What makes the Neat Iota Xplorer so good?

I’ve had about 3ish months with my Neat Iota bookshelves and am really happy with them. So much so that I’m thinking about the Iota Xplorers for the lounge sight unseen (hearing unheard? :grinning:)

As I browse and look at all the Neat options, it seems the Iota X are the top of Neat’s range? If so, what is it about them that sets them apart from the rest? Looks like internal volume could be the largest of all their floorstanders, but that’s just one dimension. Is the Iota range where Bob and the gang spend most of their time / R&D??

Just curious…

Have a look at Neats website as the Iota series are more the lower end of there range. I would say don’t buy the Xplorer’s or any speaker unless you can audition them in your listening room, I made that mistake with the Xplorer’s, whilst they sounded amazing at the dealers, my room just didn’t suit them and I had a total lack of bass.

Iotas are great with the XS range as are the Neat’s Motive SX range of speakers.

Bob Surgeoner once advised me when choosing from among his speakers, that all else in the Neat range requires Naim’s Classic range of electronics. There will be exceptions, naturally, such as people very happily running the new Nait50 with the latest Petites etc, but you get the general idea.



That’s interesting to know, thanks for recounting his advice!

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The top Neat speaker is this, the £26,500 Ultimatum XL10.

Edited to reference HH’s post above - looks like only the 2 floorstanding Ultimatum series and the Orkestra floorstander are priced higher than the Iota X across Neat’s range. Did I miss something?

There are 4 speakers, the XLS, XL8, XL10 and the Orkestra. I was also referencing your post regarding top of the range etc. I hadn’t realised the Xplorer’s had risen £1300 in price since I had them. I don’t know if you missed something or not. The main point of my post was for you to listen to them in your room as you maybe disappointed with them if they do not work in your room. I made an expensive mistake with the Xplorer’s by buying without a home audition, this applies to any speaker as each room will sound different and a home audition is the best way of getting the best room to speaker match. But if you can’t do the home audition then take the risk, and hope you can sell them if they don’t work. In the past I have owned Iota Alphas, SX1’s and they have all both been superb and a perfect match with Naim. I am sure the Xplorer’s would have been superb as well but when I moved house and I purchased the Xplorer’s they just wouldn’t work in the new room so unfortunately they had to go at a loss.

I have no idea what’s their current flagship.
I thought Ultimatum were discontinued.

I have owned a handfull of their older models, starting with the very first Petites.
I ran Iota and later Iota Alpha, both are superb.
A large room did make me move to Motive SX1 and Momentum SX5i.
All do the “disappearing” act - close your eyes and you can’t tell placement of loudspeakers.

Can’t say I ever heard a bad Neat loudspeaker but I wish they could work a bit closer to rear wall.
I can put my Ovators some 20-25 cm from rear wall, need a bit more with most Neat Floorstanders.

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Worth checking on that advice with him, since his range has expanded since I asked.

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I had some Xplorers on demo for a while, and I rather liked them. I was attracted to the form of them, as I really dislike the way tall floorstanders visually dominate the room. I didn’t buy them because I also tried a pair of Shahinian Arcs, which I preferred. By comparison, they made the Xplorers sound a little harsh and less involving. They have a similar form factor, but despite being shorter than the Xplorers they have a larger cabinet volume, and for the size, their bass performance is exceptional. I still think the Xplorers are very good, so keep them on your shortlist.

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Absolutely not, Neat has four speaker models that are higher up the hierarchy of which the Ultimatum XLS is the jewel of that collection IMO.

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The ultimatum range is their flagship series - full stop

These days you will find Neat using various ranges of electronics not just Naim

Only have to have a look at what they are using at the various HiFi shows let alone what Bob says these days, and that’s a good thing overall

Still, I have Neat and Naim combos and I love em

Yes, I once got the same reply from him, as a general rule Iota and Motive on the XS3. In my case for the Nait 2 he recommended the Motive SX2 specifically.

That said Bob also likes the combination of his own Nait 2 with the Neat Ekstra speakers, and sometimes uses that on shows.

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Manufacturers price their products largely on what they think people will spend, as long as comfortably above design/build costs. A ‘flagship’ model will always be a step (or two) above the next, regardless if whether the only production cost difference is an extra square metre of board or whatever - and so on down a range.

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