Inklang Lautsprecher Manufaktur GmbH describes the Inklang Ayers One as a loudspeaker system that can prove itself as an audiophile solution, especially in small rooms. This represents the entry into the very special corporate philosophy of the Hamburg-based loudspeaker specialist. Designed as a so-called shelf loudspeaker system, the focus here is not only on a particularly appealing sound, but especially on the versatility that offers a particularly simple integration into the living space through the underlying design concept, but above all, of course, through a high degree of individual customisation possibilities to one’s own ideas.
Inklang Ayers One – A Two-Way Bass Reflex System
First of all, it should be noted that, as already described, this is the most compact model of the loudspeaker manufacturer, a so-called bookshelf loudspeaker, which is designed as a two-way bass reflex system.
This is, of course, a product class that is very widely represented on the market, with countless manufacturers offering a variety of solutions in the most diverse price ranges. The customer is thus confronted with a diversity that makes it difficult to choose the optimal system for his or her needs.
From the manufacturer’s point of view, it is therefore of great importance to stand out from this mass of solutions through individual approaches. And this is where the wheat is quickly separated from the chaff on the market, where the offer thins out quite quickly, because a lot of things, especially in the middle and lower price range, can’t really come up with outstanding features when you look at it soberly.
This is not the case with the solutions of Inklang Lautsprecher Manufaktur GmbH, where they can certainly come up with some special features, even in the compact class, and this is primarily due to the corporate philosophy pursued by the Hamburg company.
Individual design, highest demands on sound
Inklang Lautsprecher Manufaktur GmbH was founded by Thomas Carstensen, who, as is often the case in this industry, initially made a career in a completely different segment, but at some point decided to devote himself entirely to his true passion, music and hi-fi.
Thomas Carstensen states that he is committed to the pursuit of perfection and the love of detail, and naturally made this the basis for the corporate philosophy he set.
The basic strategy of the company, which is based in the port of Hamburg, is to design solutions that meet the highest demands in terms of sound quality, but at the same time offer customers the opportunity to realise their individual style according to their personal ideas. Highest flexibility thus plays a decisive role, in several respects.
Loudspeaker systems that become part of the lifestyle and living style
In principle, it is not really easy to harmonise design and fine sound in the truest sense of the word, especially since appealing design is a very subjective story, especially when it comes to loudspeaker systems.
There is a reason why people often speak of a loudspeaker system as a “box”, because this is the classic form that has proven itself over the years, even if it has become slimmer and more delicate over the years.
Fancy design concepts are available on the market in various forms, but if they are also optimised from a technical point of view and thus for the best sound, it quickly becomes very expensive. In addition, many customers have the requirement that a loudspeaker system should fit discreetly into the living environment and not dominate it.
At Inklang Lautsprecher Manufaktur GmbH, too, it ultimately boils down to a very classic design, but with subtle details such as accurately rounded edges as well as chamfered corners, drivers seamlessly embedded in the baffle, which ensure harmonious lines in a graceful form, and which then make it a design object after all. A design object that can be adapted as far as possible to the customer’s individual ideas.
Countless colour variants for the cabinet and the loudspeaker grille
While the selection of many manufacturers in the field of loudspeaker systems is limited to two or three lacquer finishes and a few veneer variants, Inklang Lautsprecher Manufaktur GmbH already offers countless finishes for its smallest system, the Inklang Ayers One. Ten different lacquer finishes are available at no extra charge, ranging from white and grey to black, red and brown. And that’s not all: each of these ten finishes can be ordered in three gloss levels: matt, silk-matt and glossy.
In addition, there are the complete colour catalogues of the wall paint manufacturers Caparol or Farrow & Ball, which can also be ordered in the three mentioned gloss levels. And if you can’t find the exact colour you have in mind, you can make an individual colour code match directly with the manufacturer.
By the way, to get an exact idea of how a paint finish will actually look, the manufacturer offers to send colour samples. According to the company, the representation on the screen alone does not always allow an optimal assessment.
If desired, the Inklang Ayers One can of course be fitted with a matching loudspeaker grill, which is held in position by magnets alone, and here too there is a choice of four different fabric covers. The spectrum ranges from white to silver and anthracite to black.
Simple feet or something more?
Many manufacturers leave it up to their customers, especially with their bookshelf loudspeaker systems, to think about the optimal placement of these solutions. An optional speaker stand is usually the only offer made to the customer. It is therefore not surprising that such solutions are simply placed on a piece of furniture, without any further measures, for example, for optimal decoupling.
Inklang Lautsprecher Manufaktur GmbH wants to take a different approach and offers several optional solutions for the Inklang Ayers One.
First of all, there are matching stands, which are offered in silver or black as the simplest solution. However, we find the optionally available Inklang Ayers One lowboard stand particularly exciting, as it offers the compact loudspeaker system the best conditions for an optimal performance on a corresponding low board, but probably also on a sideboard.
This lowboard stand is available in silver or black and ensures a discreet angle and thus a direct radiation upwards to the listener. At the same time, it appears very discreet and even sets an attractive design accent.
Of course, a conventional stand in the form of the Inklang Ayers One stand should not be missing, whereby it presents itself in a particularly massive form with a weight of 7 kg. It is made of two solid aluminium extrusions and a 15 mm thick milled aluminium stand plate. For safety, the loudspeaker systems are firmly screwed to the stand and by means of height-adjustable knurled feet or spikes, one is prepared for any kind of floor covering. The stand is anodised in black.
It should also be mentioned that the manufacturer also offers the customer suitable cables, whereby a special feature is offered here, namely cables covered with textile fabric, which, for example, when placed on the aforementioned stand, look much nicer than many a conventional solution.
It can also be a little quieter…
For Inklang Lautsprecher Manufaktur GmbH, a loudspeaker system that perfectly integrates into the user’s living environment does not only mean an appearance that perfectly matches the customer’s ideas, it also requires a technical concept that ensures the same in terms of sound.
So it is at first astonishing, but at the same time very welcome, that the Hamburg company explicitly states that they are dealing with a loudspeaker system that is able to perform very appealingly and thus dynamically and rich in detail even at moderate, even at low volumes.
It’s a fact that many loudspeakers are listened to far too loudly, especially by certified hi-fi enthusiasts, and many concepts in the loudspeaker segment that require this in order to guarantee a truly gripping music experience unfortunately miss the reality of many consumers, because they don’t have their own listening room where they can let off steam without limits, but simply a living room and neighbours with whom they strive to get along as harmoniously as possible.
The crucial point here is that some things sound impressive when they’re loud, but the art really lies in the quiet tones, to put it somewhat poetically.
And if you don’t want to design your living room around a hi-fi system, but rather strive to integrate the hi-fi system as discreetly as possible into the living environment, you need another decisive feature of a loudspeaker system, namely a design for the most uncritical, flexible placement possible, even in less than ideal positions, as well as the most even radiation possible into the listening room, instead of a narrowly defined, so-called sweet spot.
And this is exactly what the Hamburg-based company Inklang Lautsprecher Manufaktur GmbH already pursues with its smallest model, our current test candidate Inklang Ayers One.
The technical basics
As already mentioned, the Inklang Ayers One is a classic two-way bass reflex system. The basis for the lower frequency range is a 15 cm long excursion woofer driver with a diaphragm made of glass fibre reinforced paper and a particularly stable aluminium die-cast basket, which in turn is the basis for a massive drive unit. Compression noise is countered by a sophisticated ventilation of the magnet system via two flanks, according to the manufacturer.
For the high frequency range, a silk dome tweeter with a generous 30 mm is used, although it is supposed to start working at a frequency of 800 Hz and is thus to a large extent decisive for the reproduction of the particularly important midrange.
The reason for this early transition, which is achieved by a crossover with an effective slope of 24 dB/octave, is the fact that woofers concentrate the sound radiation more and more as the frequency increases, according to the Hamburg specialist’s assessment, thus counteracting the desired result of the widest possible radiation.
The Inklang Ayers One, however, with its specially designed tweeter, guarantees an almost holographic, broad sound image, according to the manufacturer’s promise.
This is probably also due to the fact that the driver arrangement has been turned upside down, i.e. the tweeter is not mounted on top, as is often the case, but on the bottom, and the woofer is mounted on top of the baffle.
Another interesting feature of the Inklang Ayers One is the bass reflex system, which is routed directly to the front via the baffle. This is particularly important because it allows the Inklang Ayers One to be placed very close to the wall, even in the original sense of the term shelf speaker, although, it should be mentioned here, this is far from ideal and does not allow the Inklang Ayers One to reach its full potential.
A word about the crossover: according to the manufacturer, it was designed by means of computer-aided simulation, whereby care was taken to use as few components as possible in order to minimise any losses on the one hand, but also to be able to rely on the highest quality of the few remaining components for the set budget.
According to the manufacturer, the crossover is optimised for linearity, optimal phase and lowest distortion and is installed in its own airtight chamber so that it cannot be excited by the drivers in any way.
The Inklang Ayers One is connected via a single-wire terminal that accepts bare cables as well as spades or bananas. Praiseworthy is the fact that it doesn’t seem as if bi-wiring or bi-amping is of any importance in this class.
To get to the point… The bare figures
The Inklang Ayers One is a two-way bass reflex system with a 6 inch woofer and a 1.2 inch tweeter that can reproduce a frequency range between 34 Hz and 32 kHz. With an impedance of 4 ohms and a sensitivity of 85 dB it is designed for amplifiers with a power of up to 130 watts. The crossover frequency is stated as 800 Hz.
The weight of 10.4 kg with dimensions of 394 mm in height, 333 mm in depth and 175 mm in width shows that this is a very solidly built loudspeaker system without any vibrations or resonances that could damage the sound. It should also be mentioned that the Inklang Ayers One with its stand measures one metre and 3 centimetres in height, so it also appears very discreet, and including the lowboard stand has dimensions of 425 mm in height, 333 mm in depth, and 209 mm in width, so it can easily find its place in any living environment, even in tight spaces.
In the field
The Hamburg-based company Inklang Lautsprecher Manufaktur GmbH offers its loudspeaker systems primarily directly via its own website. Here, the potential customer not only has all the relevant information at his disposal, but also the extensive configuration options described above, so that he can put together his individual design step by step, which usually arrives three to four weeks after ordering.
After unpacking our test samples, we immediately noticed the really impeccable workmanship. There is not the slightest reason for complaint. Especially the lacquer finish is not as flawless as we have seen from many other manufacturers, but this should only be mentioned in passing.
We placed the Inklang Ayers One on a solid sideboard in the living room, using the fine all-in-one Cambridge Audio EVO 150 as flexible electronics for our test.
By the way, we deliberately chose a placement without an angle, so the speakers were parallel to the electronics, as the manufacturer promises a particularly wide, even radiation into the room. It should be said, however, that turning the speakers inwards by a few degrees usually gives the best results, but the only way to achieve this is to try it out.
The first “aha” experience came when we played the first track at a very low volume, as is usual. As soon as we turned the volume control just a little to the right, the Inklang Ayers One started playing, discreetly of course, but still with a remarkably full sound. Thus, the volume control remained for a long time in regions that normally do not provide real fun. Because yes, let’s be honest, we too often play quite loudly – probably too loudly – when we are sober. But here, we consciously enjoyed the “quiet”, but also very detailed sounds – in view of the not so outstanding efficiency of the Inklang Ayers One, a very exciting experience…
The second “aha” experience came when we sat comfortably on the couch, not in the typical stereo triangle, but simply in the corner, and still didn’t have the feeling that the sound was one-sided or even collapsing. Of course, it was perfect when we took our usual listening position in the middle, but it wasn’t really “bad” before that either. Nor was it on the dining table, far away from any listening position that was even close to optimal.
Why we emphasise this so explicitly is easy to explain: unfortunately, the fact is that many sophisticated hi-fi concepts fail to meet the actual requirements of many consumers. It’s not just a question of a hi-fi system delivering perfect results when you listen to music in a concentrated way on your own, but also when it’s playing discreetly on the side, for example on a cosy evening with family or friends, where you also want to have a relaxed chat over a glass of wine and good food. The performance should not push itself into the foreground with too powerful a presence, but on the other hand it should also deliver a balanced, coherent performance. And that’s exactly what the Inklang Ayers One is capable of, as our test showed.
But, and this is of course also relevant, it is precisely when it comes to this conscious listening that the Inklang Ayers One can also inspire, after all, the company promises a performance that also meets audiophile standards.
The Inklang Ayers One delivers a very harmonious, natural sound with an astonishingly wide stage, whereby the focus was placed on the important mid-frequency range, which is anything but a mistake, in our opinion. Voices and solo instruments are presented very concisely and clearly, but you never have the feeling that details in the upper frequency range are missing, but rather that a coherent whole is created. What is particularly remarkable is that the bass foundation seems to be very solid, even sovereign, which deserves special praise in view of the compact dimensions. At least we didn’t feel the need to bring an additional subwoofer into play.
However, one has to keep in mind that this is a solution for the typical living room, the manufacturer states a room size of up to 25 m2 in which the Inklang Ayers One feels comfortable. An assessment that we can confirm on the basis of our test.
In conclusion… A loudspeaker system to be recommended to good friends.
In conclusion, we were very enthusiastic about the Inklang Ayers One, if only because of the fact that it is priced in a range that neither suggests the absolutely adult appearance of the “smallest” speakers from Inklang Lautsprecher Manufaktur GmbH, nor the options offered here for individual customisation to one’s own design ideas with simultaneously impeccable workmanship. Especially the latter point, which many other manufacturers have to pay for, is an essential part of the corporate philosophy of Inklang Lautsprecher Manufaktur GmbH.
Loudspeaker systems that know how to combine audiophile sound with outstanding design, that fit seamlessly into the living space and thus the living environment of the user, that allow music enjoyment to flow into everyday life – that is the promise of Inklang Lautsprecher Manufaktur GmbH. A promise that the Inklang Ayers One can undoubtedly keep. In short, the Inklang Ayers One is a speaker system to recommend to good friends!
Getting to the point
The Inklang Ayers One is the smallest offspring of the Inklang Lautsprecher Manufaktur GmbH, which, however, in the form of a very compact shelf speaker designed as a two-way bass reflex system, proves to be a very mature, very sovereign performing solution. Above all, the very, very appealing performance with a well-balanced, detailed imaging, which guarantees relaxed enjoyment for hours on end even at a low volume, must be emphasised as a special feature of this solution. The fact that you get these virtues at such an attractive price already deserves a clear recommendation, but in this case there are also the countless possibilities for individual design, which you otherwise look for in vain in this price range.
|INKLANG AYERS ONE
|Inklang Ayers One from € 1.598,-
Inklang Ayers One stand € 249,-
Inklang Ayers One Lowboard Foot € 60,-
|INKLANG LAUTSPRECHER MANUFAKTUR GMBH
|Inklang Lautsprecher Manufaktur GmbH
|Inklang Lautsprecher Manufaktur GmbH
|More about this manufacturer at HIFI BLOG
The Inklang Ayers One, even if it is the smallest loudspeaker system of the Hamburg-based Inklang Lautsprecher Manufaktur GmbH, already represents everything that constitutes the special philosophy of the company. In a compact, extremely elegant form, a two-way bass reflex system is available, which inspires due to its remarkably natural, very detailed and, above all, broadly radiating performance into the room. This is a system that has audiophile virtues even if you love quiet sounds, and it should not be placed in a separate listening room, but first and foremost in the living room. Countless design variants guarantee that it fits perfectly, not only acoustically but also visually.
- very appealing, timelessly elegant design
- impeccably finished
- extremely flexible in use
- absolutely uncritical in terms of placement
- inspires with full performance even at the lowest level
- never pushes itself into the foreground
- natural, detailed imaging
- despite its compact dimensions, even in the bass it is sovereign
- Numerous finishes available
- optional accessories for flexible placement
- No disadvantage evident
- Cambridge Audio EVO 150
- Roon NUCLEUS+