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Newest Version of a Compact Superstar
NHT's SuperZero 2.0 is such a successful product, that all it took NHT was a few tweaks to create the SuperZero 2.1. The differences between the two models aren't huge, but they will definitely increase your enjoyment of the SuperZero. The model 2.1 has more closely matched drivers for exceptionally seamless performance along with a tweaked crossover design. And NHT has taken the cabinet finish up another notch, so that the SuperZero looks better than ever.
The 2.1 uses a 4.5" long-throw pulp cone woofer and 1" silk dome tweeter in a sealed enclosure for a frequency response of 100 Hz to 22 kHz +/-3 dB, and 85 dB sensitivity.
In the January 1994 issue of Stereophile magazine, Corey Greenberg called the original SuperZero "a $250 speaker that compares with high-end speakers costing $3,000." The SuperZero 2.1 builds on the merits of its predecessor and improves upon them.
"Excellent, Superb, Brilliant"
"For these small speakers, big words are not inappropriate - excellent, superb, brilliant - although words like comforting, nourishing, and nonfatiguing might be nearer the mark," raves Mark Fleischmann, in his Home Theater magazine review of the model 2.0 for July 2011.
'Walk Around The Stage' Realism
Transparency, detail, and 'walk around the stage' realism are all there. At just 9" tall by 5" wide by 5.5" deep, the SuperZero 2.1 is really small. But unlike most small speakers, which try to fool you with boomy, pseudo-bass from a port, the Super Zero 2.1s acoustic suspension sealed enclosure skips the bass and focuses on making beautiful, lifelike midrange and high frequencies. Just like the original.
The price is so low for the performance you get, that NHT has "basically declared war on the entire affordable high-end loudspeaker establishment," according to Ian White in his October 13, 2010 review of the 2.0 for BigPictureBigSound.com. "The new sound is super smooth and amazingly transparent." Pair the SuperZero 2.1 with a quality subwoofer, and you've got an amazing yet unobtrusive star for you home theater or hi-fi system.
Build quality is stunning, too. Because the compact, well-braced cabinet is naturally strong and stout, it doesn't have the to deal with the box vibrations that could interfere with critical midrange performance. The speaker's narrow front face is almost all speaker, so there's no wide baffle to interfere and interact with the output.
Better Than Its Predecessors
The SuperZero 2.1 includes other improvements to the original SuperZero design. By adding a small coil of wire to the crossover, NHT made the tweeter roll off a bit faster (12 dB/oct), effectively blocking more of the bass that tries to sneak into the tweeter without negatively impacting its response. This small crossover change significantly lowers the tweeter's distortion and improves power handling. It sounds even better than the original Super Zero's crossover and improves upon the performance of the 2.0, too.
The SuperZero 2.1 is finished in a beautiful black gloss laminate. Its grill is removable for those moments when you want to light candles and listen at the apex. The speaker can be easily wall or ceiling mounted using a Omnimount 10.0 bracket screwed into its 1/4"-20 threaded back panel insert. It also features real five-way metal on metal binding posts that can accept bare wire, BFAs, spades, or banana plugs.
High Praise for the SuperZero 2.0
"For these small speakers, big words are not inappropriate - excellent, superb, brilliant - although words like comforting, nourishing, and nonfatiguing might be nearer the mark.
"Perhaps it would be more helpful to finish up with statements drawn from fact and listening. These speakers are cute. They cost next to nothing. They come from people with good ears who are drawing on decades of experience and know exactly what's easy to live with… Mate them with a low- to moderate-priced A/V receiver, and you'll have a deeply satisfying starter surround system."
- Mark Fleischmann, Home Theater magazine, July 2011
"The SuperZero 2.0 looks the same, but it isn't the same little honey that you remember from the first Clinton administration (there's a joke there somewhere, but we'll resist the urge). Version 2.0 offers higher power handling, lower distortion, improved detail, and better off-axis response. The 4.5" long-throw pulp cone woofer rolls off at 100Hz and you really do hear the difference with the revised crossover point between woofer and tweeter."
- Ian White, BigPictureBigSound.com, October 13, 2010