I have been slowly building my collection of home theater equipment for sometime now. I have the HDTV, ps3 for games and blu ray and a Sony home theater in a box system for my surround sound. Something was lacking with the sound though...one very important thing...Dialogue! The center speaker that came with the HTIB was very small and was completely underpowered so I had to upgrade...and so the search began!
Recommend this product?
I knew my budget was a bit above $100 but if I could keep it below that then that would be very nice! There really are not many brick and mortar stores around here that sell this equipment apart from best buy and circuit city. I headed out to best buy to see what they had! There were a few center speakers there on display that you could also listen too! The Sony was the cheapest at $99, the next cheapest was $169. I decided to listen to the Sony and instantly fell in love! Here's why!
Number one it was a Sony and would match my existing system, number 2 it looks phenomenal as well! Especially with the front grill off! The speakers underneath the grill looks very cool indeed. The speaker is a pretty good size. I was not expecting to get something like this for under $100. The dimensions are 15.75" W x 6.69" H x 8.5" D and it weighs in at just less than 11 lbs.
Around the back of the speaker you will find the simple but very effective push type connectors that are found on most amps and receivers so connection is no more than connecting two cables to the back of the speaker. After the sales man found an open box one that had been returned earlier that day, because the guy who bought it got in trouble with his wife and I had a reward zone coupon, I got this baby for $65! I decided to get it and take it home to see how it sounded at my home!
After I got it home I unboxed it and was excited about getting it hooked up! In the box you will find the speaker, 4 rubber feet which are optional, you do not have to use them and a small amount of 22 gauge speaker wire (upgrade the speaker wire, it is well worth it). I hooked it up to my system; then I popped in Independence Day on blu ray, which is quite easily one the best sounding blu rays to date! The speaker did not even flinch! Even when pushed very hard. The dual 5 1/2" woofers that this speaker sports handled the sound thrown at it with ease! The amount of bass that this speaker produced was quite a surprise.
Remember though, I got this speaker because I wanted to hear the dialogue! WOW what a difference! Finally I can hear what the people are saying! The voices do not get lost in all the sound coming from the surrounds! The voices are crisp and clean and are very easy to hear! There is also a tweeter built into this speaker so that any highs that are reproduced sound fantastic!!
The speakers maximum power handling is rated at 150 watts. My receivers max output is 140 watts which is very close to the max. I have never heard a crack a pop or a whistle from this speaker, even under heavy and hard use! It handles everything superbly! At very high levels the sound remains super clean and clear and amazingly crisp! I cannot believe how well this speaker performs, especially for the money spent!
One more important feature that this speaker has is its magnetic shielding! When placing speakers near you TV and other audio equipment you need to be careful because the magnets in the speakers can cause damage to your other equipment. The magnetic shielding on this speaker will protect your other equipment. Which is very important seeing as this center speaker will more than like be placed very close to your TV. You will not have to worry about the speaker damaging your other equipment.
I am very happy indeed with the speaker. If you have a home theater in a box system at home or are going to build a surround sound system in your home then I highly recommend that you get this center speaker from Sony! The quality of sound will really blow you away. Make sure though that when you buy a new speaker that your existing receiver can handle the power of the speaker, yes it is important! For that reason i have listed the rest of the specs below
150 watt max power handling
8 ohm impendence
Nano Fine balanced tweeter rated to 50hz
Frequency response of 85 - 50,000hz
Sensitivity of 89dB
These rating are important so just check that your unit can handle the speaker! If it can you should definitely upgrade your center speaker and enjoy the crisp clear dialogue that this speaker reproduces!