The Step 35 speakers stood out in the second multitest livestream for their excellent performance. Reason enough to listen to this speaker a little longer. Spoiler alert: that first impression is correct.
Audio Physic is a German speaker manufacturer, active on the market since 1986. They design their speakers and speaker units themselves and have brought many innovations to the market. Over time, the same model name has been used for new generation speakers, which sometimes makes it a bit confusing. The Step name has always been used for the smallest speakers in their reference line.
Your reviewer is very fond of his Audio Physic Spark speakers from the year 1999. Speakers that old are – these days – almost “vintage”. These Steps are anything but vintage; they are built around Audio Physic’s third-generation HHCM speaker units. According to Audio Physic, these units are very neutral and even in their dispersion.
Now audio manufacturers claim all kinds of things, but the claim of neutrality is in this case justified. They barely add any color, and if they have any signature at all, it is uniform across the entire bandwidth from the lowest note to the highest note.
What is striking every time is how tight and accurate the aftertone is, as in a dying piano note. Until the sound dies out you hear all the overtones, it does not change and there is no change of color, despite the fact that it has a speaker’s bass port at the back. Soft tones are easily reproduced correctly and that is a world-class achievement.