PenAudio Rebel 2

Timo Nihtilä

Published May 30, 2003

Rebel 2 is PenAudio's newest addition to their collection of high quality small loudspeakers. Despite the fact that the price of this elegant product is very affordable, no compromises were made concerning the sound or the look, according to the designer Sami Penttilä. 

The appearance of Rebel 2 loudspeakers is quite similar to the company's other classy mini-monitor, Charisma. Everything from the refreshing retro-60's look to the aluminum back label gives a finished impression.

First Experience

At first I experienced a little too much mustiness in the sound, but that was a matter of positioning. I repositioned the speakers so that there was enough space between them. The sound became instantly more airy and the soundstaging improved clearly. In my listening room the speakers were positioned the way that the inner sides of them were visible to the listener. That way the stereo impression was at it's best.

The tweeter of Rebel 2 is the same as in Charisma, and the sound is pretty similar too. The "brightness" of the sound of their loudspeakers is the trademark of PenAudio, and the company doesn't fail with this model either. In fact, the treble surprised me at first, although I have heard some of PenAudio's speakers before. But after a while I got used to the sound and learned to appreciate it. Truly, the brightness and the resolution of Rebel 2 are details most worth mentioning. They will be remebered after listening to these loudspeakers. All instruments were distinguished perfectly and all nuances could be heard brilliantly. Although sometimes if the music contained a lot of upper register material, like heavy cymbals, these instruments stood out a little too much and distracted me from hearing the melody itself.

The midrange was in the same scale as PenAudio's earlier loudspeakers. Female vocals were very clear, pure and natural. Male vocals sounded also natural and full bodied. With some records though, male vocals stayed in the background while other instruments took over. For example, with harder music, I expected more power from the male singer. Maybe the mixing emphasized electric guitar and cymbals too much and the singing sounded a little weak. With acoustic music there was no problem at all.

The lower register of Rebel 2 loudspeakers was sharp and powerful, excluding the lowest bass, which was a somewhat powerless. Still, considering the size, Rebel 2 has a very warm and smooth bass. With different records, the bass section of the speakers performed differently. Sometimes I had a feeling that these speakers absolutely need a subwoofer, but after listening to another album, I wasn't so sure. The kind of music you listen defines your need of a subwoofer with these speakers. Full lower register can be achieved with PenAudio's Charm subwoofer, which provides an equally impressive bass performance with these speakers as with Charismas.


All in all, acoustic music is what these speakers live for. And quite certainly, vice versa; these speakers can be what acoustic music lives for. With orchestral music I have nothing but good things to say about Rebel 2. Also light jazz and pop sounded better than I expected. Everybody has their favorite music genre. If yours is classical or in any way acoustic, Rebel 2 might just be your choice.

To put all this in perspective: Rebel 2 is an excellent loudspeaker with every characteristic to be the next hit product of PenAudio. Naturally, small size brings limitations, but compared to other same scale products, in price as in size, Rebel 2 impresses and astonishes, no doubt.

Manufacturer: PenAudio Ltd, Jyväskylä, Finland


Accompanied Equipment

  • Listening room: 15 m2, no special acoustic treatment
  • Amplifier: Electrocompaniet ECI-4
  • CD-player: Sony DVP-NS705V
  • Interconnects: Goertz Sapphire


  • Albums: -Tutti!: Orchestral sampler
  • Bela Fleck and the Flecktones: Flight of the cosmic hippo
  • Jacques Loussier trio: Baroque favorites
  • Cassandra Wilson: New moon daughter
  • HIM: Greatest lovesongs vol.666 -
  • Type O Negative: Bloody Kisses 
  • Moonspell: Sin/Pecado -E-type: Last man standing
  • Nightwish: Oceanborn
  • Celine Dion: All the way...A Decade of Song -
  • Tehosekoitin: Rakkauden gangsterit







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