Boston Acoustics A 25 Speaker System
Born and Reborn
Loudspeaker manufacturers are born and then, in some cases, reborn. Although rebirth doesn’t necessarily ensure continued creativity or even longevity, some speaker makers thrive in their new incarnations. That’s what happened to Boston Acoustics. It was born as an independent company in 1979, was reborn in 2006 as a speaker brand following acquisition by D&M Holdings (the same company that markets Denon and Marantz), and is now healthier than ever.
Since its rebirth, Boston Acoustics has swept out several old and historic two-channel speaker lines in favor of new ones that cater to current needs in both surround and stereo. For the home theater buff, the brand covers speakers of all sizes and types, from towers, to monitors, to satellites, to soundbars, to subwoofers. For the custom-install customer, there are in-wall, in-ceiling, in-cabinet, and outdoor models, even faux-rocks. Boston also makes table radios, with or without iPod docking.
With all that activity across so many categories, it’s easy to overlook the brand’s more conventional products. But there is buried treasure to be had. All you have to do is dig it up.
That brings us to the Boston Acoustics A Series speakers. Like Boston Acoustics itself, the A Series has been reborn, having previously been active mainly during the 1980s. The new A Series ranks below the world-class VS Series and Reflection Series, although it’s a step up from the entry-level Classic Series. The system reviewed here includes four A 25 monitors, the A 225C horizontal center-channel speaker, and the ASW 250 subwoofer, with a total package price of $1,200.
Glossy and Classy
The closer you get to the A 25 monitor, the better it looks. Glossy black laminated side panels give it a round-edged chic. Even the vinyl wrap on the top and back has a subtle leather-like finish. The top is made of two layers of 0.75-inch medium-density fiberboard. A reinforcement disc beneath the top surface deadens the extraneous cabinet resonances that Boston discovered during the design process.
Pull off the convex magnetic grille, cock an eye at the lack of visible screws on the baffle, and you’ll find a 1-inch Kortec textile-dome tweeter, a longtime staple of Boston Acoustics speaker design. The tweeter sits in a shallow recess with its center protruding slightly beyond the baffle surface. The 5.25-inch woofer cone is molded from a polymer soup filled with ceramic and glass fibers. Its DCD (Deep Channel Design) magnet structure is optimized to maximize the limits of movement, focus magnetic energy, and facilitate heat dissipation.
On the back panel are a keyhole mount, a small port, and goldplated binding posts secured with a transparent plastic nut.
The A 225C horizontal center speaker’s grille has the same convex curve. Beneath it are two woofers flanking a tweeter. Driver sizes and materials match those of the monitor, which is always a good omen for timbre matching. Visual elements—the rounded black gloss side panels and leather-like vinyl wrap—further unite the center with the monitors. However, the center speaker lacks the monitor’s keyhole mount because the manufacturer believes that most users will place the center in a cabinet or on a shelf.
The ASW 250 subwoofer offers the same aesthetics. Its 10-inch downward-firing ported woofer, made of treated organic pulp, is backed with 100 watts RMS (250 watts peak) rated power. It also benefits from a larger version of the DCD magnet structure that the other speakers use. Connectivity includes stereo line-level inputs and a separate LFE input that bypasses the sub’s internal crossover.
Associated equipment included a Rotel RSX-1550 A/V receiver and OPPO BDP-83SE universal disc player.