Ok, since it’s been a few months and the “honeymoon stage” has (sort of) worn off, I feel like I can finally give an accurate review of my Barefoot Footprints.
These monitors are incredible. Seriously.
I am reminded of it every time I listen, and I’ve heard a lot of speakers. While many things are personal and subjective when it comes to a listening environment, the value and impact that these speakers provide are truly unmatched. To receive a closed cabinet, 3-way box, with 500w amps built in all for under $4k…you can’t really go wrong.
I was slightly worried they would be too intense a speaker for my room; as they have a massive sound, easily extending down to 30hz. I almost doubled the acoustic treatment in my room in preparation for them, and luckily so. These monitors sound “big" and could easily overpower a room, especially in the low end.
I can hear how records should sound.
I don’t like the term “translation,” as I feel every speaker and listening environment “translates.” The problem is rather that you aren’t listening properly, or in the manner you think you are. Hence, these speakers don’t necessarily “translate” better than others, but they do allow me to hear music in the way that I believe records sound. When listening to other speakers, I always felt a gap between recorded music produced by my favorite mixers and the Pro Tools sessions I was working on. Listening on the Footprints closes that gap.
Their clarity and separation are beautiful.
The separation spans the entire frequency spectrum and isn’t just limited to the mid-range or top end. To my ears, this can cause things to feel a bit softer and more honest than other monitors, as there aren’t any hyped or overly “boosted” parts of the frequency spectrum reproduced.
The low end is incredibly tight.
I’m talking about a level of tightness that a dedicated subwoofer only hopes to provide to a standard two-way speaker. Things feel punchy but also have no issue extending down low. And when I say low, I mean low. This is obviously room dependent, but the monitors themselves have no issue reaching 30hz and you can definitely hear and feel it.
But the thing I love most about the Footprints is… their transparency.
With other speakers, I always felt like I was hearing the “box” or cabinet of the speaker. Closing my eyes, I could very easily allocate where in the room the sound was originating. With the Footprints, that disappears. The speaker cabinet itself is unnoticeable and all you are left with is the music. Sounds are transparent, and separated in a way that you no longer hear the music as a whole but rather, piece by piece. You hear each element of a mix and the interaction in space, rather than just one giant sonic “sound.” This difference is particularly noticeable to me in the low end as I feel a lot of ported speaker setups are forced to “fake” their bass response.
Do I think these monitors are for everyone? No.
I don’t think any monitor or listening solution could hold that title, as everyone listens to things differently. For me though, this monitor is the way I enjoy listening to music and is a speaker I see myself having around for a long time. As I continue to learn the Footprints and tailor the acoustics of my room around them, I’m excited to see the inspiration and results it will bring to my mixes.