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BEAUTIFUL SOUNDING SPEAKERS...
Feb 2, 2011 (Updated Feb 21, 2011)
Review by lovehifi
Rated a Very Helpful Review
UPDATE: After listening to these INSIGNIA speakers for some time, I have noticed a slight "boominess" in the bass region, only noticable occasionally (dependent on the music). I am venturing to guess the "boom" is in the 40-50Hz range. Some of the "boom" may be due to the placement. They are on stands, but possibly too near a corner of the room.
Recommend this product?
So, for the audio purist, you may wish to place them further from reflective surfaces (especially corners) which tend to emphasize bass output.
I am stating this, not to discourage anyone from purchasing these very nice speakers. Rather, simply as a supplement to my review.
I did not notice it until I compared the INSIGNIA speakers to a pair of similar sized custom speakers systems I had assembled from a kit, also connected to the same KENWOOD receiver. I was able to make direct comparisons.
About a month ago, I purchased a pair of INSIGNIA NS-B2111 bookshelf speaker systems. They were on sale for $69 a pair. I liked their appearance and I read many positive reviews elsewhere on the internet. The price was quite right for me.
Let me begin by stating I love these speakers.
I have them connected to an older Kenwood stereo receiver, model KRA-5040 (80 watts/ch, very clean output).
I also placed them on Sanus 16 inch tall speaker stands. I did so, because smaller speakers tend to sound 'muddy' if placed directly on the floor or carpeting.
I play these speakers with '0' boost or cut (flat setting). I prefer the audio purist approach. I also prefer the least amount of electronic compensation, such as equlaization, DSP, etc. In my mind, good quality speakers and a good amp usually require little else other than a good source to be supplied.
First off, I really like the quality of these speakers. Nice wooden enclosures in a very unique rounded type shape. I wish Epinions had an accompianing picture. Enclosures are black/wood look with a very attractive piano black face, also somewhat curved with a black cloth removable grille. A very modern look indeed.
On the rear are a pair of 5-way binding posts, gold plated.
The woofer driver is a 6.5 inch large excursion unit mounted in a bass reflex design with a front firing flared port. (I would like to note I have read elsewhere that there may be 2 internal ducts or inlets leading to this port, but I have not yet disassembled the speaker to see for myself).
The flared port is a big deal. Many bass-reflex speakers still incorporate standard bass-reflex tubing which can cause "chuffing" (a sound created by too much air being pushed through the opening). This "sound" is a distortion, as it is not part of the music. The large flared port on these INSIGNIA speakers show absolutely no signs of such distortion. Bass is very smooth and well extended.
Bass is incredibly smooth, easily reaching down to the 40-50 Hz range. Again, I do not like exaggerated bass, so if you are looking for earth shaking rumbles, you will most definitely require a subwoofer. To me, this speaker sounds very smooth and listenable as is.
The bass driver is a type of specially treated carbon fibre cone. I imagine this cone design aids in limiting 'cone breakup', which may well be enhancing the smooth bass and mids of this speaker system.
The tweeter of this two-way design is a silk soft dome. I am personally partial to such tweeters, as they often lend a very soft treble without the fatigue associated with overly sharp or harsh tweeter drivers.
The tweeter is mounted co-axially onto the woofer, just as you might find in a co-axial car speaker. This design seems to work in this case. the point-source accuracy is amazing. Imaging, staging, etc, is excellent.
Treble response is very good. I hear detail and nuances I did not know existed on some of my recordings.
These speakers are rated at 120 watts maximum, each. I never believe such ratings. In general, I personally divide this number in half, and I'd expect these speakers to handle 60 watts per channel continuously.
Please note the power handling of a speaker usually is more reliant on the source of amplification rather than the actual speakers themselves. Refering back to my Kenwood receiver, it is rated 80 watts/ch at 0.05% THD. That being said, the amp is very clean. Clean power generally can drive a speaker with less damage, even if you occasionally go over the limit of the speakers.
Inversely, using an under powered or highly distorted signal from a poorer amp will easily damage a speaker, even when the output from the amp is well under the speaker's limit.
These speakers are rated 8 ohms. Therefore, they can safely be used in most cases, when running two sets of speakers simultaneously from the same power amplifier (in stereo mode, that is).
I love the sonic characteristics of the NS-B2111 speakers. I was very pleasantly surprised, especially considering these are Best Buy's house brand models. I would definitely choose these Insignia speakers over any other bookshelf speaker offered by Best Buy.
I would imagine these speakers would be excellent if employed in a 5.1/7.1 system as front/surrounds. These are excellent speakers.
Again, I am not into wall shaking bass. If you intend to push the bass and max out the bass output, I can't predict whether or not these speakers will be able to handle that kind of bass power. However, I would like to point out that most smaller bookshelf designs will not handle such bass emphasized output.
I have played heavy bass rap from my Ipod through my receiver to these speakers and while the bass was quite strong, I heard no distortion, even at pretty loud levels. But, I do keep my tone controls at their 'flat' settings, and I never employ 'loudness' or any other DSP sound enhancements.
Amount Paid (US$): 69.99
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