After many requests Apertura Audio has finally taken up the challenge of creating an affordable, versatile mini monitor speaker. The result is the Swing, a compact speaker that embodies all the core tenets of Apertura’s philosophy despite its small size and chic appearance.
Thanks to long experience in the field of high-end speakers, the development of an elegant, effective, and compact speaker was a challenge that Apertura Audio could face.
Sensa and Swing have the same refined design, where the loading volume remains optimal. Swing is a versatile speaker: classically placed on a stand, simply placed on a piece of furniture, or integrated into a bookshelf to face space problems.
Solid 18mm panels, internal bracing, differentiated damping, and precisely balanced reflex loading provide bass that is clean and fast enough to support a rich, colorful, and responsive midrange and clean, seamlessly integrated highs – essentials for enjoying any kind of music. The Swing may be small, but when it comes to reproducign the music, its performance is nowhere near modest.
A 16 cm mid/bass driver with an “isotactic matrix,” a cone-like one used in Armonia, Edena, and their bigger models. This material of woven polypropylene strips combines stiffness, lightness, and good damping properties.
The long-moving coil allows for a long linear excursion. This is quite remarkable for a speaker of this size.
This chassis is also equipped with an original suspension with radial stiffeners that reduce interferences.
The high frequencies are reproduced by a tweeter belonging to the famous “Ring Radiator” family.
In addition to its unusual profile, it features a spherical, bullet shape waveguide and a rear damping chamber. The result is extended frequency response, both at the top end (up to over 40 kHz) and at the bottom end, to allow easier coupling with the bass/midrange drivers.
High frequencies are reproduced by a tweeter that belongs to the famous “Ring Radiator” family.
In addition to its unusual shape, it features a spherical waveguide and a rear damping chamber. The result is extended frequency response, both at the top end (up to over 40 kHz) and at the bottom end, to allow easier coupling with the bass/midrange driver.
Proprietary ” DRIM ” structure technology with triple attenuation slopes suppresses intermodulation in every section of the crossover, resulting in unsurpassed clarity and resolution.
The same high-quality components are used as in the Sensa line.
Each set of drive units (tweeter and midrange/woofer) is measured individually, and the crossover values are adjusted according to these measurements.
Swings feature a hand-wiring on a 140 µm copper PCB and an optimized crossover structure to avoid magnetic interference between components.
The main goal of this new cabinet design was to limit the propagation of vibrations at the most critical points (especially at the back).
Here are some of the highlights:
- High thickness panels (18 mm)
- Internal double cavity frame with a bracing plate that stiffens the structure and creates very specific areas where damping materials can be used
- Optimized bass reflex loading that allows the reproduction of low frequencies, which is unusual for a speaker of this size
- Great importance was given to damping to suppress standing waves
- Two different types of damping materials
Low storage cabinet
The curved walls and asymmetrical shape of Apertura cabinets are much more than about their clean, good looks.
Instead of the simple, machined MDF panels used in most speaker cabinets, the curved walls of Apertura speakers are made of multiple thin layers of carefully selected HDF panels that are glued together and precisely shaped under extreme pressure. This creates a structure that is far more rigid and dissipates energy much more effectively than a single, monolithic panel.
This approach not only raises the resonant frequency of each part of the enclosure but also prevents it from resonating at a single dominant frequency.
Combined with the asymmetrical footprint that minimizes common dimensions and parallel sides between panels, strategically placed internal bracing, and lapped construction at joints (rather than the cheaper, weaker, and less rigid butt joints typically used), the result is an enclosure structure with a diffuse resonant character and excellent energy dissipation, as well as extremely low coloration.
Double-thickness panels in key locations such as the top and bottom plates provide optimum stiffness where it is needed, while the low memory signature of the entire enclosure helps reduce the intermodulation distortions that can smear and cloud the mid band or create lumpy, one-note low frequencies.
Interestingly, today’s speakers and high-end audio at its core are still about two channels and technology that, while refined, was created more than a century ago.
Over the decades, the materials, approaches, and technological advancements have made two-channel high-end audio speakers a highly refined unique selling point products, and in the wake of this evolution, the supplementary benefit of two-channel music and playback is a seemingly endless stream of music for any audiophile or music to discover and enjoy.
In my music references, I always try to avoid haunting observation and transactional analysis. I simply focus on what stands out about the product being evaluated.
A drift through Chris Duarte – Shiloh (Texas Sugar / Strat Magik) with the Apertura Audio Swing speakers allowed for an unanticipated, nurturing sonic space.
As can happen with many small speakers, there was no after-the-fact sonic transmission, no sonic clumsiness, lacking the finesse. Chris Duarte’s guitar playing was more holistically focused than I remembered or expected from the usual, typical small speakers. The sheer vibrancy of the tone as well as lock and load with the music was instant and more than worthy of pointing out.
The other above-average sonic challenge with Yosi Horikawa – Bubbles revealed the impressive extension outside the enclosure that Swing speakers could ensure.
The level of detail needed for pinpoint fragmentation, and room extension was certainly above the size and price of the Swing.
Bubbles can quickly sound like the pulsing of irregular intervals. Although it is a chaotic sonic affair, it still needs to be kept within the bounds of organized chaos :).
Another Night – Cody High Kissing Street was pulled out for objective observation of activity patterns.
Another Night took shape without softening the dynamic edges or fading too early and too easily within the vertical and horizontal sound core.
Apertura Audio Swing’s ability to shape and confiscate the complex micro and macro cosmos of Amon Tobin – On A Hilltop Sat The Moon again defied expectations.
The multi-faceted, vectorial sonic space of On A Hilltop Sat The Moon was a refreshing surprise. The Swings transcended their size and the way they cemented Tobin’s obscure sound fields in the aural stratosphere was another virtue not usually connected with stand-mount speakers.
There was simply no sonic obscurity that is usually flaunted at this price point, and the sonic weight, as well as much-needed dynamic dynamics, were quickly set with the proper and objective materialization of Blondie’s Parallel Lines album.
Many speakers circumnavigate the momentum of “Heart Of Glass”, an iconic and timeless Blondie song inducted into the Hall of Fame.
Immediately, the non-brittle sibilance in the voice is there, and the entire album was summoned as far more than a healthy sum of its parts (instruments), without ever being time distant or abstract in the replay.
Many small speakers lose their elemental core qualities even before things start to form the balance and handle properly the dynamic shifts. In contrast, the Apertura Audio Swing speakers succeeded in reproducing this classic in form, and function, and with a great measure of emotional spellbinding without additional embellishments or a sense of low-level performance déjà vu that can be associated with the limited virtues of the given size and price associated with size and price tag of smaller loudspeakers.
I can not remember the last time a pair of stand mount speakers had me literarily glued to my seat at first listen.
Something is fundamentally right with the way the Apertura Audio Swing speakers deliver the music and capture the attention.
Unlike many of the smaller monitor speakers that can too easily project red herrings, the Swings do not give a false or misleading expression from the get-go.
This basic requirement is met by proper design and voicing. Nowadays, there are thousands of ways to make a pair of speakers with easy-to-find drivers, crossovers, CNC-machined parts, and so on.
But when the first notes of music are heard, it quickly becomes clear how much time and dedication has gone into the voicing. How well is the cabinet tuned, how seamlessly do the frequencies of the drivers blend in, and how far do the speakers disappear into the room, making the music sound close to the real occurrence.
Many bookshelf speakers lack the physical weight of instruments or the depth of vertical and horizontal extension. Not so with Aperture Audio’s Swing speakers.
Swing speakers are characterized by solid weight, a very special warmth, and that kind of dark, natural tone that you can immediately hear at live events or from street musicians playing live acoustic instruments.
Even from a distance, there is no confusion that a live musician is playing, as timbre, tone, and color are not in question. Unamplified live music simply pierces through the aural ambient with its spot-on aural equilibrium and harmonic correctness.
Maybe it takes some practice to discern this, but even the untrained ear can tell the difference after a few exposures to the live, unamplified music.
The basic expression of the music is paramount for any speaker to sound right, and Swing speakers have proven to be in tune with the diversity of music and not commit to any particular direction.
Swing can effortlessly focus its strengths without forcing the response or overpowering any of the frequency points.
Too often in this price range, music is only conceptualized and not reproduced, and that is what separates a properly designed and tuned speaker from a mediocre designed (sounding) speaker. It takes more than computer simulations and a few handfuls of software to create a great-sounding speaker, regardless of price.
A good/great or just good-sounding speaker is something that is expected at any cost in our industry. The question often arises as to exactly how to tell. Similar to food, where the basic taste of a tomato, a potato, etc. cannot be ignored, it is the same with the timbre of an instrument.
The longer one exposes oneself to music, the more impressions are stored in our “library”. And if the intelligence that deals with this memorized information have enough material to work with, it will quickly give the mind a lightning-fast binary answer. Yes or No!
For most things we evaluate and judge, it takes about twenty repetitions before we recognize a pattern, a value we can identify with. So creating the proper amount of right impressions represents a particular evaluation that can be used to re-examine reality.
One of the things that distinguish an okay-sounding speaker from a good and great one is fatigue. This phenomenon is caused by distortions of all kinds and again shows how much attention has been paid to the final sound of the speakers. While calculations and software analysis can ensure the correctness of many of the sonic parameters, in the end, it is the music that leads the way for a great-sounding speaker.
And there is no doubt that, as with the other speakers from this high-end audio French loudspeakers manufacturer, the team at Aperture Audio has invested an enormous amount of time in making the Swing speakers sound the way they do. Spot-on and captivating!
At their price and the level of performance they deliver, the Apertura Audio Swing speakers are a success on virtually all levels. For that, I give the Aperture Audio Swing speakers the Mono & Stereo 2022 Best Buy Product Award. ⧉