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211 of 233 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I've come to truly enjoy these speakers.
I didn't buy these here at amazon because I got them for $89.00 shipped from somewhere else. I'm still breaking them in, so this is just a preliminary review.

They have a lot of bass for such a small speaker, it's really amazing. I'm not a big bass fan, not the over emphasis of bass anyway, like so many speakers pride themselves on these days. I still miss the...
Published 17 months ago by W. Jackson

versus
12 of 17 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Okay for mild music. And that's it.
I wish Amazon separates the review for this subwoofer from the rest of the system. Why? Because it's the weak link of the entire system.

While the other speakers in this Pioneer set are super, this sub has much to desire. The bass is so weak that I usually have to turn 3/4 to be sure it's working. Low frequency response of 38HZ means you will miss many details...
Published 11 months ago by Paul


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211 of 233 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I've come to truly enjoy these speakers., July 5, 2013
I didn't buy these here at amazon because I got them for $89.00 shipped from somewhere else. I'm still breaking them in, so this is just a preliminary review.

They have a lot of bass for such a small speaker, it's really amazing. I'm not a big bass fan, not the over emphasis of bass anyway, like so many speakers pride themselves on these days. I still miss the old acoustic suspension speakers with the real and tight bass. On some bass heavy material the bass is a little to much for me with the Pioneers, but right now I'm playing Ennio Morricone music, which is not bass heavy, and these speakers sound beautiful. I'm playing them in a room about 16x24 with a 12' gable roof, and they can fill that room with sound, and play pretty loud.

I'm using these speakers with an Onkyo TX-8255 Receiver, and have them on Sanus 24b 24" speaker stands with blu-tack between the speakers and the stand top plates. The 24" stands seem to be the perfect height for these speakers, as the top of the speakers are at about 36". I wouldn't use stands any higher than 24" with these speakers myself.

Update: 7-21-2013:

I've played the speakers enough for them to be broken-in, and I really like and am impressed with the Pioneer's. I will say that on some recordings they can sound amazing for a speaker of this price, but overall there seems to be to much emphasis on bass, like the speaker is trying to hard to sound bigger. I'm going to try the Fluance SX6 bookshelf speakers next to see if I like them better. I'll let you know how it goes.

Update 7-27-2013:

Just got the Fluance SX6 bookshelf speakers today, and have been listening to them all day. Although they aren't really broke in yet I'm already thinking about going back to the Pioneers. The Fluance speakers are really well made, and you can tell the makers are serious about QC. The Fluances are very dynamic and can play very loud, they would make a good party speaker for sure, but the Pioneers sound more appealing to me, they have a nice smooth airy soundstage. To make a long story short the Pioneers are keepers for me.

Update 8-9-2013:

The Pioneers are really fine speakers. The more I listen to them the more I like them. How the hell they made a speaker this good for such a low price is amazing. I was thinking about eventually going with a pair of B&W 685 or KEF Q300 bookshelf speakers, and I'm sure they are a better sounding speaker then the Pioneers, but they are about $650.00+ a pair. I am enjoying the Pioneers so much I might just stick with them.

Update 9-15-2013:

Still loving the Pioneer's. This Andrew Jones must really be a speaker designing genius.

Update 11-29-2013:

I bought a Dayton Sub-800 8" 80 watt subwoofer to go with the Pioneer SP-B22's. My Onkyo TX-8255 doesn't have a sub-out, so I wired from the receiver's speaker out terminals to the subs speaker in terminals, and the subs speaker out terminals to the speakers using Monoprice 14ga. solid copper speaker wire, which is some fine speaker wire. The sub for the money is well made, and does a good job, but I got to thinking that from wiring through the sub that I have lost some signal quality, so after about a month of using the sub I went back to direct wiring from receiver to speakers with the 14ga. Monoprice speaker wire, and to me it does sound better without the sub. Maybe if I had a sub-out on my reciever, and could direct wire the speakers to the receiver it might sound better, but not sure. For now I'm happy without using the sub, and still loving the Pioneer's.

Update 1-1-2014:

I got a pair of Micca MB42X speakers to use with my desktop PC, and when I hooked them up to my Lepai 20 wpc t-amp I thought, man these speakers sound fantastic, I'll have to compare them to the Pioneer's. I unplugged the Pioneer's and hooked up the Micca's to my Onkyo TX-8255 to break them in, and see which I liked best. The Micca's sound great, and for such a small box filled my living room with great sound, and plenty of it, they would play as loud as I like. The Micca's have very good bass, but not as much as the Pioneer's. After I figured I got the Micca's broke in I hooked the Pioneer's back up. I was thinking I might keep the Micca's in the prime spot, but the Pi's have a little warmer, and sweeter sound that I really like, so the Pi's are back in the living room, and waiting to be challenged again.lol Don't get me wrong, the Micca's are fantastic, but to my ears the Pi's bested them.
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144 of 167 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I am astounded by this loudspeaker!, November 6, 2012
By 
Churchorganist50 (Ballston Lake, N.Y.) - See all my reviews
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I had a $300.00 pair of loudspeakers that passed my listening test nine years ago, but I have been noticing a drop-off in the highs the past few years. I play classical music of all types over my system, and wasn't sure if it was the speakers aging or my ears! I read countless reviews about the Pioneer speakers being so great for so little money, that I went ahead and ordered them. Even without the full 30 hour break-in period, I nearly fell on my can when I heard these at home the first hour! Already the string and wind instruments sound like they should, but the amazing thing is the width and depth of the soundstage is incredible. My previous speakers never sounded this good! I have been a regional symphony musician (double bassist) for 30 years.

I purchased these new, second generation Pioneer speakers as I had read that Jones even further worked on the tweeter lens and woofer structure. Try the Solti Mahler 7th on these and you'll be trying all of your best recordings on these speakers! I think the bass is clean and tight, and get tons of sound at half vollume from my ten year old 100 watt JVC receiver. The speakers are mounted three feet high, and the ports (in back) are about six inches from the wall. It is important to do this to help the bass and soundstage even further.

I ordered my speakers from Amazon on a Thursday, and was able to track them toward their delivery the next Monday. They were pack in an additional box and there were no signs of rough hadling. Oh, my previous pair of speakers that I though were so fine have a name that begins with a "P" and ends with an "M". Most of you will know who I mean.

Buy these Pioneers now!
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69 of 82 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Amazing sound at an amazing price, February 1, 2013
By 
hbsprite "hbsprite" (Huntington Beach, CA USA) - See all my reviews
I consider myself a budget audiophile. I'm all about the best sound for the buck. I read reviews and waited until I saw a deal on these speakers (under $100 for the pair, shipped). I am using them as monitor speakers connected to my computer through a Lepai LP-2020A+ amp. I bought these because I was not as thrilled as I had hoped with my Dayton B652 Bookshelf Speakers.

I must say, these speakers blew me away when I first heard them. The Pioneers have very smooth treble and incredible bass for their size. I can listen to the Pioneers from 3 feet away all day and suffer no fatigue. The Pioneer's have a soft dome tweeter and a rear bass port and that makes all the difference in the world in speakers this size. I am amazed at the amount of bass these tiny 4" woofers put out. I've heard 6.5" speakers with less bass. Andrew Jones - you are an audio genius. Anyone can create incredible speakers with an unlimited budget, but it takes a true genius to do it for $100/pair.

Pros
1. Great Build Quality, love the wood grain and removable grills
2. Surprising Bass
3. Smooth highs
4. Nice, high quality binding posts in the back.
5. How often do you see a "real" crossover network in speakers this price?

Cons
1. Make sure you measure, these speakers are almost 9 inches deep. This depth really helps with the sound, but make sure you have room for them.
2. Imagine the sound these would put out with a 5 or 6.5 inch woofer!
3. The woofers look laughably small with the grills off. Do yourself a favor and keep the grills on!

In conclusion: these are incredible speakers - especially considering the price. They are great for an entry level audiophile. If you are smart and wait for a deal, you can easily find a pair of these speakers for under $100 that will blow speakers costing 4 times these out of the water.
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29 of 34 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars has limitations of course, but amazing for the price., May 7, 2013
By 
K. Ambrose (San Francisco, CA United States) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
Although this speaker has some limitations that become glaringly obvious when I do a side by side comparison to my Reference 3A DeCapo I speakers, such a comparison is totally unfair since the DeCapos cost $3000/pair!

Considering their cost, the "musicality" and sheer listening fun of this speaker is amazing. I have numerous extended (4+ hours) listening sessions with these speakers, and I can say that with excellent sources they sound amazing- good high frequency extension, nuetral and balanced midrange, and good mid bass.

There is plenty of midbass when powered adequately- I had to use my 120 w/pc Quad 909 amp to allow these speakers to have a decent mid bottom. When driving with my 17 w/pc Qinpu they sounded mushy and soft in the bottom end (in fact my Qinpu started to go intermittent when trying to drive these speakers, I think it overheated).

Midrange is laid back but "honest" sounding. Excellent tonal nuetrality. No hint of overly forward midrange- if anything it's a bit soft (The DeCapos are just the opposite, they are pretty "forward sounding" due to a peak they have in the 1K range).

For the pioneers, the laid back nuetrality helps to avoid excessive sybilance on the vocals and is an acceptable trade off to my ears.

The highs are also on the "relaxed" side, not screechy at all- great for digital playback.

All in all this is a very sweet sounding speaker, great for digital music playback where more often than not excessive grain and sybilance is an annoying artifact in the treble. I find myself turning up the volume with no complaints from the wifey. This is a good sign. These speakers play _music_!

Unless you want to spend triple the asking price of these speakers, I doubt you will find anything as rewarding for long term listening. But be aware that they will need a lot of power to sound their best.

UPDATE 7/18

Out of long time curiosity based on fabulous reviews and my belief in minimalist crossover design, I purchased a pair of Cambridge Audio S30 speakers. From a price/performance/market standpoint the S30s are a direct competitor to the Pioneers, so here are my impressions after comparitive listening:

The S30s are much more "forward" sounding. The mids/upper mids of the S30s are more pronounced and bass does not seem quite as deep as with the Pioneers. The S30s sound excellent, there is no excessive sibilance in the mids/highs, and - especially for rock - they are more "attention getting". This can provide more "fun factor" but, over long listening sessions this can contribute to the infamous "listening fatigue" syndrome (where you feel you need a "break" from listening and the sound gets mildly annoying or irritating).

A consideration between the two speakers is amplifier power. The Pioneers need a _lot_ of it to sound their best. In my opinion at least 60 wpc and ability of the amp to pump current down to 4 ohms.

The S30s are much more efficient and sensitive. They sound fine driven by my Qinpu 17wpc tube/op amp hybrid (the Pioneers sounded "blah" driven by the Qinpu, and in fact that amp overheated and went intermittent trying to drive the Pioneers)

Another plus for the S30s is that they sound much better at really low level than do the Pioneers. The Pioneers just completely die at low listening levels- dynamics and mid/highs just go flat. The S30s on the other hand sound pretty dern good in the mids/highs right down to very low listening levels, and the dynamics don't suffer too much. This is a big advantage whenever it is neccessary to really cut the volume to avoid getting clonked on the head by a family member during later evening listening sessions.

All in all to sum up, if you have a lot of high quality amplifier power, and listen to a wide range of music at medium to higher volume levels I would tend to recommend the Pioneers.

If you have a low power amp, or for whatever reason you need to keep the volume low for extended listening, and/or your prefer more "forward" sounding speakers, you will probably prefer the S30s.

Both speakers are quality designs and simply make different "trade off" compromises at the price point...
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79 of 99 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great Sound, Awesome Price, December 16, 2012
By 
I've owned the entire speaker set for about two weeks, and my assessment of these speakers is positive. For starters, they sound great - better than some other high end speaker systems I've experienced. Bose or Klipsch speakers have nothing on the Pioneers, despite being several times more expensive. I've watched movies on them, played video games, listened to music and these speakers easily adapt to each usage scenario. Yesterday, I watched Black Hawk Down, and the experience was perfect. When Faith No More blasted from PA speakers in the military base, to the crackle of AK-47 fire - each sound was accurately reproduced. The subwoofer easily handed the extended bass of the helicopters crashing. Dialogue from the center channel does also sounded true to life.

For video games, I've been playing Halo 4, and I have no complaints. The rear bookshelf speakers can handle FX such as explosions, provided the crossover point is set to 100hz. I also had to boost the volume of the center channel to capture action happening directly in front of me. I have the SP-FS52's for my left and right channels, and they nearly overpowered the center speaker during intense firefights.

With music, I had to do a little more tweaking to get a result I enjoyed. I like to listen to my music in stereo mode, with the subwoofer producing the low end (2.1). I've played some Deftones, Chevelle, Lonely Island and Knife Party to EQ the speakers. My final result was raising the low end on the SP-FS52's (100hz - 400hz)a bit to enhance the tone of the bass guitar in rock music. With dubstep or rap, no adjustments were needed - the subwoofer easily handled the bass. Time and time again, I was struck by the clarity of the music - as ridiculous as this sounds, I was hearing things I've never heard before in albums that I've listened to for decades. In particular, vocals sound extremely rich. It sounds like the vocalist is literally in my living room.

Why not five stars? It's not a major issue, but I feel that the subwoofer could use further refinement. I know how good clean bass should sound - I've played the bass guitar for over a decade, and I own a high end Hartke amp/cabinet setup. My issue with the SW-8MK2 is that the attack of the subwoofer isn't quite as clean as it could possibly be. During certain metal tracks on double bass parts, the subwoofer struggles with clearly defining each hit of the bass drum. During tracks where the bass guitar is played with quick staccato notes, again the subwoofer doesn't really separate each note. Does that make it a bad subwoofer? Absolutely not - for the price, this is a fantastic subwoofer. I had to listen closely to the subwoofer to notice this discrepancy in the first place.

Overall, I'm very satisfied with my purchase. I have these speakers paired to a Yamaha RX-V373, and the YPAO device did setup the levels nearly perfect the first run through (minus that adjustment to the center channel).If you're looking to build your first true sound system, I would recommend these system. Dollar to speaker ratio, I'm not sure what else could sound better.

Below are links to the rest of the equipment I used during this review.

Pioneer SP-FS52-LR Andrew Jones Designed Floor standing Loudspeakers (each)
Pioneer SP-C22 Andrew Jones Designed Center Channel Speaker
Pioneer SP-BS22-LR Andrew Jones Designed Bookshelf Loudspeakers
Yamaha RX-V373 5.1-Channel AV Receiver

UPDATE (06/04/2013): After using these speakers for six months, I have only grown to apperciate the sound more. No problems whatsoever.
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27 of 32 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Completely blown away by the quality at this price, April 13, 2013
By 
Shannon Baker (Centralia, Wa USA) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Pioneer SP-FS52-LR Andrew Jones Designed Floor standing Loudspeaker (each) (Electronics)
My last speakers were a complete 5.1 setup from Axiom Audio, I paid around $2,200 for the set. Last year I needed some extra money for Christmas, so I sold the Axioms. I just recently got back into home theater and bought a Denon 1712 receiver and an Epson 6500ub projector (got a great deal for very nice used model).

I needed some new speakers and was really regretting selling the Axioms. After a lot of research, I decided on a pair of the Pioneer SP-FS54-LR floor standers, and the SP-C22 center. I already had a decent sub and some Klipsch Promedia Ultra speakers to use for the Front height and surround speakers.

To be honest, I wasn't expecting much from the Pioneers for the price, I expected they would be good enough to get by with until I could afford another set of expensive speakers. After setting them up and running the Audyssey setup on the receiver, I was completely blown away by the quality of these speakers.

The SP-FS52-LR speakers have so much more bass than the Axioms they replaced. I could easily see myself using these without a subwoofer for music. They have the best tweeters I've heard in any speakers under a $1,000. I simply can't imagine better sounding speakers for the price. I now have no intention to replace the Pioneers; I've decided instead to swap out the Klipsch surround speakers for the Pioneer bookshelf speakers.
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44 of 54 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Anyone Can Now Be An Audiophile, September 11, 2013
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As a long time subscriber to Stereophile Magazine, I was very intrigued by their review of the Pioneer SP-BS22-LR speakers in the July, 2013 issue. Stereophile is one of the oldest and best high end audio review magazines published. Only the best (and usually very expensive) audio components get reviewed in their pages. After reading the excellent review given to these speakers, I decided to purchase them to use as TV speakers. Although the retail price is listed at $159.00 in Stereophile, both Best Buy and Amazon sell this speaker for $129.00. As luck would have it, Amazon was selling the Pioneers for $79.99 on the day I purchased them.

Upon receiving the speakers, I soon found them to be far too good to waste on a TV application. They are almost as detailed in the high and mid frequencies as my floor standing Wharfedale Diamond 9.5 speakers and seem to have a more three dimensional sound stage. Only in the low frequencies are they clearly bested by the Wharfedales. Although I am currently using a fairly expensive Musical Fidelity integrated amplifier to drive the speakers, I have also used an inexpensive Cambridge Audio integrated amp ($299.00) and an old Onkyo receiver with excellent results. Whether you spend $159.00, $129.00, or $79.99, buy these speakers! You will not be disappointed and you will enter the audiophile world at a bargain price.
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46 of 57 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent - VERY impressive for the price, June 8, 2013
By 
JdoubleH (Columbus, GA) - See all my reviews
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For a compact bookshelf speaker with a small woofer and fairly low sensitivity rating, these are very impressive. Will they compete with larger more expensive speakers in every way? Definitely not. But they're a huge step above anything in its price range and format. The tone balance is really very good, as is the imaging. The clarity and openness is just as it should be for a carefully designed compact bookshelf speaker. Alone, they won't blow you away in the low end in a moderate to large room. But add a good sub, and you've got a great full range system.

I used to be a speaker / audio nut. I've always liked a good small monitor type speaker. One of my favorites were a pair of 80's KEFs (Chorale III's I think) along with a pair of Celestions, and several sets of DIY systems built with fairly high end drivers. I gradually lost interest and after many moves, a stint in the Army and other priorities such as musical instruments(I'm a bass player), this is the first set of decent speakers I've bought in a while. Before these, most of my music listening occurred passively while doing other things - driving, working with headphones on, etc. For the first time in a very long time, I actually pulled out some CDs (I know, SO last century!) and just sat and listened. As a musician with ADHD, MP3s, Spotify and the like have really corrupted me. The only time I listen to a whole song- let alone a whole album, is generally when I'm not really paying attention. Just sitting there and listening was practically a whole new experience. And it is one I wouldn't have been likely to undertake were it not for the quality of these speakers. They are really that good. Are they the best I've heard? No, but talk about bang for your buck!

I was originally going to use them in my bedroom, but quickly realized how good they were and moved them to the living room, where they've replaced my "Polk designed" Onkyo HTIB speakers- left right AND center. For movies, these with my sub are all I need. The improvement in clarity over the Onkyos is astounding. I had suspected the Onkyos were really lackluster and muddy, but hadn't really given it too much thought. The wonderful clarity allows me to watch movies and TV at much lower volume and still understand the dialog (which is a win with the family as well). I may eventually add the center channel, but honestly, 2.1 is really doing the trick right now.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An Audiophile Bargain (*Updated*), July 12, 2014
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My initial experience with the SB22's did not go well. The first shipment arrived in a box that had clearly been dropped by FedEx. Cosmetically, the speakers were okay, but after hooking them up, it was clear something was wrong with one (the one, it so happens, that was on the side of the smashed box corner). So I took a flashlight and looked through the port hole in the back of the offending speaker and, lo and behold, a piece of insulation was dangling there, along with a wire. That explained the noise issue. So, I generated and RMA, and Amazon dispatched a replacement pair, along with a prepaid return label. (Long story short: "Boo, FedEx. Yay, Amazon!")

Luckily, the ever-dependable UPS delivered the replacements in an immaculate box. I pulled out the new pair and everything was in order. Now I had a chance to listen to them properly.

Wow. I was thrilled. For less than $100 a pair (when Amazon has them on sale, which is frequently), you simply cannot buy a better bookshelf speaker. (Okay, I've read that the Micca MB42Xs are great, too. But I haven't heard them, and the indications are that the Miccas are, at best, equal to the Pioneers.)

These Pioneer's are definitely not studio monitors. If you want the most neutral speaker, that might not be ideal. But for everyday listening, that's probably a good thing. (All speakers have their own character, after all.) In the BS22s, there's a subtle bit of upper-high roll-off, as noted in some reviews, but that makes the speaker sound a bit "warmer" and makes them less fatiguing for long listening. The midrange is excellent. To a certain extent, I could hear the subtle "boxiness" in some male vocals on these speakers that a few reviewers have dinged the BS22s for. But it's very subtle, and paired with an amp or receiver that reproduces mids well, this (very minor) "boxiness" disappears. The bass is incredibly tight and robust for bookshelf speakers. Stunning, really. Using them in nearfield listening, I had to debate if I really wanted a sub. (Eventually, I did go for it, picking up the matching SW-8MK2 when it was on sale for $95 on Amazon. It's an excellent addition.)

In short, these are excellent bookshelf speakers for the price.

***Update 8/22/14***

The BS22/SW8-MKII combination has broken in nicely over weeks of intensive listening. In fact, I was so thrilled with them that I snatched up another SW8-MKII and the Pioneer FS52s when they went on sale on Amazon. Once again, I have no regrets on the purchase. They are fantastic speakers for the price.

Reading through the more skeptical reviews, I think there are two genuine criticisms worth addressing, and one general point to be noted:

1.) As I mentioned in my first review, the highs in both the BS22s and the FS52 (perhaps moreso in the FS52s, though I haven't listened to them enough to break them in yet) sound a bit "rolled off." Now, they don't sound muffled, and it's not clear to me that they're actually "rolled off." (Frequency response graphs that accompany several online reviews seem to indicate the high end is fairly accurate in these speakers.) The highs on these Pioneer's are very, very smooth, which is notable if you're used to a very bright speaker. At first, a bright speaker might sound better, because it grabs you more. But on long listening, you're going to prefer the one with the smoother high end. This is particularly true if you're listening to MP3s, even high birate ones. The "digital harshness" people talk about when it comes to "lossy" formats like MP3s is usually most easily heard in things like acoustic guitar string plucks or symbol crashes. The DAC you use (in your receiver, amp, or external box) will, of course, affect the extent of this harshness, but, all else equal, I find that the Pioneer speakers are very, very forgiving on digital music (even as, like all good speakers, they reveal limitations in poorly recorded albums, regardless of bitrate or format). The Pioneers eliminate much of the digital harshness, in part, because the highs on these speakers are so smooth. So, while these speakers might not satisfy those who prefer a very bright speaker, if you don't have strong feelings on the issue, you won't be sorry buying the Pioneers.

2.) Many call the sub the "weak link" in this system. Don't believe it. Or, if you do, realize that it comes with a very big asterisk. This is a great sub for the price. Very tight and musical. (It's not bloated or flabby like a lot of -- actually, nearly all -- budget subs.) Now, if you're looking for a deep-reaching sub to use for movies -- one that will rattle the fillings out of your teeth during explosions -- this sub will definitely disappoint you. However, if you want a nice musical sub that will blend in with these speakers, you're going to love it.

3.) Finally, it's worth remembering that a lot of the "these speakers are overrated" reviews on Amazon are coming from audiophiles who are used to $1k+ speakers. This is actually a compliment. Why? Because these are the people who would normally not even consider rating sub-$100 speakers. These Pioneer's are astounding in that they've received glowing reviews from publications that rarely pay attention to "budget" equipment, let along fawn over said budget equipment. (And, as mentioned above, you can look at the frequency response graphs in many of these audiophile magazine reviews to see that, despite some Amazon reviewers' protests, these are very well-balanced and accurate speakers.) I have no doubt, though, that the audiophiles used to McIntosh equipment and the like who bought these Pioneers as a throwaway whim might not think they live up to the highest of high end speakers. But isn't that actually a compliment that these Pioneers are even being evaluated alongside such expensive gear?!? I think so. Quite simply, many speakers that cost hundreds of dollars (let alone those that can be had for less than $100) sound awful. Just go into a local big-box electronics store and sample some. Their limitations are apparent very, very quickly. That's not the case with these Pioneers. Are they perfect? Of course not. But they're amazing for the money, and for the vast majority of people -- even budget audiophiles -- these are speakers that you're going to be very, very happy with.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Outstanding quality ridiculously out of proportion to the price, October 20, 2013
By 
Brian G. Leduc (Albuquerque, NM USA) - See all my reviews
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
At the outset, I will say that I use these speakers in a two channel system with a very high end subwoofer system (NHT Evolution U2...yes, a bit of overkill), so I won't have anything to say about the bass response.

These speakers, and the Pioneer BS21's that came before them, are superb when used within their limits. They will not play deafeningly loud, but set-up properly and played at a comfortable volume, there is some real magic in the midrange, and imaging is astounding. I have never had a more solid, precise center image in my system.

The only knock I would have on these, and it is completely subjective, is that I thought the treble was a little tipped up for my tastes, particularly when compared to the predecessor Pioneer BS21's which I still own. I have heard it said the the 21's are laid back and 22's more neutral. I would not agree.....I consider the 21's to be the more neutral of the two models. A recent full review of the 22's in Stereophile did describe the 21's as mellow in comparison, which they are, but looking at the measurements of the 22's, there is a rise of about 5db from the upper bass to about 10K. That would appear to be what I am hearing.

I may eventually go back to the 21's, but if one happens to like a speaker with a killer midrange and a moderately more pronounced treble, these would be the ticket. Measurements are one thing, but taste in loudspeakers is very much subjective, and I don't think you can go wrong with these AJ designed speakers. The build quality also appears to be quite good. They are a steal even at list price.

I have several pairs of much more expensive bookshelf speakers that I rotate in and out of my two channel system from time to time just because I can, and I have preferred either of the Pioneers to all comers, which surprised the heck out of me.

To me, these are a no brainer for anyone assembling a budget priced, but not budget performing system. Choose a suitable sub, take care in set up (crossover will probably want to be 100 hertz or so) and prepare to be astounded.
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