Review: Boston Acoustics Reflection Series Speaker System

Key Features
$3,600 (as tested) bostonacoustics.com
• RS 334 tower speaker ($1,400/pair): vented enclosure; (4) 4-in cone woofers, 1-in soft-dome “coupled dual-concentric” tweeter; 42 in high; 32 ¼ lb
• RS 224C center speaker ($500): vented enclosure; (4) 4-in cone woofers, 1-in soft-dome “dualconcentric” tweeter; 23 3?8 in wide; 25½ lb
• RS 260 surround speaker ($800/pair): vented enclosure; 6½-in cone woofer, 1-in softdome “dual-concentric” tweeter; 9 5?8 in high; 8 lb
• RPS 1000 subwoofer ($900): vented enclosure; 10-in (nominal) cone woofer, (2) 8-in cone passive radiators; 500-watt (RMS) amplifier; single (mono) LFE and dual (stereo) line-level inputs; variable volume and crossover-frequency controls; sub phase and power/auto-on switches; 13 5?8 x 13¼ x 16¾ in; 48½ lb

 

Boston Acoustics is the last, and by far the most successful, surviving descendant of the many audio (and video) brands to spring from the Cambridge, Massachusetts hi-fi axis of the 1960s and ’70s: Acoustic Research, KLH, Advent, Apt, et al. Like every other manufacturer in today’s “specialty audio” world, Boston has encountered market vicissitudes through the past decade. But if its Reflection Series of speakers is any indication, the firm — now within the D&M Holdings corporate umbrella, along with Denon, Marantz, McIntosh, and several others — is well positioned to enjoy the mid-market recovery (if and when that arrives).

Market considerations to one side, the Reflection Series is an impressive speaker lineup. The array Boston sent along included the flagship RS 334, a super-slim tower incorporating no fewer than four 4-inch bass drivers; the 61?2-inch two-way RS 260 bookshelf speaker for the surrounds; the RS 244C, a center-channel unit with the same driver complement as the towers; and the RPS 1000 subwoofer. All three RS models incorporate a version of Boston’s unique, center-terminated tweeter, a driver whose sound I raved about upon first encountering it in Boston’s impressive VS Series speakers (read the review here).

The cabinets on all speakers, sub included, feature an outstanding piano-black lacquer finish. And while they’re less visibly curvaceous than the otherwise rather similar VS designs and lack their wood-veneer finish, they make a decidedly good-looking layout on their own merits. But perhaps the most impressive spec of all is this one: $3,600, the price tag for all this loudspeaker goodness.

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