NEW MANUFACTURERS ARE always welcome in our listening rooms - the more the merrier, we reckon - so we're more than happy to include a fresh brand here. Given the name, we thought Highland was a Scottish company, to join the likes of Linn and Tannoy. But no! Highland is, somewhat curiously, French. The good news for importers is they should be able to fit plenty of 320IS into their trucks -these speakers are darn small. Reachi ng up a diminut i ve 23c m and spanning a mere 13cm, the Aingels are clearly aimed at smaller rooms. We can "We thought Highland was a Scottish company - but, curiously, it's a French one" imagine plenty of owners popping these little numbers on a shelf.
Possibly with this in mind, the manufacturer helpfully includes asct of spiked feet, including matching disc-shaped surface protectors. That said, the 320IS sound better on speaker stands. Sit them on the likes of SoundStyle's £60 Zas, and you solidify the soundswge and maximise openness. Diminutive size, but 3 more'grownup'sound than many similarly sized rivals w.wi:m Small cabinets mean they never match test rivals for room-filling abilities, and bass reach is shallower; top-end can be a touch forward The little Highlands might be ideal if you are fillinga small roam A French company with a Celtic sound: aiming for the US market perhaps?
A word of warning before we further discuss the Highlands' sound: as we said, these are small units, and they won't suit larger listening rooms. Neither will they suit listeners who want to really crank up the volume - especially those who want to use hip-hop to terrify' the neighbours: thrash them, and they lose composure. Even with the low end maximised by placing them against a rear wall, bass reach doesn't match anything else here. Small but well formed What the 3201s can do, when played at suitable levels, is deliver a surprisingly mature listen. They manage to uncover impressive amounts of detail, uncovering enjoyable nuances from Kate Bush's classic Hounds of Love set.
They regiment the steady rhythm of Cloud-busting - something the Missions, for example, struggle to do - and the percussion is appropriately swift and fleet of foot.Tonal balance is even, though the 3201's top end isn't as sweet as, say, the Monitor Audios here. Just to check the Highland's merit against an almost-as-small (but sign! cantly cheaper) speaker, we dugoutt Award-winning Q Acoustic 1010s. Al while the 1010s remain a cracking val proposition, the Highland's extrafinf and style do justify their £70 premiui So, if you're looking for a sweet litt speaker for a rather small space, it's worth taking a trip to the Highlands,