I can’t be the only one who finds themselves a little dubious whenever I hear about a product or brand “going back to its roots” but when the Mission LX-2 Bookshelf Speakers were released with that very tagline, they surprised everyone. Even the critics of that particular statement! Within what seemed to be moments of their release, they has already picked up a stunning five star review. And the rest, as they say, is history.
Those are the Mission LX-2 Bookshelf Speakers. Perhaps not the most striking new bookshelves on the block, but that doesn’t stop them from being a budget-level marvel. At £160 (revised down from the original £200), they stand to compete with the likes of the Q Acoustics 3020 in the stakes for the best budget speaker.
They are simple, straightforward and compact bookshelves, made with the Mission legacy firmly in mind. Notably, they have brought Mission’s traditional driver configuration back from the dead, positioning the tweeter below the mid and the bass. This is one of the lower end bookshelves in Mission’s new LX range, designed to replace the MX range. However, in terms of design, they’re standalone; heralding the glory days of Mission. They were so keen to recapture them, they rehired the designers used before the MX range to resurrect what worked about the ranges that came before it.
Mission clearly wanted to make a statement about these speakers with the old fashioned driver array (a 25mm micro-fibre dome tweeter coupled with a 13cm fibre composite mid and bass driver, developed for both low distortion and an even response… more on that shortly) but there’s more to them than that. Far more.
Take, the cabinet. For under £200 you wouldn’t expect anything spectacular, but the Mission LX-2 Bookshelf Speakers boast an impressively well built wooden one. It’s basic, but comfortable and sturdy, and houses the game-changing driver units perfectly. Their compactness (just over 30cm in height) means they are more rigid than larger speakers, and therefore carry a distinct-design advantage.
Just over 30cm tall, the compact dimensions of the LX-2 warrants a “concrete” rigidity that’s hard to get from larger speakers. While the design isn’t overtly striking, it’s very neat and classy, especially in person, and lends itself well to its sound.
But why has it been so well received? Well, as with everything hi-fi related, it all boils down to the sound. The driver array coupled with a unique crossover (a 4th order design: off-axis performance while maintaining balanced on-axis sound alongside a single-wired route, uncommon in anything considered to be budget) has resulted in a sound that has been called strong, dynamic and enticing. They encompass an impressively broad sound stage, but still know their place, which means the sound never feels overbearing, or overreaching.
In short, these neat little bookshevles may be budget, but they’re certainly not cheap. They have been so well received, some are even calling them the new under £200 benchmark. They are worth every penny of their modest £160 price tag, and a few more on top.
Want to take a look for yourself? See the full listing here including the tech specs.