The Naim Ovator S-600 is the first product to be launched from Naim's new loudspeaker range, retailing in passive or active mode. The passive version is a little bit cheaper than the active version but of course the saving is more than outweighed by the cost of the extra power amplifier and the active crossover needed for operation.
The S-600 will eventually become the middle of the range of three Ovator loudspeakers. Unlike many of Naim's older loudspeakers, which were designed to be used up against the back wall of the room, the Ovator S-600 is designed to be used in a more free-standing position a little bit away from the back wall. Naim have been working on the active crossover for the Ovators and pre-production active crossovers have become available.
The wide-range mid/treble Balanced Mode Radiator and some of the other features of the Ovators are described in the review of the passive Ovator S-600 speakers.
The Benefits of Active Loudspeaker Operation
Active operation weaves its usual magic for the Ovators as it does for many loudspeakers; the sound is clearer, bass is controlled better and the stereo image is defined more clearly that with the passive version of the Ovators. Of course these benefits come at a price - at price of two more NAP 500 power amplifiers, which will set you back around £30,000 at current retail prices.
It is possible to use two power amplifiers instead of three, by wiring the bass drivers in parallel, since Ovator is a two-way design. The two bass drivers in each loudspeaker are fed with the same part of the frequency spectrum. The cost reduction is significant if the top of the range NAP 500s are the preferred option.
Unfortunately active operation introduces a lot of extra variables into the purchaser's choice. Would it be better to use three NAP 300s or the more expensive choice of two NAP 500s? How about two NAP 300s in active mode compared to the passive version with one NAP 500? There are a lot of permutations to listen to.
Listening to the Naim Ovator S-600 Loudspeaker
The loudspeakers were auditioned in a domestic setting, in an all-Naim system using Reference series components. The source was a Naim CD555 CD player with separate analogue and digital power supplies. The power amplifiers were three Naim NAP500s, so each driver was driven separately.
The sound was exceptionally clear and smooth in the high and mid-frequencies, and low-frequency definition was very good though not outstanding. The Naim Ovator S-600 is a very good loudspeaker and definitely worth auditioning for listeners in the market for a mid-size floor-standing loudspeaker.
Using Naim Ovator S-600 with Your Soundbar
People ofter pair their soundbar with external speakers and subwoofers to get a full audio experience. However, it is often not necessary if you have a powerful gadget that can satisfy your audio needs.
If you don’t have a soundbar yet, the Naim Ovator S-600 can be good enough to have for your daily watching and listening needs. However, if you already have one, or are considering to purchase one, you can definitely pair that with the speakers and enjoy an incredible home theatre experience. Just make sure that you do a proper research on this and get info from reliable sites such as The Product Analyst
, so you don’t end up with a subpar soundbar or one that wouldn’t function well with external speakers.