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Customer Review

253 of 284 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Not HiFi, but not LoFi, February 16, 2009
This review is from: Sony SS-B1000 5-1/4-Inch Bookshelf Speakers (Pair) (Electronics)
The difficulty with reviewing speakers has a lot to do with the fact that whether something sounds good is usually something that occurs in the ears of the hearer. My point of reference for these speakers are:
-A pair of Radioshack Optimus-1s from the 1970s (sealed three way, 2" twt, 2" mid, 8" woof)
-A pair of Sharp speakers from the 1970s (tri-ported two way, 1" twt, 10" woof)
-A set of TheSpeakerCompany RC1s from the 2000s (MTM 5.5" mid, .5" twt)

If your'e comparing these speakers to a conventional HTIB setup, oh man, these things blow typical HTIB satellites out of the water and into outer space. Get them, get them now, replace all 5/7 of your satellites! You'll be glad you did! Most of my friends fall into this category, and these are perfect entry level speakers for someone who is looking for an inexpensive upgrade to their HTIB. You'll be blown away by the improvement. There isn't a whole lot of bass, so make sure you have a sub. Oh, and put these on stands and not in a bookshelf.

If your'e a bit more discerning/slightly larger pocketbook, though, you'll find they are fairly average, and more on the mediocre end of average. I picked up a set of these speakers on clearance as surrounds for my 5.1 system, and they do the job adequately. For a small room or a *very* small surround system, these could be okay as your L/R front speakers but overall they are just too small for my tastes as fronts. The sound is rather neutral, with not a lot of bass extension. A bit ho-hum, but that means they strive for accuracy in reproduction, which is good. The really good thing is the speakers aren't boomy! A lot of little speakers like this have boom, but the Sony engineers decided to get rid of that, thank you for putting some foam in. They are good entry level speakers, esp. for the price per pair these typically go for.
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Showing 1-10 of 19 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Jan 10, 2010 9:52:42 AM PST
Don Hicks says:
Comparing different price range speakers or speakers designed for a 5.1 isn't fair.

In reply to an earlier post on Aug 13, 2010 3:15:23 PM PDT
Ed J. Hayes says:
I find is review to be very helpful. He compares them to cheaper HTIB speakers and nicer one, thoroughly explaining how people with different expectations might like or not like them.

Posted on Feb 24, 2011 5:33:59 PM PST
Last edited by the author on Feb 24, 2011 5:34:33 PM PST
M. G. Meyers says:
I agree that you can't compare this speaker to floor standers that cost more. But I do appreciate the remark about the size of the speakers, and for front L-R, for bass output, these comments are helping me get an idea of the speaker.

In reply to an earlier post on Mar 21, 2011 1:45:48 PM PDT
I wouldn't use SS-B1000's for Front speakers. They are far too small unless you are using them for a small-ish gaming setup (with a small HDTV sitting on a desk with the speakers sitting near you). If you add a Sub to your system, you could use these as Fronts as the Sub should handle nearly all the bass management. For Fronts I would recommend to step up to the SS-B3000's if you are on a budget. According to the specs, they can handle bass all the way down to 50hz, but in reality, I was able to get significantly audible signal from a 35hz test tone! I would suggest 1000's as surround speakers or as a Center for those who distrust MTM speakers.

Posted on Jun 26, 2011 7:30:42 AM PDT
the_sheep says:
I have a friend that owns a Sony surround kit containing SS- lines speakers, and the B1000s are actually the surrounds. So my guess is that Sony intends for these to be used as surrounds. I don't have definite proof for it, but the friend that bought the setup wasn't terribly discerning and i suspect just bought whatever was bundled.

I've listened to his Sony SS- series surround system twice: once after he first got it, and a second time after his brother (a musician with a love for A/V) calibrated and did some setup and tweaking. Let me just say this: these speakers sound FANTASTIC when calibrated and lined up correctly, and rather blah when not. Simply aligning the speakers with the listeners, placing the sub properly, adjusting the receiver levels makes a MASSIVE difference. What was a system that was something I really didn't want to listen to turned into something I could sit and listen to all night. I would classify the system as having a luxurious, proper sound. Certainly something more expensive would sound better, but for $400 bucks in speakers it was FANTASTIC.

Setup and proper speaker placement makes a world of difference. A $400 sony setup properly configured sounds better than a $2000 setup with little throught to proper placement. Keep that in mind when shopping for speakers.

Posted on Jun 27, 2011 6:52:24 PM PDT
braiding one says:
HELP from technical genius needed desperately!! I bought these speakers and the Pyle home PCA1 amplifier to hook up to my 94 yr old aunt's VIZIO M190VA-W 19-Inch LED LCD HDTV for better sound, but the TV doesn't connect to this setup. Vizio customer service told me I need an spdif connection. Is there a different inexpensive amplifier that could work as an intermediate?

Posted on Jul 7, 2011 7:49:01 PM PDT
[Customers don't think this post adds to the discussion. Show post anyway. Show all unhelpful posts.]

Posted on Jul 29, 2011 9:44:17 AM PDT
Last edited by the author on Jul 29, 2011 10:26:06 AM PDT
These are small bookshelf speakers so you have to rate them as such. It is illogical to compare them to something in a different category. Combined with a small amplifier they could make great computer speakers so you could listen to internet radio in your office or your den. Obviously for a Hi Fi system in your living room you will want bigger speakers. One of the biggest ripoffs in Hi Fi systems is the gimmick called "surround sound". Nothing beats a good pair of speakers and a high quality amplifier with only two channels. The only benefit of surround sound is that it increases the profits of those who make and market it. Back before anyone had ever heard of surround sound or Mac computers there was a wonderful tube amplifier called MacIntosh. Since then the quality of Hi Fi has gone down hill. Now-a days the best buy for your money is a basic two channel Onkyo stereo amp with a pair of Cerwin Vega speakers. To me sub-woofers sound terrible. A pair of 3-way speakers with 8 or 12 or 15 inch woofers sound much better.

Posted on Sep 20, 2011 1:23:32 PM PDT
J. Foster says:
What is HTIB? And how do you connect a sub(woofer?) to a two channel stereo receiver?

Posted on Sep 20, 2011 1:23:34 PM PDT
J. Foster says:
What is HTIB? And how do you connect a sub(woofer?) to a two channel stereo receiver?
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