor speakers that are class-leading in both price and sound. While the necessary stands and sub will drive the M22s buy-in up a bit, you’re going to be hard-pressed to find a monitor speaker that bests the M22s’ performance this side of $5,000. The way the M22 presents music and even movies is staggering, possessing a sonic oneness that will make you forget you’re listening to speakers at all. The soundstage and detail the M22s are capable of is something that must be heard to be appreciated. The M22s are truly great and a phenomenal, affordable addition to the Revel lineage.

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