However, on the back we find the first indication of the system’s value-led approach – springclip terminals. These are the sort of connections found on the hollow, plastic speakers you get with an all-in-one system, not on a £500 package. Not only do they make it fiddly to feed in your cables, they also lack the tight, sturdy connection provided by binding posts.
Still, it’s back to the positives as we pull the sub out of the box. Tarted up with a tasteful black pica vinyl finish and curved corners, this is the sort of smart, low-key sub we go for, and on the inside it uses a down-firing 8in driver and a rear-firing flared port. At 13.9 x 12.5 x 12.5in, it’s a bit bigger than we expected given the size of the sats.
Around the back is a fine array of dials and switches. You get controls for volume and crossover, the latter of which can be set between 80 and 160Hz, although with the sats only dipping down to 150Hz you might want to set this towards the upper end of the dial. There are also line inputs, speaker-level springclip terminals and switches to flip the phase 180 degrees and the select the power mode.
The magnetically shielded centre speaker shares the same heavyweight build quality and styling as the fronts and rears, but it’s configured horizontally to fit on top of or underneath your TV. And to cope with the extra sonic demands placed on it by movie soundtracks, it’s fitted with two 2.5in woofers, positioned either side of the central dome tweeter. But, sadly, it too is fitted with springclips. Bah humbug!
If you’re planning on wall mounting these speakers, you’ll find the relevant brackets in the box, which attach to the speakers using the single-point fixing on the back and provide a 40 degree range of motion. You also get a little plastic cradle for the centre speaker, which lets you tilt it to the desired angle and stops it slipping around on your AV stand.