If you're researching speakers, you'll no doubt find plenty of positive reviews of Aperion's various speaker lines. They've won tons of awards and their business model is simple - create audiophile-grade audio components at an affordable price by dealing directly with their customers over the Internet. This is my second experience with Aperion speakers, my first being their 5T Intimus Hybrid HD 5.1 speaker system, which was a standout. Aperion speakers are proof positive that high-end sound can be affordable, though you don't have to take my word for it, as they offer a 30-day in-home trial with free shipping. The vibe on the Aperion website is cool and friendly, the same sort of experience you'll have if you contact their customer service. Their site is also great for accessories such as banana clips and speaker wire; the latter is well-constructed, affordable and currently being used for all of the surround sound speakers in my home theater.
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The focuses of this review are the Intimus 4T tower speaker ($275/each) and matching Intimus 4C center channel ($130). Each speaker features a one-inch silk dome tweeter and dual four-inch woven-fiberglass woofers. Each of the speakers has a small footprint, with the tower speakers measuring 34 inches high by five inches wide, seven-and-a-half inches deep and weighing 19 pounds each. The 4C center channel measures just over five inches high by 12.8 inches wide by five-and-a-half inches deep; it weighs eight pounds. The available finishes are gloss black, black ash and cherry, a simulated wood grain vinyl that is aesthetically pleasing, especially considering the price point. The review samples came in cherry and blended quite nicely into my listening room.
The Intimus 4T has a reported frequency response of 60Hz to 20kHz (plus or minus three dB), with an impedance of six ohms and a sensitivity of 88dB, making it an ideal candidate for today's modern AV receivers, even lower-priced ones with modest power output. According to Aperion's website, the Intimus 4T sounds best when powered by as few as 25 watts, though it can handle up to 150 if you've got it. Conversely, the 4C has a reported frequency response of 78-20kHz into eight ohms with an 86dB sensitivity rating. The 4C is obviously voiced to match the 4T, as well as all of the other loudspeakers in the Intimus lineup.
The packaging on the Intimus line is typical of Aperion, which is to say exemplary. Each speaker comes wrapped in a velvet bag - think of opening a bottle of Crown Royal and you'll get the idea. It's nice to see that the packaging remains consistent, even at the lower price points in the Aperion line. The 4T towers come with feet that need to be attached and they're pretty pedestrian in terms of look and feel, but they get the job done.
I connected the speakers to my current reference system, which consists of the Cary Cinema 12a processor, an Integra DTA-70.1 seven-channel amp, a Music Hall MMF 2.2 turntable, an Oppo BDP-93 Blu-ray player, a Cambridge Audio DacMagic and a Music Fidelity V-Link USB to S/PDIF converter. All of the cabling came courtesy of WireWorld. In terms of positioning, I placed the 4C center channel just below my projection screen. The 4T towers were placed about 11 feet apart in the front of the room, with just a slight amount of toe-in toward my listening position. During break-in, I experimented quite a bit in order to get the speakers to disappear, which they eventually did.
After a bit of break-in time, I began with some two-channel music in the form of Jack Johnson's "Taylor" from the CD On and On (Universal Music). The first thing that struck me was the low-level resolution, which was rock-solid, especially given the size of the 4T towers. By the way, I'm not sure "tower" is the right word for these speakers. They're more like "morsels," but I digress.
Read more about the performance of the Aperion Intimus speakers on Page 2.