Floorstanding loudspeakers

The design of the rather slim Mission 796 speakers is elegantly timeless. Side walls are tapered towards the back in aerodynamic curves, the high gloss finish is spotless and quality of build is luxurious. The Missions are simply one the most beautiful speakers that I have reviewed in last two years.

Function and form

Ease of use

The speakers are built from Granitech, which is a composite material with granular structure that should help to tackle cabinet resonances. Another asset is good machineability and low mass - indeed, the 796s weigh 23kg each. The tweeter was made in China; 25mm ferrofluid cooled dome with neodymium magnet is based on "Viotex", which is most likely impregnated Viscose or similar material. The midrange front-firing driver is a 200mm Aramid cone (Aramid, Nomex and Kevlar are slight variations of the same), the side-firing woofer is identical. The textile grille on the baffle is removable, the one on the side panel is glued. The bassreflex port can be found on the rear panel. The tweeter and the midrange driver are mounted onto a plastic subpanel with aluminum look.

Bass management


Each cabinet has only one side-firing bass driver so it is possible to experiment with the pair of speakers - one can choose whether the woofers should look inward or ouward. The final choice is yours as it will depend on the acoustics of your listening environment. I preferred the inward looking woofers as this position gave me more articulated and fuller bass.

The 796s were very capable of pressurizing my room with mighty bass. The only issue is rigidity of the enclosures - the panel that is opposite to the one that holds the woofer was quite lively and it audibly resonated at certain frequencies. When I played an acoustic double-bass track from Chesky ecords' sampler at moderate volume the cabinets rang significantly. The louder I played the more it was audible. It was actually quite easy to excite these resonances in my rather small room -  if your listening room is larger than 30m2 than the resonances will be inavoidable as you wil have to push the Missions harder than me. The sound of the cabinets left a signature on everything and the music got busy and blurred. Most of the critical listening I performed during night sessions when the cabinet excitations never happened.

Clarity & delicacy


The tweeter was pretty agile so no wonder that an acoustic guitar of John Williams was wondefully forward in the room with actually quite wide colour pallete. Tranzients and string resonances were reproduced with surgical accuracy, it was an audiophile feast. Also the symphonic orchestra in Saint-Saens's Dance Macabre was more about the sonic dissection rather than comfort listening. This was not bad as it provided so much information that I did not hear before. It was fascinating to listen to anything through the Missions - my happiness was comparable to the happiness of people that for the first time in their lives switched from candles to a light bulb. However, the more time I spent with the 796s the less comfortable I was as highlighting everything erased a bit of contrast and stripped the music off some tension. Analysis was clearly preferred over synthesis, like it was in the case of original Wilson Audio WATT/Puppy before they were significantly modified by David Wilson. With the 796s the guitars and violins were amazing but they were just strings without bodies, there was no guitar or violin, just wires. Such sound can be fatiguing to some but exciting to others - please listen before you buy to see if it fits to your preferences.

The Viotex tweeter were good in everything except resolution. The music sounded fast and transparent but textures were missing. Cymbals were tonally okay but the resonance structure was missing. It was like a picture in black & white papers - it looks fine until you notice that it is just a collection of black spots.

Tonal accuracy

Temporal resolution

With ATB software I measured in my room a 2.5dB peak at 63Hz and a +3dB plateau between 2 and 4kHz. Then again there was a rise from 16-17kHz. I suspect that some crossover problems may have an influence on the speaker's rather forward presentation.  Thus voices were very detailed but I missed more chestiness - the sound was created in mouths and body was missing.

Spatial resolution

Soundstage width
Soundstage depth

I liked very much the soundstage perspective of the Mission 796. The speakers, despite their forwardness, put me in the 5th row of an auditorium which was the best seat.

Price as reviewed:43 000,- Kč

Recommended resellers

Excelia HiFi, Chrudim, tel. +420 724 00 77 44

Associated components

  • Soures: Carat C57, Meridian G91, Lindemann 822, Accuphase DP-78
  • Amplifiers: Cambridge Audio 840W, Carat A57, Meridian G57, Mark Levinson No. 432, Accuphase A-60
  • Interconnects and speaker cables: Cardas (whole Cardas line-up from Crosslink to Golden Reference)



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