So the TX-T2-12 system looks pretty special on paper, but real world listening is a different kettle of fish. Thankfully it delivers on the spec sheet’s promises, producing a sound that’s simply sublime. Having tested a few budget all-in-one systems recently, it’s a refreshing change to hear a high-quality set of speakers going to work on the Avatar Blu-ray, which really highlights the benefits of spending this sort of money on dedicated home cinema speakers.
Skipping straight to Avatar’s Battle For Pandora, the TX-T2-12 conveys the thrilling action with a wonderful sense of scale and immense power. As the Na’vi cavalry charges forward, the fierce-yet-agile sub musters taut, visceral bass tones – you don’t need to turn that volume dial very high to make an impact.
There’s an overall richness, fluidity and cohesion across the entire system that makes it hard to tear yourself away. Equally compelling is the crisp high-frequency reproduction, with the front and rear speakers picking out every last detail in the soundtrack, from the delicate crunch of forest leaves to half-heard background chatter in the control room. They may look strange but those free air tweeters clearly do a great job.
The natural bass extension of the front speakers is also impressive. We turned off the sub and there’s still plenty of low-end punch. The dipoles offer gorgeous, immersive surround sound, spreading effects and ambience around the room like butter on toast. Some may prefer their effects with more directional precision, but we think these dipoles’ diffuse sound is perfect for home cinema. Meanwhile the centre speaker reproduces dialogue with warmth and directness, clearly cutting though even the busiest of Avatar’s action scenes.
And if you’re used to hearing music through an iPod dock or crappy kitchen hi-fi, get ready for a revelation when you play it through these speakers. Whether it’s Blu-ray or CD, they’ll shed a whole new light on your favourite songs, exposing details that you never knew were there but with wonderful warmth and a perfect sense of rhythm. Outstanding.
Although £1,299 might seem like a lot of money, in the world of audiophile speakers it’s fairly affordable – particularly for a THX certified system. And as we’ve discovered with the TX-T2-12, its performance is so good that it could have come from a much more expensive system, which makes it a real bargain in our eyes. The stunning build quality, unusual-but-effective tweeter technology and stylish looks are further reasons why we think it’s money well-spent.