Sony SS-MB115: Solid Choice For A Solid Price
Jun 15, 2001
Review by soupcraze
Rated a Very Helpful Review
I was building a custom home theater system for my grandma and grandpa. They have bought me so many things in the past, so that I just had to repay them. They enjoyed listening to Russian music which i downloaded off the net and burned onto CDs. They bought a very cheap Sony boombox a long time ago, and they just weren't too happy with the sound. I already bought them a Sony KV27FS12 as a gift, and decided to build them a custom home theater system to accompany it. Well, I looked at prices and components, and was able to make a custom system for $700 less than its actual MSRP. I bought them a 5.1 channel Yamaha RX-V596 Dolby Digital/DTS receiver with 100Watts x 5. I gought them Sony SS-MF515 front speakers which were an excellent value, along with a JBL N-center which they loved ever since they saw it a while back at Best Buy. As rear-channel speakers, I decided to go with the Sony SS-MB115. I first wanted to buy the cheaper Sony SS-MB105s which had a 5" woofer rather than a 6", but they ceased production during the time of my purchases. Originally, I was trying to find the SS-MB215s as front speakers, but I was unable to find them anywhere, so I bought the SS-MF515s. Well, I ended up buying the Sony SS-MB115 speakers for $40 on sale. I think the MSRP is around $120, so it is a pretty good buy. Here's what I found with the speakers:
Recommend this product?
The price seemed very right with the Sony SS-MB115 speakers. They have a 1" polyproleine dome tweeter, and a 6" polyproleine woofer. Both the tweeter and woofer can be seen easily if you take the removable grille cloth off. Both seemed to be goiod quality. The woofer looked especially nice for the price. It had a high quality design to it. I guess you can compare these speakers to some that are built by Pioneer. The Pioneer speakers have ported woofers, but the model that I saw had no tweeter. I find tweeters in speakers to be very important, however many people simply under-estimate their importance. The Sony SS-MB115s had a good tweeter that is used on the SS-MF515 speakers. The polyproleine tweeters sounded just right. Even though the Sony SS-MB115 were only 2-way speakers, they sounded better than the Pioneers. The Sony SS-MB115 also have a higher quality build than some Yamaha speakers in the same price range. I think that for $60, the Sony SS-MB115 speakers are well worth it.
Looks and Styling:
The Sony SS-MB115 are fairly good looking speakers. With the grille on, they still look good. They also look excellent without the grille on, but my grandparents like it on. These are quite attractive speakers for most part. They have a nearly identicle design to the SS-MF515s, but they are much, much, much shorter, and also are only 2-way speakers. if you like the looks of the new Sony speakers, you should like the styling of the Sony SS-MB115.
The Sony SS-MB115 are surprisingly durable speakers. For instance, one of the speaker's worst enemies are dust. They placed the Sony SS-MB115 in an area which had a lot of dust for a while. Dust was able to get behind the grille, and it landed all over the woofer and tweeter. I decided to play the rear-channels all by themselves without the fronts, and they still sounded like new, even with all the dust around it. Well anyway, I have been using Sony products for a long time, and they never really failed on me. They have good quality products, and the Sony SS-MB115 is no exception.
The Sony SS-MB115 sound excellent for rear-speakers. They also sound fairly good as main speakers. As rear channels, they are capable of re-creating all the backround effects very realistically. Now, I have seen very many expensive speakers, including the M&K 750 THX system. The rear-speakers used in it have superior imaging and everything. The Sony SS-MB115 speakers were easily comparable as rear channels. The tweeters didn't give over-exaggerated sound. They provided a very delicate sound, and the woofers also gave out a very natural sound. The backround noise was just so incredibly real, that while watching movies on their system, I thought I was really there. They handle well for the price as main speakers. however, they aren't at all comparable to 3-way speakers. They do sound good as 2-way speakers, but they were lacking a strong midrange. The high range was very precise and delicate, and the low range/bass was decent, but the midrange was lacking. The Sony SS-MF515 speakers however, didn't lack any ranges. If you have an extra $140 to spend, then go for the Sony SS-MF515 speakers. Still, you're only paying $60 for these speakers. They provide a high quality 1" polyproleine dome tweeter, and a 6" polyproleine woofer. You're getting a lot of quality for $60. The Sony SS-MB115 were easily superior to the Bose Model 100 that I tried out, and those were $150! For $60, you can do a lot with Sony. they sound great for the price, they are just perfect rear-channel speakers. The Sony SS-MB115 also won't fail you as main speakers.
The bass response was decent for the Sony SS-MB115. I turned off the subwoofer when I tried out the bass. The Pioneer speakers had a better bass response, but they also costed more. The Sony SS-MB115 were however able to provide more delicate upper-ranges. But put it this way, how many people do you know that don't use powered subwoofers? Overall, for a causal listener, the bass should be alright. But for more serious listeners, the Sony SS-MB115 will just not hit the spot.
Overall, the Sony SS-MB115 are very good speakers. they are just unbeatable at $60. They pretty much destroy the competition at this price. You must remember though, that these are onyl 2-way speakers. So, they won't hit every range that you will wnat them to hit. All the ranges except for the midrange is good on the Sony SS-MB115. They make perfect rear-channel speakers, but as front speakers, you may want to reconsider it. Consider buying 3-way speakers as front channel speakers. You can't go wrong with the Sony SS-MB115, especially at $60. These speakers won't fail you, there's always that touch of Sony quality!
Amount Paid (US$): 60
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