Surround Sound Speaker Systems

Episode In-Wall and In-Ceiling Speakers

ARTICLE INDEX

In Use

Take it from a guy who has had some impressive speakers at all price ranges through my theater/listening room over the years to claim the Episode front ES-HT700LCR handle themselves quite confidently. What I heard from the HT-650 box speaker was evident here, a nice balance and an even tonality.

In a critical sense, you must get over the sound coming from the ceiling, especially for non-video source music. The sloped front driver arrangement delivers a convincing audio experience with multi channel ahead of 2-channel.

For example, 2L Nordic Sound on Blu-ray disc provides what I hope will be inspiration for other studios to produce in this extraordinary format. Divertimenti played out on the Episode package is engulfing. Played just loud enough not to notice the somewhat directional path the sound takes to your ears – however I won't say the soundstage suffers. But the clean and detailed image is handled well by the front LCR's.

From Blue Note, John Coltrane's Blue Train in 2-channel provides enough depth and articulation from the cool brassy Lee Morgan trumpet to the warmth of Coltrane's tenor sax leaving a pleasant musical aftertaste. Standup bass has some nice dimension never approaching bloat or fat.

On the other hand watching video, sitting about 12 feet back from the screen is less of an issue, in fact a revelation, as the sound is so convincingly in front of you, coming from the screen, not the ceiling.

The Police Certifiable Blu-ray concert live in Buenos Aires is a must have if you enjoy live concerts on disc. The sultry version of "Wrapped Around Your Finger" is rich with cymbals and deep bass drums and Sting's nasally voice sounds terrific. The Episodes do a great job of sensing the atmosphere of the outdoor venue.

There are very few movies that show off a surround sound system than the infamous "Echo" scene from the House of Flying Daggers. The drums resonate with a nice continuous finish and extension. The sound whirls around the room cleanly from speaker to speaker becoming thunderous. This is when I was convinced that Episode has developed a wonderful ES line of speaker, and including the impactful ES subwoofer.