Reviewer: Thomas Bartlett
Almost every loudspeaker that you hear produces sound in a way that is inherently inaccurate. If you sing a song, play a guitar, or make any other noise at all, the sound radiates out in all directions. But loudspeakers fire the sound, or at least its high-pitched components, directly towards you.
There are exceptions, though, including the Mirage NanoSat system.
Before getting into the full feature list, let us focus more on this unusual characteristic. High pitched sounds are very directional, which is why you normally (or should, anyway) point the your speakers towards where you sit, so that the tweeters will be delivering all their sound to you.
The Nanosats have their tweeters pointing directly upwards. A small dome above them bounces the sound they produce outwards, so that it is delivered to a full 360 degree circle. That way what you hear is not just directly from the tweeter, but also from reflections from the furniture and walls to the sides of, and behind, the speakers.
Mirage uses 19 mm tweeters for this job, while the deeper tones are delivered by 70 mm cones. These, also, fire almost directly upwards and, once again, a cone redirects their sound production out into a full circle.
This package has five of the Nanosats. As the name suggests, they are indeed very small, and quite light, so you will have no trouble using the attached wall mounting brackets, upon which the satellites can swivel sideways.
The subwoofer is the OMNI S8, with a 203 mm forwards firing woofer, and most of its controls conveniently located on the front panel. It has a 100 watt amplifier to drive it, but Mirage says that the thing is good for 400 watt peaks.
When I first set up these speakers, I had left the receiver’s crossover frequency between speakers and subwoofer at the default of 80 hertz. It didn’t take long to notice a certain lack of body in the mid-bass. When I realised my mistake, I wound up the crossover to 120, and then 150 hertz, before finally settling on the former. The satellites simply won’t deliver significant levels of bass. But that is, after all, what the subwoofer is there for.
What the satellites do instead is deliver sound that is quite hypnotic, and different from most of what you have likely heard before.
It is all due to the way the sound is spread all around the room. I closed my eyes, and it all sounded much more like real life, with a depth and spread to the sound with all forms of stereo music. Even better was surround sound from movies.
Most surround speakers do a competent job on generating a surround image, but without the beaming effect, these speakers reproduced the cinema experience brilliantly.
The subwoofer proved to be a good match for these satellites, extending up high enough to fill in their lack of bass, and having plenty of power.
I doubt that you will be able to buy a more tangibly ‘real’ sound system at anything like the price of the Mirage Nanosat system.