Phase Technology CI-Series In-Wall Speaker Ensemble Reviewed

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With the left/right speakers just six feet apart, the soundstage is huge. Using my Steely Dan DVD-Audio as a reference, I was able to immediately distinguish the Phase Tech CI-series apart from other speakers in my reference theaters of past, most notably between my Infinity Kappa Series towers (which literally cost twice as much). I believe that the midrange is far more pronounced with incredible definition and accuracy than that of my Kappas.

The instruments and vocals are well delineated and masterfully staged, with each instrument in its own area of the room. The relationship between the tweeter and midrange is perfect, with no audible gap between the two. Additionally, the tweeter has a unique presence in that it displays a laid back characteristic and a precise brilliance at the same time.

At times the vocals are so smooth they actually sound wet. The midbass from the CI-System is absolutely rock solid and the extension of low frequencies is delicate in nature.

One shortcoming of the CI-System is partial to that of the P200 amplifier. During music playback at moderate to higher volumes, the internal fan kicks on to cool the heat sinks. It is rather loud and annoying. I cannot say that I have ever heard it turn on during a movie.

Some cuts from Diana Krall yield even more appreciative notes. I can actually hear her voice as it passes over her vocal cords. A dryness, with a refined top end and a dynamic midrange all at once--stunning.

Let me also add that my living room is now the official after-hours hangout of the Avodah staff. And with a few prideful musicians in the bunch, you can bet the ears are discerning. I have had several requests for "music weekends" where we just sit around sampling music. It's that kind of system.

Moving along to cinema performance of the Phase Tech CI-Series, you can expect more of the same. However, here the system reveals a tenacity I have only heard from larger tower-style speakers. And the center channel becomes very telling of poor vocal recordings--something I did not detect in my music auditions.

The rear channel effects from the more compact CI-60VI's sound large and well dispersed, and the bass is nothing short of phenomenal. When I installed the system I had outlined the addition of my Velodyne HGS-18 THX Ultra II subwoofer to handle the LFE for the system because the room is so huge, volume wise. Not necessary. Because the subs are in-wall and the amplifiers are tucked away neatly in my rack, I quickly forget that I basically have four eight-inch subwoofers in this theater.

What's also impressive about the entire system is that even at extremely high volume levels (and I have pushed it) there is no resonance from the metal speaker grilles whatsoever.

Through installing the CI-Series in-wall speaker ensemble from Phase Technology I was able to enjoy the review process far more that any I have ever conducted. Even with a view overlooking my country lake at the Swan Mountain Range and into Glacier National Park, the highlight of my Montana home is most definitely my Phase Technology CI-Series speaker ensemble.

Outstanding Phase Tech...outstanding.

Additional Resources
• Read more in-wall speaker reviews from HomeTheaterReview.com.
• Explore subwoofer pairing options in our Subwoofer Review section.


CI-110II (front left/center/right) 
Frequency Response: 32Hz - 22kHz 
Power Requirements: 20 - 250 watts
Impedance: 8 ohms
Sensitivity: 89dB
Woofer: (2) 6.5-inch RPF Kevlar 
flat piston mid-woofs 
Tweeter: (1) 1-inch Softdome Pivoting Tweeter
Outside Dimensions: 21 1/2"H x 10 5/8"W
Mounting Depth: 3 3/4" 
Weight: 20 lbs.
MSRP: $700/each

CI-60VI (rear surrounds) 
Frequency Response: 40Hz - 22kHz 
Power Requirements: 10 - 150 watts
Pivoting Tweeter
Outside Dimensions: 11 13/16"H x 8 5/8"W
Mounting Depth: 3 1/2" 
Weight: 6 lbs.
MSRP: $300/each

Pivoting Tweeter
Outside Dimensions: 11 13/16"H x 8 5/8"W
Mounting Depth: 3 1/2" 
Weight: 6 lbs.
MSRP: $300/each

IW-200 (subwoofer) 
Frequency Response: 25Hz - 160Hz 
Power Requirements: 20 - 550 watts
Impedance: 4 ohms
Woofer: (1) Dual 8-inch Mica/Graphite 
Outside Dimensions: 21 1/2"H x 10 5/8"W
Mounting Depth: 3 3/4" 
Weight: 21 lbs.
MSRP: $499

P200 Sub Amplifier 
Power Output: 200 watts continuous at 4 ohms, 350 Peak
Crossover: 40-160Hz Variable at 24dB Octave Low Pass
Low Frequency EQ: -3dB to +6dB at 30Hz
Dimensions: 17 3/8"W x 1 7/8"H x 11 3/8"D
Weight: 18 lbs.
MSRP: $400

IW-EB200 Enclosure 
Dimensions: 72"H x 14 3/8"W x 3 3/8"D 
Weight: 31 lbs.
MSRP: $100

Additional Resources
• Read more in-wall speaker reviews from HomeTheaterReview.com.
• Explore subwoofer pairing options in our Subwoofer Review section.

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HTR Product Rating for Phase Technology CI-Series In-Wall Speaker Ensemble

Criteria Rating

Performance

3.5

Value

3.5

Overall

3.5

Disagree with our product rating? Email us and tell us why you think this product should receive a higher rating.


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