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Review: Revival Audio Sprint 3 Bookshelf Speakers: Affordable Excellence in Sound

Review: Revival Audio Sprint 3 Bookshelf Speakers: Affordable Excellence in Sound - Discover the Revival Audio Sprint 3 speakers, where affordability meets high-fidelity sound, in this in-depth review

In the world of hi-fi audio, Revival Audio, a new loudspeaker manufacturer, has entered the scene with two distinct series: the Atalante and the Sprint. While the Atalante series explores the limits of possibility, the Sprint series is aimed at beginners. In this review, we’ll look closer at the Sprint 3 compact speaker, notably one of the most affordable speakers in its category.

Revival Audio is a new and promising player in high-fidelity audio, founded by the veteran audio engineer Daniel Emonts, whose rich background includes work with renowned brands such as Altec Lansing, Focal, and Dynaudio. With a dedication to delivering exceptional sound quality, Revival Audio brings a fresh perspective to the industry. Their debut Sprint series, exemplified by the Sprint 3 compact speaker, demonstrates a commitment to balancing affordability with high-end performance, showcasing innovative design choices and a focus on quality components. Revival Audio’s approach, characterized by creativity, passion, and a commitment to excellence, positions them as a rising star in the competitive hi-fi market, leaving audiophiles eager to see what the future holds for their Atalante series and beyond.

The Art of Affordability

Designing an affordable speaker without compromising quality is a challenge. Revival Audio has balanced cost-effectiveness and performance, and the Sprint 3 reflects the creativity, passion, and skill of its developer, Daniel Emonts, a respected figure in the audio industry.

Technical Specs

Revival Audio Sprint 3
principle2-way monitor speakers with bass reflex opening on the back
Tweeter driver28 mm Revival Audio soft dome tweeter, equipped with the patented Revival Audio ARID (Anti Reflection Inner Dome) technology, with a large rear chamber with a low resonance frequency of 650Hz
Low/midrange driver1 × 18cm Revival Audio BSC midrange driver (Basal Sandwich Construction)
sensitivity87 dB at 2.83V/1 meter
Nominal impedance6 ohms
ColorWalnut, black, oak
Recommended amplifier power30-150 watts
Crossover frequency1800Hz
HousingBass reflex opening on the back
Dimensions (H/W/D)380 x213×307 millimeters
particularitiesoptional matching speaker stands
Recommended room size15-35m²
Break-in timeapprox. 100 hours
Frequency response55Hz-22kHz (+/-3dB)
WeightWeight per speaker: 9.1 kilograms, shipping weight per pair 22.1 kilograms, weight stand (pair) 13.2 kilograms, weight per stand 5.65 kilograms
Guarantee periodten years
Price990 euros

Impressive Specs

The specifications of the Revival Audio Sprint 3 paint a picture of a compact speaker that defies its budget-friendly price point. At the core of this two-way system lies a carefully chosen set of components: a 28-millimeter dome tweeter and an ample 18-centimeter woofer. Covering a frequency range that spans from 55 to 22,000 Hertz, the Sprint 3 offers a versatility that allows it to tackle a wide array of audio content. Its impressive sensitivity, measured at 87 decibels, ensures these speakers can fill your space with sound even with moderate amplification.

What truly stands out is the unconventional front panel, known as the “Elytron,” which is not perfectly smooth. This distinct design choice optimizes the radiation characteristics of the tweeter and woofer, resulting in a remarkable and stable treble response. This is not merely an anecdotal observation but a quality verified by measurements and listening tests.

The proprietary drivers further set the Sprint 3 apart. The tweeter features a rear absorption chamber and an asymmetrical dome suspension, contributing to its precise and optimized radiation. Meanwhile, the woofer boasts a unique sandwich construction with a basalt fiber membrane, adhesive, felt, and foam. The innovative use of basalt in the driver construction is noteworthy, as it’s an unconventional material choice, demonstrating the manufacturer’s commitment to pushing boundaries. Despite the absence of neodymium magnets often found in high-end drivers, Revival Audio has leveraged ferrite magnets effectively in their design. When properly utilized, these magnetic components are far from inferior, and the Sprint 3 is a testament to this principle.

Moreover, Revival Audio’s philosophy on crossover design is refreshingly pragmatic, focused on achieving sonic excellence rather than adhering to a rigid philosophy. Their commitment to fine-tuning the crossover by ear and validating results through measurements demonstrates a dedication to delivering a harmonious and balanced sound profile. With “as few components as possible, but all that is needed,” Revival Audio ensures that nothing is extraneous in its design.

The Sprint 3’s impressive specs, from its unique front panel to proprietary driver technology and pragmatic crossover design, collectively contribute to a speaker that punches well above its weight and price class. These elements converge to provide a listening experience that is both detailed and satisfying, making the Sprint 3 a standout choice in the realm of affordable high-fidelity audio.

Innovative Driver Technology

Revival Audio’s Sprint 3 speaker series is not just another run-of-the-mill sound system; it’s a testament to innovative driver technology that propels it to a league of its own. Revival Audio’s decision to develop its drivers is the centerpiece of this innovation, which elevate the listening experience remarkably.

Tweeter with Rear Absorption Chamber and Asymmetrical Dome Suspension: The 28-millimeter dome tweeter in the Sprint 3 features a rear absorption chamber. This design element is pivotal in optimizing the tweeter’s radiation behavior. Adding an asymmetrical dome suspension is another brilliant touch designed to enhance the accuracy and precision of the high-frequency reproduction. Such meticulous attention to detail in tweeter design ensures that the Sprint 3 delivers clear, detailed, and immersive treble frequencies.

Woofer with a Unique Sandwich Construction: What truly sets Sprint 3 apart is the woofer’s innovative construction. Revival Audio has opted for a sandwich-style design for the woofer’s membrane, which includes basalt fiber fabric, adhesive, felt, and foam layers. This unconventional choice of basalt fiber as the primary material for the woofer membrane is a remarkable departure from conventional norms in driver technology. The use of basalt is relatively uncommon, even in the world of high-end audio. Basalt offers a combination of desirable characteristics, including high stiffness, good damping properties, and resistance to extreme temperatures, all of which contribute to excellent sound quality.

Furthermore, employing adhesive, felt, and foam layers in the sandwich construction adds a unique dimension to the woofer’s performance. These layers improve damping, reducing unwanted resonances and colorations in the audio output. As a result, the bass and midrange produced by the woofer maintain a high level of clarity and precision.

Despite the widespread preference for neodymium magnets in high-end driver technology, Revival Audio has demonstrated that using ferrite magnets doesn’t necessarily equate to a compromise in performance. Their speakers effectively leverage commercially available ferrite magnets to deliver remarkable sound quality, a testament to the principle that carefully selecting and applying components can yield impressive results.

Revival Audio’s innovative driver technology in the Sprint 3 is a game-changer. Their meticulous attention to detail in designing both the tweeter and woofer, their creative use of basalt fiber, and their successful use of ferrite magnets demonstrate a commitment to pushing the boundaries of what’s possible in audio reproduction. This approach enhances the clarity, precision, and detail of sound. It distinguishes the Sprint 3 as a standout choice for audiophiles looking for a speaker system that goes beyond the ordinary, delivering an extraordinary listening experience.

Crossover Philosophy

Revival Audio’s Sprint 3 loudspeaker series stands out not just for its innovative driver technology but also for its unique crossover philosophy, a crucial component in shaping the sound quality of any speaker system. What distinguishes Revival Audio’s approach is its pragmatic stance, focusing on achieving the best possible sonic balance rather than adhering to a rigid, predefined philosophy.

Fine-Tuning by Ear: Revival Audio emphasizes fine-tuning the crossover by ear instead of relying solely on technical specifications and mathematical calculations. This hands-on approach involves listening to the speakers and adjusting the crossover components until the sound meets their exacting standards. It’s a method rooted in the belief that what matters most is the way the speaker sounds to the human ear. This dedication to fine-tuning ensures that every Sprint 3 speaker produces a sonically balanced, harmonious output.

Validation through Measurements: While listening tests are central to their approach, Revival Audio also recognizes the importance of objective measurements. These measurements are a valuable tool for verifying the fine-tuned adjustments made by ear. By combining subjective listening evaluations with precise measurements, Revival Audio ensures that its speakers meet human auditory preferences and technical performance standards.

“As Few Components as Possible, but All That Are Needed”: Revival Audio’s approach to crossovers is guided by a simple yet effective principle. They use as few components as necessary to achieve the desired sound quality while ensuring that all the components are essential. This means there is no room for extraneous elements in the crossover design. Every component serves a purpose in shaping the sound, enhancing efficiency, and optimizing performance.

The result of this pragmatic approach is a speaker system that offers a balanced and pleasing sound without the constraints of a rigid philosophy. Revival Audio ensures its speakers strike a harmonious balance between technical precision and auditory enjoyment by allowing room for subjective listening and objective measurement.

Revival Audio’s crossover philosophy embodies a commitment to creating speakers that sound great in the real world rather than dogmatically to theoretical principles. This pragmatic approach translates to the Sprint 3 series as a speaker that delivers a rich, detailed, and engaging audio experience, satisfying both audiophiles’ critical ears and high-fidelity audio’s technical requirements.

Craftsmanship and Aesthetic Choices

Revival Audio’s Sprint 3 series isn’t just about delivering exceptional audio quality; it’s also a testament to meticulous craftsmanship and thoughtful aesthetic choices that enhance the overall appeal of these speakers.

Variety of Finishes: The Sprint 3 speakers offer a range of finish options, catering to various preferences and interior styles. While the oak finish may not align with everyone’s tastes, the availability of walnut and sleek black finishes allows users to choose the one that best suits their aesthetic preferences and blends seamlessly with their living spaces.

Elytron Front Panel: The Sprint 3’s design features a front panel known as the “Elytron.” This distinctive design element is not just about aesthetics; it significantly optimizes the radiation characteristics of the tweeter and woofer. The Elytron panel enhances the treble performance and minimizes edge diffraction effects in the low-mid range, contributing to a more refined and precise audio output.

Magnetic Front Panel and Fabric Cover Option: The Elytron front panel, held in place magnetically, offers a clever solution for users. It can be removed easily to attach a fabric cover to protect the bass-midrange driver. This design choice adds a layer of practicality, allowing users to customize the look of their speakers and protect the delicate components when needed.

Attention to Detail: While the tactile experience of the front panel might not feel as exclusive as high-end veneers, its functionality and design prowess more than makes up for this. The high-gloss Revival logo and the distinctive membrane color of the woofer contribute to a unique, retro-modern aesthetic that exudes charm and individuality. It exemplifies how Revival Audio pays meticulous attention to detail in its speaker design.

Form Meets Function: The Sprint 3 series exemplifies the principle of “form meets function.” These speakers are not just about delivering exceptional audio performance but also about being aesthetically pleasing and practical additions to your living space. The thoughtful design choices, from the magnetic front panel to the unique color palette, elevate these speakers from mere audio equipment to eye-catching furniture.

Revival Audio’s Sprint 3 loudspeakers are a harmonious blend of craftsmanship and aesthetics. They offer a range of finish options, a carefully engineered front panel, and practical design elements that enhance the overall user experience. These speakers are more than just a means to enjoy music; they are pieces of art that add character to any room while delivering outstanding sound quality.

Effortless Setup

One of the standout features of Revival Audio’s Sprint 3 speakers is the ease with which they can be set up, making integrating them into your audio system a seamless and straightforward experience.

Adaptable Placement: The Sprint 3 speakers are remarkably adaptable regarding placement. They fit comfortably in various settings, whether it’s a dedicated listening room, a home office, or a living room. This versatility ensures that they can be easily incorporated into diverse listening environments.

Minimal Adjustment Required: Achieving an optimal setup with the Sprint 3 speakers doesn’t demand intricate adjustments. Unlike high-end speakers requiring meticulous fine-tuning for the best performance, the Sprint 3 offers a more forgiving setup process. This is a benefit for those who may not have extensive experience with speaker placement and room acoustics.

Near-Field Listening: The Sprint 3 is particularly well-suited for near-field listening, which audiophiles and recording enthusiasts often prefer. Placed close to the listening position and, if necessary, slightly angled towards the listener, the Sprint 3 can deliver a compelling audio experience. This convenience is especially advantageous for those who use their speakers in a near-field setup resembling a recording studio.

Elytron Waveguide: The design of the Elytron front panel also contributes to the effortless setup. Its optimized radiation characteristics ensure that without meticulous fine-tuning, users can expect a consistent mid-high range and a convincing soundstage from the speakers. This user-friendly feature saves time and effort, making it easier for users to enjoy high-quality sound without extensive configuration.

The ease of setup caters to seasoned audiophiles and welcomes newcomers to high-fidelity audio. Revival Audio has managed to strike a balance between a speaker offering top-tier performance and one that doesn’t demand advanced expertise in speaker placement and room acoustics. The result is a pair of speakers that can be enjoyed by a wide range of users, from those just beginning their hi-fi journey to those with more experience, making it easier for everyone to experience the joy of high-quality audio without the hassle of complex setup procedures.

Usability: Seamless Integration into Your Audio World

Revival Audio’s Sprint 3 speakers excel in sound quality and usability, making them a user-friendly choice for audio enthusiasts and newcomers to high-fidelity sound.

Adaptable Placement: The speakers’ adaptability in placement is a standout feature. They are equally at home in a dedicated listening room, a home office, or a living room. This flexibility ensures that users can easily incorporate them into diverse listening environments, making them accessible to a broad audience.

Near-Field Listening: For those who prefer near-field listening setups akin to a recording studio arrangement, the Sprint 3 is exceptionally well-suited. Placing them close to the listening position and slightly angling them toward the listener offers an immersive experience. This convenient setup caters to audiophiles and recording enthusiasts alike.

Elytron Waveguide for Effortless Setup: The design of the Elytron front panel significantly contributes to the usability of the Sprint 3 speakers. It optimizes the radiation characteristics of the tweeter and woofer, simplifying the setup process. Users can expect a consistent mid-high range and a convincing soundstage even without meticulous fine-tuning. This user-friendly feature ensures that listeners can enjoy high-quality sound without the complexities of a demanding configuration.

Seamless Integration: Revival Audio understands that usability extends beyond placement and setup. Their speakers are designed to integrate into your audio system seamlessly. Whether connecting them to a vintage stereo amplifier or a modern AV receiver, the Sprint 3’s compatibility ensures they can be effortlessly integrated into your existing audio setup.

Thoughtful Design for Easy Maintenance: The Sprint 3’s magnetic front panel and the option to attach a fabric cover for the bass-midrange driver demonstrate thoughtful design choices that enhance usability. This feature allows users to protect sensitive components easily and customize the speaker’s appearance to suit their preferences. It’s a practical addition that caters to users’ needs who want to keep their equipment in pristine condition.

User-Friendly for All Levels: The user-friendly nature of the Sprint 3 speakers extends a welcoming hand to those new to the world of high-fidelity audio. Simplicity in placement and setup and the ability to effortlessly adapt to different listening environments make them an accessible choice for beginners. For experienced audiophiles, the Sprint 3 offers an easy and satisfying integration into an existing audio ecosystem.

In summary, Revival Audio’s Sprint 3 speakers are designed with usability in mind, catering to a broad audience of music enthusiasts. Their adaptability in placement, near-field listening capabilities, and the user-friendly Elytron waveguide ensure that they can be seamlessly integrated into various listening environments. This approach makes the Sprint 3 speakers an accessible and welcoming choice for anyone looking to elevate their audio experience without the hassle of complex setup and configuration.

Sound Test: A Journey Through Audio Excellence

When evaluating the Revival Audio Sprint 3 speakers through a comprehensive sound test, one embarks on an auditory journey that reveals their remarkable performance across a spectrum of musical genres and recording qualities.

Comparative Listening: The Sprint 3 speakers are tested against other speakers, locally and from memory, some of which cost significantly more. This comparative listening approach highlights Sprint 3’s exceptional value proposition as they hold their ground and surpass expectations despite their budget-friendly nature.

Spatial and Inviting Sound: From the first notes of music, the Sprint 3 speakers paint a sonic landscape that is both spatial and inviting. This impression is crucial because it sets the stage for what is to come, capturing the listener’s attention and drawing them into the experience.

Balanced Upper Midrange: Sprint 3 may exhibit a slight reserve compared to costlier speakers in the upper midrange. This results in a less flashy and superficial sound profile, but it contributes to the overall balance, making the speakers a versatile choice for various musical genres and listening preferences.

Detailed Treble with a Touch of Authenticity: The Sprint 3 speakers shine with detail and sparkle in the treble range. They present cymbals with finesse and vigor. Compared with more expensive speakers, the Sprint 3’s treble tuning offers even more detail without veering into excessive high-frequency territory. This balance ensures that the speakers remain engaging without being overly bright or fatiguing.

Instrument Separation and Soundstage: While the Sprint 3 speakers may not separate instruments as effortlessly and casually as some high-end alternatives, they maintain impressive detail. For example, the string sound of a guitar is rendered with a seamless and nuanced quality. The overall result is a remarkably airy soundscape with good instrument separation, a testament to the precision of the speaker’s design.

Saxophone and Vocal Reproduction: In some instances, such as saxophone and vocal performances, the Sprint 3 may not exhibit the same level of organic authenticity as top-tier speakers. However, it’s essential to keep in mind their affordable price tag. Compared to two to ten times more expensive speakers, the Sprint 3’s performance is remarkable, and any minor shortcomings become negligible.

Versatility Across Genres: The Sprint 3’s versatility becomes evident when exploring different musical genres. Whether it’s a dynamically complex classical piece or a rhythm-driven rock track, the speakers effortlessly adapt, making the listening experience enjoyable and engaging. This adaptability showcases the Sprint 3’s solid performance across various musical styles.

Impressive Bass Range: The 18mm midrange driver in the Sprint 3 delivers a notable performance in the bass range. It extends deeply into the frequency spectrum, rendering bass notes with precision, control, and dryness. The bass remains powerful and far from weak, a tuning that caters to a wide audience’s sonic preferences.

In high-fidelity audio, the Revival Audio Sprint 3 speakers stand out as a testament to what can be achieved when a seasoned developer fulfills their dream of creating their loudspeaker brand. This sound test reveals a speaker that excels in detail, musicality, stage depth, bass characteristics, midrange and high-frequency resolution, timing, and instrument selectivity. While they may not have the same resolution as some high-end specialists, the Sprint 3 speakers present an impressive performance satisfying audiophiles and music lovers. This performance, combined with their accessible price point, marks them as a successful debut in the world of hi-fi audio and ignites curiosity about Revival Audio’s higher-end offerings.

Sonic Performance

Listening to the Sprint 3 reveals its impressive sonic capabilities. They offer a spatial and inviting sound, although slightly more reserved in the upper midrange than more expensive alternatives. The treble, on the other hand, shines with detail and sparkle. The Sprint 3 competes admirably with more costly speakers and is a testament to their value.

Versatile Sound Reproduction

Revival Audio’s Sprint 3 speakers are not confined to a single genre or a particular type of sound. They shine as an epitome of versatility in sound reproduction, adapting effortlessly to the varied intricacies of a rich tapestry of musical genres.

Balancing Depth and Energy: The Sprint 3 speakers deliver a well-rounded sound that balances depth and energy across many music styles. They capture the essence of genres from classical to rock, showcasing a capacity to adapt to dynamically complex classical pieces and rhythm-driven rock tracks with equal finesse.

Redefining Genre Boundaries: What is particularly remarkable about the Sprint 3 speakers is their ability to blur the lines between musical genres. While audiophiles often choose specialized speakers to suit specific musical tastes, the Sprint 3 positions itself as an all-rounder, breaking free from the notion that certain speakers are tailored for particular musical categories.

Crisp Vocal Reproduction: The clarity of vocal reproduction is a striking feature that enhances the Sprint 3’s versatility. Be it the resonant harmonies of a classical choral piece or the raw intensity of a rock ballad, Sprint 3 portrays vocals with authenticity. The transition between vocal overtones and their fundamental range is crisp and expressive, contributing to an engaging listening experience across diverse vocal styles.

Stable Instrument Positioning: The Sprint 3 speakers maintain a stable position in the stereo panorama. This characteristic ensures that instruments are not lost in the mix, regardless of the complexity of the musical arrangement. Whether it’s a symphonic orchestra or a jazz quartet, the Sprint 3 handles instrument separation with clarity and precision.

Respecting Artistic Authenticity: While the Sprint 3’s upper midrange may appear slightly subdued compared to more expensive alternatives, it stays true to the essence of the original recordings. This authentic representation of music allows listeners to appreciate the nuances of each genre and each artist’s unique style.

A Universal Sonic Canvas: What makes the Sprint 3 exceptional is its ability to transform your listening room into a universal sonic canvas, ready to embrace the entire spectrum of human creativity in music. From the nuanced subtleties of a classical symphony to the electrifying energy of a rock concert, these speakers consistently deliver a remarkable listening experience.

In conclusion, the Revival Audio Sprint 3 speakers redefine versatility in sound reproduction. Their adaptability to a wide range of musical genres ensures that the constraints of a specific sonic profile do not bind them. Instead, they stand as a versatile instrument that respects and enhances music’s authenticity in all its forms. For audiophiles who appreciate diversity in their musical experiences, the Sprint 3 speakers offer an engaging and balanced sound that can seamlessly adapt to the myriad nuances of the musical world.

Conclusion

In the world of high-fidelity audio, the Revival Audio Sprint 3 speakers emerge as a revelation, where excellence in sound quality marries accessibility and versatility. These speakers exemplify the perfect fusion of innovative engineering, thoughtful design, and user-friendly functionality. With its unique Elytron front panel, innovative driver technology, and pragmatic crossover philosophy, the Sprint 3 offers a sonic experience that challenges the notion that high-end audio must come at an exorbitant cost. The speakers adapt effortlessly to a wide array of musical genres, respecting the authenticity of each recording, and transform your listening room into a universal sonic canvas. Whether you’re a seasoned audiophile or a newcomer to high-fidelity sound, the Sprint 3 speakers offer a harmonious, all-encompassing listening experience that transcends the boundaries of cost and complexity.

Revival Audio’s commitment to user-friendly design extends to every aspect of the Sprint 3’s usability. From adaptable placement and near-field listening capabilities to seamless integration into your audio ecosystem, these speakers are poised to enrich your sonic world without the burden of intricate setup procedures. Thoughtful design choices simplify maintenance and customization, such as the magnetic front panel and fabric cover option. Revival Audio’s Sprint 3 speakers are more than just a remarkable audio solution; they are an invitation to embark on a journey through the intricate and diverse landscape of music, where usability, excellence, and affordability converge to offer an unforgettable listening experience. These speakers testify that pursuing high-quality audio needs not be daunting but a delightful and accessible journey for all.

Reasons to Buy the Revival Audio Sprint 3 Speakers:

  1. Impressive Sound Quality: The Sprint 3 speakers offer remarkable sound quality, with clear treble, solid midrange, and controlled bass. They can compete with speakers that cost significantly more, making them a fantastic value for audiophiles on a budget.
  2. Versatile Sound Reproduction: These speakers excel across various musical genres, adapting effortlessly to different styles. Whether you’re into classical, rock, jazz, or electronic music, the Sprint 3 can deliver a balanced and engaging listening experience.
  3. User-Friendly Design: The Sprint 3 speakers are easily set up and adapt to different listening environments. Their near-field listening capabilities make them a great choice for dedicated listening rooms and home offices.
  4. Innovative Driver Technology: Using innovative materials in the woofer and tweeter construction and careful attention to detail enhances their performance. The result is impressive clarity and precision in sound reproduction.
  5. Thoughtful Design: The magnetic front panel and fabric cover option for the bass-midrange driver demonstrate thoughtful design choices that cater to practicality and customization. The Sprint 3 speakers also come in various finishes, ensuring they can complement your room’s aesthetic.

Reasons Not to Buy the Revival Audio Sprint 3 Speakers:

  1. Price Range: While affordable compared to high-end speakers, the Sprint 3 may still be relatively expensive for those with tight budgets. There are more budget-friendly options available for basic audio needs.
  2. Limited Customization: While the Sprint 3 offers various finishes, the choice might not satisfy those with very specific aesthetic preferences who seek a broader range of customization options.
  3. Advanced Audiophiles: Advanced audiophiles with an affinity for highly specialized sound profiles and a vast collection of premium audio equipment might find the Sprint 3’s versatility, while impressive, not tailored enough to their exacting requirements.

In conclusion, the Revival Audio Sprint 3 speakers offer an excellent balance of sound quality, versatility, and user-friendly design. They are attractive for those seeking to upgrade their audio setup without breaking the bank. However, individuals with more restrictive budgets or highly specialized audio needs might find other options more suitable for their circumstances.