"In the end, the Harbeth Compact 7ES-3 acquitted themselves with such nimbleness, musicality, excellent 3D sound-staging, honest translating abilities, and timbral accuracy that there was no way I couldn’t award them an Editor’s Choice Award." - Rafe Arnott, Part-Time Audiophile
"These speakers have been tuned to perfection in the BBC tradition to achieve a natural midband, and the result is a highly resolving, yet low distortion speaker that you can listen to for hours on end without fatigue. The Harbeth Compact 7ES-3 remains one of the best buys in high-end audio."
- Jeff Dorgay, TONEaudio Magazine
"...this speaker sets, in my experience, a new benchmark in neutrality and natural tonal balance over its usable range, regardless of price" - Paul Seydor
"...holy freakin’ Hanna those C7s sound amazing in my system!!! Wow. It was funny the other night, a friend was visiting us and she was curious as to how it would sound if she airplayed some tunes from her phone. Well she stayed for hours playing tracks and she was entranced. It was cute to she her so lost in the music, and I was very surprised and happy as to how it sounded. I think I made a great purchase. Cheers for now."
The classic standmount.
Once in every generation of audio enthusiasts a loudspeaker captures their imagination and quickly establishes itself as a milestone in the art of sound reproduction. The Harbeth HL Compact 7 series is an outstanding example of natural sound combined with an ability for reproducing any type of music from rock to opera, electronic to jazz.
The deceptive thing about the Compact 7ES3 is that while it is not a floor stander it has similar cabinet volume and the bass extension and outright volume output is easily on par with common multi-way speakers. Thus, this is a medium sized bookshelf that sounds bigger and louder than you think when looking at it. In fact, with judicious placement and room matching, the Compact 7 can provide perfectly full-range sound with the right setup.
The Compact 7 is rated by BBC standards, that is to say, conservatively and accurately. The vast majority of other speaker manufacturers do not have access to either anechoic chambers or scruples to report accurate ratings. Thus in practice the Compact 7 at only "86dB" will be much easier to drive and sound more effortless than many "90dB" loosely rated speakers. Having sold 100+ pairs over the years and matched them with every imaginiable amplifier, even tube amps of 15watts are sufficient in a smaller room, while any good solid state amp of 50 watts is plenty in larger.
Quality is more important than quantity of watts and there is functionally no limit to the resolution that this speaker can provide given the right source and amplifier. If you have a medium sized room, you owe it yourself to compare the Compact 7 against any speaker at any price.
||2-way vented: 200mm Harbeth RADIAL2™ bass/mid; 25mm Ferro-cooled dome tweeter with HexGrille
||45Hz-20kHz +/-3dB Free space, grille on, smooth off-axis response
||6 ohms, easy to drive.
||Works with a wide range of amplifiers, ideally from 25W/channel.
||Two 4mm gold-plated binding posts for wires or plugs
||520 x 272 x 305mm (+12mm for grille and binding posts)
||Cherry, eucalyptus, rosewood, maple
||Overall response optimised for use away from walls.
||To bring ears level with tweeters: typically 15 - 21 inches. (Tweeter: 440mm up from cabinet base)
||13.2kg each, without packing
||Single speaker per protective carton