Top Pick – The Absolute Sound's 2016 Buyers Guide to Loudspeakers
A New Level of Performance at This Price Range
The slim, floorstanding PSB Imagine X2T borrows many design innovations from PSB's multiple award-winning Imagine T2, yet it costs only one-third as much as the T2! Much of the cost savings comes from a simplified cabinet design, but other advancements have allowed PSB to bring a new level of performance to this price range.
"Simply put, these powerful, fairly compact, four-driver, three-way, quasi-D’Appolito floorstanders live up to Canadian manufacturer PSB’s main marketing message: 'Real sound for real people,' notes The Absolute Sound's 2016 Buyers Guide to Loudspeakers, which listed the X2T as a Top Pick "that’s this easy on the wallet, and this easy to love."
Fast and Articulate Extended Bass Response
Each 6.5" woofer has its own separate acoustic chamber with a front-facing port to achieve incredible control and spatial, dynamic sound quality. Dividing and individually porting the chamber eliminates standing waves inside the X2T's tall, slim speaker cabinet. The placement of the woofers in multiple positions also reduces the first reflection phenomenon, minimizing the negative effects of the primary 'floor bounce' reflections, resulting in a much more accurate and tuneful bass performance. The result is low distortion bass response that that speaks with powerful authority.
Separate Midrange Chamber
The Imagine X2T is a true three-way speaker utilizing a separate midrange driver in its own tuned enclosure for ideal dispersion and low distortion at high SPLs. The all-new driver is designed specifically for the Imagine X2T. Featuring an injection-molded, poly-filled carbon fiber cone, the 5-1/4" midrange driver boasts a novel shape and filleted surround to optimize the reproduction of voices. The narrow cabinet design contributes by preventing diffraction effects that can create early acoustic reflections that color the sounds of voices and instruments.
Pure Titanium Tweeter Dome
The 1" dome tweeter combines a high stiffness-to-mass ratio for ultra-fast transients and extended response without break-up until way beyond audibility. The high-temperature voice coil with ferrofluid cooling allows for high SPLs without compression, and the rare-earth neodymium motor magnet gives high sensitivity and accurate response at the lower end of its response range. A carefully engineered phase plug (the little plate in front of the dome) extends high frequency response and helps control the inevitable high frequency break-up mode while protecting the delicate dome from prying fingers.
The Imagine X Series
True-to-nature sound is the design goal of all PSB speakers, and the Imagine X Series brings a new level of realism to these affordable new speakers. Imagine X applies the latest speaker materials and technology to PSB’s most popular speaker models. PSB’s designers focused on simplicity – distilling sound to its purest essence – in order to bring listeners the experience that they really love.
Acoustic Research Makes the Difference
Through many years of research at the National Research Council Canada (NRC), home to one of the world’s most advanced acoustical laboratories, the design team at PSB Speakers has learned not only what people love to hear, but also how they hear it in a room. Critical to the Imagine X design is this research into human perception of sound using double-blind listening tests.
Double-blind testing removes any listener bias to provide the most accurate test results. It allows PSB to understand what is most important to listeners and allows the company to create the ideal blend of performance and price for every application.
"PSB was the first company to use the NRC for loudspeaker development in 1974, and we remain the most active user of the facility today," notes Paul Barton, PSB Founder and Chief Designer. "Our experience with the NRC – how we interpret the data and implement it into the design of our Imagine X speakers – sets us apart from other speaker manufacturers. It has allowed us to focus on our primary goal, which is delivering real sound for real people."
According to Barton, "By conducting carefully controlled blind speaker tests, then measuring all the speakers to see what sonic characteristics appealed to the listeners in the tests, we were able to figure out what matters and what doesn't."
Unmistakable True-to-Nature Sound
There are four models in the PSB X Series, but only one objective: to reproduce the most accurate sound available for the money. Imagine X models are all carefully matched in timbre, giving you flexibility to combine any of the models to work together in many different rooms and system setups.
"Simply put, these powerful, fairly compact, four-driver, three-way, quasi-D’Appolito floorstanders live up to Canadian manufacturer PSB’s main marketing message: 'Real sound for real people.' Big bang—and plenty of bass—for the buck is what you can expect. The X2Ts deliver unexpectedly robust low end for their category—something audiophiles tend to drop big coin for. What’s more, the X2Ts also offer a strong power range, as well as excellent midband focus and naturalness. If you like a more bottom-up sound with a side of denser tone color, these PSBs are bound to please. It’s a rare speaker, says JM, that’s this easy on the wallet, and this easy to love."
- Top Pick, The Absolute Sound's 2016 Buyers Guide to Loudspeakers