Microphase Audio Design SAT MK3 Loudspeakers

In the ever-evolving landscape of audio excellence, the Microphase Audio Design SAT MK3 loudspeakers emerge as a beacon of true passion and craftsmanship. Crafted by the visionary Australian-based, French speaker designer Jean-Marie Lière, these bookshelf loudspeakers stand as a testament to his dedication to pushing the boundaries of sonic artistry. With a blend of technical precision and artistic flair, the SAT MK3 speakers promise to captivate audiophiles and music enthusiasts alike.

Joie de Vivre

This is the hardline according to Jean-Marie Lière. The Microphase Audio Design SAT MK3 speaker boasts a minimalist aesthetic that exudes understated elegance. Encased in marine-grade birch plywood with a clear polyurethane finish, the speaker's industrial-inspired design evokes a sense of raw beauty and rugged sophistication, coupled with a hint of French brutalism.

But beneath its unassuming exterior lies a symphony of engineering excellence. From the meticulously crafted cabinet to the precision-engineered drivers, every aspect of the SAT MK3 speaker's design has been optimised to deliver uncompromising performance. The 3-way miniature monitor configuration, with bi-wiring capability and a time-aligned tweeter, ensures optimal dispersion and coherence, allowing listeners to experience music with clarity and precision.

French Connection

At the heart of the Microphase Audio Design MK3 speaker lies a meticulously engineered array of drivers, each carefully selected and customised to Lière’s exacting specifications. The main mid-bass driver from the renowned French manufacturer AUDAX features a 130 mm paper membrane and incorporated rubberised phase plug with the potential to deliver rich, nuanced sound with impeccable accuracy.

Complementing the main driver is a 170 mm paper-coned driver mounted on the rear panel. It’s also from AUDAX and has been specially assembled for Microphase Audio Design to ensure seamless integration and optimal performance. Together, these drivers work in perfect harmony to reproduce the entire frequency spectrum to good effect.


Perhaps the true star of the show is the tweeter, another masterpiece from AUDAX, featuring a new 3D-printed faceplate designed in-house by Microphase Audio Design. The tweeter is off-set and is time aligned via a physical baffle step. It promises excellent transient response, extended high-frequency reproduction, and a layer of refinement and detail to the SAT MK3’s sonic signature. There is no doubt that there is a strong French connection to this speaker.

More than this, however, is Lière’s personal journey. A Frenchman who immigrated to Australia at the age of 48 and reignited his design and manufacturing enterprise. He embodies the flare and philosophy of a French craftsman, pouring every ounce of his self into these speakers. A true gentleman and a real insight into the great joys of creating something bespoke and from the heart.

Lière specifies the SAT MK3 speakers as having a frequency response spanning from 55 Hz to 30 kHz at +/- 6 dB, efficiency is 90 dB at 1 watt/1m, and nominal impedance is stated as 4 ohms. Phase is 5/-30 degrees from 20 Hz to 40 kHz while the crossover points are 150 Hz (12dB/octave) and 4 kHz (6dB/octave) with Linkwitz-Riley phase alignment. The SAT MK3 rated power handling is 100 watts.


The SAT MK3 features a high quality crossover network where no expense has been spared. Key crossover components come from reputable German manufacturer Mundorf. The 3-way miniature monitor caters to bi-wiring configurations.

Listening Experience

The SAT MK3 excels in reproducing airy highs and a spacious soundstage, the tweeter's extended frequency response and impeccable transient response ensuring that every detail was rendered with astonishing realism. There's a real sense of space and separation with vocals washing over you effortlessly with a sense of airy bliss. This is a real selling point of these speakers, and something that is replicated and perhaps even further pronounced in Microphase Audio Design’s T series floorstanding speaker line.

However, I did notice a slight roll-off in the lower frequencies, particularly around the 100 Hz mark, which resulted in a sense of something being missing in the sonic picture. Imagine yourself looking at a masterpiece and not being quite sure of the big area of black in the middle is something the artist hasn't quite finished yet, or indeed it's meant to allow your eyes to be drawn to the glow from the aura of the angels painted around it. Which are you more focused on now?


While this may detract from the speaker's ability to reproduce a sense of fullness in the mids and reproduce deep bass notes with authority, it also lends a sense of openness and airiness to the midrange and high frequencies, creating a captivating listening experience that is both immersive and engaging. The T series floorstanding range from Lière are even more captivating, and there's a real sense of cohesion across the range aesthetically. So, in essence, the midrange dip is not so much a flaw as it is a particular trait of this speaker, showing off a tuning that results in a huge sense of top-end extension with air for miles.

I personally love the story and the passion behind Microphase Audio Design, and to sit with Jean-Marie Lière, listen to his stories, engage with his intellect, and understand his passion and motivation, leaves you with no doubt that he puts everything into these speakers. To do that as a lone operator, without the big budgets and manufacturing capabilities of the big boys, speaks volumes. I have the utmost respect for this venture and for people doing this in an industry that is becoming saturated with overpriced offerings, sometimes from passionless bean counters, sold in stores by often disengaged or inexperienced sales staff, as I’ve experienced on occasion.

Listening to an extended playlist of LoFi beats seems to create an atmosphere of immersive airy bliss, the speaker handles electronica and cool afternoon tunes with ease, somehow complimenting its understated design, as if it just naturally belongs in a minimalist architectural environment, painting the picture of belonging in the space.

The floorstanding T3 and T4 offerings are very much fully formed as far as frequency reproduction and balance is concerned, and having listened to these also, I'd say the appeal is even greater at this level.

When listening to “Soho Vibes” by Hannover duo Mo’ Horizons, the cool downtempo relaxed vibe just seemed to suit these speakers perfectly. The headroom that these speakers present is apparent from the get-go with this track, creating a beautiful sense of involvement in what I believe can be missing from electronica for some people. This is great, and again, there's something just right about the aesthetics of these speakers and cool beats, in keeping with the understated cool that they seem to exude.

A go-to track for me when listening to a speaker’s ability to dig deep, maintain clarity, and exude a sense of air and extension, is “Evidence” by Faith No More. This track has a great deal of space, endless subtle ambiance, and spades of gorgeous full-bodied bass, with a spicy edge. The little MK3s need a sub here for sure, but when paired with a decent one like my own REL 31s (two-of… overkill I know), they provided all the extension up top you could ask for from a small unit. Again, the mids have a dip that could be slightly improved in some situations, where the warmth of a clean jazz-esq guitar solo from Trey Spruance was just a little cold in its engagement, and just slightly lacking that full sense of spaciousness in the mids, instead leaving oodles of room up top. Without subs, these little gems need careful placement to pick up some assistance in the bottom end, from the room’s natural assist. It is perhaps a testament to the design that they pair so incredibly well with a sub like the REL 31, way above their price point, and a true end-game component itself.

I was impressed with the way the speakers reproduced the dynamics of Incubus “Are You In?” The spacious clarity and instrument placement during the intro were attention-grabbing, however, when listening to “Still Got The Blues” by Gary Moore, I felt the vocals and guitar tone lacked the body they needed to convey the full emotion of the song and drive the guitar solos to the heights they needed to fully engage with the emotional drive of that song. Keep in mind, however, that this is the result of what I perceive in my room, on the system I have to conduct these reviews. Pairing these with something like the Auralic Vega G2.1 which has a more pronounced midrange reproduction, would perhaps make these speakers work a little more in that area. Again, this is not something that would prevent me from buying these, and indeed when the same combination of drivers is used in the floorstanders, the vibe is very different. I like these speakers a lot, they just have their own character.


There’s something about the sense of space that the SAT MK3s convey, that defies their size and although they definitely benefit from a sub, the correct placement of these little speakers in a small room/listening space certainly would satisfy the discerning listener. They are refined, elegant, unobtrusive, imperfect, cool. When hosting Jean-Marie for an interview and talked about the nuances of his design choices, we discussed their performance in my space compared to Jean-Marie’s own listening space. He noticed differences due to his familiarity with his product, and I noticed nuances that he may have become used to over time.

“Birds” by Dominique Fils-Aimé, comes across with a real sense of dynamics and attack, a honed-in focus on clarity and speed. It’s a track that has become familiar to all too many audiophiles and if you are a seasoned veteran, you’ll have heard this in many iterations across a multitude of systems, all presenting slightly more or less exciting portrayals of the layers of this track. The little SAT MK3 coupled with the REL 31s really punch above their weight, with a tight sound stage and a real sense of excitement. There’s plenty of space up there to allow the track to sit right in the middle of the room and just come alive. I switched across to my Bowers & Wilkins 802s to compare and the track took on a much larger guise, digging deeper into the available spectrum of frequencies, but with a much more relaxed sense of accomplishment. For such a huge difference in price, size, and technical prowess, the little SATs hold their own.


Every speaker has its own character, some may use the term “colour”, but there are so many variables in each design, from cabinet resonance, bracing, and damping, to crossover components, time alignment, Q, frequency response, and THD, that pinpointing what aspect you like, requires more insight into the technical rigours of the cause and effect than most people care to take the time to understand. It’s just a box with some drivers, right?

When curating a hi-fi system, I always recommend starting with the speakers, then choosing the right amplification to drive that choice correctly, and the source components will have the best chance of living up to their potential in translating or relaying all the available information that they have to convey. Speakers, therefore, are in many ways the most important component of any hi-fi system. They are, after all, the only component that actually interacts physically with your room and your ears. Treat your room correctly, and the speakers you choose will treat your ears. These little SAT MK3s are utilitarian, they’re architectural, they’re minimalist, they’re cool and they’re made with love.


The Microphase Audio Design SAT MK3 loudspeakers stand as a testament to the marriage of art, passion, solid engineering, and one man's commitment to the cause. With its impeccable craftsmanship, technical prowess, and musicality, the SAT MK3 speaker embodies the visionary spirit of its creator, Jean-Marie Lière. Whether you're a discerning audiophile or a casual music enthusiast, the SAT MK3 promises to transport you to the heart of the music, unveiling a world of sonic poetry that is as captivating as it is unforgettable.

More than this, however, is that it is indeed a true passion piece from a man who knows his stuff and is, without a doubt, a true gentleman of the industry. I take my hat off to you Jean-Marie, this is what the industry needs more of.

… Barry J Johnston

Associated Equipment

  • Speakers — Bowers and Wilkins Nautilus 802, Yamaha NS1000 – 2 Pairs – Modified, KEF LSX, REL HT1205 x 2, JBL 4328 LSR, Sony subwoofer, 2 x REL Acoustics No.31 subwoofers
  • Amplifier — Mark Levinson No.531H Monoblocks, Quad 606 Power amp, Sansui AU555 Integrated
  • Preamplifier — PrimaLuna EVO 400
  • SourcesDigital: Gryphon Scorpio, Metronome Technologie Le Player 4+, Simaudio Moon HAD230, Marantz PMD-340, (MacBook Pro 15 - Audirvana, Tidal, Spotify) Sony PHA3, Sony NW ZX2, Sony PCM2600
  • Analogue: Marantz TT-15S1, Clearaudio Satisfy Tonearm, Clearaudio Virtuoso Wood MKII, Whest P.20, LINN LP12, Stax UA7CF Tonearm, Audio Technica LPW40WN
  • Cables — Nordost Frey, inakustik Exzellenz Balanced interconnect, Isotek IEC, various custom interconnects
  • Audio Rack — Custom – Noizy Head , Noizy Head custom iso platforms
  • Miscellaneous — Audio Technica AT-AWAS, Focal Listen, Audio Technica MSR7, Mac Pro, Focusrite Scarlett 18i20, Vicoustic room treatment, and various supporting cast

Microphase Audio Design SAT MK3 Loudspeakers
Price: AU$4895
Australian Warranty: Five Years

C/O Archinterface Pty Ltd
GPO Box 2051
Sydney NSW 2001
+61 (0) 404 107 042