Since its formation in 1977, legendary British loudspeaker manufacturer Mission has been famed
for delivering compelling musicality at affordable prices. The companys LX Series continued this
legacy when it launched in 2016, earning excellent reviews and an impressive collection of awards
in the UK and around the world.
Four years on and Mission is ready to unleash a new, improved LX range the LX MkII Series. The
new line-up utilises design elements evolved from the upmarket QX Series to build on the
award-winning formula of the first-generation LX speakers, sporting a range of improvements that
span the drive units, crossover and cabinet. With enhanced midrange and treble clarity and
improved resolution of micro-dynamics, the Mission LX MkII Series delivers an even more thrilling
The first thing to note is that the range has been extended. Whereas the original LX Series
consisted of six models two standmount speakers, three floorstanders and a centre speaker for
home cinema systems the LX MkII range comprises nine. There is an additional standmount
model, a choice of two centre speakers instead of one, and a dedicated surround speaker that can be
wall mounted or sited on top of the floorstanding models as an upward-firing effects speaker.
Every speaker within the LX MkII Series is carefully designed to deliver maximum sonic
expression with minimum compromise, despite the budget price tags. The design team has fully
optimised the performance of each model using sophisticated modelling tools and software, yet
Missions original slogan, Music is the Master, Technology is the Slave, has never been more apt.
Months of fine-tuning and rigorous listening tests have ensured that these speakers communicate
with engaging energy and detail, bringing music to life with all the vibrancy and finesse one
expects of Mission speakers.
The art of compromise
By its very nature, speaker design is about balancing variables and finding the best possible
compromise. At entry-level price points, where the cost of production is most constrained by the
need to hit a specific retail price, the necessity of compromise is at its greatest. But does one have
to accept that a budget speaker will always deliver a budget performance? Missions designers
are not the easily accepting kind. They push for greatness in design, whereas most would be
happy to stop at good.
What makes a great loudspeaker? What makes it sing? For Mission, the answer is simple: in a
well-matched system, the speakers have to allow the performance of the music to shine through.
Its not a group of notes; its a performance. Its not all about frequency response, impedance,
sensitivity and directivity, although they all play a part. To paraphrase a famous expression, its the
music, the whole music and nothing but the music and that, in a nutshell, is Missions philosophy.
Feel the high
High-frequency drive units require extremely consistent parts and manufacturing in order to be
selected for a Mission speaker. Given the tiny moving masses involved, one micro-drop extra of
high-tech adhesive can destroy the balance of the design, thus affecting sensitivity and
frequency response. For the LX MkII Series, Mission has meticulously designed a tweeter with
a neodymium magnet, selected for maximum magnetic force in a small space, and a 25mm
microfibre dome, chosen for its light weight and consistency in manufacture. It delivers sweetly
incisive high frequencies crisp and detailed with impressive transient attack.
The LX MkII Series features a new version of Missions DiaDrive bass/midrange drive unit, where
the usual cone and dust cap arrangement is replaced by a seamless curvilinear diaphragm. This
is directly driven by a secondary sub-cone connected to the voice coil, improving the efficiency
of drive and providing superior control of the smoothly dished diaphragm.
The diaphragm itself is fashioned from an advanced dual-layer fibre formulation, selected for its
reduced susceptibility to hygroscopy as well as being very stiff for its mass with excellent
self-damping. A high-strength ferrite magnet ensures that the magnetic field is directed precisely
within the area of voice coil excursion, enabling an ultra-linear performance and excellent
Sound with teeth
One of the critical areas highlighted by the development of Missions upmarket QX speakers is the
use of comb-tooth serrations in the driver surrounds to help scatter interfering reflections from
localised surfaces to the bass/mid cones. The LX MkII Series incorporates similar serrations in the
main driver surrounds, as well as indentations around the tweeter, adding further finesse to the
drive unit outputs and providing a smoother frequency response than the previous generation of
With minor perturbations in the driver response ironed out, each models crossover network has
been optimised to take advantage of the improved performance. The LX MkII Series uses a 4th
order (24dB per octave acoustic) Linkwitz-Riley network, developed with advanced computer
modeling and many hours of listening tests, to knit the drivers together seamlessly. It is particularly
notable for its ability to balance excellent off-axis performance with a flatter on-axis result.
Driver inversion for musical immersion
The three standmount models in the range feature DiaDrive units positioned according to
Missions Inverted Driver Geometry (IDG), with the bass/mid driver sited above the treble unit
rather than below to aid time-alignment a Mission trademark since the 1980s. Placing the
bass/mid driver closer to ear level with the treble unit positioned beneath helps to equalise the
path lengths from the two drivers acoustic centres, so that the sound waves coincide at the
listeners head height.
The two-way LX-4 MkII and LX-5 MkII floorsanders extend IDG to a full DAppolito array, siting
the treble unit between a pair of DiaDrive bass/mid units one above, one below. The largest
model in the range, the LX-6 MkII, is a three-way deign, with a dedicated midrange driver
positioned above the tweeter, and a pair of bass drivers stationed below.
The cabinet is as critical as the drive units and crossover to the overall performance of any
loudspeaker system. Designing an effective low-cost box is tricky, as budget dictates that the
designer cannot use expensive materials or high mass to create an inert structure.
With the help of 3D Computer Aided Design, finite element analysis and laser interferometry,
coupled with a great deal of experience, a budget cabinet can be designed that delivers better
rigidity with lower radiated noise than many would believe achievable at such low material cost.
As part of the critical fine tuning of the new models, judicious placement of extra internal
damping fibre inside the rear-ported cabinet has reduced the level of midrange coloration and
improved the bass transient attack.
As the Mission LX MkII Series emphatically proves, like many Mission designs before it, budget
loudspeakers can truly sing, whilst also being smart, practical and unfussy in terms of
Mission loudspeakers have been thrilling music lovers with powers of communication that far
exceed their affordable prices for more than 40 years, said peter Comeau, Missions Director of
Acoustic Design. Im proud to have been involved in the design of many of these speakers
since my first association with Mission in 1999. Weve won many awards over the years, but
nothing Mission has produced can eclipse the sheer value-for-money offered by the
LX MkII Series weve worked tirelessly to improve upon the already excellent LX Series,
ensuring these speakers reward the modest investment required to own a pair with a
thoroughly engrossing musical experience.