The Sound of Style Page 5

Movie Performance When I returned to Will Smith and his character's plight in I, Robot, the Mirage system did a formidable job of conveying the sense of threat - signaled here by a terrifying swell of bass - as massive robot carriers surround his car in the tunnel. During the ensuing chase, surround effects like robot carcasses smashing against concrete walls sounded clear, with a pinpoint sense of placement in space. All in all, the Mirages did a powerful job of evoking the tunnel's subterranean atmosphere. I was also impressed with the performance of the V2 center speaker. For example, in a subsequent scene where a doctor examines a robot, dialogue stayed just as clear when I shifted my position to an off-center seat.

Fast Facts
•Omnipolar design for 360° sound •V2 FS tower1-in tweeter, 4.5-in midrange, two 4.5-in woofers, four 4.5-in passive radiators; 45 in high •V2 CC center .75-in tweeter, 3-in midrange, two 4.5-in woofers; 17.125 in wide •V2 surround 1-in tweeter, 4.5-in woofer; 8 in high •S10 subwoofer 10-in driver; 200-watt amp; crossover bypass; 14.75 x 17 x 18.5 in, 41 lbs •Aluminum satellite cabinets •Brushed black or silver finish on towers and center; platinum/black, black, silver, or white on surrounds; black or platinum on subwoofer •$2,400 •, 416-321-1800

Bottom Line If spacious sound in a sleek package is what you're after, Mirage's V2 FS tower-based system will be a no-brainer. Of the three systems here, I found its sound to be the most refined and involving with music, and its dynamics on action movies left little to be desired. Oh, yeah - if I didn't make this clear enough before: the dark-toned system looks totally badass. It was a perfect visual match for my black-framed plasma. Mirage obviously set out to do something special in designing this system, and it shows. A fantastic value overall.