Price (pair): £2,095
Design: 2-way ported
Woofer: 8-inch paper/carbon fibre cone
Tweeter: 1-inch aluminium-magnesium alloy dome
Frequency response: 35 Hz – 22 kHz
When Rode Microphones founder Peter Freedman acquired Event Electronics in 2006, he immediately set his team of engineers the challenge of developing the best 2-way monitors in the world. The result was the Opal, a monitor which instantly caused a stir when it was unveiled in 2008.
Event are keen to stress the technical details of the Opals: the fact that every part is proprietary, designed from scratch specifically for this application with absolutely nothing bought off-the-shelf; the X-Coil woofer’s unusual combination of active and passive voice coils for fast transient response; the staggeringly low distortion specs.
Of course, in the studio, what matters is how they sound, and spend a couple of hours with the Opals and it’s obvious you’re in the presence of something rather special. The pin-point accuracy all the way through the frequency range is astonishing. The bass response is particularly impressive, answering the age-old “do I need a sub?” question with a resounding no.
What’s most impressive about the Opals is how incredibly well they handle electronic music. Too many monitors at this price point struggle with the unique challenges of electronic music and show their weaknesses when asked to reproduce heavily compressed music full of fast transients. The Opals take it in their stride in a thoroughly impressive way. This is a relatively bright, forward speaker but – thanks in part to that impressively low distortion performance – it doesn’t get fatiguing even over long periods.
The best 2-way monitors in the world? That’s a very bold claim, but they’re definitely in the running.