Review: Waterfall Audio Hurricane Evo Speakers and HighForce 2 Subwoofer

If you're more than 30 years old, you may remember when almost all speakers looked like the BIC RtR 1530 featured in a recent Parts Express e-mailer: big woofers and big enclosures, with little or no effort expended to make everything presentable. Nowadays, in the interest of gaining our domestic partners' permission to buy the damned things in the first place, we demand that our speakers be compact and gorgeous.

No speaker I've seen does compact and gorgeous like the Waterfall Audio Hurricane Evo does. Waterfall Audio is a French company that became famous among audiophiles for building speakers entirely from glass. The Hurricane Evo is a hybrid design - an aluminum speaker enclosure surrounded by a glass bezel. It's available in black, white, or silver with color-coordinated grilles; orange or green grilles are also available.

The speaker enclosure houses a 4-inch woofer and a 0.8-inch silk dome tweeter, and high-quality metal binding posts are provided on the top of the enclosure. Each $749 Evo includes a foot that allows it to be placed on a table or stand, and two swivel brackets that allows wall mounting. One of the brackets is angled down about 15°, allowing the speaker to be mounted high, near the ceiling.

The Hurricane Evo's beautiful industrial design was motivation enough for a test drive. I borrowed five of them from Waterfall Audio, for use as left, center, right, and surround speakers in a 5.1 home theater setup. I'm really happy that Waterfall Audio doesn't offer a horizontally configured center speaker to match the Hurricane Evo, because using matching speakers for left, center, and right channels sounds better.

With rated bass extension down to only 100 Hz, the Hurricane Evo obviously needs a subwoofer, so Waterfall Audio supplied the $1,549 HighForce 2. The HighForce 2's 17-inch-high enclosure houses a single 9-inch driver and an amp rated at 250 watts peak power. It's available in black or white.