Monitor Audio Platinum Surround Speaker System Comparisons & Conclusion

Comparisons and Conclusion
I compared the PLW-15 to the Revel B15 (an older sample but still representative of the current B15a), both in the corner positioning I prefer in this room, where the comparison could not be A-B for obvious reasons, and then with both subs positioned side-by-side just behind the center channel, making a direct A-B comparison possible. Clearly, the side-by-side comparison had the disadvantage that the subs were in slightly different positions. But both subs offer equalization (graphic equalization in the Monitor Audio, three-band parametric in the Revel), and I used this to match the two as closely as possible.

With some material, the Monitor Audio sounded tighter, but while it appeared to go almost as deep as the Revel with subtle, low-level bass, it did not do so when the bass turned loud and energetic. The Revel showed occasional signs of strain on the most challenging material when it was out of its corner-location comfort zone, which the Monitor Audio did not. But that did not stop the B15 from producing a much more ominous sense of foreboding in Spielberg's War of the Worlds as the first alien tripod rumbles up out of a Brooklyn street, or a more aggressively vivid bottom end in The Dark Knight. The differences on music were usually subtler, but when they were not, the Revel sub still came out on top.

As for the entire system, I did not have a comparably priced flagship speaker system on hand to compare directly against the Monitor Audio. It's been a year since I parted ways with the Revel Ultima Studio2, but that system still stands out as the best speaker package I've yet had in my current listening room. Time blurs the details, but I recall that the Revel's highs were a bit airier than the Monitor Audio's, though also a bit more obvious. Midrange coloration was comparable, though the Revels were slightly more laid back. The Revel's Ultima2 Voice center was also a bit flatter on axis and varied less at far off-axis angles. But as an overall package, the Monitor Audio is barely a step below the Revels, yet costs some $13k less.

Still, 25 grand is a lot of money for loudspeakers, especially in a market where there are excellent and far less expensive alternatives. But the sort of engineering, sound, and cosmetic refinements found in the Monitor Audio Platinums rarely come cheap.

I'd never recommend that anyone buy speakers sound unheard. But I do recommend a serious audition of the Platinums if you're shopping for the best. And unlike some surround systems, I can say that if you're only able to audition the PL300s alone in a 2-channel setup, and you like what you hear as much as I did, you'll be in heaven with the full surround package.

Pristine highs, uncolored mids, tight bass
Great dynamic range
Outstanding fit and finish

Subwoofer lacks wallop in the deepest, loudest bass