The tower speakers are dressed in a sumptuous gloss black finish to match the main unit, which attracts dust and fingerprints like you wouldn’t believe but looks stunning when polished. The rear speakers come in three parts – the hollow lower section screws on to the base, seemingly at an angle, while the top part housing the drivers (two midrange and a tweeter) slots snugly onto the lower section. On the back are springclip terminals.
The front speakers are similarly styled but there are significant differences. Above the three midrange drivers and tweeter is a swivel speaker that can be angled upwards. This is part of the new Vertical Surround feature, which does the same sort of job as Dolby Pro Logic IIz, isolating non-directional effects to create virtual height channels and firing them upwards to give a greater sense of horizontal and vertical envelopment. It’s a great idea, bringing the benefits of Pro Logic IIz without the hassle of rigging up separate speakers at the front of the room.
The front speakers are put together in a similar way to the rears, except that the speaker cables are permanently attached, which means you have to feed them through the base before screwing them together.
In addition, built-in speaker terminals allow the top section to slot in without the need to connect fiddly springclips. Unusually, each front speaker connects to two terminals on the back of the main unit, one feeding the main drivers and the other feeding the swivel driver, but the cables have pre-attached dual plugs that make this less complicated than it sounds.
The compact, unimposing subwoofer is styled in a deeply sexy black finish, with a lovely brush-effect panel on the right and a large port on the side. The lightweight build quality does nothing to ease our apprehension about the nature of passive subs and the lack of control over their performance, but you certainly won’t hear any complaints over how it looks.
Finally, the centre speaker is as stylish as the other components, and with its compact dimensions (360(w) x 74.5(h) x 68.5(d)mm) you shouldn’t have any problems sliding it into a packed AV cabinet.