I have owned neither, but heard the predecessor of both, the Heron, and the Shearwated, both in "standard" aspiration. I thought that the midrange of the Shearwater had an "organic" sound, which was nice, but perhaps a wee bit artificial...it's just the sound of a large paper cone operating at the upper limit of it's range. THe Heron crosses the 7" woofer (same as Shearwater) over at a lower frequency to a midrange driver. I thoroughly loved the Heron's midrange, and the addition of the extra 7" driver was very noticeable re: bass response. The Shearwater has a 1" soft dome tweeter that sounded dark to my ears, and the 3/4" tweeter of the Heron sounded more lively and "seemed" to play high frequencies cleaner. The Shearwater is an excelent speaker, but not what I was looking for. THe Heron was EXACTLY what I was looking for, however, It was out of my range at the time, and I have found a speaker in the interim that I love. I think that the reengineered Heron i, with it's tuneable bass response would be an excellent speaker, and I just might check them out in a couple of years.
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