Surround Sound Speaker Systems

AV123 ELT 525 Surround Sound Speaker System



I think truly great speakers should be measured by the amount of times that you run to the door when a doorbell rings in a movie, try to answer your phone when it isn’t ringing or look outside when a dog barks in a movie as this means that the speaker is doing what it is supposed to (the crazier it makes you look, the better they are), disappearing and faithfully reproducing the recorded material. I did not have those moments all that often with these speakers. What I did have was many hours of enjoyable music listening and movie watching.

Value: This is probably my most important aspect when shopping for home theater equipment, “Am I getting the most for my hard earned dollar?” When I started this review the value proposition of this system was good. About halfway through the review period the price dropped significantly which made it even more attractive and as of Thanksgiving it has dropped another $200 (or 20%). You can now own the entire surround setup (minus sub) for $799 (+shipping) which is basically paying for the towers and getting the center and surround monitors for free.

This is less than the cost of a good pair of reference bookshelf speakers (mine included), with which this system can compete for general home theater use. At this latest price point most minor drawbacks must be overlooked and the system does not have any issues that I would consider a dealbreaker. In fact, the only issues I had at all were with dialogue intelligibility through the center and the sheer size of the sub. If you are short on cash or short on space (or both) and have a lot of space to fill with surround sound, the ELT 525 by AV123 deserves your serious consideration, though I would recommend people with a medium sized room or smaller, along with those who listen to music more than movies and those who are not bass addicts to try this surround system without the sub first, as the sub almost doubles the cost of the system and may not be necessary for all setups or listeners.

When asked by a fellow reviewer how the AV123s stacked up against my personal system, I had the following response which sums up pretty well what I think of the AV123 system.“(They are) Different . . . my three fronts retail for more than the entire 5.1 system but they are all quality products. Would I trade? No. Would I consider the AV123 system if I didn't have my current system? Absolutely. The towers are really shallow in (in physical depth) which makes placement easier and you don't give up that big-scale, dynamic sound of towers. The AV123 is really impressive for the money, and that's all that matters in my book.”