Perlisten Audio S4b Speakers Review

Perlisten Audio really are the rising star in the speaker industry with huge praise from Home Cinema communities and the HiFi world from across the globe, this is not my first experience of their stunning range of speakers and have reviewed the brilliant R7t speakers here at The Speaker Shack meanwhile at shows I have also listened to the magnificent S7t Limited Edition speakers and always came away with great things to say about them and what they are doing in this wonderful industry for us HiFi and AV enthusiasts.

Karma AV asked if I would like to review another one from their range and of course it was not hard to say YES, I really wanted to listen to one of the stand mounts seeing as the floor standers were so impressive, and to see and hear what their smaller range of speakers could achieve. The S4b from their Signature range really are quite beautiful to look at and in this stunning gloss white finish I really do think white is the new black for me as it looks so fresh and modern which will look good in any living space. Now even though they are a stand mounts I was expecting them to be smaller in the flesh but the AVID HiFi EVO Four’s look relatively small next to them in comparison, but it is not surprising considering this is a 3-way stand mount speaker.

Build Quality and Features

Once again Perlisten Audio really have delivered the goods when it comes to build quality and features as the S4b’s are a technological tour de force with cabinets that are jam packed with some incredible tech, just like the R7t speakers that I reviewed the build quality is exceptional with totally solid cabinets fashioned out of HDF and front baffles that house the brilliant and totally unique DPC array and woofer which are housed in the same rounded design as the rest of the range albeit minus the extra woofers. The Signature range features the Textreme 180mm driver for bass and also the 2 midrange drivers which sit above and below the stunning Beryllium tweeter in the DPC array. Textreme is a an extremely thin-ply carbon diaphragm (TPCD) which is very light and rigid which is the prefect material for use in speaker cones and domes which gives high performance with excellent results sonically. The tweeter which is made from Beryllium is a very costly metal and is perfect for use as a diaphragm as it is an extremely light and rigid metal and allows the performance to exceed well past what humans can actually hear but with such linearity across such a high range it makes for an exceptionally smooth and controlled response in the higher frequencies. I found the DPC ( Directivity Pattern Control ) waveguide to give stunning results with the R7t speakers and I expect this performance to be even better with the upgraded Textreme and Beryllium drivers, I loved the way in which it gave such a great response over such a wide seating area in my room but with stunning imaging so cannot wait to hear what the Signature range can do and improve on what was already such great performance. The S4b is a sealed box design and as such is a 4ohm speaker load with a recommended amplifier rating from 50watts to 300watts to power them, they are also THX Dominus certified which is extremely impressive to meet such a stringent requirement and proves these speakers can really take a hammering at some serious volume levels over long sustained periods of time, no wonder they are loved by home cinema buffs all around the world. On the rear of the speakers you have 4 speaker binding posts and also a set of holes so you could mount them onto a wall bracket if you wish to but I am using the beautiful dedicated S4b stands which Karma AV has kindly sent me to use and they do look stunning once they are fitted on to the Perlisten speakers, they also tilt the speaker back slightly which is recommended for best results, they are extremely solid and weighty allowing the speakers to perform perfectly once they are screwed tightly on to the base of the speakers. I love the way the stands are finished exactly like the floor standers bottom base plate and feet which exude a high end look and feel and once spiked the speakers are rock solid and held firmly in place with no movement at all. There is also metal grills which fit perfectly on the DPC array and bass driver with magnets allowing them to snap on and off easily and providing perfect protection of the drive units.

Setting these speakers up is an extremely easy process and thanks to the DPC array it allows for relatively easy placement due to the wide dispersion pattern and widened sweet spot. For this review I am using the AVID HiFi Accent Integrated amplifier to power them and with the brilliant Chord Electronics Hugo TT2 DAC and M Scaler for number crunching duties, for sources I am using my Cyrus CD8SE for CD playback and Bluesound Node for streaming Tidal and Spotify with music also stored on my NAS drives and for vinyl I am using the excellent Denon DP400 turntable. All my cables are by the Chord Company which are the Epic X speaker cables and Interconnects to tie it all together, I am using some noise reduction accessories from Chord with the Power Aray plug and the English Electric EE1 in line noise isolator connected between my switch and Bluesound Node.

Sound Quality and Performance

My first album is from an artist which was introduced to me by one of my followers on social media, the interaction that social media allows with your followers is priceless as you get to share great music and ideas when it comes to this hobby and our love of music and is great to connect with like minded people in this manner. The artist is Ane Brun and her 2011 album It All Starts With One (Deluxe Version) streamed from Tidal, track 1 These Days is such a beautiful sounding piece of music from this incredibly talented Norwegian artist and the S4b’s manage to produce it with startling clarity and with such a vivid representation of the music, the beryllium tweeter shows how well it controls the upper frequencies in such a refined and controlled manner allowing a spacious and airy feel to the sound, what amazes me is how the speakers simply disappear as you just cannot localise them such is the transparency and resolution of the music being played, the soundstage is vast and just like the R7t speakers the DPC array manages to create one of the most convincing 3D images of the soundstage with real depth extending well beyond the confines of my room, sounds reverberate around my room with astonishing speed and clarity, the snap of the drums from left to right and the transient response with the music is lightning fast, this is a haunting melody and the Perlisten Audio S4b’s manage to recreate this perfectly in my room. Track 2 Words has wonderful harmonies and shows how well they can create a sense of depth to the music with multiple layers of harmonies behind the main vocals which sound perfectly placed with Ane Brun’s vocals taking front and centre of the sound stage, there is some wonderful effects of water drops dripping into water which are off to the left and right of the stage and they sound like they are coming from the sides of the room as the S4b’s manage to project the imaging so far out you could swear I had surrounds in play, Track 7 One sounds so dynamic with some wonderful percussion and the Perlisten bass drivers produce some superb bass with real impact and power but also with some wonderful texture to the bass notes, the big drums hit hard and build with the tempo of the music, Ane Brun’s beautiful vocals sound so natural centre stage while the percussion plays behind her, the depth and width of the image is one of the best I have heard from any speaker but with perfect tonal balance across the frequency range, the refinement of the Beryllium tweeter really shines through and also the Textreme mids and bass units which all blend seamlessly together to give a stunning performance of the music.

My next piece of music is one that I picked up when I was over in Munich at the MOC and the Munich High End Show 2024 and these tracks were played on quite a few systems to show off how dynamic and powerful they sound and to be honest were so much fun to hear them being played on top class systems that I could not wait to play them on my own system at home, Hedegaard’s EP Inferno and Ratchets which have some stunning bass and allow the speakers to really flex their muscles and if you can stream it in high resolution from Tidal as it sounds simply superb with what can only be described as a visceral experience and the Perlisten Audio S4b’s do not disappoint with an absolutely epic performance of the two tracks Inferno and Ratchets, the power and dynamics that they are able to portray is fantastic in every way with huge dynamics and super fast transients and energise my room with absolute ease, they have superb depth considering they are a sealed box design and if you wanted to extend the bass further then a sub is not out of the question as this is very room dependent anyway and with this music it does offer some serious response in the lower frequencies, I thought I would connect my REL subwoofer up just to add some extra depth and the blend of bass was seamless once dialed in to take on the bass at around 36hz and below, the sound stage from these speakers is one of the best with such a wide and deep image projected from the S4b’s thanks in part to the brilliant DPC array and how it recreates a stunning 3D image of the sound.

On to my final album for this review and the brilliant Outlando’s d’Amour album on CD by The Police which was their first studio album from 1978 and a band that I have loved since I was a teenager and I own many of their albums and Sting’s too who is an incredible artist in his own right but as a band The Police made such great music. Track 2 So Lonely is a fast and relentless track thanks in part to the brilliant drumming from Stewart Copland who is one of my favourite drummers of all time and the S4b’s manage to capture his genius perfectly while Stings vocals take centre stage and Andy Summers guitar plays off to the right of the stage, the imaging produced by the S4b’s is so good allowing you to place each artist perfectly within the soundstage, instrument separation is excellent too with Stings bass guitar setting the beat and rhythm while Andy Summers guitar playing is rendered beautifully and you know Coplands drumming is hitting hard in the background with the S4b’s replicating the snap and punch of the drums with great definition, such talented artists with the three of them producing stunning music and the Perlisten’s capture this track perfectly. Track 3 Roxanne and Andy Summers epic riff on guitar at the beginning of the track sets the tone before Stings vocals ring out centre stage and the Perlisten S4b’s make easy work of this track with superb musicality and foot tapping induced rhythm with shimmering cymbals and punchy bass notes from the drums sounding so powerful from Coplands performance. Track 4 Hole In My Life is my favourite and for good reason the percussion and the drums from Stewart Copland has great impact and power in its delivery hitting hard from the S4b’s bass drivers, Stings vocals sound so natural with a great tonal balance and Summers guitar in the background behind the vocals is perfectly placed in the soundstage, with the mix of the vocals Hole In My Life (Yeah) repeated at the end of the track by Sting it seems to resonate around the stage with the Piano in the background very subtly but so well defined by the S4b speakers. Track 6 Can’t Stand Losing You is another great track with an excellent reggae induced rhythm from Stings bass guitar and Summers guitar playing, the Perlisten speakers manage to replicate this music with stunning clarity and musical ability which allows you to hear and feel them jamming on stage, the drumming from Copland is just epic and you can feel every drum note from the punchy bass drivers of the S4b speakers.

This review has been so much fun with the Perlisten Audio S4b’s allowing me to hear deep into the music being played and I have loved every minute of these speakers performance listening to so much music and different types, they manage to produce them all with such ease and never seem to break a sweat with any of the music being played, they just seem so well balanced with a wonderfully natural even handed sound across the whole frequency range, a really beautiful sounding speaker !

Conclusions and Final Thoughts

It’s clear with the Perlisten Audio S4b speakers that the Signature version with its upgraded drivers of the Beryllium tweeter and Textreme mids and woofer it has refined the sound allowing for a much more spacious sound coupled with the stunning DPC array it allows for one of the best imaging of any speaker available today, the depth and width of the image produced is just superb and produces one of the most satisfying musical experiences at this price level, bass is also superb from a sealed box design and allows for some excellent bass reproduction from a stand mount speaker with wonderful depth and punch, Perlisten have certainly hit another home run with this magnificent design.

The Speaker Shack awards the Perlisten Audio S4b’s with another Reference badge award for what it is a stunning speaker !

Price at time of review S4b speakers £7,600
S4b stands £1500

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