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Soundkraft Enigma BT Speaker Review

Rate this speaker:

  • 1. Poor (headless panther)

    Votes: 16 8.6%
  • 2. Not terrible (postman panther)

    Votes: 64 34.6%
  • 3. Fine (happy panther

    Votes: 96 51.9%
  • 4. Great (golfing panther)

    Votes: 9 4.9%

  • Total voters
    185

amirm

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This is a review, listening tests and detailed measurements of the Soundkraft Enigma Bluetooth powered DSP speaker. It was sent to me by the company and costs about US $365 (?) a pair.
Soundkraft Enigma Bluetooth Speaker Review.jpg

It comes in real textured wood finishes which warms my heart as a woodworker. I wish the base was less industrial though to go with the natural feel of the rest.
Soundkraft Enigma Bluetooth Speaker Back Panel DSP Review.jpg

A beefy 6 amp/24 volt EPSON (printer) power supply. 50 watts of amplification is provided per channel.

Above is the master speaker. A set of speaker wires connects the slave. I got a choice of whether I wanted the master on the right or left and the Bluetooth name of the speaker!

The front-facing driver is from SB Acoustics and is put to use as a full range driver. The rear tweeter made by German company VISATON is for "ambiance." A down firing port finishes the back.

I like that there is a wired Aux in, allowing high fidelity playback on the desktop.

Measurements that you are about to see were performed using the Klippel Near-field Scanner (NFS). This is a robotic measurement system that analyzes the speaker all around and is able (using advanced mathematics and dual scan) to subtract room reflections (so where I measure it doesn't matter). It also measures the speaker at close distance ("near-field") which sharply reduces the impact of room noise. Both of these factors enable testing in ordinary rooms yet results that can be more accurate than an anechoic chamber. In a nutshell, the measurements show the actual sound coming out of the speaker independent of the room.

Likewise listening tests comply with the latest research into proper evaluation of speakers calling for mono, instead of stereo listening:

The grill is not removable so speaker was tested as you see.

Soundkraft Enigma Measurements
The design of the Engima brings challenges to both our (my) measurement system and overall philosophy of objective speaker analysis due to inclusion of rear firing tweeter. This creates a very complex soundfield as soon as that driver takes over, quickly diminishing accuracy of Klippel NFS using the usual 1000 point measurement. Accuracy sank to 2% by 4 kHz or so and sank fast above that. Fortunately on-axis is not impacted as the rear driver makes no contribution there:

Soundkraft Enigma Bluetooth Speaker Back Panel DSP Frequency Response Measurements.png


Being a lifestyle speaker, it needs to have a grill which causes the reflections/jaggedness that we see above a few Kilohertz. Below that, it is reasonable with very nice bass extension for such a small box. We are talking flat response down to 70 Hz! This is aided by the DSP. F10 where response drops by 10 dB extends to almost 45 Hz which is very nice especially in this category speaker. Remember, this is a speaker roughly the size of European football.

Listening window (dashed green) looks better than on-axis which is nice. Also nice is the far-field response:
Soundkraft Enigma Bluetooth Speaker Back Panel DSP Early Window  Frequency Response Measurements.png


And as a result predicted in-room response, again far field:
Soundkraft Enigma Bluetooth Speaker Back Panel DSP Predicted in-room Frequency Response Measur...png


Distortion is kept under control other at 86 dBSPL. I set the max at 90 as otherwise there was too much distortion:
Soundkraft Enigma Bluetooth Speaker Back Panel DSP THD Distortion Measurements.png


Soundkraft Enigma Bluetooth Speaker Back Panel DSP Relative THD Distortion Measurements.png


To investigate the peaking of distortion, I thought I show the distortion of the main full range driver (which I am calling "woofer") here:
Soundkraft Enigma Bluetooth Speaker Back Panel DSP Woofer THD Distortion Measurements.png


It seems like a mix of resonances and some cone breakup. Harmonics land in less audible part of the hearing band so subjective outcome may not be so bad.

Here is the composite response. Again, remember the "woofer" is full range front driver:
Soundkraft Enigma Bluetooth Speaker Back Panel DSP Driver near-field Measurements.png


Port resonances are strong but fortunately the port is rear facing so less audible than if it were firing forward. We can see the rear tweeter pushing the high frequency response way up but that would be attenuated based on how far it is from rear wall.

Beamwidth paints a rather sad picture as first due to natural beaming of the full range driver:
Soundkraft Enigma Bluetooth Speaker Back Panel DSP Horizontal Beamwidth Measurements.png


But if we watch the contoured colors of the same we see the rear tweeter coming to rescue somewhat:

Soundkraft Enigma Bluetooth Speaker Back Panel DSP Horizontal Directivity Measurements.png


Ditto for vertical dispersion:
Soundkraft Enigma Bluetooth Speaker Back Panel DSP Vertical Directivity Measurements.png


Finally here is our waterfall:

Soundkraft Enigma Bluetooth Speaker Back Panel DSP CSD Waterfall Measurements.png



Soundkraft Enigma Listening Tests
First impression with Enigma placed on my desk elevated 6 inches was quite positive! There is impressive and warm bass. The single speaker could play very loud before gently compressing and creating light static. The effect of rear tweeter was obvious as it lengthened high frequency note decays. It was a bit bright so it was a toss up as to whether you want to block it or leave it as is. It did provide the function I mentioned in measurements: as you rotated to the right of the speaker, the tonality would shift some but still quite acceptable as the acoustic center would rotate between the back and front.

I thought I analyze the effects of some of the resonances using EQ:
Soundkraft Enigma Bluetooth Speaker Equalization.png


Applying these two took away a bit of brightness although it did push back the spatial qualities a hair. Still, I liked it with these than not. The third filter was what was indicated by the predicted-in-room response. I did not like the effect so left it out.

All in all, the sound was quite enjoyable and truly hifi. This was in sharp contrast to bluetooth speakers that sound toylike most of the time. Subjective performance is well above casual look at the objective results.

Conclusions
I went into listening tests having seen the measurements thinking there would be some audible issues. Reality was that this was not the case. The measurements here are complex in their application to subjective response due to much less common use of rear firing tweeter. And lack of accuracy in our high frequency measurements. Even with no EQ, the Enigma is a pleasant speaker to listen to. It brings not only innovation in its organic look and feel, but also with "good bones" underneath to produce good "hi-fi" sound.

I am going to recommend the Soundkraft Enigma speaker. I think you will be hard pressed to find any lifestyle speaker to match its performance.
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As always, questions, comments, recommendations, etc. are welcome.

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AdamG247

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Color me Suprised. Didn’t see that coming! :eek:
 

GXAlan

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The Original Revel’s also featured a rear firing tweeter (as did Eosone speakers and I believe the current PS Audio speakers)
 

MZKM

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I was really surprised when I looked up the price given the looks and performance, I was expecting it to be $1000 or more. Didn’t look up parts cost, but the woofer is SB Acoustics, so given that it’s also powered, I can’t imagine the profit margin is large.
It was sent to me by the company and costs about US $365 (?) a pair.
Price is each. Pair is ~$600 (not sure on shipping). Singapore only.

EDIT: It’s on Etsy?:
 
Last edited:
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amirm

amirm

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The Original Revel’s also featured a rear firing tweeter (as did Eosone speakers and I believe the current PS Audio speakers)
Yeh I was thinking about the original Revel Salon which we had in our listening room at Microsoft.
 

Cars-N-Cans

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Price is each. Pair is ~$600 (not sure on shipping).
Interesting as not all the enclosures have the same shape or profile (for obvious reasons since its made from wood). Seem to go from egg-shaped to bowling ball with speaker. Wonder if it really matters that much?
 

GXAlan

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Yeh I was thinking about the original Revel Salon which we had in our listening room at Microsoft.
It was on the Ultima Gem as well. It’s sort of interesting that they abandoned that approach even though hobbyists have always considered it a useful option. I think Infinity was one early adopter in the Arnie era. I double checked and the new PS Audio speaker has that although the volume is user adjustable.

What would be really interesting to run the NFS on a Bose 901 with the equalizer. I wonder how much of the “no highs no lows must be Bose” is a result of the full range driver technology at the time.
 

dtaylo1066

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I wonder why they did not use the SB Acoustics SB12PACR25-4-Coax driver rather than run the basic mid-bass? The regular SB12PACR25-4 begins to drop off at 2.5 to 2.8K, though I guess they attempt to flatten that to full range with DSP and throw the rear tweet in for some help. Hence the trough in response. The aluminum cones also have plenty of break up frequencies to tame above 3K. Again DSP cannot do all of that. I wonder what it would sound like with DSP x-over on the coax driver and without the rear tweet? But then you would need another amp and cost would go up. Regardless, not a bad deal at all for amp and speaker for less than 400 clams. The target consumer is likely going to love the spherical design and not be too bothered by the trough.

 

MZKM

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I wonder why they did not use the SB Acoustics SB12PACR25-4-Coax driver rather than run the basic mid-bass? The regular SB12PACR25-4 begins to drop off at 2.5 to 2.8K, though I guess they attempt to flatten that to full range with DSP and throw the rear tweet in for some help. Hence the trough in response. The aluminum cones also have plenty of break up frequencies to tame above 3K. Again DSP cannot do all of that. I wonder what it would sound like with DSP x-over on the coax driver and without the rear tweet? But then you would need another amp and cost would go up. Regardless, not a bad deal at all for amp and speaker for less than 400 clams. The target consumer is likely going to love the spherical design and not be too bothered by the trough.

The config they have is cheaper compared to the coax. But, for these looks, I would bet a raise in price wouldn’t deter too many customers. Though maybe they want the rear-firing tweeter for the effect on soundstage.

The rear with the tweeter also looks poor (worse than what Amir got, maybe depends on wood):
rs=w:1164,h:582,cg:true
 

wwenze

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The time of reflected sound cometh

Let's throw one more wrench into the measurement gears while we still haven't even figured out how to correlate directivity with subjectivity

I mean, there is way more subjective bass than the predicted room response. OTOH the on-axis is flat. Hmm there is something the room prediction didn't take into consideration.
 
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amirm

amirm

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The time of reflected sound cometh

Let's throw one more wrench into the measurement gears while we still haven't even figured out how to correlate directivity with subjectivity

I mean, there is way more subjective bass than the on-axis predicted. But then again how much of our energy is actually gotten from on-axis?
:)

Subjective effect for me was easy to identify. It had added more high frequencies. And a bit of reverb. It also provided that off-axis response I wrote about. Gathering this info after the fact from the measurements is not hard.
 
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amirm

amirm

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It was on the Ultima Gem as well. It’s sort of interesting that they abandoned that approach even though hobbyists have always considered it a useful option. I think Infinity was one early adopter in the Arnie era. I double checked and the new PS Audio speaker has that although the volume is user adjustable.
I asked Kevin Voecks about it long time ago and he said they managed to get the directivity they wanted without the rear tweeter. Hence the reason second generation didn't have it.
 
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