I have to admit to not knowing about Feniks Audio before the Essence Active Sound System, so when I got an email boasting the best desktop speaker around, I had to take a look. This was a successful crowdfunded project which turned out to be something that I’d expect to see in the Apple store sitting next to other premium devices.
Feniks Audio ESSENCE Active Sound System is definitely living up to expectation when it comes to its design. The version I have her is white and it looks minimalist with all the cable ports and buttons located at the back with just the volume wheel located at the top with a tiny indicator light that won’t be annoying if you use it in your bedroom for example and you need pure darkness to sleep.
Elsewhere, the Feniks Audio ESSENCE Active Sound System measures just 12.0 x 19.5 x 17.5cm (WxHxD) Weight, the right channel weights 3.4kg while the left channel came in at just 3.0kg. They have the accurate measurement to make them easy to move around and also fits perfectly well on any desktop without taking up too much space.
It’s powder coating in matte white looks the part if you’re the type that’s got a minimalist setup at home or office. The side panels are a little more prone to scratches if not careful as it’s finished in glossy white powder coating; you can also get it in black, white, red or blue.
The Feniks Audio ESSENCE Active Sound System comes with its own power amplifier which outputs 50W/channel, with ICEpower audio technology, boasting a frequency range of 48-30,000Hz. To get started, you don’t need to install any drivers. On a Mac you will need to change audio output, which takes a min. You can connect via an asynchronous USB Type B connector located on the back , Auxilliary or Toslink Optical connection. You can also plug in headphones via the 3.5mm stereo mini jack also located on the back.
The ESSENCE Active Sound System is also energy or environmentally friendly as it doesn’t consume too much energy and features an auto standby/wake function. Inside the box, you will get a power cord, USB cable, premium mini-XLR speaker cable, user guide, quick start guide, two velvet carrying bags and 2 x microfiber cloths.
Feniks Audio ESSENCE Active Sound System Performance:
With specially engineered coaxial drivers, resonance-free die-cast aluminium cabinet, Essence sounds fantastic and becomes an essential part of your everyday sound experience. It comes packed with an integrated 24-bit/96kHz DAC, custom designed for the ESSENCE by world-renowned electronics specialist Gordon Rankin, based around the latest ESS Sabre DAC. With it’s own built in DAC, you can plug and play with no need to worry about audio processing.
The Essence is built to support all kinds of audio source, whether you’re using Tidal for hi-res audio or simply playing from Spotify, you will experience a whole new level of how sound is suppose to be. The base port is a downfiring one and Feniks Audio have raised it slightly higher off the stand so that the surface you have your speakers on will not affect your audio quality.
For this review, I mainly used it with my Mac and Windows laptops, and judging by the good sound that I experienced, I have no doubt it would be just as good if connected via Toslink Optical. When listening to bass heavy songs or hip hop and RnB, the base sounds punchy, and the treble sounded very clean, no distortion even when it’s turned all the way up and there aren’t any vibration to negatively affect sound quality. Everything seems tightly held together including the stainless steel tension rods inside, to ensure everything is held in place very well.
Want to find out more in detail? Check out Feniks Audio ESSENSE Active Sound System here. You can also ask me questions on the comments below of via Twitter @gadgetsboy.