Sonodyne, a relatively new name
on the tongues of U.S.-based engineers,
producers and other pro
audio types, is not a new manufacturer.
Based in Kolkata (Calcutta), the capital
city of West Bengal in India, Sonodyne has
been making hi-fi stereo amplifiers and
speakers since the 1970s.
The SM 100Ak features a 6.5-inch Kevlar
cone woofer and 1-inch silk dome ferrofluid
cooled tweeter; 120W of total power
(80W for LF, 40W for HF); and front-panel
volume control and twin ports in its
beefy 23-lb., die-cast aluminum cabinet.
Its vented aluminum rear panel accepts
both balanced XLR or TRS inputs and
offers built-in EQ adjustments. Overall
frequency response (+/- 3 dB) is 60
Hz - 22 kHz.
The rear-panel EQ dipswitches and
variable bass roll-off pot are recessed,
yet easy enough to reach and adjust.
The EQ panel’s text is written upside
down, while silk-screened EQ directions
are right-side up, both on the rear panel;
whether leaning over the top of the
speakers (from mixing position side)
or moving around back, adjustments
to settings are clear. I was satisfied to
listen “flat” for most of this review.
Relatively compact at 9.1- x 13- x
11.8 inches, these flat-black studio
monitors are subtle in style and tight
in fit and finish—beyond what you
may expect at this price.
Upon listening to a pair of SM 100Ak
monitors for two months in tracking, mixing,
reference and recreational listening
applications, I found their accuracy in translating
stereo image incredibly impressive,
so much that it’s hard to believe the price
(just over $1,250 street, per pair). The
imaging may be the most impressive trait
of the Sonodyne SM 100Ak: it provides the
kind of accuracy normally found in priciest
popular studio monitors.
They also sound great, are not fatiguing
in the least, and are frequency-flat enough
to allow for translatable mixes. After experiencing
the Sonodyne as auxiliary/”B” monitors
to my normal midfield powered speakers,
I swapped in the SM 100Ak pair as my
main monitors for two weeks. In that time,
I heard details I wasn’t hearing before —
track-based noise, miniscule bits in reverb
tails, etc. — that most definitely affected
my audio in a good way.
During reference/recreational listening,
qualities that many of us do not normally
appreciate in modern audio productions
(over-compression of the mix, for one) were
underlined and circled by the SM 100Ak;
I find that these speakers do not flatter,
making them all the more useful for those
that regard accuracy as job one of their
What you pay for in the SM 100Ak
is less about features and more about
quality of components and workmanship.
It’s refreshing to experience products
like the Sonodyne monitors: ones
not yet known to most but sure to
impress and inspire.
The SM 100Ak’s build suggests tight
quality control and the experience of
four decades of continuous manufacturing.
I find these nearfields unquestionably
pro-grade, able to hold their
own against legacy brands’ monitors
twice the price, while, already leading
its own category when directly compared
to similarly priced boxes.
Price: $700 list, each
Contact: Sonodyne | sonodyne.com
TransAudio Group (U.S. distributor) |transaudiogroup.com
Strother Bullins is the editor of Pro Audio Review.