Final Electrostatic Loudspeakers
Space, and the illusion of it, is an especially good thing for movies, and surround playback is truly exciting through the Finals. Dolby Digital and DTS soundtracks were vivid and colorful, and even the "Neo" settings on most receivers and pre/pros come to new life. The low-level resolving power of the Finals also provides great benefit to SACD and DVD-A recordings, and in the case of the latter, the Finals really show off the capabilities of this new format. From a timbral perspective, the Finals are crisp and with a slight forward tilt in the upper midrange. Lead instruments and vocals, not to mention dialog, are especially well-served. In choosing amplification for these speakers, I'd lean toward a unit with warm sonic character to complement the system.
As is the case with so many sub-sat implementations, the subwoofer ends up shouldering a lot of the responsibility for the overall sonic cohesion. I'm happy to say that the Final sub is truly outstanding—authoritative, uncolored and extremely fast. The latter characteristic is extremely important in mating with an electrostatic to preserve the overall sonic timing, and with the sub placed within the speaker boundaries, the system really does stay cohesive. For both movies and music, I liked this sub better than almost any other I've auditioned this year.
There are now so many speaker solutions for custom home theater that even the good ones often get lost in the shuffle. Premium on-wall speakers are often a difficult up-sell, because in most demonstration environments, the differences will usually be subtle to the customer. The experience that the Finals are able to deliver is clearly and demonstrably different from almost any other on-wall or in-wall speaker solution currently on the market, and their value proposition should be immediately apparent to even a casual listener. For audiophiles who aren't used to hearing this technology in a home theater context, the Finals should be an especially attractive option.