"BLOWN AWAY!"on by BloodyRaven
Pros Inexpensive, but works with most HDTV's decor
Cons Looks like cheap Computer Sat speakers (But you'd be wrong)
Summary started researching surround sound speakers to go with my new Samsung 42" HDTV and a Yamaha 7.1 AV receiver, when lo and behold Future Shop advertises a sale on the JBL SCS180.6. From cruising the JBL web site, it appears that this is a newer silver finish version of the older black SCS160SI. Well, my interest was peaked, and I found a review of it on CNET. The review was relatively positive, with just a couple of caveats; the lack of a variable crossover on the subwoofer and keeping sonic expectations inline with the fact it is minisatellite system. The missing variable crossover was not a concern, since my Yamaha has a built in crossover.
On the positive side is the fact that the front and rear satellites are identical to the center channel ie. all speakers have a 12 tweeter and dual 3 woofers. Given that my wife hates big speakers female DNA trait that cannot be breeded out and the sale price was right, I clicked on the Add to Cart button. Setup was very straightforward it took me about 30 minutes to unpackage everything and hookup the satellites and subwoofer. The subwoofer is BIG (VERY), so try your best to integrate it with your decor. As the CNET review said, the satellites do look a bit cheap for home theatre, resembling PC speakers. The package comes complete with hookup wire and wall brackets.
The hookup wire isn't Monster cable quality, but the gauge is heavy enough 16AWG or 18AWGand long enough 40' per satellite, that I think it is fine for it's intended application. However, there is no RCA jack subwoofer cable included, so you will need to buy one for connection to your amp's LFE output. The HDTV setup is in our family room, that measures about 27'x 20'. Not too large or small. To test them out, I sampled LOTR Two Towers, Hitchickers Guide to the Galaxy, Star Wars III. With the volume turned up to an almost painful level, I can happily say that the sound coming from the satellites remained crisp and clear with no real evidence of them breaking up at all.
Imaging is also very good. The great sound trumps the low rent finish. The subwoofer literally shakes the room, but always with a well controlled output again no perceptible distortion or muddiness it is speced as 6db at 30Hz. I am now a convert to the faith that big clean sounds can come out of small packages.As for my concern about not being able to cover the frequency trough between the satellites and subwoofer, I tried out the George Benson, Diana Krall Live in Paris, Judas Priest (Metal Years best of), Iron Maiden's Number of the Beast, and Kiss Destroyer. If there is a crossover trough, it didn't come through watching or listening to these DVDs & CD's. Sound was superb.
I think it would be extremely hard to now go back to a time without HDTV and 6.1 surround sound. I have no regrets with this purchase. If you are looking to complement your HDTV with surround audio, I wouldn't hesitate to recommend the SCS180.6 package if you are on a budget, have a small to medium sized room, and are looking for an innocuous silver satellite system.
Pros Small footprint. Stylish and blends well with almost any decor.
Cons Center channel speaker lacks power, but can be boosted with a good receiver.
Summary I purchased this product refurbished from Harman Kardon (harmanaudio on ebay) as my first home theater surround sound system. At $130, I was not expecting an IMAX audio experience in my living room, but was very surprised to find that these speakers provide exceptional sound quality. The subwoofer performs very well in concert with the satellite surround speakers and has a knob on the back that allows you to adjust the power to fit your room. If I were to find one fault with this set, it would be with the center channel speaker. In my opinion, it does not provide sufficient volume at normal settings, but fortunately I have been able to adjust the volume to it using my receiver's settings. If you can find this unit refurbished, buy it. You will not regret it.
Pros Dual woofers, GREAT sub
Cons larger than prefered, blah styling
Summary I matched this set with a pair of JBL monitors I own and gave me 7.1 capability with my Sony STR-DG800 receiver. They sound great. Full engulfing sound and sub shakes the walls and provides the effect I've been looking for.
I don't have them hooked up to my main two channels so I don't know how they sound supporting the majority of the sound, but for rear satelites they do an awsome job.
Pros Small Rugged Awesome sound
Cons Sounds feels like it is holding back a little
Summary These are great speakers for a decent budget (especially now that prices have dropped) I now a have a 7.1 so my speakers don't match setup. I love the JBL's tons but sometimes I feel like they hold back on me a little. It is not a big deal because my pioneer gets pretty ear shattering at -5DBm and it goes all the way up to +16DBm. Since my receiver pumps 120Watts per channel and the speakers are only rated at 100, I fugured holding back is not so bad. I know the frequency response is vast, but I would like a little more fidelity at lower DB's.
Pros Clear Highs, Thumping lows, increadable well rounded package.
Cons No removable grills.
Summary I purchased this system with a receier for an excellent deal at a local Electronics store for and outcome price of $250 for the speakers; therefore my review is based on a low price. The most noticable thing when you hook these bad boys up is the monstrous sound from the subwoofer that thumps the walls (and the pictures on them). The 6 channel speakers are crisp and clear and look pretty good too. Set-up is easy with the included wall mounts. Decent Speaker cable is included, but I recommend upgrading to a thicker gauge. Overall I am very satisfied with this purchase.