Tower Speaker Reviews

Sort By: Post DateTitle Publish Date
Daniel Kumin  |  May 07, 2010  |  0 comments

Earthquake Sound's origins are deep in the world of 12-volt (that's car stereo to you and me), where they take their bass, and their SPLs, very seriously. So while I was a bit dismayed by the size of the carefully shrink-wrapped pallet that its Titan Telesto-based speaker system arrived on - it could easily have contained a whole-house stand-by-generator - I was not particularly surprised.

Steven Stone  |  Sep 09, 2002  |  0 comments

Boom. Thud. Crash. What would a movie be without low-frequency effects? Even non-macho films like <I>Sense and Sensibility</I> have their share of carriage-wheel rumblings and horse-hoof thuds. Without a serious subwoofer that extends down to a solid 30Hz, and preferably even lower, a home-theater system can hardly be called "high-end."

Daniel Kumin  |  Dec 23, 2015  |  0 comments

Debut F5 Speaker System
Performance
Build Quality
Value

S10EQ Subwoofer
Performance
Features
Build Quality
Value
PRICE $1,470 as reviewed

AT A GLANCE
Plus
Superb sonics, neutral tonal balance
Decently finished, simple look
Unapproachable value
Minus
Some off-axis center-channel tonal shift
Audible thump on sub’s auto turn-off

THE VERDICT
Elac’s Debut series reintroduces a near-forgotten brand with a design by a well-known name—Andrew Jones—and a value/performance factor to be reckoned with.

As longtime S&V readers have doubtless come to understand, I believe that cheap, as Gordon Gekko definitely did not say, is good. Any $10,000 pair of loudspeakers makes me vaguely uneasy, while a $50,000 pair leaves me ready to join the Che Guevara Brigade and start lining up oligarchs. So the arrival of a new family of cheap—err, high-value—serious loudspeakers from Elac U.S., designed by tech’lebrity engineer Andrew Jones, caused a certain amount of excitement hereabouts. (For more on Elac and Jones, see “Man on a Mission”.)

Al Griffin  |  Feb 03, 2021  |  0 comments

Speakers
Performance
Build Quality
Value

Subwoofer
Performance
Features
Build Quality
Value
PRICE $3,000 (as tested)

AT A GLANCE
Plus
Clean, well-balanced sound
Consistent off-axis performance
Subwoofer control app with Auto-EQ
Excellent value
Minus
Basic looks; black-only finish option

THE VERDICT
Despite its low-key exterior, Elac’s 5.1 Uni-Fi 2.0 system delivers the goods for movies/music and represents an excellent value.

Germany's Elac is a brand that has greatly expanded its presence in the hi-fi and home theater worlds over the past five or so years. While the company itself has been around for considerably longer, back in 2015 it brought on former KEF, Infinity, TAD, and Pioneer chief speaker engineer Andrew Jones to develop new product lines. First out of the gate for Jones was the Debut Series, followed by the Uni-Fi series, both affordable lines designed to pull fresh recruits into the audiophile ranks. New speakers arrived in quick succession, including the upscale but still affordable Adante passive and Navis powered models.

Daniel Kumin  |  Dec 20, 2016  |  0 comments

Performance
Build Quality
Value
PRICE $1,177

AT A GLANCE
Plus
Neutral balance with fine imaging
Very good center-channel performance, integration
Superb value
Minus
Towers may require substantial tilt-back

THE VERDICT
Emotiva’s new passive loudspeakers combine serious audio design and refinement with sufficient construction and finish quality to establish unprecedented value.

There’s been plenty of ink spilled, print and digital, in Sound & Vision and elsewhere, about Tennessee’s direct-to-consumer brand Emotiva and the disruptive pricing the company has brought to various audio categories. To date, this has been mostly focused on electronics, where power amps, preamps, pre/pros, and DACs have been offered up for surprisingly small sums that seem to belie their inherent engineering and build quality. Corner company founder Dan Laufman about how he does it, and he’ll enthusiastically share his prior life as an OEM for other audio brands (many of which you know well) and how he’s learned a few tricks about where and how to stretch raw material costs in the most meaningful ways.

uavSteve Guttenberg  |  Aug 07, 2008  |  0 comments
The home-theater market's love affair with big displays and skinny speakers hasn't peaked just yet—screen girths are still expanding and speakers are on the verge of anorexia. The folks at EMP (Engineered Music Products) were hip to that fact when they cooked up the seriously svelte HTP-551T speaker package.
Mark Fleischmann  |  Jun 11, 2007  |  First Published: May 11, 2007  |  0 comments
API crosses the border.

This is a momentous time for Energy Speaker Systems. Until recently, Energy was one of several brands owned and operated by Audio Products International of Toronto, Canada. (The others included Mirage, Athena, and Spherex.) Now the API brands have been merged into Klipsch of Indianapolis, Indiana, creating a new fusion of Canadian design and American ownership. Energy has also moved their manufacturing to China, where they will have more control over parts, while achieving greater cost-effectiveness. John Tchilinguirian, the longtime lead designer for the brand, has moved on to independent consulting. That makes the Energy RC-70 towers, RC-LCR (serving as center), and RC-R surrounds partly a chapter from a previous tome and partly the first chapter in a new story.

Thomas J. Norton  |  Mar 12, 2006  |  0 comments

My first experience with Energy speakers came in 1994, when I reviewed the Canadian company's then flagship speaker, the Veritas v2.8. It rotated in and out of my system for years, occasionally bettered in specifics by speakers selling for its original price ($6000/pair) or more, but never trumped overall, to my ears. The pair I own is still a valued two-channel reference, but unfortunately Energy never made a center channel speaker to match it.

Scott Wilkinson  |  Jul 21, 2002  |  0 comments

When it comes to surround-speaker systems, good things rarely come in small packages. Microsatellites and little subwoofers typically sound thin and anemic, with poor tonal balance and low volume capabilities. Yet there are many situations (e.g., small apartments, dorm rooms, guest rooms) in which such speakers would be ideally suited, if only they produced a reasonably good sound.

Chris Lewis  |  Jun 11, 2002  |  First Published: Jun 12, 2002  |  0 comments
Energy's updated Veritas line lives up to its legacy

It was a question I hadn't considered until I stepped into the listening room on that gloomy Monday morning to greet my Canadian guests. Then it hit me like a slap shot to the forehead. Could I be the unbiased, emotionally unruffled reviewer that I know I am on this day, or was my bitterness simply too strong to give these visitors their fair shake? For you see, it was less than 24 hours earlier that one of the most important games in North American hockey history—the gold-medal final between the United States and Canada—had ended in utter disappointment for the Stars and Stripes. And now, these Canadian speakers were staring me right in the face—their phase plugs pointing at me in ridicule, their ports directing a sly, triumphant wink my way, and their cabinets standing a little taller and straighter after 50 years of Olympic-hockey frustration. My doubts quickly passed, though, as my foreign guests began expertly filling the room with the soothing sounds of the Mississippi delta and Virginia mountains, bringing an undeniable calm over me—even a hint of resignation. As much as I love hockey, it's their game, after all. If Canada starts beating us in football or baseball, I'll know the sports gods have really turned their backs on the good old U.S. of A.

Thomas J. Norton  |  Mar 13, 2002  |  0 comments

Veteran readers of <I>Stereophile Guide to Home Theater</I> and <I>Stereophile</I> will know that my longtime reference speaker for 2-channel playback has been the <A HREF="http://www.stereophile.com//551/">Energy Veritas V2.8</A>&mdash;it's capable of dominating a room in a way that few other speakers in its price range can. For years now at trade shows, I've badgered Energy to produce a suitable center-channel and surrounds, but what Energy has had in the works the last few years were not additional models to fill out a home-theater setup based on the V2.8, but a complete new Veritas line. Everything about the current flagship of that updated and expanded range, the Veritas V2.4&mdash;from drivers to cabinet&mdash;is new, and many of those new developments are carried over to the full Veritas line.

Jerry Kindela  |  Feb 14, 2006  |  First Published: Feb 15, 2006  |  0 comments
A combination that hits all the right notes (and sounds).

There's a compelling magic that has kept my butt on the sofa— it's the enthralling And Starring Pancho Villa as Himself. It was for no small reason that this HBO film earned an Emmy for sound editing. The width and depth of the soundscape, the detailed sound bits, the way the dialogue comes through, and the score's ability to underscore the power and poignancy of scene after scene are remarkable. Each of these turns a made-for-TV movie into a film that transcends the limitations of the home venue for which it was created. And the system I've been using—an Epos M Series 5.1 speaker setup powered by the Butler Audio TDB 5150 vacuum-tube power amplifier—reveals such wonderful nuances in Pancho Villa that I have been completely glued to the couch.

Mark Fleischmann  |  Jun 02, 2008  |  0 comments
A grand canopy of surround sound.

Speakers come and go in my listening room—as I persist in calling it, although it also includes a front-projection system, an LCD HDTV, and my home office. But there’s one review I relive every day. And that’s my rave review of era’s Design 4 speaker system, which appeared in our April 2006 issue. Why? Because I have only to look at my desk, where of course I’m typing this now, and there they are, the Eras, on either side of my recently and joyously installed 24-inch NEC monitor. When I do YouTube, this trusty pair of the Design 4 does the honors, along with an Onix OA21S integrated amp and a Pinnacle Baby Boomer sub.

Clint Walker  |  Oct 28, 2000  |  First Published: Oct 29, 2000  |  0 comments
Polk vs. Klipsch vs. RBH

Gestalt
Time after time, I find myself asking, "Now what did I go and say that for?" Recently, while sitting in our weekly staff editorial meeting, I once again opened myself up to an idea that would inevitably lead to more work for me. After requesting speaker systems to have on hand for review, I realized that they all shared one common similarity: They were all around $3,500 or less. I don't know of a retailer on this planet where you can audition Polk, Klipsch, and RBH speakers at the same time, yet I'm sure it will cross some reader's mind who's looking to spend that extra change under the mattress.

Daniel Kumin  |  Jun 04, 2010  |  0 comments

I've seen plenty of loudspeaker "breakthroughs" in my half-a-lifetime around the audio sideshow, including speakers shaped like ears, tubas, and croquet balls.

Pages

X