Pioneer SP-C21 Center Speaker Reviews
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Pioneer SP-C21 Center Speaker

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The Pioneer SP-C21 Center Speaker Demands to be the Center of Attention

Dec 3, 2012 (Updated Dec 3, 2012)
Review by  
Rated a Very Helpful Review
  • User Rating: Excellent

  • Ease of Use:
  • Durability:
  • Flatness:
  • Imaging:
  • Overall Sound:

Pros:Great price, fantastic design, and excellent overall imagaing

Cons:Plastic binding posts, lacks any real bass response.

The Bottom Line: Value price, premium sound. The SP-C21 delivers on all fronts and does not disappoint. The best center speakers in its price range by far.


I recently purchased a pair of Pioneer SP-FS51 tower speakers on clearnace at Best Buy for $179, and I have to say that they absolutely blew me away with their performance despite their budget price, fortunately the same Best Buy also had the matching SP-C21 center channel speaker on clearance too for just $59.99. I know how important it is to get matching speakers, especially across the front channels, so I purchased the center channel to match my towers. Here are my thought about it after a few weeks of use.

How does it look?

The SP-C21 center speaker shares the same industiral design as the SP-FS51 tower speakers and other speakers in this line.To be honest the Pionner SP-C21 center speaker is really quite pleasing to the eye, even though it breaks away from the look of traditional speakers.

Like the other speakers in this line, Pionner is very proud of the fact that Andrew Jones (famed speaker designer) designed these speakers. Andrew Jones has been designing speakers for years now, and until recently his cutting edge speakers have been very expensive, but The SP-C21 breaks that mould.

The Pioneer SP-C21 is one soild piece of thick curved particle board, which is a long way from some of the more expensive oak cases that manufacturers like Polk use for some of their speakers, but the particle board gets the job done nicely, and honestly you cannot tell what it is unless you are up close and personal with it. Just like the SP-FS51's, the SP-C21 has an excellent overall build quality, and it actually looks like a high end component rather than the budget saving speaker that it really is. The curved design makes for a nice change when compared to regular rectangle center speakers, and not only does it look nicer, it also changes the acoustics that the speaker produces.

The speaker weighs in at 16.2lbs, has a height of 7.9 inches, a length of 19.9 inches, and a depth of 8.7 inches, so as you can see this is a big center channel, in fact it was far bigger than I thought it would be, and because I did not measure this beast before I purchased it, I paid the price for it when I discovered that it would not fit in my entertainment center, so measure your space before you buy.

Just like other speakers in this line, the SP-C21 does not come with a speaker grill, and while I personally love this design feature, many will not, simply because the speaker demands your attention at all times, and some would rather there speakers just blend in to the surroundings, but it is this bold design that sets these speakers apart from the rest.

On the front of the speaker you will see the two 5.25 inch woofers and the one inch done tweeter, and around the back you will find the binding posts, which are made out of plastic, but the good news is that they will accept banana plugs, which always makes connecting speaker wire easier.

How does the SP-C21 sound?

As well as looking good, your new speaker obviously needs to sound good as well, and I am pleased to say that the SP-C21 does not disappoint when it comes to sound reproduction.

The SP-C21 delivers some of the best sound I have ever heard from a center channel, and this is coming from someone who used to only buy Polk, Klipsch and Paradigm speakers. The center channel responsible for more than just dialogue, it in fact plays a critical role in reporducing music, and sound effects from your favevorite TV shoes and movies.

Because of the center channels versatile nature, Pioneer decided to use a sphosticated cross-over so that the audio could be broken down in to lows, mids and highs. What this means is that dialogue is crisp and clear, explosions are louder, and imaging during music playback is second to none in this price range.

I have watched dozen of Blu Ray's, hours of TV and numerous CD's and MP'3 since purchasing this center speaker, and I have to say that it has not disappointed me once. The one downside is that the SP-C21 does not produce a lot of bass, so be sure to add a subwoofer to your home theater system to make sure you get the most from yout favorite shows or movies.

The SP-C21 has a maximum input rating of 130 watts, a frequency range of 55hz – 20kHz, sensitivity is set at 87dB, and it has a nominal impendance of 6 Ohms. While most modern receivers will be able to easily power this speaker, make sure you read the manual to you receiver just to make sure that this speaker will be a good fit for it.

Conclusion

The Pioneer SP-C21 is a fantastic center speaker for the price of $99. If you are lucky enough to find on on clearance for the price of $59, jump all over it. If you already have Pioneer Sp-FS51 tower speakers, and you are in need of a new center channel, the SP-C21 is the obvious choice.
If you are building a new home theater and you are on a budget, I don't think you can do any better than this speaker, especially not in this price range. The SP-C21's overall design, build quality and amazing sound imaging make this a must buy for anyone who is looking to get the most out of their home theater on a budget.

Looking for new tower speakers? Check out my review of the matching Pioneer SP-FS51 tower speakers.


Recommend this product? Yes


Amount Paid (US$): 59


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