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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

mmi

Active Member
Joined
Jan 15, 2021
Messages
108
Likes
121
Strong subjective impression shows how much good response in the midrange/low treble up to 1.5kHz matters, how inconsequential a rougher treble can be
Hence why the Sonos are so good IMO, as shown by measurements of the old One SL, Roam and Move. Plus it only gets better with Trueplay’s magic 20 second room correction.
 

amper42

Major Contributor
Joined
Dec 21, 2020
Messages
1,221
Likes
1,623
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.
View attachment 217611
It comes in real textured wood finishes which warms my heart as a woodworker. I wish the bass was less industrial though to go with the natural feel of the rest.
View attachment 217612
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:

View attachment 217613

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:
View attachment 217614

And as a result predicted in-room response, again far field:
View attachment 217615

Distortion is kept under control other at 86 dBSPL. I set the max at 90 as otherwise there was too much distortion:
View attachment 217616

View attachment 217617

To investigate the peaking of distortion, I thought I show the distortion of the main full range driver (which I am calling "woofer") here:
View attachment 217618

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:
View attachment 217619

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:
View attachment 217620

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

View attachment 217621

Ditto for vertical dispersion:
View attachment 217622

Finally here is our waterfall:

View attachment 217623


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:
View attachment 217624

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.
-----------
As always, questions, comments, recommendations, etc. are welcome.

Any donations are much appreciated using: https://www.audiosciencereview.com/forum/index.php?threads/how-to-support-audio-science-review.8150/
@amirm - I went to the site to try to purchase a pair but the web does not allow you to purchase outside Singapore.
Where did you find a $365 a pair? The closest I saw was $570 a pair but again no USA shipping available. Any ideas? My guess is the builder may not be ready to take orders generated from this review? lol
 

Ilkless

Major Contributor
Joined
Jan 26, 2019
Messages
1,403
Likes
2,682
Location
Singapore
@amirm - I went to the site to try to purchase a pair but the web does not allow you to purchase outside Singapore.
Where did you find a $365 a pair? The closest I saw was $570 a pair but again no USA shipping available. Any ideas? My guess is the builder may not be ready to take orders generated from this review? lol

They seem to be selling on Etsy for international orders.
 

SeriousSam70

Member
Joined
Jul 19, 2021
Messages
31
Likes
18
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.
View attachment 217611
It comes in real textured wood finishes which warms my heart as a woodworker. I wish the bass was less industrial though to go with the natural feel of the rest.
View attachment 217612
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:

View attachment 217613

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:
View attachment 217614

And as a result predicted in-room response, again far field:
View attachment 217615

Distortion is kept under control other at 86 dBSPL. I set the max at 90 as otherwise there was too much distortion:
View attachment 217616

View attachment 217617

To investigate the peaking of distortion, I thought I show the distortion of the main full range driver (which I am calling "woofer") here:
View attachment 217618

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:
View attachment 217619

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:
View attachment 217620

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

View attachment 217621

Ditto for vertical dispersion:
View attachment 217622

Finally here is our waterfall:

View attachment 217623


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:
View attachment 217624

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.
-----------
As always, questions, comments, recommendations, etc. are welcome.

Any donations are much appreciated using: https://www.audiosciencereview.com/forum/index.php?threads/how-to-support-audio-science-review.8150/

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.
View attachment 217611
It comes in real textured wood finishes which warms my heart as a woodworker. I wish the bass was less industrial though to go with the natural feel of the rest.
View attachment 217612
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:

View attachment 217613

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:
View attachment 217614

And as a result predicted in-room response, again far field:
View attachment 217615

Distortion is kept under control other at 86 dBSPL. I set the max at 90 as otherwise there was too much distortion:
View attachment 217616

View attachment 217617

To investigate the peaking of distortion, I thought I show the distortion of the main full range driver (which I am calling "woofer") here:
View attachment 217618

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:
View attachment 217619

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:
View attachment 217620

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

View attachment 217621

Ditto for vertical dispersion:
View attachment 217622

Finally here is our waterfall:

View attachment 217623


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:
View attachment 217624

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.
-----------
As always, questions, comments, recommendations, etc. are welcome.

Any donations are much appreciated using: https://www.audiosciencereview.com/forum/index.php?threads/how-to-support-audio-science-review.8150/
 

Aperiodic

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May 2, 2019
Messages
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I went into listening tests having seen the measurements thinking there would be some audible issues.
Doesn't doing this kind of leave the door open for confirmation bias to creep in? That's why Stereophile and their psychic golden ear reviewers do it in the reverse sequence (although I heard they are dropping their measuring and going 100% subjective).
 

SeriousSam70

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Jul 19, 2021
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@amirm :
After watching your explanatory video, I finally understood the superiority of listening to a mono configuration vs. the usual stereo configuration when subjectively assesing/reviewing a speaker.
But I still have a question: do you use only the corresponding L or R signal for that speaker or do you use the sum of the two signals combined înto one mono signal ?
 

brandonhall

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I love seeing "new and different" at a competitive price point. Bravo to Soundkraft and their team!
 

Spkrdctr

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That's odd. I can't see how you can put tube connectors on them. Just sayin :)
 

CedarX

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Looks like a giant eye watching at you... :eek: Reminds me of these scary 70's Elipson AS40
Dum questions:
  • Does the rear-firing tweeter need to be exactly opposite to the front driver? I assume the answer is "no" since it relies on room reflections. But ideally, wouldn't you want an orientable rear tweeter?
  • Being a spherical shape, is there a "baffle-step" effect to take into consideration in the near-field measurement interpretation?
 

MZKM

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Doesn't doing this kind of leave the door open for confirmation bias to creep in? That's why Stereophile and their psychic golden ear reviewers do it in the reverse sequence (although I heard they are dropping their measuring and going 100% subjective).
Yes, but Amir wants to apply DSP to validate/corroborate the measurements. He could do it twice, once before and once after, but that’s take time (and you can always find other purely subjective reviews, so Amir wouldn’t really be adding much).
 
Last edited:

Angsty

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As always, beauty is in the eye of the beholder. The point is that someone has made an effort to design something that plenty of people will probably like.
It's another thing if "the eye' is pointed back at the beholder! :p
 

Dennis_FL

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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.

More challenges are coming. How will you test something like the Dyneaudio Focus 30….which has a DAC, amp, streamer, and room eq, built in?
 

robjordan63

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"I wish the bass was less industrial though..." I guess you mean "base", given you're speaking about the physical design. It is a bit confusing in this context.
 

Sonny1

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Very cool! I might have to get these for my desktop. They remind me of my ex girlfriend from certain angles. Just sayin…
 

Timcognito

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It comes in real textured wood finishes which warms my heart as a woodworker.
@amirm Wow how come you never talk about woodworking. I am a kindred spirit in that regard including a early attempt at some speakers with KEF drivers in the early 80's. My brother has them and they still sound good thanks to KEF. Large scale steam bending has been a recent challenge for me. What are you working on?
 

DrZingo

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I wonder how will it perform after removing the grille.

“My mind is going. I can feel it. I can feel it.”

EE46A295-E2F9-4619-ABF4-E5BE0D31C0E3-1536x960.jpg
 

balletboy

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Very cool! I might have to get these for my desktop. They remind me of my ex girlfriend from certain angles. Just sayin…
According to amir, it comes in textured finishes. Reminds me of an ex-girlfriend or two.

Only slightly more seriously, some people do anthropomorphise audio, which I find rather worrying, whether balloon-like speakers or giant attenuating knobs, or things having personalities. There may be some transference going on, which would explain a lot go bling hifi. To me audio is the opposite of children, or at least as they used to be described, best heard and not seen. With respect to your ex, these giant globes are making a very in-your-face statement, not to my personal liking, but a good effort and eco-friendly. At least, according to amir, when provoked, they don't squeak.
 
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