Pint-size Harbeth P3ESR Anniversary flabbergasts with high-end sound



Harbeth P3ESR 40th Anniversary audio system proven with out their fabric grilles

Jim Holden

I’ve spent numerous time with the Harbeth P3ESR 40th Anniversary mini displays and each time I hearken to the audio system I hear one thing totally different, which is at all times signal. This overview has taken quite a bit longer to write down than most, nonetheless, as a result of it is tougher to get a deal with on the sound. 

The speaker is a complete chameleon, generally I’m seduced by its luscious midrange, or its large soundstage, or supple bass. The P3ESR is the form of speaker that takes on the sound of the recording you are taking part in, it is an actual form shifter. The P3ESR 40th Anniversary sells for $2,995 a pair within the US, £2,495 within the UK and AU$4,400 in Australia.  

Made within the UK, the speaker makes use of a proprietary 4.5-inch Radial mid/woofer and 0.75 inch tweeter with an impedance is of 6 ohms. The handcrafted cupboard, completed in delicious actual olive wooden veneers feels additional strong. It is comfortably small, simply 12 inches excessive by 7.5 vast and seven.2 inches deep. The P3ESR is a sealed field (not ported) design, and this could possibly be why its bass definition exceeds most small audio system I’ve heard. 

The 40th Anniversary mannequin differs from the common P3ESR ($2,295, £1,795, AU$3,450) in that it options larger high quality WBT-Nextgen binding posts, British-made poly capacitors and Harbeth’s 40th Anniversary ultrapure copper inner cable. The speaker sports activities Harbeth 40th Anniversary restricted version back and front badges to impress your audiophile friends. Do any of those upgrades enhance the sound? I am unable to say since I did not have the plain vanilla P3ESR readily available for comparability, and Harbeth is not claiming sonic enhancements for the 40th Anniversary mannequin. One factor is definite, you’ll be able to’t purchase the usual mannequin within the pretty olive end.

Listening impressions

The P3ESR’s sound is directly romantic and musical and but by no means feels overly soft. The midbass is full, however by no means sloppy, the P3ESR’s low-end is extra satisfying than you may anticipate for a speaker as small as this. Baritone singers like Leonard Cohen sound absolutely current and by no means miniaturized.

The little speaker tasks a positively large soundstage that extends a number of toes past the places of the audio system in my room. It is huge alright, however not diffuse on Miles Davis’ In A Silent Approach album. Davis’s trumpet, McLaughlin’s guitar, Herbie Hancock’s electrical piano and Tony Williams’ drums are alive and kicking.

Get nearer to the music

Listening to the P3ESRs from 7 or eight toes away is fulfilling, however transferring in to three to five toes every part in regards to the sound improves as a result of the room’s reflections are minimized and the speaker’s direct sound will increase. At shut vary the audio system sound larger, bass stuffed out, and stereo picture focus is clearer.

The Springsteen on Broadway album leaves little doubt about these smallest of all Harbeths, they’ve the correct stuff. The Boss makes a private look in my lounge, I swear he’s proper there. The sound pins me again in my seat, Springsteen’s full-chested vocal on Born within the USA has me shaking with pleasure.

I repeat the shut listening method with the KEF LS50 bookshelf audio system, and once more benefit from the nearfield expertise, however the sound is not practically as tonally wealthy. The P3ESR 40th can also be extra clear, I hear extra internal element and readability. Whereas the LS50 could be very respectable in these areas, the P3ESR digs deeper. There’s extra there there.

Getting nearer has no downsides, the P3ESR is so darned little I might advocate transferring them means out into the center of your room for severe listening periods, and park them up in opposition to the wall the remainder of the time.

The Harbeth P3ESR 40th Anniversary audio system are simply the ticket for well-heeled audiophiles residing in smallish residences or properties. 

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