At only 76cm high, the Neat Motive 2 is an exceptionally compact floorstander for those who want all the musical performance of a Neat floorstander without taking over the living room. These loudspeakers breathe the English class and sober design that is truly timeless and which will effortlessly integrate in any home decor, regardless of how retro or modern it might be. Without looking too vintage, the Neat Motive 2 are speakers whose design manages to marvelously blend in the smooth, well-contoured spartan lines seen 40 years ago with a modern touch that makes them quite a head-turner. The tall and slender cabinet resides on a sculptural plinth that adds stability and sports internal strutting that makes it impervious to resonance and vibrations.
The two-way, bass reflex design in the Neat Motive 2 has the same port and plinth arrangement as the Motive One. The plinth offers a stable platform for the speaker whilst providing a slight backward tilt to maintain the ideal angle for optimum performance. They are angled back slightly to deliver the correct time alignment between bass and treble, which only serves to add to their good looks, as do the impressive real-wood veneer finishes. The driver complement runs on 2-way architecture, with a paper cone bass/midrange driver and a 1-inch tweeter. While the 5.5-inch woofer beautifully develops both the rich and substantial bass, it also offers neatly-voiced midrange with sparkle and natural brightness. Neat Motive 2’s tweeter sports an inverted dome made from titanium, loaded in a massive faceplate that isolates it from unwanted resonance and vibrations coming from the woofers.
When partnered with the right equipment, the Neat Motive 2 speakers are capable of filling the room with the sort of full-bodied, gorgeously transparent presentation that would normally be associated with much bigger floorstanders – quite a feat considering that this two-way ported design is so incredibly compact. The Neat Motive 2 speakers combine the best qualities of both floorstanders and standmounters. They have the weight, authority and punch of a floorstander, and the rhythm and small-scale dynamics of a standmounter. True, a good floorstanding speaker has more bass, but the Neats’ low frequencies are deep enough. They do not have the exceptionally fine detail of the very best in their class, but they are cohesive, complete and compelling. This is partly down to the timing, which is absolutely spot on.
The Neat Motive 2 speakers surprise with their astonishing bass and beautifully open midrange. The treble can be overly exuberant when really pushed, but they remain cohesive, authoritative and downright exciting. They appeal to the kind of person who wants to generate all the scale and excitement of a live performance, without having to resort to speakers that dominate the living room. These speakers are not fussy about position. Certainly, they sound best given a little space, but if they need placing near a back wall, or if listened off-axis, they would still do a decent job. For those who want the satisfying performance of a Neat floorstander without taking over the living room, the Neat Motive 2 is the perfect solution. It is amongst the smallest genuine hi-fi floorstanders available, yet it reproduces music with all the weight and scale usually associated with much larger models.