HR2: Incredible Dynamic Range, Perfectly Matched Frequency Response
The HR2 monitor system was initially designed as a high definition reference point for discerning engineers sonically judge and decide intricate musical balances for final mixes. What separates the HR2s from other high end audiophile loudspeakers, apart from its use by professionals, is its capacity to provide virtually unlimited dynamic range while maintaining absolutely matched uniform frequency response between channels. The two sides from 1k to 20k typically fall within 1dB of each other creating absolute symmetry in regards to stereo imaging. The HR2s unique 120 degree dispersion coupled with having identical flare rates on both HF and LF horns also allows for a very wide listening window eliminating the narrow “sweet spot” effect. The HR2 also produces extended and detailed low end to 18Hz.
In some circles of the audiophile community, the word “professional” can have a somewhat negative connotation. Prior to the HR2 “Professional” was often synonymous with loud, harsh and a lack of depth of field. The HR2 finally bridges the gap between superb audiophile and accurate professional studio monitors. There is nothing currently manufactured anywhere in the world, at any price that looks, sounds or performs like Ocean Way HR2 monitors. The HR2 integrates brilliant horn designs never fully realized from the late 1950’s with exceptional wide bandwidth low distortion drivers and a tri-amplified and equalized electronic package second to none.
From an audiophile or a professional recording engineer’s standpoint, what could be more perfect? The HR2 will reveal things in your best recordings and mixes you may have never heard and provide dynamics you may have not thought possible. If there is a negative aspect to the HR2 it is that poorly recorded music will be revealed, with every nuance starkly evident. From a recording engineer’s standpoint, these are invaluable assets allowing for the best recording and mixes possible and from the audiophile’s standpoint, their best recordings will sound simply exceptional.
HR2 Design Details
Most horns have what might be called a signature or definite character to the sound they produce. Generally speaking, the narrower their dispersion the more hornlike they tend to sound. Most horn systems are also crossed over near or actually at their natural cutoff, creating significant response and phase nonlinearities. The HR2’s completely unique 120 degree 400 Hz horn has unrivaled dispersion and even directivity and quite simply doesn’t sound like a horn. If you measure the HR2’s frequency response at 0 degrees on axis and compare that to 50 degrees off axis, the curves are virtually identical. And although the HR2’s horn is flat down to 400 Hz it’s crossed over at 650 Hz allowing for a very smooth transition. Perfect physical and acoustical time alignment between drivers coupled with having high and low frequency horns with identical flare rates creates an absolutely seamless transition. If you stand three feet away from an HR2, you will hear one complete and utterly natural sound. When you get that close to most speaker systems, you will often hear all their components working separately. When listening to a well-recorded human voice on a pair of HR2s, it virtually sounds like they’re standing in front of you. When building a set of HR2’s, we carefully select and match each set of components we use getting them as close as possible but to achieve the performance we require, finer calibration is needed. Spending whatever time it takes to align each of our speakers to meet our strict tolerances and to compare and listen to each set until we are totally satisfied could easily be compared to building a fine musical instrument.