Epos Epic 2

Epos Epic 2 Audio Counsel






All the right speaker hi-fi elements were present and correct — great soundstaging, excellent stereo depth, stable imagery, plus that tight and tuneful bass. What more could you ask for from $1200 speakers? Not a fat lot.

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After running in you get a tight, tuneful and really well controlled bottom end. These speakers are full of drive and energy, boasting plenty of character, but never producing any aggressive-sounding hard edges, no matter what the musical style. The soft-dome tweeter (and crossover) didn’t exaggerate already harsh and bright recordings there’s nothing worse than a top-end that shrieks. To the contrary, the Epic 2’s are far more refined and even-sounding here, but with excellent clarity, and the ability to present music in an emotional rather than technical manner (which, no matter the style, always suits the music better).



With the Epos Epic 2, Mike Creek has a hit on his hands. It’s the perfect bookshelf speaker for someone who wants the bass and high-level dynamic performance of a floorstander, but either has cost constraints or a spouse who won’t let anything bigger than a bookshelf into the house. And while some costs have been cut in the cosmetics department, the Epic 2 does not look cheap. I believe any Stereophile reader would be proud to have these attractive little beauties in his or her living room. Hats off to Mike Creek, who continues to raise the bar of sound quality per dollar in affordable loudspeakers.

The tune that put the entire Epic 2 package together for me was “Yulunga (Spirit Dance),” from Dead Can Dance’s Into the Labyrinth (LP, 4AD DAD-3013). The track opens with delicate, gradually building percussion over a big, airy, atmospheric presentation of the group. In linear fashion from ppp to fff, the music gradually crescendos to a dramatic climax; as it became busier and more cacophonous, the Epic 2 kept every transient intact, and the band a coherent whole. The total effect was captivating, with an immediate presence in the listening room that I’ve heard only from more expensive floorstanding speakers—or at live performances.

What most impressed me about the Epic 2 was how much of a floorstander’s bass extension and dramatic high-level dynamic performance it had. Of the several dozen affordable speakers I’ve reviewed for Stereophile over the years, most have been easily categorizable as either a bookshelf or a floorstander: Each category has its own, unmistakable presentation. However, had I listened to the Epic 2 blindfolded, I’d have bet a considerable amount of money that I was hearing a larger, floorstanding speaker.

I was also impressed by the degree to which so affordable a bookshelf speaker could resolve the inner details of well-recorded classical music. In Messiaen’s Quartet for the End of Time (UK LP, EMI ASD 2470), Gervase de Payer’s clarinet was open and airy, and the extended upper-range harmonics of Erich Gruenberg’s violin sounded natural, with the requisite bite. In the Allegro moderato of Stravinsky’s Ebony Concerto, as performed by Pierre Boulez and his Ensemble InterContemporain (LP, Deutsche Grammophon 2431378), Michel Arrignon’s staccato clarinet lines blended perfectly with the air of the recorded acoustic.

Finally, I was impressed with how the Epos perfectly integrated the rhythmic parts of well-recorded R&B and rock music into coherent, unified wholes. In “Time Is Tight,” from Booker T. & the MGs’ Greatest Hits (LP, Stax MPS-8505), the rhythm section chugged along in toe-tapping splendor. And “Freedom Rider,” from Steve Winwood’s Winwood (LP, United Artists UAS-9964), had my hips bouncing during Chris Wood’s saxophone solo the same way they did when I first heard this song on Traffic’s John Barleycorn Must Die, when that album was released in 1970.



For $799/pair, what you get in the Epos Epic 2 is remarkable.

For starters, I found the Epic 2 very much at home with classical music. This is not to say they’re for classical music only, but you know what I mean. They were lively, but at the same time non fatiguing. It’s a matter of tonal balance, and the Epic 2 nailed it. No edginess, no excessive brightness, no clarity achieved at the expense of brittle sound. I haven’t heard the other models in the Epic series.

Try as hard as I could, I could find nothing at all irritating about the Epic 2: nothing that kept reminding me I was listening to a pair of inexpensive, if not dirt-cheap, speakers. No obvious colorations. No excessive bloom or boominess in the bass. No top-end tizz. The Epic 2 was beautifully balanced, as I said. The pair of them was capable of reproducing a very wide, deep soundstage and precise imaging.





Epos Acoustics just makes loudspeakers. And they face the perennial challenge of the speaker designer — how to achieve the best possible sound quality at a given price. It’s not hard to make a great loudspeaker if you have a limitless budget. Creating a range that excels at each price-point is rather harder.

The boffins at Epos have been burning the candle late into the night over the last year to develop a completely new range of speakers. The result is the new Epic range, which redefines the benchmark for what can be achieved with modern materials and computer aided design. Epic speakers bear little similarity to earlier Epos models.

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The Epic 2 is the medium-sized two-way model in this new range of loudspeakers from Epos. It has been designed to hold true to Epos’s purist principles of simple crossover, well-behaved drive units and clean understated aesthetics yet deliver a ‘big’ performance way above its price point. Having a larger cabinet and cone than the Epic 1, it offers notable advantages over the Epic 1 in sensitivity, bass output and power handling.

The aim was to produce speakers with such qualities that regardless of price, they could be matched with the best. Epos has developed all new drive units in three sizes together with crossovers voiced for a more sensitive and bolder sounding speaker range – as you would expect from this highly respected British company.

The cosmetic harks back to the early 80’s roots of the Epos brand, but the distinctive removable front carries no screws or grille fixings to clutter its elegant lines. Instead, the front baffle could be seen to be a cosmetic trick to hide the drive units which are mounted conveniently on a sub panel that contains all the screws and fixings, thereby leaving the front clear.

For those who need or want a grille, to cover the moving parts and to prevent small children or animals from causing damage, the Epic range comes complete with a replacement grille panel that is optimised to cover only the drive units and therefore avoids the common problem of degrading the sound quality when running with grilles on. To fit the grille, the baffle needs to be removed and Epos provides a somewhat ingenious device to accommodate this.[/EXPAND]




To read the full review of the EPOS EPIC 2 by Robert Reina click here

To read the full review of the EPOS EPIC 2 by Sam Tellig click here




To read the Epos Epic 2 Specification click here






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