Aperion Audio Verus Forte Speaker System

Typical tower speakers arrive with so many wonderful opportunities for self-injury: When you take them off the truck and when you haul them into the listening room, for starters. And that’s not to mention when you unpack them and set them up and when you adjust placement (especially with carpet spikes). But Oregon’s Aperion Audio, God love ’em, has finally delivered a tower speaker that even the most physically challenged audiophile can love: the Verus Forte.

 If a tower speaker can be cute, the just-35-inch tall, 30-pound, cheerfully moveable Forte accomplishes it. I’ll always love Aperion for that, but as it turns out, there’s a lot more to like.

Aperion was among the first direct-to-consumer audio outfits and remains a leader of that movement, selling its products exclusively to end-users via its Web site. It’s a scenario where everybody wins — except the independent audio specialist retailers, most of whom are out of business and now delivering pizzas.

Setup

Unboxing and setting up the Aperion system proceeded without physical trauma. The supporting cast: Aperion’s Verus Forte Center, a three-way horizontal center-channel unit with a coaxial midrange/tweeter; a pair of Verus Forte Satellites, small two-ways destined for the surrounds; and the Bravus II 10D Digital Subwoofer.

Each emerged from its carton like a little jewel, nestled in closed-cell foam and swaddled in sateen-lined velvet drapes that revealed glossy lacquered real-wood cherry veneers (except for the sub, which is black), and unusually handsome ones at that.

The Aperions provide nice metal multiway terminals (doubles for biwiring on the towers); multiple choices of carpet spikes or feet; and a nifty hard-rubber base that cradles the center-channel unit, permitting up- or down-angling.

Once I began listening, I confirmed an initial impression of the Verus Forte Towers, and there’s no polite way to say it: These speakers are, well, short. Seated-ear height is generally around 37 inches, but the towers themselves are less lofty than that, with an acoustical center closer to 28 or 29 inches. That may not sound like much of a difference, but in this case, hearing naturally balanced treble called for extreme slouching — or angling the speakers sharply rearward by lengthening the front spikes fully and replacing the rears with stubbies, which turned out to be a better long-term answer.

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