In high-end audio, where precision and artistry converge, the Raidho X2 is a beacon of auditory excellence. Hailing from Denmark, a country celebrated for its contributions to gourmet cuisine, wind power innovation, and quality craftsmanship, Raidho Acoustics extends this legacy into the world of sound. The Raidho X2, the embodiment of this dedication, beckons audiophiles and music enthusiasts to embark on a transformative auditory journey. With a distinguished history from 2001, Raidho Acoustics’ founders, Michael Børresen and Lars Kristensen, have persistently pursued perfection in loudspeaker design. Their unwavering commitment to innovation has led to the creation of the Raidho X2, a testament to their pursuit of the ultimate sonic experience.
This review takes you on a voyage through the intricacies of the Raidho X2, unveiling the seamless fusion of design, engineering, and artistry. The Raidho X2, with its slender form factor and captivating ceramic drivers, not only offers a visual spectacle but extends an invitation to explore audio in its purest form. It beckons to transcend the boundaries of mere sound reproduction and immerse oneself in the profound depths of music. This exploration will delve into the design, specifications, usability, unique functions, comparisons, and the captivating listening experience the Raidho X2 offers to help you discover a new dimension in high-fidelity audio.
About the Company Established in 2001 by Michael Børresen and Lars Kristensen, Raidho Acoustics, based in Pandrup, North Jutland, is known for its distinctive loudspeakers. They feature narrow fronts, magnetostatic tweeters developed by Børresen, and bass and midrange drivers with ceramic membranes. While the company has evolved its driver technology over the years, its commitment to achieving top-notch performance remains steadfast. In 2008, Raidho faced financial challenges, but Dantax Radio A/S stepped in to ensure the company’s continuity. Despite the founders moving on to other projects, Raidho Acoustics continues to pursue excellence in audio technology.
|Size (WxHxD):||143 x 1040 x 410 mm (300 x 1060 x 470 mm incl. spikes)|
|Sensitivity:||60 Hz 50 KHz|
|Impedance:||85 dB 1W 2.83 V/m|
|Crossover:||220 Hz and 3.5 KHz 2. Order|
|Enclosure:||Internal vented design Port in rear|
|Drive units:||1x sealed ribbon tweeter, 1x 00mm Ceramic bass driver, 1x 100mm Ceramic mid-bass driver|
|Finish:||Black Piano, Maple Burl or Personalised|
|Amplification:||> 50 W (Though we have seen excellent results with small tube amplifiers)|
Design and Build: Aesthetic Elegance and Acoustic Precision
The Raidho X2’s design and build are a harmonious blend of aesthetic elegance and meticulous acoustic engineering. Let’s delve deeper into these aspects:
Elegant Aesthetics: The Raidho X2 boasts a visual appeal that is both striking and understated. Its design exudes sophistication and attention to detail. The slender dimensions of the speaker (102cm in height, 41cm in depth, with a baffle slightly over 14cm wide) contribute to its hidden presence in any room. The compact size enhances its aesthetic appeal and plays a crucial role in its acoustic performance, minimizing standing waves within the cabinet.
One of the most eye-catching features of the Raidho X2 is its choice of materials. The light gray ceramic membranes of the two 5.25-inch low-midrange drivers add a touch of modernity and uniqueness to the speaker’s appearance. These visually appealing ceramic drivers contribute to the speaker’s exceptional audio performance.
The rear of the Raidho X2 is designed with a shape reminiscent of the bow of a boat, which not only complements the aesthetics but also serves functional purposes. This shape minimizes standing waves inside the cabinet, improving audio quality. The design consideration extends to the rear-ventilated housing, which is streamlined for better airflow and resembles the ventilation openings in high-end sports cars.
The Raidho X2 also offers a customization option with a high-gloss, mirror-symmetrical, composed maple burl wood veneer. This luxurious veneer adds a premium touch to the speaker’s appearance, though it comes with an additional cost of €3,000. The standard version is available in black, embracing an “optical understatement” that aligns with a more minimalistic aesthetic.
Acoustic Precision: Beyond its captivating aesthetics, the Raidho X2 is a masterpiece of acoustic precision. The careful engineering and construction are evident in various aspects of the speaker.
- Ceramic Drivers: The ceramic membranes of the low-midrange drivers are designed to offer visual appeal and acoustic excellence. These drivers are crafted to exhibit remarkable agility and dynamic prowess, contributing to the speaker’s powerful bass performance.
- Device Feet: The Raidho X2 features device feet under the speaker’s base. These device feet contain resonance-dissipating balls to minimize unwanted vibrations and enhance sound quality. This attention to detail reflects the brand’s commitment to audio perfection.
- Streamlined Ports: The bass reflex channels in the Raidho X2 are thoughtfully designed to be streamlined. This design choice is not merely an aesthetic consideration but has acoustic advantages, allowing for smoother airflow and reducing turbulence within the cabinet.
- Fine Materials: Using high-quality materials is a hallmark of Raidho’s dedication to sound excellence. The ceramic drivers, the high-gloss veneer, and the choice of materials for internal components all contribute to the speaker’s premium construction.
In conclusion, the Raidho X2 combines elegance with acoustic precision. Its design combines modernity and classic aesthetics, while its meticulous construction reflects the brand’s unwavering commitment to audio quality. These speakers are visually appealing and a true testament to the art and science of high-end audio engineering.
Specifications and Functionality: Precision in Audio Performance
The Raidho X2 is a high-end speaker system that combines remarkable specifications with advanced functionality to deliver a precision audio experience. Let’s delve deeper into its specifications and the functionality that underpins its audio prowess:
- Frequency Range (60 Hz – 220 Hz): The Raidho X2 can reprogram frequencies from 60 Hz at the lower end up to 220 Hz. This range is essential for covering the bass and lower midrange frequencies, ensuring a balanced and full sound.
- Midrange Driver: The X2 features a dedicated midrange driver that handles frequencies from 220 Hz up to 3.5 kHz. This driver’s design and materials contribute to the speaker’s ability to reproduce midrange frequencies with clarity and precision.
- Tweeter Ribbon: The tweeter ribbon takes over at frequencies beyond 3.5 kHz. This specialized tweeter design, shared among Raidho speakers, is critical in delivering high-frequency details with accuracy and finesse.
- Efficiency (85 dB/W/m): The Raidho X2 exhibits an efficiency rating of 85 dB/W/m. While not the highest in its class, this rating ensures that the speaker is compatible with various amplifiers. The specifications also recommend considering tube amplifiers, highlighting the X2’s versatility.
- Impedance (Approximately 6 Ohms): The Raidho X2 maintains an impedance curve that hovers around 6 ohms. This relatively benign impedance makes the speaker suitable for various amplifiers, further expanding its compatibility.
- Setup Flexibility: The Raidho X2 offers setup flexibility, with optimal placement and positioning guidance. To experience the full capabilities of these speakers, proper placement and angling are recommended. While the distance to side walls is not highly critical, careful setup is essential to achieve the best sound.
- Break-In Period: These speakers require a substantial break-in period of around 500 hours. During this time, the ceramic drivers and the tweeter ribbon form a homogeneous unit, ensuring the speaker reaches its peak performance potential. This dedication to audio quality demonstrates Raidho’s commitment to excellence.
- Speaker Cable Compatibility: The Raidho X2 is sensitive to the choice of speaker cables. During testing, it was observed that the X2 favored thinner speaker cables like Analog Tools. In comparison, thicker cables such as Vovox Fortis with a larger cross-section resulted in a less favorable sound quality, including sluggish bass and slightly bloated midrange.
- Tube Amplifier Compatibility: Raidho not only encourages the consideration of various amplifiers but also specifically recommends tube amplifiers. This endorsement highlights the speaker’s versatility and ability to excel with different amplifier types. This flexibility allows audiophiles to customize their system to their preferences.
- Dynamic Performance: The Raidho X2 delivers an astonishing dynamic performance. It can produce a powerful and dynamic bass that belies its compact size. The narrow ceramic drivers exhibit agility and speed, pushing the bass toward the listener. This characteristic and its dynamic prowess provide an engaging and enjoyable listening experience.
- Low-Volume Performance: One of the standout features of the Raidho X2 is its exceptional performance at low-volume levels. These speakers maintain coherency and dynamism even when playing at a reduced volume, surpassing many competitors. This quality makes the X2 a superb choice for listeners who prefer to enjoy music in the evening or late at night without compromising sound quality.
The Raidho X2 boasts impressive specifications and functionality, contributing to its precision of audio performance. From its versatile compatibility with amplifiers to its dynamic bass and low-volume capabilities, the X2 offers an immersive listening experience that caters to a wide range of audiophile preferences. Its meticulous engineering and thoughtful design make it a noteworthy addition to high-end audio.
Connection and Connectivity: Seamless Integration into Your Audio System
The Raidho X2, a high-end speaker system, offers a seamless and versatile connection and connectivity experience, ensuring effortless integration into your audio system. Let’s explore the details of how the X2 connects and what connectivity options it offers:
- Amplifier Compatibility: The Raidho X2 is compatible with a wide range of amplifiers, providing flexibility for audiophiles to choose amplifiers that suit their preferences and system requirements. While the speaker’s efficiency rating is not exceptionally high (85 dB/W/m), it is well-suited for use with various amplifier types. This compatibility extends to both solid-state and tube amplifiers.
- Recommended Tube Amplifiers: Raidho explicitly recommends considering tube amplifiers when connecting the X2. This endorsement highlights the X2’s adaptability and synergy with tube-based amplification. Tube amplifiers are known for their warm and harmonically rich sound, which complements the X2’s capabilities.
- Speaker Cables: The choice of speaker cables plays a significant role in the connectivity and overall sound quality of the Raidho X2. During testing, it was observed that the X2 exhibits sensitivity to speaker cables. Thin speaker cables, like Analog Tools, were found to work well with the X2, enhancing its performance. In contrast, thicker cables, such as Vovox Fortis with a larger cross-section, resulted in a less favorable sound quality, including sluggish bass and slightly bloated midrange. This sensitivity emphasizes the importance of selecting appropriate cables for optimal connectivity.
- Connection to Amplifiers: The Raidho X2 connects to amplifiers through standard speaker cable terminals. These terminals provide a secure and reliable connection, allowing the speakers to receive the audio signal from the amplifier and precisely transmit sound.
- Connection to Source Components: While the X2 is a passive speaker system, its connection to source components, such as a preamplifier or an audio source, is established through the amplifier. The speaker system receives the audio signal from the amplifier, ensuring a direct connection process.
- Interchangeable Amplifiers: The X2’s compatibility with various amplifiers offers the advantage of interchangeability. Audiophiles can experiment with different amplifier types to tailor their system’s sound to their preferences. This flexibility allows for a customized listening experience.
Functionality and Integration:
The Raidho X2 seamlessly integrates into your audio system, providing a coherent and immersive sound experience. Its connection options and amplifier compatibility allow you to select the components best suit your sonic preferences.
The X2’s dynamic performance and low-volume capabilities make it an ideal choice for evening or late-night listening. Its ability to maintain sound quality even at reduced volume levels ensures you can enjoy your music without compromising audio fidelity.
The Raidho X2 offers versatile and user-friendly connection and connectivity options. Its compatibility with a wide range of amplifiers, tube amplifiers’ recommendations, and speaker cable sensitivity ensures that you can fine-tune your audio system to achieve your desired sound. The X2’s ease of integration and adaptability make it a valuable addition to any high-end audio setup.
Usability, Unique Functions, and Setup: Elevating Your Audio Experience
The Raidho X2 is more than just a high-end speaker; it’s a sophisticated audio system that offers exceptional usability, incorporates unique functions, and provides a straightforward setup to elevate your audio experience. Let’s explore these aspects in detail:
- Intuitive Listening: The Raidho X2’s usability is designed with the listener in mind. The system ensures an intuitive and enjoyable listening experience, whether you’re an audiophile or a casual music enthusiast.
- Low-Volume Excellence: One of the standout features of the X2 is its remarkable performance at low-volume levels. It maintains coherency and dynamism even at reduced volume, making it perfect for relaxed, late-night listening. The speaker’s ability to deliver full and engaging sound even at lower levels ensures you can savor your favorite music without disturbing others or sacrificing audio quality.
- Forgiving of Imperfections: The X2’s tuning is subtle and not overly analytical. It focuses on delivering a pleasant and musical experience, meaning it can extract remarkable listening pleasure even from imperfect or lower-quality recordings. This forgiving nature allows you to enjoy a wide range of music, from audiophile-grade tracks to more casual and compressed audio.
- Ceramic Drivers: The X2 features ceramic drivers, including the 5.25-inch low-midrange drivers. These visually striking drivers contribute to the speaker’s dynamic bass performance. Their agility and speed, combined with the small form factor, result in powerful and well-controlled bass, defying expectations for a speaker of this size.
- Tweeter Ribbon: The tweeter ribbon used in Raidho speakers, including the X2, is a distinctive feature. It delivers high-frequency details with accuracy and finesse while maintaining a slightly subdued treble. This design choice ensures that even music with pronounced treble content is enjoyable and smooth, avoiding harshness or sibilance.
- Proper Placement: Proper placement and angling are crucial to achieving the best sound from the Raidho X2. While the distance from side walls is not highly critical, careful setup ensures that you experience the full capabilities of the speakers. Ensuring the speakers are correctly positioned enhances the overall soundstage and spatial representation.
- Break-In Period: The X2 requires a break-in period of approximately 500 hours. During this time, the ceramic drivers and tweeter ribbon form a homogeneous unit, allowing the speaker to reach its peak performance potential. Patience is key, as the sonic improvements become more apparent over time.
- Speaker Cable Choice: The X2 is sensitive to the choice of speaker cables. During testing, it was observed that thinner speaker cables, like Analog Tools, work well with the X2, while thicker cables with a larger cross-section may result in less favorable sound quality. Therefore, selecting the right speaker cables is essential to optimize the connectivity and overall performance of the system.
- Amplifier Selection: The X2’s compatibility with a variety of amplifiers, including tube amplifiers, allows for customization of the audio system to your preferences. Experimenting with different amplifiers can help you tailor the sound to your liking.
In conclusion, the Raidho X2 offers a user-friendly, forgiving, and intuitive listening experience. Its unique functions, including ceramic drivers and the tweeter ribbon, enhance its audio capabilities. Proper setup, patience during the break-in period, and careful selection of speaker cables and amplifiers are vital for achieving the best audio performance. The X2’s dynamic low-volume performance and forgiving nature make it a valuable addition to any audio system, providing a rich and enjoyable listening experience.
Listening Experience and Comparisons: Unveiling the Sonic Splendor of Raidho X2
The Raidho X2 offers a listening experience that transcends expectations, delivering a sound that is both engaging and immersive. Let’s delve into the details of the listening experience and how it compares to other audio systems:
- Expansive Soundstage: The most striking feature of the Raidho X2 is its ability to create an incredibly spacious soundstage. Music seems to emanate from a vast and open space, immersing the listener in a sonic environment that feels grand and limitless. This spacious soundstage is particularly captivating, making the listening experience feel like a live performance.
- Impeccable Spatial Reproduction: The X2 excels in reproducing spatial details, enabling the listener to discern the placement of instruments and vocalists with exceptional precision. Each element of the music occupies its distinct space within the soundstage, allowing you to appreciate the subtleties of recording techniques and the artist’s intent.
- Depth and Width Expansion: The Raidho X2 is notably adept at expanding the depth and width of the soundstage. The music gains an extra dimension, with instruments and voices projected with remarkable depth and width. The result is a more enveloping and three-dimensional sonic experience.
- Smooth High Frequencies: Unlike speakers that might have overly sharp or piercing treble, the X2 provides high-frequency details in a slightly subdued manner. This approach ensures that even tracks with an abundance of treble content sound smooth and enjoyable, avoiding harshness or sibilance.
- Balanced Midrange: The midrange of the X2 is well-balanced, benefiting from the slight emphasis in the upper bass. This results in a mild warmth in the midrange, which enhances the tonal richness of vocals and instruments. It contributes to a more melodic and supple sound signature.
- Dynamic Bass Performance: Despite its compact size, the Raidho X2 delivers a dynamic bass performance that is astonishing. The 5.25-inch ceramic drivers exhibit agility and speed, allowing them to produce powerful and well-controlled bass. The listener experiences a sense of depth and impact that defies expectations for a speaker of this size.
- Spacious Soundstage: When compared to other speakers in its class, the Raidho X2 stands out with its expansive soundstage. It surpasses speakers like the Ichos N°Four SE and the Acapella La Campanella in terms of creating a grand and immersive audio environment.
- Depth and Width: The X2 excels in expanding the depth and width of the soundstage, offering a listening experience that even surpasses larger speakers like the Acapella La Campanella. The X2’s spatial details are truly remarkable.
- Treble Performance: While the X2 provides slightly subdued treble, it ensures a smoother listening experience. This differs from speakers that may exhibit a more pronounced treble response, such as the Ichos N°Four SE.
- Dynamic Bass: The Raidho X2 delivers an unexpected level of bass power, making it a standout performer among speakers of its size. It competes favorably with larger speakers, such as the Acapella La Campanella, when it comes to dynamic and impactful bass.
- Low-Volume Performance: One of the X2’s unique strengths is its ability to maintain audio quality even at low volume levels. In this aspect, it outperforms many other speakers, including the Acapella La Campanella.
In summary, the Raidho X2 offers a listening experience characterized by its expansive soundstage, precise spatial reproduction, smooth treble, and dynamic bass performance. When compared to other speakers, it stands out in terms of its spatial details, low-volume capabilities, and surprising bass power, making it an exceptional choice for audiophiles seeking an engaging and immersive audio experience.
Conclusion: Elevating Audio to New Heights with Raidho X2
In the world of high-end audio, the Raidho X2 emerges as a remarkable gem, delivering an audio experience that is both transcendent and unforgettable. Its unique combination of spacious soundstage, precise spatial reproduction, and a subtle yet engaging sonic signature sets it apart from its peers. The X2’s ability to create an immersive listening environment, whether you’re delving into the intricacies of jazz or savoring the energy of rock, is a testament to its engineering excellence. Its dynamic bass performance, unexpected for a speaker of its size, adds a layer of excitement to the music, ensuring that no note goes unnoticed. What truly distinguishes the Raidho X2 is its versatility, excelling at both high and low volume levels, accommodating various amplifiers, and providing a forgiving and harmonious listening experience, even with less-than-ideal recordings. It’s an invitation to explore music anew, uncovering nuances and emotions in every track that may have previously gone unnoticed. The Raidho X2 is a testament to what is achievable in high-end audio, and its presence in your audio system is sure to be a source of endless sonic pleasure.
For those who seek a listening experience that transcends boundaries, the Raidho X2 is an ideal companion. It combines the artistry of audio with the science of engineering, delivering sound that is both technically precise and emotionally captivating. With its ability to create an expansive and immersive soundstage, impressive low-volume performance, and dynamic bass prowess, the Raidho X2 stands as a beacon of excellence in high-end audio. It’s an investment in the appreciation of music, an instrument for rediscovering your favorite songs, and a testament to the enduring pursuit of audio perfection. The Raidho X2 isn’t just a speaker; it’s an experience waiting to be had, a journey into the heart of music where every note, every instrument, and every nuance comes alive as never before.
Reasons to Buy the Raidho X2:
- Sonic Excellence: The Raidho X2 offers a listening experience that is nothing short of exceptional. Its expansive soundstage, spatial precision, and dynamic bass performance are truly captivating. Whether you’re a discerning audiophile or a casual music lover, the X2’s sonic excellence will elevate your listening experience.
- Low-Volume Prowess: The X2’s ability to maintain audio quality at low-volume levels is a standout feature. Suppose you enjoy late-night listening or prefer a quieter environment. In that case, these speakers deliver a full and engaging sound even at reduced volume, setting them apart from many competitors.
- Versatility: The X2 is compatible with a wide range of amplifiers, including tube amplifiers. This flexibility allows you to customize your audio system to your liking and experiment with different amplifier types, tailoring the sound to your preferences.
- Forgiving Nature: The X2’s subtle and forgiving tuning is a boon for enjoying a wide variety of music, from audiophile-grade recordings to less-than-ideal tracks. Its ability to extract listening pleasure even from imperfect recordings is a testament to its user-friendly nature.
- Unique Design: The use of ceramic drivers and the distinctive tweeter ribbon design make the X2 visually striking. Its design reflects the same dedication to excellence found in its audio performance.
Reasons Not to Buy the Raidho X2:
- Price: The X2 comes at a premium price point, which may not be within reach for all potential buyers. Its high cost could be a limiting factor for those with budget constraints.
- Size: While compact for a high-end speaker, the X2’s physical dimensions may not suit all room sizes or décor preferences. Buyers should consider whether the speaker’s size fits their living space well.
- High Amplifier Demands: The X2’s efficiency rating of 85 dB/W/m, while not low, may require more powerful amplifiers for optimal performance. Buyers with underpowered amplifiers may need to consider amplifier upgrades to make the most of these speakers.
- Sensitivity to Speaker Cables: The X2 is sensitive to the choice of speaker cables. This sensitivity means that buyers should carefully select compatible cables to maximize the speaker’s performance.
In summary, the Raidho X2 is an extraordinary high-end speaker system that offers a listening experience that is second to none. Its expansive soundstage, low-volume capabilities, and versatility make it a compelling choice for those who prioritize audio quality. However, its premium price, physical size, amplifier demands, and sensitivity to speaker cables should be considered before making a purchase decision. Ultimately, the Raidho X2 is an investment in audio excellence, offering an unparalleled listening journey for those who are passionate about sound.
To learn more about Raidho’s other high-quality speakers, you can read additional reviews.
- Raidho TD 2.2 Floorstanding Loudspeaker
- Raidho TD1.2 Standmount Loudspeaker
- Raidho X1.6 – Passive 2-way compact speaker