I've been listening to a pair of Mission e80 bookshelf loudspeakers for the last couple of weeks and I thought that I might pen a few comments.
Damn these things are watt gobblers. They require a minimum of 100 watts per channel to fill a moderately sized room. I'm pushing 150 watts per channel thru them and on some cd's I set my volume at -10 db just to fill the room. In the future I plan to power them with a high current 165 watt per channel power amp that should prove interesting.
The low sensitivity of these speakers is puzzling because normally these types of low sensitivity speakers are designed to boost the bass relative to the midrange and high end. Not these these e80's because the bass rolls off at 80hz. No pretense of reproducing bass here. These speakers are intended to be used with a subwoofer.
When teamed up with a subwoofer these little speakers throw up a wall of sound that stretches beyond the speakers themselves. They don't seem to have the liquid midrange of the Volare series loudspeakers (on the 2 receivers that I've tried), but the off axis response of the e80's is amazing, I can sit at almost 90 degrees to them and hear a decent high end. They are very detailed in their overall presentation (except bass). They have different attributes from the Volare series which I'm familiar with, but it's hard to say which is more accurate without further listening.
The Industrial quality in which these loudspeakers are built is amazing. The cabinet is made from a composite material called anthracite that has twice the density of the the best wood construction. These little buggers weigh a ton compared to similar sized loudspeakers. They have the now popular teardrop shaped cabinet with a sloped top surface. The grill cloth is supported by a fine steel mesh attached to a high density plastic frame. Frame doesn't quite describe these "bullet proof" grill assemblies. They snap into the cabinet to form a smooth contoured cabinet shape.
The quality of the cabinet is beyond most loudspeaker manufacturers.
I'm still experimenting with them and will try them on different amps that I have around so these first impressions are just that. They make a fine 2.1 system for music, but they don't seem to have the solid center imaging of other loudspeakers have for HT without a center channel. The sound stage created by these little guys is too big to be focused. It's not diffused just large.
More listening is required.
I attached a picture of an e80 (not mine). The photo shows the finish too dark, they are actually more grey with a slight metal flake finish.