NHT Verve Home Theater Speaker System
We A/V mavens tend to sneer a little (okay, a lot) at those who choose sleek, on-wall aesthetics over all-out audio chops (damn the cost in looks, livability, or length of marriage). But in the dark night of my soul, I confess that if I wasn't one of Us, I'd almost certainly be one of Them.
NHT offers a range of Verve systems, and the 5.1-channel system reviewed here, designated Verve IV, incorporates three models: V Large, V Small, and V Woofer. The first two are subcompacts formed of a thin-but-strong molded composite material finished in handsome piano-black. Both monitors use the same three-way configuration, with the tweeter suspended over the midrange driver, though the V Large earns its name from the second woofer that provides for a bit more power-handling and makes the tapered speaker symmetrical for use as a horizontal center channel. This is accomplished by simply shifting the supplied plastic tabletop/shelf stand.
The V Woofer is the most unusual of the trio, looking more like a small widescreen TV than a subwoofer. Nevertheless, it houses a pair of 10-inch aluminum cones, and the requisite amplification, but is just 7 inches deep, allowing virtually flush-to-the-wall location - a very cool and livable layout. The sub has just a single line-level input and a level knob on the front. NHT presumes, fairly, that crossover chores will be handled by an A/V receiver or processor. As to the lack of a phase control, NHT points out that virtually all such components have a setup "distance" adjustment that performs the same function but with greater precision.