Rois Acoustics Emphasis 314

Rois Acoustics Emphasis 314

Emphasis 314 replaced the reference loudspeakers (ATC SCM50 PSL) and for the most time of the review was driven by the Parasound HCA3500 power amplifier. The rest of the system was the same I'm using on a regular basis, including the Teac Esoteric P70/D70 CD Player/DAC pair and the Melos Plus Series Line preamplifier.
Initial setup proved a rather easy process, as it seems that there no special requirements or difficulties. The floor area needed is typical for a floorstanding loudspeaker and Emphasis 314 will easily be accommodated even in a relatively small space. In the final setup used for the review, the loudspeakers were spaced a little less than three meters both from the listening position and between each other.
Prevailing first impression during the listening test was that Emphasis 314 features a dynamic, fast and clean sound character and has no difficulty to fill the space and to lure the listener into the music. The loudspeaker can operate at sufficiently high levels without any audible trace of compression and without being tiresome. Given a suitable amplifier, the 314 will comfortably cover even a medium-sized room and, also, will support a setup where the distance from the loudspeakers is about three meters or slightly higher. It, definitely, has some limits, beyond which it is clear that the 5.5-inch woofers do not allow it to go, but one should not forget the price asked. Based on this, Emphasis 314 easily surpasses any reasonable expectation.

Rois Acoustics Emphasis 314
Rois Acoustics Emphasis 314

Towards the lower part of the audio spectrum, the loudspeaker offers a good extension and detail description capacity. These attributes enable to perform well with any type of music program, including some rather extreme electronic compositions but also with acoustic instruments, symphony orchestras, piano and organ. The listener will not miss any crucial information here but at the same time there is no tendency to overstate lower bass parts to gain some unneeded impression of excessive punch. It is evident that Rois Acoustics has chosen a rather conservative approach in voicing, with only a slight emphasis in the area of the low frequency where the usual rhythmic patterns are, just to underline the presence of the loudspeaker. The end result, seems to me, is really quite successful. For sure, 314 cannot be classified as a verbose design, living space for the small details to be clearly audible while, at the same time, keeps the sound tight without sounding uncomfortable hasty or limited in volume. Large sized musical instruments ("size" mainly expressing the range of low frequencies they produce) are attributed to proper scale, neither magnified nor compressed in size. As a result, the listener feels comfortable and the overall balance remains quite neutral, an accomplishment that should be judged as a success.
Midrange is, probably, the part of the loudspeaker's behavior that determines the most of its character. Here, the Emphasis 314 gives a sense of neutrality and a feeling of easiness to the description both of the solo musical instruments and the orchestra as a whole. The listener has a pleasant sense of proximity in combination with good analysis and receives a quite transparent description of the whole recording mix without getting any feeling of fatigue and without constantly being under the impression that the loudspeaker imposes some arbitrary values. In fact, it is quite easy to leave behind the system and its technical aspects, and to devote yourself to what you are listening to, something that should definitely be attributed as a benefit. Voice (both in solo and chorus recordings) was described with immediacy, a sense of fullness in timbre and good articulation, with a quite natural feeling of presence and good description of motion. The loudspeaker is capable to create the perception of a large orchestra in an acoustically large concert venue preserving the, sometimes, grandiose character of such a recording.
In general, Emphasis 314 proved to be very good on soundstage creation. The listener is offered a well focused stereo image whose main attributes are its good sense of width and depth and the feeling of the air between the instruments. The loudspeaker properly manages the details of the recording associated with both the orchestras size and the acoustics cues of the space where this recording was realized, the end result being quite natural and pleasant.
In the high frequency part of the spectrum, it seemed to offer good extension and quite good description capability, retaining its relaxed character and the absence of harshness, even in relatively high SPLs. Musical instruments with strong percussive character demonstrated the virtues of the tweeter in both the attack and decay/sustain renderings. On the downside, Emphasis 314 offered a little more hasty release compared to what I'm used to by the reference loudspeaker, leading to a somewhat more dry feeling, but nothing to serious. Description of harmonics created an impression of fullness and the loudspeaker sounded well balanced in brightness and quite pleasant, most probably trending slightly towards a rounded character. This last attribute could be proved a good thing, especially in combination with some recordings of mediocre quality, the type most of us have in our record collection.


Emphasis 314 shows in the best possible way that a reasonably priced product can be not only acceptable, but really interesting. The way Rois Acoustics brought out this design challenge appears to be quite far from what we would consider as a formal, fail-safe approach. The result is rewarding indeed: A pleasant, neutral enough and well balanced floorstander, suitable for all types of music, easy to drive, and well suited for small and medium sized rooms. Highly recommended!

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