Vienna Acoustics Schonberg Loudspeaker Reviewed

Vienna Acoustics Schonberg Loudspeaker Reviewed

While Vienna Acoustics may be more well known for their furniture quality wood finishes on their other designs such as the Beethoven Baby Grand, their Schonberg series takes a dramatically different approach with its smooth Aluminum skin and modern art inspired lines.

ViennaAcoustics-schoenberg-review.gifVienna Acoustics makes some of the finest looking loudspeakers available today and the Schonberg Loudspeaker, reviewed here, is no exception. Retailing for $1,495 a pair, clad in either silver or piano black lacquer, the Schonberg’s are a design tour de force. The Schonberg is a two-way floor standing or wall mountable loudspeaker (wall mounting hardware sold separately) designed to compliment a modern lifestyle and home theater with their shallow depth (just three and a half inches), smooth flowing lines and beautifully crafted cabinet.

Additional Resources

• Read over 100 audiophile floorstanding loudspeaker reviews from the likes of Vienna Acoustics, Sonus Faber, Bowers & Wilkins, MartinLogan, Paradigm, PSB and many others.
• Have you been to AudiophileReview.com’s Audiophile speaker blog? Its a great resource.

The Schonberg features a single, one-inch silk dome tweeter resting next to one of its two six inch XPP bass/midrange drivers. The Schonberg is a bass reflex or ported speaker giving it a reported frequency response of 40-25Hz. Like most Vienna Acoustics loudspeakers, the Schonberg is relatively easy to drive with its 91dB sensitivity rating and four-Ohm load, making it an ideal speaker for an AV receiver based home theater. Vienna Acoustics recommends having anywhere between 30-200 watts per channel on tap in order to get the most from the Schonberg.

In terms of sound the Schonberg, much like other Vienna Acoustics loudspeakers, are silky smooth with a slightly laid back and polite demeanor making long listening sessions, even at higher than normal levels, an absolute treat. In terms of bass the Schonberg is surprising given its internal volume, small driver compliment and unique ported design. While not a window rattler by any means the Schonberg does have a fair amount of bass, not to mention control and texture throughout its lower registers, just don’t expect it to plunge into the lowest octaves; you’ll need a capable subwoofer for that.

Read about the high points and the low points of the Schonberg on Page 2.

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High Points
• The fit and finish of the Schonberg is top notch and far beyond what the competition can offer at the same price.
• Visually, the Schonberg’s look may be a bit unique and perhaps too
liberal for some. However its design plays a pivotal role in its
performance, which together makes for a winning combination in my book.

• The midrange on up through the highest frequencies of the Schonberg’s
performance envelope is warm, enveloping and oh so sweet. The
Schonberg’s are agile, textural and extremely natural sounding, even
when mounted to a wall, and cast a very convincing, well-defined
soundstage.
• The Schonberg’s bass may shy away from the deepest parts of the spectrum; however what is present is quite musical, extremely taut and punchy. 
• Out of the box the Schonberg’s are floor standing speakers, however mounting them on a wall, say flanking a 60-inch LED or LCD HDTV, is a statement both visually and aurally few speakers in its price range can match.

Low Points
• For true full range playback, especially when it comes to Dolby TrueHD and DTS Master Audio soundtracks found on most Blu-ray discs, you’ll want a capable sub or two to round out the Schonberg’s otherwise spectacular sound. Vienna Acoustics makes a matching sub for the Schonberg called the Subson, which retails for $2,195. 
• The Schonberg’s binding posts, while nicely designed and strategically placed for out of sight cable management, are a bit too stealthy for their own good making some speaker cable connections trickier than others. 
• The Schonberg’s can be powered by the simplest AV receiver not a whole lot of money can buy. However if you want them to sound their best be sure to connect them to quality components. Furthermore, the Schonbergs can and do play loud; don’t expect them to energize a room quite in the same way traditional floorstanding speakers can. Then again, a lot of budget floorstanding speakers energize a room with sound you don’t necessarily want to hear whereas the Schonberg is always a delight to listen to.

Conclusion
I’m not sure there is a more unique, well-crafted and beautifully sounding loudspeaker under $1,500 a pair than the Schonberg from Vienna Acoustics. At home on the floor or flanking a large HDTV the Schonbergs are just as comfortable playing back Beethoven’s Fifth as they are The Fifth Element on Blu-ray. They can be powered by most of today’s modern AV receivers with stunning results and provided you bring a capable subwoofer to the party the Schonberg’s are a speaker you can enjoy both visually and aurally for hours on end. Highly recommended.

Additional Resources

• Read over 100 audiophile floorstanding loudspeaker reviews from the likes of Vienna Acoustics, Sonus Faber, Bowers & Wilkins, MartinLogan, Paradigm, PSB and many others.
• Have you been to AudiophileReview.com’s Audiophile speaker blog? Its a great resource.

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