Living Voice Auditorium R25A Loudspeaker

Play vocals and the distinction between the two speakers becomes wider still, whether it’s the characteristic metre and accents of Ian Dury or the more intimate delivery of Suzanne Vega on the live disc An Evening Of New York Songs and Stories (Cooking Vinyl COOKLP763). It’s all about balance, shape and yes, proportion – the almost unconscious relationship between one word and the next, the way people weight their words to add emphasis and meaning to what they say or sing. The ability of the driving amp to get hold of and control the speaker’s output, right across the bandwidth, is crucial to reproducing this expressive range. In turn, the resulting ability of the R25A to draw you into the music and the performance trumps the greater subtlety and resolution of the OBX RW3 – every time. And let’s not forget that the RW3 is no slouch. It’s long proved well able to look after itself when compared to the competition. But what I’m hearing here is an entry-level model that, on grounds of pure musical communication, betters the previous series flagship. THAT’s a step-change in performance…


In many respects, the R25A’s achievement is built on the advances made with previous models, the window those versions opened on various aspects of performance in turn creating the opportunity to build a better crossover. It should be no surprise that speaker lines, like Focal and Wilson, have made similar generational advances as a result of improvements in cabinet construction and behaviour. But the R25A brings those benefits to the most popular loudspeaker format (the compact floor-stander) at the right price and with the right system matching and musical attributes. If the object of budget esoterica is to deliver the appeal and attractions of high-end audio on something approaching an entry-level budget, then the Auditorium R25A qualifies with honours. At a time when prices for audio equipment seem to be rising at an ear-popping rate, the emphasis amongst more approachable products definitely seems to have shifted from the ‘budget’ to the ‘esoteric’. Living Voice’s Auditorium series – and the R25A in particular – redresses that balance and in doing so, it reopens the very real possibility of serious musical enjoyment without spending car prices on the speakers or the system. Summing up an earlier review of this speaker, I concluded:

“Bargains don’t come much more elegantly packaged or musically compelling than this – and make no mistake, the latest Living Voice is a very serious bargain indeed. If you’ve got £6,000 to spend on speakers you need to hear these. If you’ve got £12,000 to spend on speakers, you still need to hear these – the Auditorium R25A really is that good.”

That conclusion still stands.


Tech Panel

Type:                                      Two-way offset D’Appolito design with rear reflex loading

Driver Complement:                       1x Scanspeak 26mm soft-dome tweeter

2x Scanspeak built, proprietary LV 170mm paper-cone bass/mid