The Eikon Audio Room

Gayle Sanders, founder of MartinLogan, brought Bethel Connecticut–based Eikon Audio’s line of loudspeakers and electronics to Capital Audiofest’s Lincoln room, the gear arranged into two systems.

The Image1 System included the Eikontrol System Control Module (specifically the Eikontrol2, a prototype, which when ready will be Bluetooth equipped and a Roon Ready endpoint) and a pair of Image1 floorstanding loudspeakers connected with balanced Eikontrol interconnects. This system is priced at $25,000 in standard veneer, $19,000 in painted black or white. Eikon refers to the active, class-D powered Image1 as an “Active Digital Loudspeaker”; it has a “ceramic based, constrained layer” cabinet, an AMT supertweeter, a 5" midrange driver, and two 8" woofers driven in a “time aligned bass lens” based on a transmission line concept. Each driver has its own amplifier. The speaker boasts a frequency range of 24Hz–24kHz range and weighs 85lb.

The Image.5 System included the Eikontrol2 System Control Module, a pair of Image.5 standmount loudspeakers (placed on Monoprice stands) with those same balanced Eikontrol interconnects. This system is priced at $12,000. The Image.5's cabinets are built similarly to the Image1's but in a smaller, bookshelf-sized frame. It, too, has an AMT supertweeter, joined here by two 5.25" hi-excursion woofers. Again, each driver has its own amplifier. The stated frequency range is 32Hz–45kHz.

Eikon’s two-box Eikontrol System Control Module uses an electronic crossover and Wavelet-based "time and amplitude room correction” to calibrate the speakers based on psychoacoustic algorithms. The result is waveforms that are accurate in the time domain. DSP room correction is also available, supported by the Eikon System Control Module's built-in ADC.

Streaming an enjoyable variety of music via Qobuz—well beyond the usual hi-fi show fare—the smaller Image.5 system (which was playing when I visited) seemed to disappear. Imaging was excellent and spatial cues exceptional within a super-wide soundstage. The Eikon system displayed a super-low noise floor, making it possible to hear deep into the music, taking in the long decay tails and a great sense of space. I could have listened to tunes here all day, but I had to go hard to the next exhibitor’s space.

Anton's picture

You know, 19K out the door, complete, plug and play for a streaming based system is on the edge of reasonable!

I am intrigued.

Thank you!

Ortofan's picture

... that, according to Eikon's Facebook page, they are using an Aurender N20 server/streamer as part of the demo system, so add $12K to the system price. Is $31K still on the edge of reasonable for you?

FredisDead's picture

You can make a correction to a post without attacking the poster. You don't know Anton the way I do from a different board. He does nothing but spread positive vibes everywhere.

Ortofan's picture

To what "attack" do you refer?

Anton was evidently unaware that the demo system also included a separate server/streamer unit - whose presence was omitted from the show report - and which cost $12K.
Presumably, he based his assessment of the price for the Eikon system as a "complete, plug and play for a streaming based system" without that information.

I then inquired if his characterization of the "system" price as being "on the edge of reasonable" still held at the substantially higher value of $31K.

If you perceived my post to be some sort "attack", then you are thoroughly and utterly mistaken.

John Atkinson's picture
Ortofan wrote:
according to Eikon's Facebook page, they are using an Aurender N20 server/streamer as part of the demo system, so add $12K to the system price.

Or they could have used the Volumio streamer, which, at the time of our Favorable review, costs $735.

John Atkinson
Technical Editor, Stereophile

Ortofan's picture

... the Yamaha R-N803 receiver, which incorporates streaming and room correction functions, plus has a DAC, a radio tuner, a phono stage and an amplifier capable of > 130W @ 8 Ω / > 200W @ 4 Ω.

Just add the speakers of your choice.

tonykaz's picture

You seem genuine and valid in your various observations...

I kinda wish you lived in my neighbourhood.

Tony in Florida

AJ's picture

They all end up in Florida eventually Tony. Last stop before audio Valhalla.


RGibran's picture

Chump change for many...

ctbarker32's picture

For those that use Roon, you don't need to buy anything else for the Eikon Kontrol Module since it is plug and play with Roon. They just demo with Aurender for convenience.

Check out my interview with Gayle Sanders from the show.

DarkMonohue's picture

This was my first rodeo (audio show), so I can't claim to have a lot of experience. But I went to many rooms at the show, and the Eikon system really stood out--I was dumbfounded by the ease and precision of the sound, and by the prodigious bass produced by the tiny Image.5s. In terms of value for the money, I thought there was nothing else at the show to compare (good as many other rooms sounded).