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Revel Performa3 M106

Bookshelf speaker (Piano Black)

1 Review

Item # 265M106BK

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Our take on the Revel Performa3 M106

When I started researching Revel's Performa3 series, the model I most wanted to hear in my own system was the M106. A good bookshelf speaker has the ability to disappear and just let the music flow. And the Performa series is really good, sharing much of the technology, materials, and musical mojo of Revel's flagship Ultima2 models. Matched with Revel's optional speaker stand, the M106 offers a deeper look at your favorite music.

The M106 disappears into the music

When I started researching Revel's Performa3 series, the model I most wanted to hear in my own system was the M106. A good bookshelf speaker has the ability to disappear and just let the music flow. And the Performa series is really good, sharing much of the technology, materials, and musical mojo of Revel's flagship Ultima2 models. Matched with Revel's optional speaker stand, the M106 offers a deeper look at your favorite music.

Praise from Stereophile

"I found the sound of the Revel Performa3 M106 difficult to describe. No matter what music I played, I could hear no shortcomings — no deviation from neutrality throughout the speaker's extended frequency range, and every recording revealed the review samples to be detailed, dynamic performers with superb soundstaging.”

— Robert J. Reina, Stereophile, September 2014

Class B rating in Stereophile's "Recommended Components," October 2017

Revel Performa3 M106

Revel designs and builds every driver that goes into their speakers. (M106 shown in Piano Black.)

Custom-designed drivers reduce bad vibrations

Revel designs and builds every driver that goes into their speakers. The M106's 6-1/2" woofer uses an aluminum cone that's anodized on both sides with a micro-ceramic composite compound. This reduces resonances that can color the sound. 

The M106's 1" aluminum dome tweeter sits in Revel's concave Acoustic Lens waveguide, which increases the tweeter's dispersion at higher frequencies, and also helps create a more seamless match between the tweeter and the midrange driver just below it. The result is very smooth, consistent sound both on-axis and off-axis, creating a larger sweet spot.

Curved cabinet walls cut down on colorations

Despite its compact size, the M106's cabinet walls are a full 1" thick, with the curved side and back walls laminated from single contiguous layers for consistent resonant behavior. These curved walls are inherently stiffer than conventional box shapes, and are reinforced by extensive internal bracing that eliminates enclosure-induced colorations.

The M106 employs a rear-firing bass-reflex port with identical flares on both ends. This boosts low-frequency output while minimizing dynamic compression and port noise. A foam port plug is included which you can insert to optimize bass response when placing the speaker in a bookshelf or up against a wall.

Tested by instrument and by ear

Revel's world-class speaker design and testing facility features an anechoic chamber and the latest high-tech measurement gear. But some of their most critical test instruments are the ears of their trained listening panel. When working on a new design, Revel's engineers set up a series of controlled auditions comparing their design to several competing speakers.

Speakers under comparison sit on a rotating platform, and each model is moved into the identical position by a computer-controlled belt drive system. An acoustically transparent screen hides the speakers from the listeners to avoid visual bias. These double-blind listening tests provide an essential reality check, and help the engineers correlate measurements with what listeners actually hear and prefer.

Build a complete Revel system

A pair of M106s can fill your room with spacious, 3-dimensional stereo sound. If you're interested in a voice-matched surround sound system, check out these other models from Revel's Performa3 series:
Center channel: Performa3 C208
Surround speaker: Performa3 S206
Subwoofer: Performa3 B112

Who is Revel?

Revel is one of the high-performance audio companies of global electronics giant Harman International. Since 1996, Revel has used cutting-edge design tools and one-of-a-kind testing facilities to develop speakers that measure well and sound amazing. The intensive design work happens at Harman's state-of-the-art speaker R & D facility in Northridge, California.

Product Highlights:

  • 1" aluminum dome tweeter with proprietary acoustic lens and waveguide for consistent dispersion over a wide listening area
  • 6-1/2" anodized aluminum cone woofer with cast frame for reduced resonance
  • ribbed aluminum woofer cone achieves piston-like behavior eliminating major sources of resonance
  • advanced high-order crossover optimizes timbre accuracy both on axis and throughout the room
  • cabinet has 1"-thick walls built up from curved laminated layers, plus extensive internal bracing
  • bass-reflex (ported) cabinet with rear-firing port
  • low-frequency extension: 59Hz (-3dB), 54Hz (-6dB), 39Hz (-10dB)
  • sensitivity: 87 dB
  • impedance: 8 ohms
  • recommended amplifier power: 50-150 watts
  • gold-plated binding post speaker terminals
  • includes a foam port plug for adjusting the speaker's low-frequency performance
  • removable grille is magnetically attached
  • 8-1/4"W x 15-1/16"H x 11"D
  • weight: 18.5 lbs.
  • warranty: 5 years
  • Our 60-day money-back guarantee

What's in the Box:

  • Bookshelf loudspeaker
  • Grille
  • Foam port plug
  • Owner's Manual

Revel Performa3 M106 Reviews

Average Customer Review(s):

(1 Review)

An Underrated Theater Masterpiece

Matt from Knoxville, TN on 12/19/2017

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

I paired these with a C105 for the center and it sounds beautifully. I auditioned against the entry Bowers and Wilkins 700 series and a similar priced Martin Logan and Elac setup. It was not a hard decision as these speakers are consistent and clear across the board. There is no loud popping or inconsistent tones. Out of the box, they sound like a theater masterpiece. Very ethereal and spacious with great depth. I went between best buy and a local hifi store twice and both times, these beat similar priced competitors hands down. The same Macintosh equipment pushing all speakers that I tested. These things are a jewel, aesthetically pleasing, and the speaker stands mount in a jif complimenting them well. As long as these things are functional, I do not see myself ever purchasing another speaker.

Pros: Classy looking spreadsheets, deep, clear, and concise. No popping high end and covers the full sound spectrum well. Beats similarly priced competitors.

Cons: None


Hands-on research

Product Research


Two-Way Bookshelf Loudspeaker: The Revel by Harman Performa3 M106 bookshelf loudspeaker is full-range, two-way loudspeaker that delivers an impressive combination of wide frequency range, uncompressed dynamic range and low distortion across the entire audible spectrum.

  • 1" Tweeter w/ Integrated Acoustic Lens Waveguide: The Performa3 M106 loudspeaker is equipped with a single 1" aluminum dome tweeters that feature an integrated acoustic lens waveguide. The newly designed acoustic lens waveguide accurately matches the dispersion of the tweeter and woofer in the crossover region and provide consistent sound over a wide listening area. It also generates extremely smooth, far off-axis sound, a critical factor in overall sound quality. Unlike previous waveguide designs, this new acoustic lens waveguide design actually increases dispersion at the highest frequencies, when compared to conventional tweeters. The result is a noticeably improved sense of air and detail, contributing to greater musical enjoyment.
  • 6.5" Aluminum Woofer: The Revel Performa3 M106 loudspeaker features one 6.5" woofer that incorporates several performance-enhancing advances which eliminate common sources of resonance and distortion that can compromise sound quality - even at high volume levels. The 6.5" woofer features a ribbed aluminum cone that achieves ideal, piston-like behavior, cast-aluminum frames for excellent rigidity, and a motor-system distortion-reduction mechanism that stabilize the flux field during operation.

High-Order Crossover: A high-order crossover dramatically reduces distortion and dynamic compression in this Performa3 Series loudspeaker. This reduction results in cleaner sound and consistent sound quality over a wide dynamic range. These advanced crossover also optimizes timbre accuracy, enhancing the listener's musical enjoyment both on axis and throughout the room. The carefully selected crossover components help Performa3 loudspeakers achieve exceptional performance.

Elegant Enclosure: The Revel Performa3 bookshelf loudspeaker's fully-curved enclosure is inherently stiffer than conventional box shapes and are formed with contiguous wood layers that prevent splitting. The enclosure also features strategically-oriented bracing that eliminates the possibility of enclosure-induced coloration. The beautiful, modern enclosure is finished in Piano Black or High Gloss Walnut in a process (developed and overseen by Italian luxury cabinet makers) that exceeds automotive finish quality. A magnetic grille eliminates unattractive hardware on the baffle and also minimizes diffraction and veiling.

Rear-Firing Bass Port w/ Port Plug: The M106 bookshelf loudspeaker employs a sophisticated fluid-model designed low-frequency port with identical flares on both ends. This greatly minimizes dynamic compression and port-generated noise, assuring low-distortion low-frequency performance. The Revel Performa3 bookshelf loudspeaker includes a foam port plug that can be used to adjust the loudspeaker's low-frequency performance in certain installation situations.

  • If the bookshelf speaker is built into an entertainment center or shelving unit, or if the speaker is located less than about 2' (0.61m) from walls or other large objects, inserting the port plug into the loudspeaker's port opening can reduce the overly-aggressive bass output that can be created by the speaker's proximity to large surfaces that reflect bass energy.
  • Insert the port plug into the loudspeaker's port tube opening far enough so that the end of the plug is flush with the inside end of the port tube's flared section. Be careful not to insert the port plug so far into the port tube that it falls inside of the speaker.

Binding Post Terminals: The M106 bookshelf speaker features gold-plated binding-posts that provide secure connection for speaker cables terminated with banana plugs (single only), spade lugs, pin connectors, or bare wire (up to 10AWG). You will need to remove the binding post's rubber inserts in order to use banana plugs.

Mounting & Placement Options: Optional Performa3 M STAND pedestal stands (sold separately - see accessories tab) are available for the M106 that place the speaker at the proper height for seated listeners. There are three 1/4"-20 threaded inserts on the bottom of M106 for securing the speaker to the M Stands. The speaker does not offer any rear-panel threaded inserts, keyhole slots, or integrated bracket for wall mounting. For best stereo image and performance, follow these guidelines -

  • Place the speaker so the tweeter is aligned with a seated listener's ears, approximately 36" (91cm) above the floor.
  • Place the loudspeakers so that they are both the same distance from the primary listening position and so they are both the same distance from the side walls.
  • Angle the loudspeakers almost directly toward the primary listening position. If you wish to widen the stereo soundstage you can reduce the toe-in angle, even to the point at which the loudspeakers are pointing straight forward.
  • Moving the loudspeakers farther from the front and side listening room walls will improve stereo imaging and the sense of spaciousness in the listening space.
  • Moving the loudspeakers closer to the corners or walls of the listening room will increase bass response.
Note: Placing minimal acoustic treatment materials at the room's primary reflection points will reduce sonic degradations. Ideally, acoustic absorbers should be placed at the first reflection points on the front and side walls and either acoustic absorbers or diffusers should be placed at the first reflection points on the rear wall. Check out the Accessories Tab for acoustic panels & treatments (sold separately).

Position-Independent, Double-Blind Listening Tests: Every Revel by Harman loudspeaker is compared head-to-head with competitors' models in a position-independent, double-blind listening facility. True research-quality processes assure the validity of the listening tests, which employ the latest psychoacoustic research.

Our Product Research Team

At Crutchfield, you'll get detailed, accurate information that's hard to find elsewhere. That's because we have our own in-house Product Research team. They verify what’s in the box, check the owner's manual, and record dimensions, features and specs. We stay on top of new products and technologies to help people make informed choices.

Q & A

Customer Q&A

Crutchfield asked  
Why did you buy this?

These bookshelf speakers have been reviewed and rated by highly regarded publications as the finest of its kind under $4000 ever made. [ Stuart  Aug 12, 2018 ]