All of these technical treats translate into very satisfying sound quality. The bipolar technology is the system’s big selling point so it makes sense to start with that, and our first impression is that those extra rear-firing drivers make a big difference. The soundstage seems fuller and more fleshed out than most regular systems, giving you a more pronounced sense of being enveloped. The three speakers at the front merge beautifully and effects sweep smoothly between them, while rear effects and ambience are also nicely spread out.
As a result you’re plunged right into the heart of the action. As Batman fights off dog-wielding thugs in The Dark Knight, you feel the kicks, punches and gunshots echoing all around you. The thunderous car chase sequences make you feel like you’re riding on board with the Joker. It’s thrilling stuff.
Of course, your enjoyment will depend on personal taste more than anything. You lose some of the directional precision of direct radiating speakers, for example, which some home cinema fans might not appreciate. That’s not to say you don’t know where effects are coming from – there’s still a distinct sense of placement – but they aren’t projected at you in the same way.
There are plenty of other positives. The subwoofer is a class act, producing taut, potent bass tones. It’s remarkably responsive too, lending depth and punch to transient sounds like gunshots and the sound of the robbers’ school bus crashing through the bank wall. Louder and more sustained low frequencies don’t sound slack or boomy either, plus the crossover with the towers is absolutely seamless.
Also impressive is the overall crispness of the sound. High frequencies are pristine without sounding too thin or abrasive, and as a result The Dark Knight’s Dolby TrueHD soundtrack is sparkling with detail. You don’t get the last scintilla of detail but the sound is surprisingly insightful for a £600 system. It’s backed up by clean, perceptible dialogue, even when there’s lots of action going on around it.
The BPT5-10BL is an intriguing speaker system that takes an unusual but effective approach to home cinema sound. The use of bipolar technology provides a rich, enveloping soundstage that convincingly replicates the sort of thing you might hear at the cinema. If you prefer your effects a little more direct you might want to look elsewhere, but to our ears this method works well.
However, the success of this system isn’t down to bipolar technology alone – we’re also impressed by the towers’ crisp detail and excellent bass performance from the THX-10SUBT-BL. What’s more, it’s stylish, well-built and best of all can be yours for a very reasonable £600, which makes it terrific value.