German Physics Borderland Mk IV Speaker


BOB’s Review Series - No 71 – German Physics Borderland Mk IV Omnidirectional Speaker


This is a slightly different approach to a review than my usual series in that I didn’t carry out or write the review, for this we must thank Terry Ellis of Pursuit Perfect Sound. Terry is well known to many audiophiles who regularly tune in to his online reviews and this time he listened to our German Physics Borderland Mk IV speakers. See Terry’s Thoughts below.


German Physics have been making omnidirectional speakers for many years and their first speaker produced in 1992, the Borderland Mk I was the result of a collaboration with Peter Dicks who first conceived the idea way back in the late 70’s. Some of us may remember some of the earlier attempts at omnidirectional speakers by the likes of Revox and Bang and Olufsen but these speakers were all based on the use of multiple traditional pistonic drivers that were set in cabinets such that they fired in every direction, not just forward. What sets German Physics apart is that the main driver comprises a lightweight carbon fibre cone just 0.15mm thick that fires downwards and sends a wave down the cone that then radiates in every direction. They call it their DDD driver, and it works from 190Hz up to 24kHz.

Omnidirectional speakers need space to work, and they sound very different to ‘normal’ speakers. It takes some getting used to sound radiating all around and means that they don’t have such a hot seat directionality. We find that as you walk around the room or change seats you are still immersed in sound. Working in tandem with the DDD driver in the Borderland is a 12” downward firing bass driver. You may be thinking that omnidirectional speakers can’t possible image well, but you would be wrong, they have an uncanny ability to form a stereo image no matter where you are in the room.

Enough of my introduction, much more technical detail is available on German Physics website and here is what Terry thought of them in a series of sound bites:


"They are really exceptionally good and I'd go as far as to say these are probably my favourite speakers so far."

"I love the bass from them. Really, really have enjoyed the bass from them."

"And I want to throw in an example (regarding the bass), because a couple of weeks ago I was out in Portugal listening to a crazy money, big system with Avantgarde horns. And one of the tracks that was played was a Sheffield Labs drum track. And we all know how fantastically well recorded they are, with a lot of dynamic range. It's very quiet - you have to crank the volume. And interestingly I've listened to that track a lot since I've come back from Portugal. But the Borderlands with the Gryphon (electronics) and the system here was getting me very close, very similar in terms of presentation, factoring in this is a much smaller room than what was out in Portugal. It's getting me close."

"And I mentioned the vocals. They were fantastic. Detailed, clear, emotive, with fantastic tone, timbre and timing. Fantastic."

"Never once do you think like you're listening to speakers and that I think there's the whole point of this type of design. It's to be extremely transparent and to put the sound into the room in a different way."

"The Borderlands are very different speakers to look at, but I think they look really cool and I like the fact that they take up less floor space than some of the other larger speakers that I've had in here. And yet they still sound like a really big speaker. And it's the bass that's definitely got me. It's got me because I can listen to some electronic music, or some, you know, big vibing reggae. And, you know, the pressure the bass, just makes that music come alive for me. But then the next day I could listen to some folk, or some classic, or some jazz, or some big female vocalists, or some rock and the Borderlands deliver all of the things you want from all of those (types of) music, like delicacy, or dynamics, or sound stage spatiality."


If you want to experience the German Physics way of making sound in your home then please contact us and we will set up a demo for you.

April 2024

Bob – Team Reference Audio