Bronze BXW-10 technical highlights:
The Bronze BX speakers are, in a sense, difficult to characterize, in that they are defined partly by the good things they do, but also by the not-so-good things they refrain from doing. Another way of stating this would be to say that this low-priced system reaches quite high up the high-end sonic performance scale, and where it falls short of what the best mid-priced speakers can do, it does so in a graceful way. So, let’s first consider the speakers’ strengths.
First, let me mention that the Bronze BX models offer an unusual degree of overall refinement and—especially—sonic coherency for their price. By “refinement” I mean to say the speakers offer a very well-balanced combination of detail, textural acuity, and transient speed, with no one performance attribute pressing forward to the detriment of the others. The key, here, is balance. By “coherency” I mean that the Bronze’s offer very, very good integration between their mid-bass drivers and tweeters, so that you have the sense that the fundamentals and harmonics of individual notes always remain “in sync”—a quality that I’ve rarely heard so well executed in speakers in this price range.
Perhaps as a direct result of the aforementioned refinement and coherency, the imaging characteristics of the Bronze models are astonishingly good. There is really no sense of the sound “clinging to the speaker cabinets,” as is so often the case with speakers in this price range. Instead, the sound easily breaks free from the speaker boxes to create believable soundstages that wrap smoothly behind and between the speakers to create large, 3D soundscapes. In this specific respect, the Bronzes do as well or better than many mid-priced speaker systems do.
Voicing for the Bronze models is generally neutral—particularly so from the middle of the midrange on up, but with just the slightest tilt toward the warmer side of strict neutrality. This design choice makes perfect sense to me in light of the fact that Bronze model speakers will likely be used with lower-priced electronics that may have a somewhat colder or brighter-sounding sonic presentation overall.
One point I want to emphasize is that, in the Bronze BX range as well as in the Silver RX range that preceded it, Monitor Audio has taken huge steps forward in overall performance, relative to the sound of its products from, say, five or six years ago. If you know some of those earlier model ranges, you might have found—as I did—that their sound was promising yet not quite right, in particular because of subtle midrange-to-treble range discontinuities and occasional hints of treble edginess (problems some listeners blamed on Monitor’s metal drivers). Well, those problems have been thoroughly banished in both the Bronze BX and Silver RX models, leaving us to enjoy the speed and textural agility of the metal drivers, while also savoring a newfound degree of smoothness and overall balance.
Dynamic capabilities of the Bronze BX system are very good, especially in light of the system’s modest size and price. While these speakers perhaps won’t be the ticket for those who like music or movie reproduction at head-banger volume levels, they will fill even fairly large space with ample output and can handle (most) over-the-top action film sound effects without becoming flustered. If your standards are the overwrought output levels encountered in most theaters, then no, the Bronzes won’t play quite that loudly, but if you ask if they will play as loudly as (or even more loudly than) most homeowners would ever want them to the answer is an emphatic yes.
What don’t the Bronze BX models do? Well, relative to their own more costly Silver RX siblings, I would say that they sound just slightly less extended up high in the treble range (though this is a very subtle difference) and also a touch less sharply or finely focused overall (though once again, there is an unmistakable family resemblance between the two product lines). Similarly, the bass of the Bronze floorstanders is not as deeply extended or quite as tightly controlled as that of their Silver RX counterparts. Finally, the speed and acuity of the Bronze BX C-CAM mid-bass drivers, though excellent in its own right, is not quite the equal of the even better speed and agility of the Silver RX models’ RST mid-bass drivers. But to put these comments in perspective, let me add that in a broader sense, the Bronze BX models sound more like the Silver RX range than not, and for only a fraction of the price, meaning that the Bronze BX offers superb sonic value for money. Remember, too, that differences between the Bronze and Silver models are A) subtle, and B) beautifully balanced and judged, so that the effect when listening to the Bronzes is that of hearing imaginary “Silver Juniors” at play.