If you expect to get a bit of style with your £16,500 speakers you might be a bit disappointed by the Sophia 3s. Distinctive and unusual perhaps sums it up best. They’ll appeal to a die-hard fan of Silent Running (we can’t be the only people to think they look like the garden-tending robots of the ’70s sci-fi classic, can we?)
Wilson Audio has prioritised function over form, though, for these undoubtedly high-end speakers.
The idea here is that the shaping and cabinet materials work optimally for each range of frequencies. The company has also opted for a full three-way design, which means the Sophia 3s have dedicated drivers for bass, midrange and treble.
Often designs like this struggle for cohesion, but here the three drivers integrate exceptionally well, delivering consistent character from the very deep, chunky bass to the highest treble. They can party too, and are impressively surefooted rhythmically.
There’s quite extraordinary detail on offer, too — the kind of transparency that makes the very best recordings sound better than ever and exposes compressed tracks for what they are — while dynamics are deftly despatched and frankly huge volume levels are available.
We have just one mild criticism: the tweeter lacks just a smidge of refinement that the very best alternatives are capable of, but there’s no denying the overall quality of the Sophia 3’s tonal range and integration. That though, we stress, is comparing them with the very best speakers money can buy.
What is a certainty is that you’re going to need a suitably accomplished system to power them -anything remotely sub-par will undoubtedly fall flat. If you’re fortunate enough to have companion kit up to the task, the Wilson Audio Sophia 3s will deliver a truly stunning sound packed with detail, dynamics and drive.
Type Floorstander • Sensitivity 87dB/W/m • Impedance 4 ohms • Max power n/a •
Biwirable No • Finishes 7 • Dimensions (hwd) 105 x 35 x 48cm
FOR: Extraordinarily revealing; superb cohesion; powerful and powerfully dynamic; very well made
AGAINST: We’ve heard marginally more refined tweeters
VERDICT: As long as you don’t get hung up on the looks the Sophia 3s are among the best speakers you can buy