Pioneer SP-PK21BS Assess
It can be hard to get excited about financial statement audio products, with even the best sound bars and home-acting-in-a-box systems just sounding “excellent enough.” That’s what makes the PioneerSP-PK21BS 5.1 lecturer logic so impressive. Not only does it sound much better than all else in its price range, it sounds legitimately fantastic without qualification. Its spectacular sound feature comes with trade-offs, even if; the Pioneer SP-PK21BS is categorically huge compared to any of the competing systems. The oversized speakers also lack the furniture-level close of some other speakers, so they stick out a modest more as being “audio gear” in the living room.
If you’ve got the space and don’t mind bulk, we can unreservedly urge the Pioneer SP-PK21BS as the best-sounding lecturer logic we’ve heard in the financial statement price range. It’s a phenomenal value. Even if, the size is a serious drawback for most buyers, which is why the smaller and more chic Energy Take Classic 5.1 remains our Editors’ Scale.
The SP-PK21BS logic was designed by Andrew Jones, a name known to audiophiles for his work for high-end lecturer companies like KEF, Infinity, and Pioneer’s ultra-high-end TAD Allusion speakers. Jones’ designs have consistently earned rave reviews in the audiophile press.
The SP-PK21BS is a six-piece logic and comes with four SP-BS21-LR ledge speakers, a SP-C21 focal point-channel lecturer and the SW-8 subwoofer. The satellite speakers’ curved-sided, all-wood cabinets are refined in faux black-wood grain, and the speakers’ well-built metal connectors acknowledge banana plugs, spades or stripped bare wire.
The SP-BS21-LR ledge speakers are 12.6 inches high, 7.2 wide and 8.1 deep; and the SP-C21 focal point lecturer is even better, it’s 7.9 inches high, 19.9 wide, and 8.7 deep. For comparison’s sake, the satellite speakers are in effect twice as huge as one lecturer in the Energy Take Classic logic. If you’re looking for a “lifestyle”-oriented lecturer logic, the SP-PK21BS won’t be of interest.
The SP-BS21-LR lecturer has a 4-inch woofer and a 1-inch soft-dome tweeter; the SP-C21 focal point lecturer boasts two 5.25-inch woofers close a 1-inch soft-dome tweeter. If you have a 7.1 channel logic, extra SP-BS21-LR speakers are available for $100 per pair.
The drivers are confined by perforated metal grilles (they can be indifferent, but it’s not simple). Wall-mounting is doable, but no hardware is provided; for our listening tests we placed the speakers on floor stands. Given the heft of these speakers (each ledge lecturer comes in over 8 pounds), wall-mounting will require some serious delicacy.
The SP-C21 focal point lecturer’s most liable destination will be shelf placement, under a TV sight. Thankfulness to the lecturer’s curved underside panel, it doesn’t lie flat on a shelf, but that didn’t change its performance.
The SW-8 subwoofer is mean in size for a financial statement logic, at 14.3 inches high and 12.4 wide and deep. It has a beefy looking, down-firing 8-inch woofer, and a port on its front baffle. The SW-8 matches the speakers’ black faux wood finishes, but it doesn’t have the curved sides. It’s more or less just an austere cube, and facial appearance a built-in 100-watt power amplifier with stereo RCA line-level and lecturer-level inputs.
We used a Denon AVR-1912 receiver and Oppo BDP-93 Blu-ray player for all of our listening tests. Thankfulness to the speakers’ large size and near full-range sound we set the AVR-1912′s subwoofer-to-lecturer crossover point at a lower frequency (90 Hz) than we would with most very small satellite/subwoofer systems, where we typically use 150 to 200 Hz.
The SP-PK21BS’ lower crossover point reflects the better speakers’ ability to produce more bass, which means they’re less needy on the subwoofer for bass reinforcement. Of way, the exact subwoofer-to-lecturer crossover setting will vary depending on taste, room size, and acoustics. We didn’t have to place in a lot of time fussing with the logic to get fantastic sound from the SP-PK21BS; we were excellent to go in just a few minutes.
The SP-PK21BS is, without doubt, the best-sounding $400 lecturer wrap we’ve heard to date. The five speakers’ dynamic, commanding, and tonally balanced sound is impossible to duplicate with smaller speakers.
The “Tron: Inheritance” Blu-ray’s heavyweight soundtrack fully exercised the SP-PK21BS’ home acting talents. The first thing we noticed was the logic’s low-frequency hardness, and bass beyond doubt underpins most of the proceedings in the film. The SW-8 subwoofer is plenty heady and blended perfectly with the SP-PK21BS’ speakers. The front-to-rear envelopment of the surround mixes was exceptionally coherent and faultless, so there was no imaging gap between the front and surround speakers. That’s where having the same large size front and surround speakers pays huge dividends. The SP-PK21BS’ five speakers filled the CNET listening room with no problem.
The “Black Hawk Down” Blu-ray’s largest front line explosions and the helicopter crash’s dynamic-range demands were handled with ease. The logic could play louder without generating overt distortion than any comparably priced small logic. The SW-8 subwoofer’s bass was well proscribed but was somewhat gone in very- low-frequency additional room; the Bose Acoustimass 6 Series III’s much better sub had a modest more oomph down there.
The Energy Take Classic is one of our favorite financial statement systems, and it was not discomfited by a supervise over comparison with the mighty Pioneer. The difference at silent or moderate number wasn’t all that significant, but the SP-PK21BS still won in terms of clarity, and dialogue sounded more natural. Once we nudged the number up, the SP-PK21BS pulled decisively ahead; its superior bass classification, dynamic clout, and effortless power make for a far more realistic presentation than the Take Classic can collect. If you like to play movies loud, or your room is better than 300 square feet, go for the SP-PK21BS.
Won over by the SP-PK21BS’ home acting skills we went on to music, early with the 5.1 surround mix from R.E.M.’s “Green” DVD-Audio disc. Michael Stipe’s singing is the glue that holds the music’s focus as the band’s instruments came from all nearly us. “Orange Crush” had fantastic clarity and precision, bass was heady, and the drums’ sound was crisp.
A stereo SACD of Aaron Copland’s “Fanfare for the Run of the mill Man,” with fantastic tympani drum superfluities and exciting brass lines was mighty impressive, and a Mozart “Piano Concerto” CD additional demonstrated the SP-PK21BS’ minor change with classicalmusic. These stereo recordings didn’t need surround enhancement; the two front SP-BS21-LR ledge speakers and the SW-8 collectively produced a satisfyingly deep soundstage.
The SP-PK21BS is a huge logic and sounds like one, so it won’t fit the bill for those buyers looking for a shy, lifestyle-oriented lecturer logic. But if you care more about sound than style, and your lecturer financial statement tops out at $400, the SP-PK21BS is the one to get. It’s not just incredible for $400. We’d be just as enthusiastic if Pioneer were charging $500 or $600 for the SP-PK21BS, it’s that excellent.
The Pioneer SP-PK21BS excellent:
The Pioneer SP-PK21BS is best-sounding 5.1 lecturer logic we’ve experienced person at this price. It’s sold supervise over from Pioneer with free shipping at a very affordable price. The logic offers the kind of solid performance on movies and music we commonly only find on more high-priced systems.
The Pioneer SP-PK21BS terrible:
It’s a huge lecturer logic that will overwhelm many living rooms. If you’re looking for a lifestyle logic, this isn’t it.
The Pioneer SP-PK21BS underside line:
If you can handle its huge and burly speakers, the Pioneer SP-PK21BS is the categorically best-sounding lecturer wrap we’ve heard at anywhere near this price.