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Surround Sound Speaker Systems

Klipsch Reference II 5.1 Home Theater Speaker System

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At last year's CEDIA Expo in Atlanta, Klipsch set up their demo in a room that was more than just a little bit off the beaten path. Undaunted, I was able to find my way there and boy was I glad that I took the extra time to seek them out! The Klipsch Group, Inc. owns a total of four speaker companies – Klipsch, Jamo, Mirage and Energy. Each company had some new products on display. In this review, we take a look at the Klipsch Reference II 5.1 Speaker System, which includes RF-82 II floor-standers (towers) as the Mains, an RC-62 II Center, RS-52 II Surrounds, and SW-311 Subwoofer.

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GoldenEar SuperCinema 50 Home Theater Speaker System

Home Theater GoldenEar SuperCinema 50 Speaker System

I consider myself a lucky guy. Not only did I get a chance to go to Las Vegas to cover CES, I also got to sit down with Sandy Gross and have a personal audition of his new Triton 2 towers. Sandy has had an illustrious career with Polk Audio and Definitive Technology and has more recently helped start up a new company called GoldenEar Technology. Here, we review their new SuperCinema 50 Home Theater Speaker System.

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Paradigm SA-15R-SM In-Ceiling Speakers

Paradigm SA-15R-SM In-Ceiling Speakers

Paradigm has been in the speaker business for many years - 28 to be exact - and they have consistently produced some of the finest floor standing speakers and subwoofers on the market. What many may not be aware of is there full line of in-wall and in-ceiling speakers. I had the chance to check out their extensive line up at this years' CES. It was also my first time meeting some of the nice folks at Paradigm. They recommended I try a set if in-ceilings in my family room to finish out the surround sound system. So here they are, the Paradigm SA-15R-SM's.

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Paradigm MilleniaOne Satellite Speakers (Set of Five)

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Paradigm has made a name for itself around the globe for delivering speakers that are consistently strong in accuracy, gigantic soundstage, very precise imaging, deep, powerful bass (which usually significantly increase the cost of other speaker manufacturers offerings) all while keeping the cost below the competition. They do all engineering in house, all speaker component manufacturing in house, all assembly in house and all testing in house. #1 Best Price/Value for 20 years in Inside Track Magazine and #1 Overall 6 times. The MilleniaOne is a satellite speaker that can be used in all five (or seven) channels, along with a subwoofer. Only the MilleniaOne satellite speakers (set of five) are reviewed here.

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Episode In-Wall and In-Ceiling Speakers

Episode In-wall and In-ceiling Speakers

A couple of years ago I designed a home theater for a client and specified the Episode Home Theater LCR because among other things, it offered an adjustable planar magnetic tweeter. It is a hulking speaker that was designed to be integrated into cabinetry and I can tell you it sounded terrific. I became an instant fan. The HT-650LCR is still considered the flagship home theater speaker. In this review, we cover their in-wall and in-ceiling speakers.

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Phase Technology CineMicro One 5.1 Speaker System

Phase Technology CineMirco One 5.1 speaker system

I have no problem admitting that I like a certain type of manufacturer. I've always had admiration for companies that specialize in one area. I'm not saying that manufacturers who throw their hats into multiple rings don't make solid products, many of them do. If I'm being honest though, if my favorite brewery started manufacturing headphones I'd probably take a step back to evaluate the situation. There's no question that Phase Technology is a speaker company, one with deep roots at that; dating back to 1955. It's safe to say that they know a thing or two about high-fidelity. While not necessarily a household name, odds are you've probably come across their speakers in demo rooms, trade shows or publications. The CineMicro One is the company's attempt to pack their audio expertise into a compact, easy to use 5.1 home theater system. Knowing the company well and being a "big speaker guy" myself, I was interested in hearing how these little guys stacked up.

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Axiom Epic 80-800 Speaker System: M80v3 Tower, VP180 Center, QS8v3 Surround, and EP800v3 Subwoofer

Axiom Epic 80-800 Speaker System Review

When shopping for loudspeakers today, we assign many different criteria to our decision. Do we choose on price, sound quality, aesthetics, science or some other aspect? Of course a discriminating listener wants the best of all these worlds and there are many manufacturers ready, willing and able to deliver on all counts. Axiom is one who has been at their game a long time. In this review, we test their M80v3 Tower, VP180 Center, QS8v3 Surround, and EP800v3 Subwoofer.

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Crystal Acoustics TX-3D12 5.1 Home Theater Speaker System

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It was five years ago that I first heard Crystal Acoustics speakers. Crystal is a British-based OEM speaker manufacturer that started making THX certified speakers under its own name. Because Crystal sells direct through the Internet without the costs of a distribution network, it offers very low prices for its products. I was quite impressed by the price/value proposition of its TX-3D12 THX Select certified 5.1 speaker system.

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Affordable Systems Reviews: Mordaunt-Short Aviano and Cambridge Audio Azur 650R

Mordaunt-Short Aviano and Cambridge Audio Azur 650R

Looking at a system is intrinsically more involved than looking at a single component. Evaluation of a single component typically holds the balance of the system constant so the performance of the test item can be determined. How then is a system evaluated? The test of a system examines several variables, not the least of which is the reviewer's component selections. Here, we review the Mordaunt-Short Aviano and Cambridge Audio Azur 650R.

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Paradigm Mini-Monitor 5.1 Speaker System

Paradigm Mini Monitors 5.1 system

Paradigm is increasingly becoming a unique entity in the world of audio equipment manufacturers. The industry continues to conglomerate itself into ever larger multinational corporations in the hopes of leveraging economies of scale, and optimizing cost of goods by outsourcing components and sub-assemblies. Paradigm, by contrast, remains thoroughly vertically integrated. With rare exceptions, the entirety of any given product, from the voice coil to the enclosure, is manufactured on-site at Paradigm's headquarters in Ontario, Canada.

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MK Sound LCR950 Monitor Speakers, SUR950T Surround Speakers, and MX250 Subwoofer

MK Sound Series Speakers

MK Sound, successors of the former Miller & Kreisel company, started with a "don't mess with success" philosophy. At first, it sold legacy products like the renowned 150 THX speakers, and introduced consumer products like the M Series that were previously available only to the professional market. More recently, MK Sound developed a new tweeter for its MPS 2510P and 1611P professional monitors. The new tweeter was developed in conjunction with Peerless of Denmark (now part of Tymphany), M & K's driver component partner for 34 years. MK has incorporated the new tweeter into its newest consumer speakers, the 950 series.

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