Omen Review

Zu Audio Omen Loudspeaker

By Aaron Marshall

For the complete review go to Audio Ideas Guide

Zu Audio is a different kind of speaker company.  You’ll know this already if you’ve ever seen them exhibit at shows (more DJ booth/house party than hi-fi demo), had a read of their (extremely frank and detailed) website, or even just had a careful look at one of their speakers.  Their corporate slogan is “a revolution in American hi-fi” and their goal is nothing less than bringing “back the stereo as the most important and rewarding furnishing in the home.”
The attitude is more than a little refreshing.  Here is a company that flies proudly in the face of the snobby, “by appointment only”, ‘it costs more than major surgery so it must sound fantastic’ perceived value school of hi-fi marketing.  No lofty, mythical mumbo jumbo here.  Zu is frank and direct in their philosophy: “For people who love listening to their hi-fi, scrutinizing every aspect of the recording and forensically dissecting the performance, there’s a raft of speakers out there for those lost souls. For people who are still in love with the music, who just want to be at that gig, who really don’t care about ‘audiophile’ recordings and all the attendant crap—for all those enlightened souls, there’s Zu.”
The products of this philosophy have done well for Zu over the past decade or so, speakers like the original Druid and the Definition garnering some great reviews and a fervent, almost evangelical following, particularly among the high efficiency/low power tube amp crowd.  With the Omen Standard, however, Zu wanted to broaden its customer base, designing a speaker that while still true to the brand was not only more affordable but happy to be driven by pretty much any amplifier, tube or solid state...
...The good news continues in the mids, where true to intent, tone, texture and immediacy are indeed the dominant themes.  The Omens are no wallflowers.  This is an upfront, very direct, very present, very involving speaker.  It wants your full attention, and chances are, it will get it.  They really shone on the latest (gorgeous) Fleet Foxes record (Helplessness Blues) with gobs of subtle midrange color, detail and nuance.  Voices were decadently rich, well centered in space and completely free of the speaker boxes. These speakers “throw” images and voices into the room in a way that I’ve never heard before. Ali Farka Toure’s “Rouky”, an intimate little African blues track, is downright spooky when well reproduced and I’ve never heard it as gripping as through the Omens.  With these speakers the music is happening right in front of you.  The sound is in your face, and very intimate. And, not surprisingly since it’s all coming form the same driver as the bass, the speed, control, freedom from overhang and immediacy carry forward through the mids and lower treble.

For the complete review go to Audio Ideas Guide

ReviewsSean CaseyComment