Neat Iota Xplorer upgrade?


Has anyone made the shift from Neat Iota Alphas to Xplorers?

I have a Nova powering some Alphas and a KEF KC62 sub.

The room is c. 50m2 but it’s a slight L shape and the speakers have to sit fairly close to the corners in the short side of the L.

I could just about squeeze some Xplorers into the space occupied by the Alphas.

The latter are great and I really like their form factor but I keep wondering what I’d get from their big brothers (and there are a very decent set on eBay at the moment…)

Not strictly answering your question but how about Neat floorstanders from the new classic range; Mystique and Elite? I think they might be OK in your space and not a million miles away from the Iota Alpha. I heard the Alpha and Mystique recently. Both cheaper than (new) Xplorers.


Thanks for the very sensible suggestion but I like the Iota form factor.

I’ve only been in the house a couple of months and the builders are about to move in but I think the location of everything is pretty set (with the exception of the radiator and the dog).

The phono stage is waiting for refurbed SP-10 Mk2 to come back from Acoustand.

(P.s. Primare now swapped)


Dog takes a selfie?

The Mystique are very small and slim, although obviously a different style. I reckon a nice white pair would look great in your room.

Hope someone comes along soon who is more help… :smiley:


I will take a look at those - I didn’t realise they are only the same height as the Xplorers. They look like they have the woofer from the Alpha and the tweeter from the Xplorer.

I heard them briefly. I felt they were more sophisticated than the Alpha, bass a bit more defined and the tweeter not as obvious in the picture; in a good way. I have to admit neither to my taste really, but they had their strengths.

Not a huge step up perhaps but if you like the Alpha then might be worth a listen.


I quite liked the Xplorers, but there is a possibility that the extra bass output from their isobaric drivers will be too much for your room - or maybe not, depending on its acoustics, but they will fill the space you are now using, physically and perhaps acoustically.
With your sub, you can adjust it and move it around pretty easily, which of course you can’t do to any significant extent with speakers when space is tight.
Still worth a try perhaps, but when buying speakers blind I think you always need to be prepared to sell them on if they aren’t right for your room.

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I hoping that the room won’t be over powered. It’s quite large even if the speaker positioning is sub-optimal. The Alphas work nicely and I’ve got the sub’s volume set at about 5/10 for music.

(P.s. please no comments about the lack of bannisters - I’m in the middle of replacing them!)

I have a similar size room and the Xplorers are good, however, didn’t have the alpha beforehand

Yes, you seem to have plenty of space. Only one way to find out if the Xplorers will work!

Iota Alphas work well with a wide variety of kit in a wide variety of rooms. My girlfriend uses them with a Nova and they are excellent.

Xplorers are considerably better, even more involving and so on. We liked them so much that we got a set for a different house.

On the other hand, Xplorers are discerning enough to show pretty clearly the benefits of pairing them with a 250. You might find that getting the Xplorers quickly leads to wondering whether to upgrade what is feeding them.

In addition, as has already been commented above, Xplorers really care what is under them. With a bouncy floor, isoscoustic Gaias (or equivalent) make a big difference to bass clarity and speed (two big pluses of the Xplorers), and I suspect that a deep shag pile carpet would fare even worse with them than with the Iota Alphas.

Finally, if you like to play fairly loud without things getting over exuberant, boomy or shouty, you may find that Xplorers being less than 40cm or so from any wall is worth avoiding.

The best way to find out whether these excellent speakers really excel in your situation and to your ears is to give them a go. Fortunately, if you don’t mind the bother of selling if you don’t like them, eBay may offer the chance to try them for little net cost. Go on, you know you want to….

Hi Easteight,
I have a Nova powering Xplorers in a relatively small space.
They sound great.
Like LRJH, I didn’t have the Alphas beforehand so can’t give you a comparison.
I bought the Xpoloers to allow for possible upgrades both in amplification and a larger room.
For me, they sound very engaging (especially when the volume is nudged up!)

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