Leema Acoustics, the  Welshpool based hi-fi manufacturer founded and run by two ex-BBC sound engineers, has launched the Xen 2 loudspeaker; the original Xen Angle BlackXen having been the result of a research project to squeeze a BBC-graded monitor speaker into a 5L cabinet!

The new Xen 2 is based on the previous model (deleted in 2008), but with a host of improvements for 2015.  With a volume of just five cubic litres and a front baffle that’s A5, the new Xen 2 is super-compact and easy to position in almost any home or studio environment. Despite its dimensions, the Xen 2 has a frequency response extending down to 57Hz and all the way up to 25kHz.

Originally conceived 17 years ago as a cost-no-object nearfield monitor for use in recording studios and broadcast vehicles, Leema Acoustics’ Xen loudspeaker quickly found favour with music lovers outside of the professional environment.

The Xen 2’s cabinet is made from folded and welded steel, 1.5mm thick; in a speaker of this size, using the industry-standard 18mm-thick MDF/veneer solution would have simply added too much bulk. The steel is lined with a bitumastic layer, a technique also employed in the automotive industry, and the cavity is then stuffed with real sheep’s wool.

The back panel is steel with bitumen on the inside and the crossover board is attached to the terminals directly. The crossover uses Bennic parts and air core inductors where possible, to avoid saturation and compression in the crossover. The cabinet also benefits from a 12mm-thick steel bar across the centre to prevent flex and the front panel is machined from an impressively rigid high-grade MDF to provide the drive units with the

optimum operating environment. The baffle is then finished in either a wood veneer or a conventional black paint.

The Xen 2 benefits from two bass reflex ports, which extend into the cabinet then fold down behind the bass driver, with each measuring 260mm. Twin ports are used to ensure that the speed of the air moving in the port is below 0.1x the speed of sound (Mach).

The Xen 2’s bass ports are placed close to the drive unit, so that the integration is as good as possible. The original Xen has SEAS drivers, but following their discontinuation, Leema Acoustics’ engineering team commissioned a drive unit to be built to its own specification.

The bass/mid driver is a highly durable unit with exceptional cone excursion and the tweeter is a soft-dome unit with a neodymium magnet and Ferro-fluid-loaded coil, which helps  damp resonance and aid cooling.

In order to combat the unwanted midrange peak inherent in many four-inch (100mm) drive units, the cabinet has been specially designed to ‘give a little’ at just the right frequency which helps minimise the effect.

Specifications 

  • Cabinet: Braced folded steel, wooden baffle
  • Tweeter: 25mm soft-dome unit
  • Bass/mid unit: 100mm custom-spec unit
  • Finishes: Silver with veneered baffle; black paint 

The Xen 2 is priced at £1,295 and is available now.

Hifi Pig have a pair in for a full and detailed review which will be published in the very near future.

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