Brilliantly good - PERLISTEN® Audio

Genial Gut

“The S-Series deliver exquisite measured values ​​that are very, very rarely encountered"

Brilliantly good

Review

HifiTest

Are you interested in hi-fi and home cinema and don’t know Perlisten Audio (yet)? Time to change that and test the top series extensively as a 5.1 set.

Perlisten is a fairly young US speaker brand. The first products came onto the market in 2020, and the loudspeakers have been available in Germany since 2022 from the Hamburg-based distributor Audio Reference. Perlisten stands for “Perceptual Listening”, i.e. for “comprehensive (perceptive) hearing”. Even if the brand is still young, company founders Daniel Roemer and Lars Johansen can each look back on decades of experience in loudspeaker development and construction. In their own company, they have now set themselves the goal of nothing less than offering the ultimate audio performance with their products, which has not been achieved before. Your tool for this is not esotericism, but meticulous engineering work in simulation and practice.

Dispersion characteristics

The characteristic feature of the Perlisten loudspeakers is the central mid/high unit. In the noble S series, these are two small carbon cone drivers with a membrane diameter of 28 millimeters, with a beryllium dome in between. The two mid-range drivers with extremely stiff membranes were integrated into the tweeter’s waveguide – in other words, a D’Appolito arrangement in the smallest of spaces. In this way, the radiation is strongly bundled in the vertical direction, while remaining wide and homogeneous in the horizontal plane. In this way, ceiling and floor reflections are largely eliminated and accurate imaging is achieved. Due to the light and at the same time stiff carbon membranes, the midrange drivers can also be coupled much deeper than conventional domes. Perlists call this arrangement Directivity Pattern Control DPC.

Floorstanding speaker S7t

The full-fledged S7t floorstanding speakers – t stands for tower – are already visually impressive, but also quite elegant. At first, second and even the nth glance, they show exquisite workmanship down to the smallest detail. There really isn’t anything to complain about, which you can expect given the unit price of just under 9,000 euros. The central element of the S7t is the DPC mid/high unit. A total of four 180 mm cone woofers sit above and below. With these, too, the developers didn’t simply reach for the chassis shelf, but instead use the same carbon material that is already used in the midrange drivers of the DPC unit. This carbon fiber material (TPCD), known as TeXtreme, is constructed using a special layering process, which further increases strength. The S7t is ventilated by two bass reflex tubes in the bottom of the housing. These can also be closed if necessary.

Center S7c and Surround S4s

The center speaker S7c has the same chassis assembly as the main speaker S7t, but here in a closed housing. Two S4s are used as surround speakers in our 5.1 set. With a sloping baffle and comparatively shallow housing depth, this is ideally suited as a rear or height speaker. It is equipped with an identical DPC mid-high array and a TeXtreme woofer.

Subwoofer D212s

The S7t floorstanding loudspeakers already offer excellent low-frequency reproduction; in stereo use as hi-fi loudspeakers they certainly do not require subwoofer support. In home cinema use, on the other hand, you can hardly have enough depth and level stability, so the extra bass specialist makes sense. And with our 5.1 set, Perlisten goes all out with the D212s.

Two 12-inch speakers in push-pull mode ensure powerful low-bass thunderstorms. The membranes of the long-throw are made of carbon again, the voice coils are made of light aluminum, driven by massive permanent magnets. With 3.0 kilowatts, the power amplifier used provides plenty of power reserves. 48-bit DSP and 32-bit ARM M4 Cortex processor ensure controlled bass performance. The subwoofer can be controlled via its 2.4-inch touch display or conveniently from the listening position via the Perlisten subwoofer app. Level, phase position, crossover frequencies and equalizer can be set.

THX Dominus

Perlisten is particularly proud of the fact that the S series is the world’s first and so far only loudspeaker series to be certified according to the new THX Dominus standard. Dominus is the highest THX home cinema standard, even more demanding than THX Ultra. In order to receive this certification, the loudspeakers must be able to fill a room of up to 184 cubic meters with 120 decibels of sound – and at every listening position with a distortion factor of less than 0.5%!

Fascinating sound

Loudspeakers and subwoofers from the S series deliver exquisite measured values that are very, very rarely encountered (see measurement technology). This is evidence of careful engineering, but is still no guarantee for just such a sound. The perlists have to prove this in practical use with music and film sound in our test cinema. And they do it in the most impressive way. I don’t want to lose myself too much in details here, because it’s difficult to single out one or the other, the sound is simply terrific in every respect. The DPC unit works excellently, the imaging accuracy is of a precision that I don’t think I’ve heard before in such perfection. With this level of accuracy, the homogeneous overall picture does not fall by the wayside. The coupling of the respective frequency ranges and loudspeakers works splendidly.

The best thing of all, however, is that the perlist set shows enormous joy in playing and breathes the necessary soul into music of all kinds. In this way, acoustic film moods are conveyed in an impressive way that gets under your skin. The fact that action hits pose no problems for either the subwoofer or the satellites, even at extreme levels, does not need to be mentioned in detail. Ultra deep, loud and at the same time mercilessly clean and honest – if you want to let it rip, you can do it with the pearlists in an extremely sovereign way. In this way, acoustic film moods are conveyed in an impressive way that gets under your skin. The fact that action hits pose no problems for either the subwoofer or the satellites, even at extreme levels, does not need to be mentioned in detail. Ultra deep, loud and at the same time mercilessly clean and honest – if you want to let it rip, you can do it with the pearlists in an extremely sovereign way. In this way, acoustic film moods are conveyed in an impressive way that gets under your skin. The fact that action hits pose no problems for either the subwoofer or the satellites, even at extreme levels, does not need to be mentioned in detail. Ultra deep, loud and at the same time mercilessly clean and honest – if you want to let it rip, you can do it with the pearlists in an extremely sovereign way.

Conclusion

The surround set from Perlisten’s S series is a magnificent speaker system in every respect. Uncompromising engineering with the same implementation results in a fantastically good sound that is second to none, both in hi-fi and in home cinema use.

Other news & articles

Dual-driver sub dives deep

“There’s enough power and bass extension here to give you concussion, but once your head clears you’ll also be impressed by this dynamic sub’s precision and accuracy”

READ MORE
A-series is only available in specific geographical markets. Please contact your local dealer or distributors.