Accompanying the bipolar satellites are the same centre speaker (LCR-BGL) and subwoofer (THX-10SUBT-BL) found in the BPT5-10BL system. It’s worth noting that Crystal Acoustics offers a range of other bipolar systems with a mixture of towers and satellites, plus all of the speakers are available separately.
The timbre-matched centre speaker is fitted with the same drivers as the satellites (two 7.5cm mid/bass drivers, 2.5cm tweeter) and can also be installed horizontally or vertically. It’s a slim, unobtrusive unit with an attractive gloss black finish to match the sats, plus there are wall-mounting holes on the back.
On bass duties is the THX-10SUBT-BL, which as its catchy moniker suggests is THX Select certified – a real boon for such an affordable package – and is suited to rooms of up to 2,000 cubic feet. At 475mm high and 470mm deep, it’s a big box (particularly when placed next to the compact sats) so clear plenty of room before installing, but it’s attractively styled in a minimal black finish.
On the inside is a 120W amplifier and a 10in long throw driver that incorporates a light, rigid treated paper cone. It’s all housed in an ‘acoustically dead’ enclosure, achieving a frequency range of 20Hz to 350Hz.
Like any good sub, there’s a range of controls on the back, including a THX switch that instantly meets the THX spec, a volume dial, phase switch and a line input.
A great sounding spec sheet then, but are they great sounding speakers? Well, they’re not quite as convincing and atmospheric as the BPT5-10BL, but still able to deliver thrilling home cinema sonics.
With Iron Man 2 on Blu-ray, the sound is generally crisp and open, with those articulate satellites digging out loads of the movie’s detail. Subtle bleeping and whirring noises inside Tony’s workshop are clearly audible.
Tony’s dramatic entrance at the Stark Expo really highlights the benefits of those bipolar speakers. The multidirectional drivers deliver a spacious, expansive wall of noise, engulfing the room with cheering crowds and reverberating rock music – it’s like you’ve got a front row ticket. Individual noises can still be pinpointed, but this system is more about plunging you deep onto the action, and on that score they succeed.
Where they’re not as successful is in delivering the extra touch of raw, dynamic punch that turns a good performance into a scintillating one. For around the same price, a system like the Teufel Theater 100 offers more oomph and finesse, but then you don’t get that enveloping bipolar sound across the entire soundstage like the BPS-10.