Sporting distinctive speaker cones, the Ferguson Hill FH009 is an aspirational stereo sound speaker system for your TV – but it needs some room
Gloriously over-engineered and fatter than a dozen flatscreen TVs, the Ferguson Hill FH009 is a dramatic-looking 2.1 sound system for your TV and musical pleasure. Using the British audiophile brand’s trademark transparent horn speakers and best in class components, it’s defiantly eclectic.
Ferguson Hill FH009: Features
There’s not much feature frippery on the Ferguson Hill FH009, indeed in many ways, the system is the antitheses of today’s over-complicated AV receivers. If you come looking for AirPlay, Spotify and extraneous gadgetry you’ll be disappointed. The FH009 is essentially a formidably large stereo amplifier with integrated woofers.
Unlike TV sound system upgrades from the likes of Samsung and Sony, or dedicated soundbar solutions, the FH009 celebrates girth and pours scorn on lightweight rivals.
Ferguson Hill FH009: Connectivity
The unit’s heavy metal back panel is pretty sparse. There are just two pairs of stereo analogue audio inputs, high-grade speaker binding posts and a subwoofer output; there’s no digital audio connectivity. But as a concession to modernity, there is a front mounted USB for MP3 music playback and a 3.5in mini-jack input. Build quality is astonishing high; this thing is brutishly heavy.
Ferguson Hill FH009: Usability
Once the speakers have been assembled (the main stereo horns can be wall mounted if you don’t want to use the supplied, needle-thin stands) and your analogue source components have been laced up, the system is pretty much good to go. There’s no auto calibration nonsense to worry about, it’s just good to go.
Ferguson Hill FH009: Performance
Judged purely as an old-school analogue hi-fi system, the Ferguson Hill FH009 is undeniably impressive. The brand’s open-backed, horned speakers create a warm and detailed soundstage, while the central woofers fill in the lower registers.
But there’s no pretence of surround emulation, which for a TV-centric proposition is unusual to say the least. Of course, if you’re happy to forego enveloping audio, this won’t matter a jot.
Ferguson Hill rates the power output of the FH009 at 64w per channel, with the same again going to the bass drivers. These are not big numbers, but the system doesn’t seem undernourished by any stretch. While there’s the option of a subwoofer output, we never felt compelled to add another box. After all, there’s no LFE input going through this system.
Ferguson Hill FH009: Verdict
The Ferguson Hill FH009 is a striking audio upgrade to any TV, albeit one likely to appeal to a limited clientele. Resolutely stereophonic and seemingly hewn from iron, just placing it under a flatscreen will prove a logistical challenge for many.
But while the cost, size and simplicity of the proposition is at odds with what most folks are looking for in a telly audio upgrade, taken in isolation the FH009 is a splendid indulgence.
The detail and width of its stereo imaging is considerable, regardless if the source is Elgar or Eastenders. But with no provision for surround sound, we feel the system’s marketing tagline as a Home Theatre System is ultimately a tad misleading.
The Ferguson Hill FH009 is a stereo sound system like no other. Its makers want you to put it under a TV, but we think it’s better considered as a hi-fi centerpiece of a loft apartment. Part folly, part fabulous.
Ferguson Hill FH009 availability: Available now
Ferguson Hill FH009 price: £800