Floor-standing speakers that produce full-range sound often take up valuable floor space and become a bit of a focal point for a room, which may or may not be a good thing. For years, manufacturers have been trying to skirt this issue, either by making larger bookshelf speakers or narrower towers. The large bookshelf speakers don't really solve anything, for they need large stands, essentially turning them into floor-standing speakers, whereas narrow tower speakers often sound a bit ... narrow. Enter the Intimus 4T from Aperion Audio. At five inches wide by seven inches deep and 34 inches tall, it resembles a svelte super model, yet it has the pipes of an opera singer.
Retailing for $325 each or $650 per pair, the Intimus 4T comes in two finishes, gloss piano-black and cherry, is sold direct via Aperion's own website and comes with a 30-day risk-free home trial period. Oh, and shipping is free as well. The Intimus 4T is a two-way speaker, featuring a single one-inch silk dome tweeter mated to two four-inch woven fiberglass bass/midrange woofers that give the 4T its reported frequency response of 55-20,000Hz. Not quite full-range, I know, but in smaller rooms or tight spaces, the 4T may surprise you with its perceived bass output. The Intimus 4T isn't as efficient as its big brother, the Intimus 6T, with its 86dB sensitivity rating into six ohms, but rest assured, it can be powered by almost anything you can buy today, including some lower-output integrated amplifiers.
Because the Intimus 4T is a front-ported design with a very narrow footprint, you can integrate the 4T into a wider variety of rooms and living conditions without impacting your living space the way you will with larger floor-standing speakers and even bookshelf speakers. You could even buy four Intimus 4Ts to serve as left and right mains, as well as rears, and buy an Aperion Audio center channel and sub for a very nice, compact, balanced home theater for less than $2,000.
• While the Intimus 4T is compact, its sound is anything but. While not truly full-range, there is a surprising amount of heft and weight to the Intimus 4T's sound. While I would argue the Intimus 4T's main competition are mid-fi or higher-priced bookshelf speakers, you'll have to spend more (not including stands) to better the 4T's output.
• The Intimus 4T's tweeter is very good and, while I don't usually like silk dome tweeters, the 4T is surprisingly musical, airy and sweet.
• The Intimus 4T's midrange performance is its strongest suit, suitable for both music and movies, providing you with countless fatigue-free hours of listening.
• Dynamically, the Intimus 4T is quite good, though not as explosive as, say, the Aperion's 6T speaker, though it images and disappear like nobody's business.
• The fit and finish is, once again, stellar. While some will argue that Aperion doesn't offer enough finish options, I'd rather have two choices that make a speaker look finished to the nines than five selections that look like bad contact paper.
• Okay, there is only so much volume you can push out of the 4T, before it begins to show its limitations and size. If you have a large room or like to play your source material full-tilt all the time, you may want to look elsewhere in the Aperion line.
• If you have a small space, say, a bedroom or an office, the 4T should fare fine without a sub. However, for home theater duty, it needs a sub to ensure you're getting the full spectrum and impact of today's modern blockbusters.
• While solidly constructed and very nicely finished, the 4T is surprisingly lightweight at 17 pounds and can be easily jostled, if not tipped over, from its optimal placement, so be careful.
• The Intimus 4T is gorgeous in its piano-black finish, though you may be spending a little extra time each week keeping it free of dust and fingerprints.
For $650 a pair, sold direct with a 30-day in-home trial and 10-year warranty, the Intimus 4T from Aperion Audio is a no-brainer for anyone looking to get a little more serious about two-channel audio or home theater without breaking the bank. While it can be bested by a few speakers in its price range, including some bookshelf speakers, it possesses a magic combination of beauty, quality and practicality that is hard to overlook. If you're seeking a solid, almost full-range floor-standing speaker that isn't going to dominate your living space or your bank account, look no further than the Intimus 4T.