Boston Acoustics has been a staple in the audiophile community for years, although until recently they seemed to have faded from the prominence they once had. Well, that was then, and this is now for Boston Acoustics has come back strong as of late with new and exciting products geared towards budget conscious consumers and audiophiles alike, from small lifestyle loudspeakers to their new flagship VS 336 reviewed here.
Now usually when you hear the term flagship you think expensive. Well, that's not the case with the VS 336, for its retail price of $1,699.99 each is less than what you'd pay in taxes on some other brands' flagship offerings. The VS 336 is a three way speaker that features a unique looking cabinet that appears to be made out of warped or wavy pieces of furniture grade MDF. I'm not saying the VS 336 is poorly built or even ugly, quite the opposite, I've just never seen a loudspeaker that looked as unique as this does. The VS 336 comes in a black lacquer piano finish and can be capped in your choice of either gloss black or cherry wood. The VS 336 measures in at 46 inches tall by nearly 10 inches wide by 12 inches deep and weighs a respectable 66 pounds.
Inside, the VS 336 features a total of five drivers: one SWB (super wide bandwidth) tweeter, one four and a half inch midrange driver and three six and a half inch bass drivers. The VS 336 has a reported frequency response of 35Hz to 30kHz and has an okay sensitivity rating of 87dB into a benign eight Ohm load, making it ideal for receiver-based home theaters or integrated amplifier-based two channel systems. The VS 336 is Bi-amp or Bi-wire capable thanks to the gold plated binding posts located around back.
From a sound perspective the VS 336 is a lot of fun. Theses speakers
are dynamic and punchy with a good amount of detail and nuance, though
they lack a bit of the finesse and delicacy you're going to find in
costlier speakers. The VS 336 can be a bit heavy down low thanks to
their triple woofer design; however when given the proper power, the
bass is controlled, taut and detailed and will extend low enough that
you could probably get away with not adding a subwoofer if your room is
on the smaller side. They can rock and roll with the best of them in
their class and can play quite loud though the VS 336 can become just a
touch aggressive and compress at really high volumes. For what they are
I think they're quite impressive. Would I compare them to speakers
costing twice or three times as much? No, but compared to speakers in
their class they're no dunces.
Click to Page 2 for The High Points, The Low Points and The Conclusion.
• Elegant, albeit unique styling, at an affordable price sums up the VS 336's looks.
• The VS 336 sound is lively and fun, a great speaker to rock out to or
enjoy the latest Blu-ray or multi-channel music disc with.
• The VS 336 bass will go plenty deep for most people with small to
medium sized rooms, which may negate the need for a separate subwoofer.
• There's something about Boston Acoustics' choice of finishes that I
feel traps this otherwise elegant and fun sounding loudspeaker in the
Miami Vice era.
• The VS 336 needs to be positioned carefully to avoid boominess in the
bass that can somewhat overpower the smaller midrange and tweeter
• At extreme volumes the VS 336 will begin to compress and show signs
of strain, so keep it below Movie Theater-like volume levels and you
should be just fine.
For around $3,400 a pair the VS 336 floor standing speakers from Boston
Acoustics have some stiff competition. But I can say this with absolute
certainty, you're not about to mistake the VS 336 for one of its
competitors, for it has a look and a sound all its own. Is it a perfect
speaker? No, but it's a fun speaker that does its own thing.
Personally, I kind of liked its fun, upbeat, punchy sound, especially
when it came to pop/rock music and large Hollywood action films.
However the VS 336 does lack a bit of finesse and ultimate refinement
that I felt it needed when listening to more sophisticated two channel
source material. No speaker is perfect, but for what it is the VS 336
is, it's definitely worth a listen.
• Read more floorstanding speaker reviews from HomeTheaterReview.com's staff.
• Find an amplifier to help maximize the audio from the VS 336 loudspeakers.