Home Aretai Contra 100S monitor speaker – Cool!

Aretai Contra 100S monitor speaker – Cool!

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Pros

  • Rhythmically very strong
  • Beautiful, layered rendering
  • Nowhere sharp

Cons

  • Pricey
  • Fresh character
  • Bass requires good placement

Price: € 10000

Build quality
Usability
Sound
Price
Aretai Contra 100S

Intro

New hifi / audio brands really have to do their best to stand out. Especially in the highly saturated loudspeaker market. The Latvian speaker brand Aretai succeeded very well with the Contra series. Stark, functional, yet friendly to the eye. We look at, listen to and measure the monitor version: the Aretai Contra 100S. A 10,000 Euro per pair monitor speaker.

Aretai is a very young brand. It was founded in 2018 by Jānis Irbe (technical design) and Edgars Zvirgzdiņš (optical design). That it has become a successful product, is proven by the Red Dot Design Award. Although judging looks remains tricky, as it is very taste-dependent.

No horn!

The white disk is, of course, immediately noticeable. However, let’s start by telling you that the “disk” on the Aretai Contra 100S is not a horn. It is a waveguide. This waveguide should spread the high frequencies better and make sure that when you walk or stand through the room you do not immediately lose all the treble. A problem that many enthusiasts will be familiar with.

Now we tried that and admittedly, it works. The high energy remains more present. However, it also creates some other challenges as the measurements show, but the fact is: we hear more sparkle when we stand than with speakers that don’t have this.

It is also notable that the Latvians have chosen a closed system with a woofer at the front and rear. Both are also active, which we did not immediately expect.

The Contra 100S is a 2.5-way system, whereby we assume that the rear woofer does not play any mids: that would be nonsensical. Unfortunately, nowhere on the website does it say what the crossovers are. We would have found that interesting; especially with a 2.5-way system.

Aretai specifies the range from 32 Hz to 30 KHz. Now the bass runs pretty deep we have heard, but 32 Hz we find a bit optimistic. However, with a hefty amplifier and smart placement, we think 40 Hz is achievable at -3dB we estimate. In fact, we hear pretty deep bass coming out of this monitor. And let’s face it: 40 Hz is just really neat for a compact monitor speaker!

Dead sounding

This is meant positively. The cabinet of the Aretai Contra 100S sounds pretty dead. It is also very nicely finished. Now that should be the case in this price range where the “big boys” rule. For 10,000 Euro per pair you have a lot of choice!

The design is sleek and stylish. But as mentioned before: that’s taste. What is not taste is the sleek finish. We don’t see screws anywhere and all the seams are flush. Aretai has payed a lot of attention to detail.

Type test
Single Test
Speaker class
Monitor - bookshelf
Speaker type
Dynamic
Speaker system
Closed
Signal control
Passive
Frequency range
32 Hz - 30000 Hz
Crossover
2,5-way
Efficiency
87 dB
Impedance
4 Ohm
Dimensions
  • Width: 21,5 cm
  • Depth: 25 cm
  • Height: 40 cm
Weight speaker
16 Kg
Production country
Latvia
Measurements
Aretai Contra 100 - waterfall - straight 1m - -25db
Aretai Contra 100 - waterfall - straight 1m - -25db
Aretai Contra 100S - Impedance - Phase
Aretai Contra 100S - Impedance - Phase
Aretai Contra 100 - response - off axis 1M
Aretai Contra 100 - response - off axis 1M
Aretai Contra 100 - response - off axis 1,5M - 12ms windows
Aretai Contra 100 - response - off axis 1,5M - 12ms windows
Aretai Contra 100 - Prism measurement - 1M straight
Aretai Contra 100 - Prism measurement - 1M straight
Aretai Contra 100 - wavelet - straight 1m
Aretai Contra 100 - wavelet - straight 1m
Aretai Contra 100 - response - straight 1m
Aretai Contra 100 - response - straight 1m
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