Final Electrostatic Loudspeakers
Installing the wall plates is simple, though I would have liked to have seen some kind of integrated wire management. The speakers themselves are very lightweight and are easily attached to the wall mounts, which are nicely machined to fit snugly into the integrated mounting bracket behind the panels. Once the panels are attached to the mount, the mounts become largely invisible, though the nature of this technology is that you can actually see through the driver and the protective mesh.
Once installed, the mounting solution allows the installer to precisely aim the panels to their best effect toward the listening area. Electrostatics in general have a wide perceptual dispersion pattern, but audiophiles familiar with this technology know that you can literally "beam-in" the best soundstaging with minute changes in tilt and pan. For my own listening setup, I used the panels pretty much parallel to the sweet spot, with just a shade of toe-in. Because there's so much driver area to these speakers, the vertical dispersion is unusually large, which should be an obvious benefit for a wall-mounted plasma installation, where the screen is usually at an elevation to the viewing area.
Electrostatic speakers have some clear benefits over more conventional speaker designs. Because there's no box, there's no cabinet resonance, and because they're an open dipole, there's uncommon spaciousness between front and rear of the soundstage. Also, because there's no crossover from the upper bass range up through highest treble, there's no distortion introduced by such circuits. The result of these traits usually adds up to an exceedingly uncolored, three-dimensional experience. In the best implementations, a good electrostatic sounds like there's no speaker at all, just highly-resolved music floating in space.
The Final system was well able to deliver these benefits. In particular, the panels excel at the representation of space and in the resolving of low-level sonic detail. In two-channel stereo mode, the mains were so spacious and precise that I found myself looking more than once to make sure the center speaker wasn't playing along with them. When switched into a surround listening mode, the overall spatial effect was so holographic as to be almost disconcerting. In terms of creating a three-dimensional sonic space that seems to extend beyond the speaker boundaries, I've heard few home theater speakers of any type or size that compete with what the Finals can do.