After the well-deserved success of its TOY Speaker range, Sonus Faber has now replaced this series with CHAMELEON. As we have come to expect from the Italian manufacturer, this new range is limited to just a few products. It includes one 2-way monitor speaker, the CHAMELEON B, and one tower speaker, the CHAMELEON T. And for home cinema enthusiasts, there is also some middle ground in the form of the CHAMELEON C. Now, although these speakers may appear similar in size and aesthetic to previous ranges, this couldn’t be further from the truth. Everything has been completely redesigned.
The CHAMELEON B (for Bookshelf) is a superb monitor speaker. The entire speaker (with the exception of the sides) is covered in striking black tanned leather. It’s worth a mention that the Chameleon B speakers have been designed and manufactured entirely by hand in Italy by Sonus Faber itself. You’d be hard-pressed to find any other European-made speakers for this price! The drivers also boast an original Sonus Faber design. The excellent 28mm fabric dome tweeter takes care of the high frequencies and, unusually, doesn't used ferrofluid to cool the speakers, while the bass and mid registers are covered by the 150mm mid-woofer.
Its membrane and motor have been optimised to ensure maximum transient response and linearity. It uses a bass reflex loading system. The port opens out underneath the speaker through an acoustic filter. When placed on the stand, this system creates a small inset, which has the effect of making the lowest bass frequencies more dynamic and reducing colouration. On the back of the speaker is an extremely well-made terminal that can be used for bi-wiring or bi-amplification, and accepts banana and fork plugs as well as stripped cables.
But the really original feature of this speaker is that is can be customised, as the side panels are interchangeable! The Chameleon B tower speakers come in the colour of your choice with 4 flanks, and over time you can collect side panels in the other colours. These side panels are simple to assemble, locking easily into place in your Hi-Fi speaker. They have been perfectly damped and are completely acoustically neutral. The production quality of these speakers is beyond reproach, and the quality of both the assembly and finish blow the competition in this price range out of the water. They are some well-built competitors out there, mostly coming out of Shenzhen, but they're nowhere near as high quality as the Chameleon (there, we said it!).
And as we have come to expect from our Italian friends, its bite is as good as its bark! These speakers boast the same high quality that first defined the brand when it was founded over 20 years ago. They deliver sound quality on a par with far more ambitious models such as the Olympica I bookshelf speakers. The timbre is rich, without any excessive brightness. The sound stage is full and deep, and works wonders on good live recordings. The midrange and treble are both excellent for strings, vocals and brass in particular. The bass is impressive for a speaker of this size, staying consistently precise and articulated across the many different musical genres we tested these speakers with. When used with a high quality (amp and source, these little speakers can produce a sound that is full of both emotion and neutrality.
Yet another success for the renowned Italian manufacturer! We're big fans of the Chameleon speakers.
Diapason d'Or - 2015 Franck
On Top Audio - 2015
System format: 2
Tweeter: 29mm fabric dome with no ferrofluid
Midrange/woofer: 150 mm.
Filtering: 2.5 kHz
Frequency response: 50 Hz - 25.000 Hz
Impedance: 4 Ohms
Gain factor: 87 dB/w/m
Power handling: 30-150 w
Dimensions: 315.5 x 185 x 283 mm
Weight: 6.7 kg