Test Report: Artison Portrait DualMono Speaker System

Key Features
$4,150 (as tested) artisonusa.com
Portrait DM LCR with grilles ($2,000)
• (2) 4.5-inch Kevlar midrange/woofers
• (2) 1-in Vifa tweeters
• 1-in “Stage” tweeter
• 25.4 x 6.5 x 2.1 in
LRS-W On-Wall Surrounds ($575/pair)
• 4.5-inch Kevlar midrange/woofer
• (2) 1-in Vifa tweeters
• 9 x 9.5 x 3 in
Total RCC 600 Subwoofer System ($1,575)
• (4) 5 x 8-in racetrack woofers
• 600-watt amplifier
• 23.5 x 9.5 x 13 in (subwoofer); 2.6 x 19 x 16.25 (amplifier)
Portrait, LRS, and RCC 600 sub also available as in-wall models.

Physics is an unforgiving beast. I mean, everyone knows what an unforgiving jerk that gravity is. Besides the heated Einstein/Newton debates, physics bends all aspects of A/V to its will as well. The biggest loser? Sound. No matter how cool some new audio technology seems, it’s just not going to be able to overcome the basic physics of sound creation.

How so? Take the speakers in TVs for example. As TVs become thinner and thinner, there is less space to put the drivers needed to create audio. Smaller, lighter, cheaper drivers are going to result in worse and worse sound quality.

As much as we here at S+V would love for everyone to have an elaborate 7.1 audio system, the reality is most people can’t (or won’t) fit big speakers in their rooms.

Fortunately, Artison has a solution: high quality speakers that mount to a flat-panel TV.

Seems simple, right? I mean lots of companies make in-wall and on-wall speakers. Those are fine, but no matter what, they don’t really “blend” with the TV. They still look like add-on speakers, and for some that’s a deal breaker.

The Artison method is to custom-build grilles so its speakers appear as if they came with the TV from the factory. And if you mount your TV on an articulating arm, the speakers move forward with the TV so you can always get correct sound. (Click here for our review of the company’s original Portrait speaker solution, now updated for ultra-thin TVs.)