Review - Audience ClairAudient 1+1 v3 speakers
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  1. #1
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    Review - Audience ClairAudient 1+1 v3 speakers

    I received my two pairs of Audience ClairAudient 1+1 v2+ back with the v3 upgrades. I have been able to track the upgrades since I sent originals in for V2+ upgrades. I thought that upgrade was big but this second upgrade is phenomenally bigger. This tiny speaker has always been a “blow my mind” component with how crazy good it is - coherent as the Magico and Raidho speakers I have had in my system. Maybe even more coherent!

    With this new upgrade the most immediate thing I noticed was how these speakers woke up, came alive, bristle with energy and dynamics. Almost like they are active / self powered so every cell of every driver is stomping its hoof to get going. While retaining the single voice, refined, transparent delicacy of before, now it feels like the dynamics and energy of the speaker has tripled, without taking anything away.

    I also noticed there is more extension especially in the lower registers. Combined with the increase in dynamics the “slam” factor has increased while the “musical” natural sound has not been lost. These are so revealing without being strident in the least. In fact, I often think it must be the absence of a crossover that allows such a coherent accurate picture to be painted and to be so listenable without fatigue. As if my ears and brains are not having to struggle with artificial stitching together of frequencies that other speakers have to do when handing off different frequencies to different drivers.

    I’ve owned a lot of bookshelf speakers (KEF LS50, Dynaudios, etc). They all pale in comparison to the ClairAudient 1+1 - as witnessed by the fact those others are sold or are packed away sitting in a closet. The beauty of the 1+1 is it competes with my $8,000 Raidho XT-1 but is more versatile. It can be my best ever computer audio speaker. It can be my best ever L/R/C home theater speakers (superb pairing with REL subs that can keep up and blend in) - I have had 3-4 more expensive center channel speakers and I can’t go back to them because the human voice and clarity of center channel information is perfection through the 1+1. Especially now with the V3 upgrade. I know that is overkill for HT in most systems. But I would put my HT with the 1+1s up against any cost no object home theater. And the footprint of the speakers is perfect for that application. These little gems will never leave my home and will only have more 1+1s join the family over time.

    PS, I paid full retail cost for the upgrades

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  3. #2
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    Re: Review - Audience ClairAudient 1+1 v3 speakers

    Dear Dpod4: I am happy for your satisfaction with the Clairaudient 1+1v2+’s. I am sure the v3 is everything you said it is. I bought a pair of 1+1v2+’s and sent them back to Audience. I read all the rave magazine reviews that compared them to the Quad 57’s. They are all hogwash. The Clairaudient’s are not that good. They do great midrange and that’s about it. They do have a filter that negates the typical frequency cancellation of a bipole speaker. It does use caps and/or resistors. So for all practical purposes it has a crossover. But in this case the filter changes the time alignment of selected frequencies. In any case there is some frequency manipulation going on.


    I found them unable to produce high frequencies and found their bipole radiation pattern unnatural. I also thought they were overpriced for what they are.
    == Joe ==

  4. #3
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    Re: Review - Audience ClairAudient 1+1 v3 speakers

    Hi Darrin, Thanks for the review. Couldn't agree with you more. I have happily owned the 1+1V2's for some time as a desktop system and they have stopped everyone that has heard them in their tracks. I originally contemplated using them with a subwoofer but there is a satisfyingly decent mid-bass response that more than meets my expectations. As as far as the human voice is concerned or small scale intimate pieces, I have yet to hear the immediacy that these speakers bring to the table. They've recently come back from their V3 upgrade and the jump factor is definitely in play. Hooked up to a Naim Uniti on my desktop ( and using the Audience desktop stands) , they put the sonics of many big rigs (including mine) in question.

  5. #4
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    Re: Review - Audience ClairAudient 1+1 v3 speakers

    Hi Joe

    I am sorry you miss the greatness of these little speakers. I am not sure what exactly went wrong. I owned the V2+ and have enjoyed them immensely. I am not sure about your insistence that these speakers have a crossover since by definition a crossover network is "to split up an audio signal into two or more frequency ranges" and since they only have one driver there is nowhere to send the split frequency to. I cannot confirm the benefit of the V3 upgrade since mine are still getting it done but what I can confirm is that, set up properly and with good electronics upstream these little speakers are nothing short of amazing. In my humble opinion, these speakers are wasted in a computer set up. Tried them instead on stand with a couple of good subwoofers. They rival speakers costing 10 to 20 times their price. I have compared them to a speaker costing $23,000 and frankly I prefer them. But that's just me. I wish you had a chance to listen to them properly setup, I am sure you would change your mind.

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  7. #5
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    Re: Review - Audience ClairAudient 1+1 v3 speakers

    Quote Originally Posted by spenav View Post
    Hi Joe

    I am sorry you miss the greatness of these little speakers. I am not sure what exactly went wrong. I owned the V2+ and have enjoyed them immensely. I am not sure about your insistence that these speakers have a crossover since by definition a crossover network is "to split up an audio signal into two or more frequency ranges" and since they only have one driver there is nowhere to send the split frequency to. I cannot confirm the benefit of the V3 upgrade since mine are still getting it done but what I can confirm is that, set up properly and with good electronics upstream these little speakers are nothing short of amazing. In my humble opinion, these speakers are wasted in a computer set up. Tried them instead on stand with a couple of good subwoofers. They rival speakers costing 10 to 20 times their price. I have compared them to a speaker costing $23,000 and frankly I prefer them. But that's just me. I wish you had a chance to listen to them properly setup, I am sure you would change your mind.
    Please don’t assume I did not set them up properly. That is simply an assumption. I had them in my main soundroom with Pass electronics. They simply did not outperform my Shahinians. I happen to know what a crossover is. Nevertheless this speaker contains a filter to manipulate it’s frequency response. Call it what you will. I never said this a bad thing, I just think when an audiophile makes an observation as to “why” a transducer performs as it does they are treading on unstable ground. There are just too many design parameters to simply state why something is the case. In most cases it is a number of factors.

    My comment about the Clairaudients is simply to put things in perspective. I am OK with the fact that some audiophiles think these are greater than sliced bread. And if you like them better than a $23,000 speaker that’s fine. I can point out a good many $100,000+ speakers that are horrible in my opinion. I had every intention of keeping the Clairaudients. I lived with them for about three weeks. I gave them a chance to break-in and made no hasty decisions. In my final analyisis I did not like them.
    == Joe ==

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    Re: Review - Audience ClairAudient 1+1 v3 speakers

    I didn't say you set them up wrong. I said "I am not sure what exactly went wrong". I honestly would like to understand why some people find these speakers mediocre while a majority of people find them great. Could it be synergy with some electronics? While I won't lose sleep over this I nevertheless find it intriguing. But as they say, to each his own. As an unselfish person, I wish everyone who owns or come across one of these speakers could have as much fun with them as I am having. In your case however, I understand that you are already having great joy with your Shahinians, so it's all good Life's short, let's enjoy it while we can.

  9. #7
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    Re: Review - Audience ClairAudient 1+1 v3 speakers

    Quote Originally Posted by spenav View Post
    In your case however, I understand that you are already having great joy with your Shahinians, so it's all good Life's short, let's enjoy it while we can.
    Agreed. Fair enough.
    == Joe ==

  10. #8
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    Re: Review - Audience ClairAudient 1+1 v3 speakers

    I just bought a used pair V2+ is the V3 upgrade worth it ? Also what is the cost of this upgrade