Monitor Audio Silver 300 Speaker System Review Page 2

The next phase of the evaluation took place in my 12 x 16 x 9-foot home theater room with the towers place at either side of a 92-inch diagonal projection screen and the 350C center speaker situated between them on a low stand angled up slightly toward the viewing area. Silver 50 surrounds sat on stands with the tweeters at ear height slightly behind and angled in at my couch, while the subwoofer was placed in the room's right front corner and subjected to the same APC room correction steps I had previously executed. Associated gear used for the review included a NAD C 658 streaming DAC/preamplifier and Hegel Music Systems H190 integrated amplifier (stereo evaluation) and Anthem AVM 50v preamp-processor and Legacy Audio iV7 seven-channel amplifier (multichannel evaluation). In both setups, I used the sub's Movie EQ setting, which provided a slight bass kick that I found worked well with movies and music.


Starting out with the Silver 300 towers solo after a few days break-in, my initial impression of the speaker was that it had a slightly forward sound. Playing with placement—mainly by pushing the speakers a few inches toward the back wall—helped in this regard in my room, though I would still characterize the Silver 300's overall signature as leaning toward the crisp end of the spectrum. Test tones indicated solid bass extension into the sub-40Hz range (Monitor Audio's specs cite response as -6dB at 32 Hz).

Streaming the track "Broken Sleep" (Tidal, high-res FLAC) by the Danish singer/songwriter Agnes Obel, the 300s served up plenty of detail in the vocals and effectively conveyed the subtle stereo ping-pong effect used to widen their presence in the mix. The pizzicato-played strings had a clean, dynamic sound that also served to enhance the sense of 3D space, while loose swirls of piano and cello extended well beyond the physical locations of the speakers.

Any questions I had regarding bass extension of the 300 towers was put to rest when I next listened to Grimes' "So Heavy I Fell to the Earth (Art Mix)" via Tidal. Same as with Agnes Obel, I experienced a dramatically wide presentation, but it was the 300's clean delivery of this track's deep electronic bass that really grabbed my attention. For a relatively slim tower, performance here was unexpectedly powerful.


Switching over to Qobuz and changing genres to jazz, I listened to a high-res stream of "Alabama" from the album In Movement by Jack DeJohnette, Ravi Coltrane, and Matthew Garrison. The Silver 300 towers' crisp, detailed delivery shined on this track: Dejohnette's cymbals displayed plenty of shimmer and "air" while not sounding edgy and Coltrane's angrily soaring saxophone came across as completely unrestrained. At the same time, Garrison's mix of standup bass and electronics provided a solid foundation that the 300s conveyed with ample power.

Although I was happy with the bass I was getting in my near-3,000 cubic-foot listening room, more bass is better, so I listened to the same suite of tracks with the W-12 subwoofer plugged in and the NAD preamp set for a 60-Hz sub crossover. Unsurprisingly, the biggest impact could be heard on the Grimes track, the throbbing electronic beats now punching through with even better extension and power. "Alabama" also benefitted to a degree, though the comparison mainly served to drive home with how well the sub-less 300 towers held up with most music.

The Silver speakers continued to impress when I moved them into my home theater room. Listening to the track "The Space Between" from a multichannel SACD of Roxy Music's Avalon, the guitar and keyboards had a clean, effortless presentation, while Bryan Ferry's silky vocals came across as notably lush. Bass guitar sounded dynamic and extended, and I heard clear differentiation between it and the low-pitched kick drum.


During setup of the full 5.1 system, test tones revealed an excellent match between the front left/right and center speakers. And as anticipated, the C350 center with its vertically aligned tweeter/midrange sounded clear and uniform from off-axis seats. This was most evident when I watched a scene in John Wick: Chapter 3 – Parabellum where John (Keanu Reeves) and Sofia (Halle Berry) have a nostalgic chat in her living room after she first shoots him (that's how folks say "howdy" in John Wick-world). Wick's voice retained its fullness from different positions on my couch, and the C350's detailed presentation revealed the authentic, cracked quality of a man dealing with physical pain.

A first W-12 sample failed early on in testing, so I spent some time watching movies with a subwoofer-less Silver system. When the replacement W-12 arrived and I plugged it in, I took note of the powerful low-end kick it added to action films like John Wick: Chapter 3. In an early fight scene in an antiques warehouse, the W-12's tight, powerful delivery lent a dynamic quality to kicks, punches, gunshots, and stabs as Wick took out all who would oppose him. And in a subsequent scene where he is chased on horseback through city streets, ambient sounds like rain and thunder came across as dense and detailed, and the impact of the pursuing motorcycles smashing into cars was genuinely frightening.

Turning to less-action- packed (but no less intense) material, I next watched the Playboy Mansion scene from Once Upon a Hollywood. As Roman Polanski and Sharon Tate's car speeds through the Hollywood Hills with Deep Purple's "Hush" playing on the soundtrack, the Silver 50 surrounds delivered a good sense of immersion, with music drifting subtly into the surround channels. And when the action shifted to the party, I experienced an even more dramatic sense of being "inside" the scene. A story told by the Steve McQueen character at the party gave the C350 center another chance to strut its stuff, with dialogue sounding clear and natural amidst the lively party ambience.


Monitor Audio's sleek Silver 300-based system delivers a level of performance to equal its good looks. I found myself won over by its crisp, dynamic sound on both music and movies, and was particularly impressed with the C350 center speaker, which allows for seamless sound across the three front channels by perfectly matching the 300 towers. The Silver W-12 subwoofer also commanded my attention via its contribution to the already solid bass provided by the 300s on music, and by adding oomph to action movies. The one caveat I have about the W-12 is its value since there are other subwoofers on the market that provide equal performance at a lower price while offering features like wireless connectivity and app- based control.

Taking this system's elegant looks, immaculate build quality, and great sound into account, I'd say that Monitor Audio overdelivers. If there happened to be an audio Olympics, it would easily earn its Silver status.

Monitor Audio

brenro's picture

Kal Rubinson found these speakers to be "smooth", "transparent", and "lovely" "free of blemish and brightness". Might I suggest it was your source?

thehun's picture

More like the room, or just two people who have a different idea of what "smooth" or "forward" means to them.

Dealzguy18's picture

Used to be a time when reading a review used to be a joy! It is now a regurgitated press release with with hyped up nonsense and BS words.... that said I have no doubt the new MA Silver systems are very good and some of the best hifi speakers for the money, as a owner of Silver RX6 and Pair if Rx1s I don’t think I would part with them for a while to come.

Sceptic's picture

The measurements are gone. InnerFidelity has also stopped measuring headphones. Both of these sites are now owned by AVTech Media Americas. Coincidence?

I would like AVTech Media Americas to give an explanation as to why doing away with these measurements improves Sound & Vision and improves InnerFidelity. Why has Sound & Vision and InnerFidelity stopped doing these measurements? Why has AVTech Media Americas never given an explanation of why these measurements have stopped? A cynic might claim that this helps their—may God have mercy on our souls—sponsors.

Does anyone here still remember _Stereo Review_? Remember Julian Hirsch, David Ranada, Ian Masters, and Tom Nousaine? That was when Sound & Vision’s precursor cared about its readers. With each new change of owner, Sound & Vision becomes worse and worse.

Will Sound & Vision, one day, be like Hi-Fi Choice? Hi-Fi Choice is also owned by AVTech Media Americas. Alexa claims that Hi-Fi Choice ranks number 4 304 895 in global internet traffic and engagement over the past 90 days.

How many human visitors does a site have to get daily to reach 4 304 895?