Apertura Audio Armonia Evolution speakers review

It's always a pleasure to learn what is new at the Apertura Audio, exchange the correspondence with Laurence Poyer, learn what it or talk in person at the shows. Her positiveness, passion for music and great sound, as well as her friendly nature, is contagious and something that I wouldn't mind being a norm in our beloved industry. 

As you can read on the brand holds an impressive mileage, know-how, a history with the rich and inspiring heritage. Combine this with the sheer enthusiasm for high-end audio and high-quality reproduction and you have a recipe for the loudspeakers that encapsulated something very different and more than worthy to explore. 


Everything begins with Christian Yvon and his passion for sound reproduction and music. He has always been surprised how existing loudspeakers were not able to recreate –from his point of view- the experience of the leaving sound experience.

In 1978, he created his own laboratory to lead researches on sound and acoustic. He then developed several new technologies with the goal of getting as close as possible to the musical information recorded. No more, no less. 

The Proprietary DRIM cross-over structure is one of them. In 1979, he, then, worked for Goldmund and developed many of their products such as the “Dialogue”, “Apologue”, “Analogue” and “Epilogue” speakers. He also worked for Focal, Sonus Faber, and many others.

In 1982, he decided to develop his own models, and choose the name of APERTURA, as a brand. This challenge was a beginning, and an opening towards a new concept: reproduce the purest sound, no additional resonances, no extra colorations nor phase errors and impulse response delay.

The first of his speakers was the “Reference”, introduced in 1983. It was soon followed by many others, and among them, the Tanagra in 1990 and the Kalibrator in 1999. During 25 years, he developed a complete line of speakers.

End 2009, he decided to end its association with the company manufacturing Apertura speakers, as the quality level and strategy was no longer in accordance with his expectations.

In 2010, Eric POYER and he met and decided to set up together a new company named “STENTOR” to develop, manufacture and sell a completely new line of Apertura products.

Previously, Eric POYER has worked many years in a well know High-End manufacturer, before creating his own OEM audio company 20 years ago.
For now 9 years, Eric and Christian have started a completely new line of products. 

  • 2010: Armonia
  • 2011: Onira, Ariana
  • 2012: Edena, Enigma
  • 2014: Adamante
  • 2016: Kalya
  • 2017: Enigma mkII
  • 2018: Edena Evolution
  • 2019: Armonia Evolution – Sensa - Swing

In 2019, the current line includes 10-floor standing speakers: Ariana, Sensa, Armonia, Armonia Evolution, Edena, Edena Evolution, Onira, Adamante, Enigma mkII, - Kalya as a stand mount speaker.- Swing as bookshelf/stand mount speaker.

Stentor – Apertura is a family business type company: it is a small entity, very reactive, where the whole team will have in heart to always realize the perfect loudspeaker. Within this team, Christian is in charge of acoustic design and Eric is making the mechanical design and the production.

The Apertura loudspeakers are handcrafted in France, near Nantes on the west coast. Apertura Audio uses very few and tightly selected subcontractors. Cabinets and drive units are rigorously selected among the best, and every other step is made internally, in order to build a high-end product: acoustic and mechanical design, drive units test and matching, filter design and manufacture, assembly and final individual tests before packing.


1) - the special shape of our cabinets meets two requirements:

* Reduce as much as possible the surface of the most emissive walls, which are, contrary to the widespread idea, the top, and rear walls.

"We have to take in mind that the speaker cabinet is not a musical instrument and should be as neutral as possible."

* Bring an aesthetic signature for our products: Easily recognizable, and distinctive to Apertura speakers; Original and elegant.

2) - Mechanical designs of speaker cabinets are not equal in terms of sonic signature.

A laminar structure is much more efficient in terms of vibration damping than any standard technique, because of the induced breaking modes in the material thickness and mechanical constraints in molded panels.

Side curved panels consist of multiple layers of thin high-density MDF foils.

All MDF foil are glued together and molded at high temperature on dedicated tooling.

Depend on the model, some sensitive panels like bottom and top, are sometimes simply double.

3) - Apertura speakers are available in real wood veneer with satin or high-gloss lacquer, or piano black (high- gloss).


Too many speakers are designed paying no attention to the importance of good internal damping. And good damping is not a question of putting randomly small pieces of foam or glass fiber.

You have to get in mind the fact that woofer drivers are producing the same acoustic pressure inside the cabinet than in the direction of the listener.

Ask yourself what happen to this internal sound radiation in case of poor or no damping?

By what miracle in such case it has no influence or feedback on the drivers or the behavior of the bass-reflex loading?

Contrary to some legends in the audiophile world, having no parallel walls will not cancel or reduce standing waves. It just modifies the envelope. Close to no internal damping, do not bring a clearer and relax sound. It's exactly the opposite.
A well design internal damping is one of the most important steps in the process of Apertura speakers. Apertura is using several types of materials, in very specific quantity and locations.


At first because a well designed 2 ways speaker is already a difficult challenge, and a three ways speaker is far much more complicate and costly.

Secondly, the qualitative gain of a three ways speaker is almost very reduced or none compare to well designed 2 ways speaker, and only to the detriment of a much more complex crossover.
On this matter, simplicity is our motto.


In a speaker driver production run, no driver is identical to another.

If a driver manufacturer tells you the opposite, you are free to trust him, but in this case, don't make measurement yourselves!

In the Apertura design process, for each speaker, a set of drivers (woofer(s) + tweeter) are measured together on a test cabinet with a dedicated adjustable crossover.

Some values of components are modified successively until the measured frequency response fulfills with the reference defined for the model.

So in production, for each set of drivers, a matched crossover with specific values is defined.

It's a long and expensive process, but the only one which guarantees repeatability between one speaker to another.


Weight in a speaker is a good thing. It’s true for the cabinet but not at all in drivers.

Apertura Audio only use drivers with the lightest weight moving parts, together with high-performance magnet systems. The diaphragm must always be damped, so it's a matter of compromise on the Weight/ damped ratio of the driver.

All stiff and heavy material must be rejected to avoid heavy breaking modes on woofers.

Apertura Audio use long voice coil to get a wider linear excursion.

Music is transient! So you should accelerate and brake hard.

"We build an F1 type of speakers. The analogy is easy to understand: a lightweight device with a powerful engine..."


There are many myths around ribbon tweeters. You maybe have already heard such comments as "a ribbon tweeter sounds bad or dull"....... and they are right....... when not correctly filtered!

It' a wonderful type of drivers, with the superlative quality of speed and musicality, but it does not suffer any approximation in terms of crossover.
No other type of tweeter drivers has an equivalent weight/ surface ratio than ribbon.

Because of great advances made on Neodymium magnet, this type of driver is also now possible on smaller speakers.

Christian Yvon is working on such drivers for 15 years. 

Thanks to his proprietary crossover technology, he has the ability to cut the ribbon tweeter at a low frequency, and bring the benefit of ribbon over a wider frequency range.


"Take nothing away from the signal, but above all, add nothing to it. Contrary to the received idea, the hardest by far is to add nothing." looks like our mantra, but it's the real idea behind Apertura philosophy.

You can take the image of a brick assembly for a wall. No bricks are similar or neutral.

You can decide to build a wall with fine nuances of natural color, or just an assembly of bricks fitting together, but without guiding idea.

In both cases, you get a wall. One will be well-matched but the other will look at least "strange".

A speaker is a devices assembly of heterogonous origin: mechanical devices, electromechanical devices, electronic devices. All interact with others, and you can't favor or neglect one, to the detriment of the others. It's a subtle blend.


Speaker drivers are electro-mechanical devices generating sound waves by the movement of a diaphragm. The driver gasket is the mechanical reference of this device.

It's the theory.

In reality, sound waves are also generated on the back of the driver in the opposite phase.

These sound waves excite the cabinet and generate vibrations. Vibrations are propagated inside the cabinet material and create structure-born noises and distortion of the mechanical reference of drivers.

Drivers themselves are subject to mechanical constraints and forces, with the consequence of vibration and torsion on drivers' sub-assemblies.

So to summarize, you must consider vibration damping & dissipation as part of your mechanical design. This is a non-exhaustive list of dedicated vibration treatment in Apertura speakers:
  • Cabinet: heavy bracing, cabinet structure (see point A)
  • Drivers: damped diaphragm, gasket locking
  • Crossover components: baked wires for coils, heavy components glued on Pcb. Stand: Apertura stands on one point (cone) located on the center of gravity.


First: a neutral component, it does not exist!

All the components have their own sonic signature. By components, I mean coils, capacitors or cables, but also damping and cone materials.

Some are measurably or by experimentation found better than others. For some others, you simply do not find them better but simply sounding "different".
Apertura Audio use only quality components, but components with the least color or components mix of complementary qualities. It's the principle of the right components at the right place.

Even if the most expensive components are not the "best" or give a very slight improvement versus its price, the difference in all cases remains marginal compared to a very small adjustment of the internal damping or the vent tube.

But two millimeter on a vent tube is less marketing-friendly.....


The crossover is the key element in a well-design speaker. It will define the frequency range covered by each driver, the attenuation of drivers, correction of drivers and phase coherence.

No common structure (Butterworth, Bessel....) are able to match ideal parameters in a real-world environment, but only simulation software.

Christian Yvon has developed 25 years ago a proprietary topology so flexible that it allows him to carve the frequency response of each driver.

With a “DRIM” structure even a cut at 90° is possible with phase coherence, but it is not applicable in production as it is too much sensible to any driver discrepancies.

Apertura Audio keep things discreet on this technology because of intellectual property, and pale imitations are so common nowadays!


Apertura is driven by a family type business company - Stentor SAS in France. They'are located close to the city of Nantes - west coast of France.

Cabinets are sub-contracted in Asia. The main reason is not the cost as people may think, but the fact that the know-how and tooling required to manufacture cabinets as complex as Apertura Audio are now mainly located in Asia. They have also a long tradition of lacquering which is not so common in Europe.

Apertura has two sub-contractors who fulfill their quality standard.

All the drivers are coming from Seas in Norway for all of the Apertura woofers.

Ribbon tweeters are coming from Fountek in China. China has more than 80% of the world reserve of rare earth needed for Neodymium magnets. It's the reason why all ribbon manufacturers are located in China.

All of the coils are coming from Jantzen in Denmark.

Capacitors are from various sources like Jantzen, Mundorf, LCR, Intertechnik, and others. Apertura Audio use own proprietary cables, OFC or copper silver plated with PTFE.

All the measurements, Pcb assembly, speaker assembly, and tests are made in Apertura Audio's own facility, Nantes, France.


The conceptual approach of Christian Yvon can be summed up as a search of minimalism in the sense of minimum defects. Getting rid of "dross". The quality can only be improved once the faults have been removed.

"The majority of manufacturers are seeking to have their speakers as generous as possible, and thus, the most able to adapt to all music and equipment."

But exactly the opposite is required, and this is the most difficult: A loudspeaker really must reproduce only the signal applied to it, without adding its own resonances, its own colorations, its own phase errors and impulse response delay.

A loudspeaker is a patchwork of components whose development requires the mastery of different technologies:
  • Crossover network.
  • Acoustic (standing wave treatment, resonators, diffraction, diffusion, absorption).
  • Electromagnétism.
  • Materials science, vibration damping.
  • Mechanical design.
  • Fluid Dynamics.

For over 25 years, Christian Yvon has worked on the problem of crossover filters. He is the father of technology and a filter structure called "DRIM", which is a real tool for "cutting" filter curves.

This structure allows each speaker driver to operate in a well‐defined frequency band, thanks to a triple transition slope: 6dB, 12dB, and 24dB/oct. This avoids intermodulation distortion and allows perfect control of phase rotations. With this tool, it is possible to compensate for peaks and dips in the frequency response. In short, to build the loudspeaker response curve.

The shape of Apertura loudspeakers is a result of the multidisciplinary work carried on.

If obviously, their design is based on a quest for the ideal form and the beautiful object in the true sense of luxury craftsmanship, it is also fully in line with Apertura's work on vibration damping of the loudspeaker enclosure and the treatment of standing waves.

Contrary to a widespread belief, the use of non‐parallel walls in no way eliminates the main front/ back reflection of the cone: it just changes the envelope.

If the amplitude of the reflection is reduced, the lag is increased by the same proportion. The amount of energy remains unchanged unless reflections are absorbed.

As for the standing waves, a significant amount of the development and internal treatment deals with the front/back reflection damping.

Apertura works only with leading suppliers and manufacturers. In order to offer products matching our ambitions, no concessions are made in the choice of materials and components.

At all stages of assembly, each of these items is checked according to Apertura's own specifications. All drive units are individually measured. Only those whose parameters comply with Apertura's standards are accepted for production. The others are rejected.

Apertura Audio  products combine 25 years' experience in high-end product design and in house skills in the latest software:
  • 3D solid modeling software on the work station.
  • 3D photorealistic rendering software.
  • PCB design software.
  • FEA simulation & analysis software.
  • Acoustics & vibration measurement system.


A New Design... Like her elder sister, Edena Evolution, Armonia Evolution has a new slimmer and more elegant cabinet. The stands and spikes design has been improved, and are available in 2 different finishes: black or silver.

The main differences between Armonia - Apertura Audio best seller model - and Armonia Evolution are the ribbon tweeter twice as big as in Armonia, a brand new crossover, new high-end components, and many other details...

The gain in performance is important as a step up as in Edena. As each of Apertura Audio speakers, Armonia Evolution is designed and manufactured in their facility on the west coast of France (near Nantes).


  • 18 cm mid/woofer “isotactic matrix” – a woven polypropylene composite cone. This material combines stiffness, lightness and good damping properties.
  • Long voice coil for a high linear excursion
  • New generation of ribbon tweeter, using a flat metalized polymer diaphragm.
  • Its emissive area is twice that of the Armonia tweeter. A double surface will reduce the movements of the ribbon, and thus the distortion.
  • The result is an increase dynamic capacity and a higher resolution


  • Proprietary « DRIM » structure with a triple attenuation slopes and phase control over the entire bandwidth.
  • A brand new crossover for the Armonia Evolution with two independent circuits boards for low-pass and High-pass sections.
  • Selection of very high end capacitors.
  • Each set of drive units (tweeter and mid/woofer) are individually measured and crossover values adjusted according to these sets measurements.
  • Hand wiring on a 140 µm copper printed circuit board.
  • Optimized crossover structure to avoid magnetic interference between components
  • Bornier en cuivre pur, plaqué argent.


  • This new model uses the Apertura very specific cabinet shape: two curved sides of different length and no parallel front and back panels.
  • Laminar structure based on multiple thin layers pressure molded.
  • Such process creates breaking modes and limit propagation of vibrations.
  • Internal multi-cavity framework to stiffen the structure and create very specific areas where damping materials can be applied.
  • Importance is given to damping treatment to cancel any standing waves. We are using 3 different types of dumping materials.
  • Mechanical grounding: a central cone positioned on the axis of the center of gravity improved vibrations transfer to the floor.
  • New aluminum stands and spikes available. Choice of 2 anodized colors: black or silver.

Armonia Evolution comes in 5 standard finishes and with on-demand high gloss or metallic paints.


The technological side was covered profoundly, so well did the Armonia Evolution played their designated role as the high-end audio transducers? 

I've had more than enough time to evaluate these riveting French loudspeakers. With speakers of such persuasiveness, the work and music's enjoyment do blend seamlessly. here I do happily concur to the comment of having the best job in the world :). 

Mose Allison's "Back Country Suite for Piano, Bass and Drums: New Ground" from Back Country Suite is a clear and vivid reminder of how much impact mono can have when it's recorded well. The very first minute of the song reveals so much about the speakers' dynamic potency and speed. Armonia Evolutions acted with a spacious airiness and remarkable velocity creating a memorable and lingering effect. The sense of clarity was beyond expected and certainly above its given price range. The same goes for Armonia Evolutions ability to render sharp and quick attacks. Without the proper crossover implementation, Mose Allison's can too quickly sound vague, plain and slow. On contrary Apertura Audio loudspeakers acted instantaneously with the needed force and impressive cynosure.      

"Gramigna" from Almamegretta's contribution on Dub Box Vol.1 is an instant challenger for the delivery of the lower frequencies. It's surprising how a well mixed and recorded song can stand in space without major interferences from the surrounding environment in terms of acoustics. Apertura Audio Evolutions handled this specifically demanding task with unpredictable ease and without any struggling with the projection of an intelligible and focal point bass and drums. My reference room in not exactly on the smallish side, yet Armonia Evolutions have managed to convert solid and well balanced lower register performance without reservation. 

And the cinematic/atmospheric realms? The opening track from the album Tilt by Scott Walker encapsulates enough drama to expose any loudspeakers shortcomings. "Farmer in the City" the expanded sonic scape was of beautiful expanse. Apertura Audio Evolutions quite remarkably dramatized "Farmer in the City" with a sense of much bigger speakers and have fulfilled the listening space with the splendid vertical and horizontal elongation.  

Freshens of the vocals were easily revived with The Supremes - Supremes A' Go-Go. "This Old Heart of Mine (Is Weak for You)" is surely recorded in what's was the era's leitmotif with instruments strictly propelled on the far left and right size, but the main and backing female vocals are positioned in the very epicenter. Aperturas have easily deciphered the vocals' layering, clearly differentiating the solo voice from the accompanying overlays without masking each other. Not a small feat!

The piano and solo voice is always among my preferred combos when it comes to the critical judging of any speakers under the evaluation. "Fünf Lieder aus "Der Siebente Ring", Op. 3 - I. Dies ist ein Lied für dich allein" by Pierre Boulez, Charles Rosen Anton - Webern: Complete Works: Op. 1 - Op. 31. This performance calls for exceedingly subtle rendition to sound right. Just listen to the vocal's sudden momentum of the vibrato accompanied with the piano notes. How easily this is lost in translation when loudspeakers are voiced outside of the needed norms. Here again, Apertura Audio Armonia Evolutions have shown an impressive ability to stand out of the crowd. Not only by portraying the vocal zestfully and effortlessly follow up of the piano notes' expectedly extended decays. The Armonia Evolutions also exhibited a stand out subtleness that resulted in a captivating interaction that is usually a treasure belonging to the upper echelon league.  

Those of you how have following me for some time know my deepest appreciation for the ECM record label. The vast music material is always hands on to be served as the reference material for the critical listening appraisal. For a bit more in-depth lurking into the spectral shading Julia Hülsmann, Julia Hülsmann Quartet, Theo Bleckmann - A Clear Midnight / Kurt Weill And America lovingly serves the duties of the more than usual stress implying. "Alabama Song" reexamine any speakers' potential of reconstructing the wider varieties of the acoustical space and Armonia Evolution speakers have further proven how well they can handle the denseness. 

Another great ECM album that is always on the tip of the hand is Kenny Wheeler/Lee Konitz/Dave Holland/Bill Frisell - Angel Song. While some might find this album a bit restrained (especially Frisell) I like it a lot for the tonal imprint. The beautiful tone is connected with all of the instruments, never escaping into the unwanted sonic foray. Despite unsolicited voicing labeling (design choices that are always consequential), no loudspeakers final genesis can escape this part. 

It's as crucial as the rest of the initial design paraphernalia; like the selection of the materials, drivers, crossover, etc. Apertura Audio Armonia Evolution speakers crisp and always inviting tone's handling is another particular stand out positive attribute. This was apparent not only with this album but across multiple listening notes' remarks.

Repeatedly I've highlighted and pointed out the great tone, timbre and color balancing act. For many of the music lovers, this is among the crucial points of the speakers' sonic pinnacle points and Armonia Evolutions are something special in this regard. Being warm, but not over saturated is not so easily achievable as it might appear, yet Apertura Audio expertly refined this voicing part. 

There are those moments where the mind needs a bit of musical chaotic ordnance and there is no better way than exposing it to the masterful Rock Bottom from Robert Wyatt. Wicked!? Indeed... I'm sure you've heard the organized chaos phrase a few times before. This is exactly how I feel with certain music's ability to re-arrange my mind into the calmer harmonic whole. 

If the high-end audio system, especially the speakers are not able to convey the information with the fullest extent the original message's DNA in watered down or simply lost in translation. This phenomenon or lack of such essence results in annoyance and lack of interest in the music. Opposable the Armonia Evolutions acted with a novel astuteness, turning their transformative nature at their advantage with each music material. Again one of the exceptional features that put Armonia Evolutions on quite a different map than many would expect!

To re-check the reality I've dive into the Can's Future Days. "Bel Air" wide variety is beyond sublime and multiplexing. Without being forensic, but rather vibrantly adventurous the Apertura Audio Armonia Evolution speakers have shown again a proven continuity and ability to morph sonically at once when needed. The hypnotic Can's atmosphere was painted with all of the diversified color palettes and pulsating, non-stop and ever-changing tempi. Armonia Evolutions' most engaging nature has delivered an unprecedented sonic voyage. My listening notes were all covered with the red marks immediately pointing at something not expecting and stand out. Yes, Apertura Audio Armonia Evolution speakers have forwarded quite an unexpected and complex voyage!


The diversified, chameleon-like nature of Apertura Audio Armonia Evolution speakers is a no happy accident. It's a result of painstaking efforts in creating the loudspeakers that are beyond typical norms and expectations. Yes, this review is a bit more lengthy, but I really wanted to show how many technical aspects were being thought of and how much know-how is being implemented in each pair. On top of it. These speakers are clearly the result of the people who wholeheartedly enjoy and deeply cherish the music. 

Armonia Evolution is not voiced to any particular sonic flavor. They're not focusing on anything particular or come with the push forward nature. Evolutions are unapologetically entering into the very core and epicenter of the music (when the high-end audio system allows them to) without being obstructive or implying any self-signature running. 

What more can one expect and want from the high-end audio speakers? And what more can be expected from such a healthy price tag!?

Of course, there are no perfect or completely translucent transducers out there, but Armonia Evolution speakers are a remarkable example of how seemingly the technology can work in tandem in the service of music when the right design choices were being made from the very start and with the vast pool of experiences on hand.  

Before you ask the question... Yes, Apertura Audio Armonia Evolution speakers are full blooded French. They're seductive, radiant and are clearly the result of most highly passionate endeavors. While they possess a refreshing natural openness, they're no stranger to an instant vibrancy when the music calls for it. 

I do have a special affection for the ribbon tweeter based speakers for many of the reasons and it's there's no doubt that Armonia Evolutions were easily loved. But, make no mistake.  Ribbons alone won't grant my approval by default for just being ribbons. There are many speakers out there with ribbon high-frequency drivers, that simply offers little or nothing that would lit my inner sensors. Armonia Evolutions are much more than just another tweeter based floor-standing speakers. They're a highly calibrated, highly potent transducers that bring an unexpected level of sonic complexity to a believable reality. 

Apertura Audio Armonia Evolutions offers much more sonic qualities, that are instantly recognizable and tangible. The way the Armonia Evolutions disappear into space and still greatly lock with the music's momentum is above the ordinary. 

With the ever rising prices, Armonia Evolution speakers are priced very reasonably and you get a heck a lot of your money worth. Apertura Audio exemplary shows that a stand out high-end audio performance is reachable within earthly realms. I didn't know the price of the review samples in prior and my estimate was 12k+. Yes, that is quite a compliment form yours truly. 

It takes decades to refine a product like Armonia Evolution and Apertura Audio is no shy of their heritage and history. They're proudly delivering a true 21st-century high-grade audiophile and music lover's loudspeakers at both the price, and most importantly with the performance, that will and should make quite many of the manufacturers quite nervous.

For what it represents sonic and value wise I'm wholeheartedly giving out 2019 Mono and Stereo Best Buy Product Award to the Apertura Audi  Armonia Evolution speakers. 

Matej Isak


- recommended French public prices including 20% VAT
- In White and black High gloss : 4 990 € / pair
- Cherry stain: 5 250€ / pair
- Mapple and Rosewood High gloss: 5 500€ /pair

It is also possible to order the Armonia Evolution in “on demand” colors.

- On demand high gloss: 6 750€ / pair
- On demand “metalized high gloss”: 7 250€/pair.

And these need some additional extra time to be available. (usually 3 to 4 weeks outside summer vacation time).


  • Frequency range : 37-30 000Hz/ +-3dB
  • Sensitivity : 87dB/2.83v/1m
  • Impedance : 8Ω
  • Load : bass-reflex
  • Drive units : 18 cm mid-woofer « Isotactic matrix », Ribbon tweeter 8×120 mm
  • Crossover frequency : 2,8 kHz
  • Terminals :  single wire binding posts (spades or Bananas)
  • Dimensions :  205 x 291 x 1030 mm (W x D x H), with stands : 292 x 291 x 1069 mm
  • Weight : 22,2kg net – 22kg (packed)


3 la Hamonnais
44810 Heric

Web: apertura-audio.com
Email: contact@apertura-audio.com