Aperion Intimus 5B + Bravus 8D Review

April 18, 2008

Note: The Pages o’ Peat have moved to http://peat.org/ — please update your bookmarks and references accordingly. Thank you!

My first instinct was to keep this review short and sweet, but I realized that “holy shit” wasn’t going to be a particularly useful take on the situation. So, I’ll elaborate.

I’ve never been in a good position to build a solid home stereo setup. On one hand it’s a bit of an investment, and to make it worth while I needed to spend more time in an environment where I can listen to my music without bothering other people. On the other hand, soliciting information from the “audiophile” crowd is akin to drinking from a fire hose of terrible lies and fairy tales.

Never the less, I like music that sounds good (who doesn’t?). One of my first jobs was working as an assistant A/V engineer, and I have friends and family members who are professional musicians, engineers, and aficionados. I’ve been around and flirted with high quality audio most of my life, so it’s inevitable that I’d finally break down and put something together a system for myself.

Every now and then, serendipity strikes. I first heard of Aperion a couple of years ago, when one of my friends mentioned he’d gone to work for a speaker company here in town. I started pestering him about the job and the gear, and he had nothing but good things to say about the people and product. There seemed to be a lot of other people out there who agreed with him — and did so without pretentious trimmings.

A couple months ago I moved out of a shared office space and into my own home office. For the first time in a long time, I had a private space and a bit of a budget. Around the same time, Aperion released a new product line. Today I went to their office, had a listen, and walked out with a couple of fair sized boxes: a pair of Intimus 5B bookshelf speakers, and a Bravus 8D sub.

I’ve run through a pretty good cross section of my music today — Hifana, The Flaming Lips, Elliott Smith, Radiohead, Pixies, NoFX, Muse, Bruce Springsteen, Beck, Arctic Monkeys, Autechre, The Shins, Soul Coughing, Thelonious Monk, and even a little Beethoven and Prokofiev for good measure.

Back to my original review: Holy shit, my face hurts from smiling. I’m not going pile on the flowery language and esoteric metaphors about how it sounds, and I’m certainly not going to take advantage of Aperion’s 30 day return policy. The 5Bs are a pleasure to listen to, and the 8D fills out the bottom octaves wonderfully.

My only advice to people considering Aperion speakers? Ask them about getting a deal on returned or refurbished items, and spend the money you save on more good music!

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4 Responses to “Aperion Intimus 5B + Bravus 8D Review”

  1. Faith Says:

    So are these better than the Klipsch ones that Hubs has? I am wondering if I should match up his speakers so that they have all of the same components and so it sounds better. These are so pretty though, and pretty…well that helps out a LOT when the “Home Theatre” is in the Family room.

    (And never underestimate the power of a sub to put a baby to sleep.)

  2. Peat Says:

    I dunno about the Klipsch setup — they make some pretty good stuff, but I didn’t try ’em out. 🙂

    I don’t know what exactly you guys have, but a lot of receivers have options for adjusting crossover points and volume levels for different sets of speakers .. pretty handy. Also, speaker placement has a heck of an impact on how a system sounds.

    Anyway. I’m kind of a nerd about these sorts of things. Heh.


  3. This is a fantastic little sub. The adjustable crossover and gain controls are great for matching against other speakers. It perfectly compliments the Aperion Intimus 5B bookshelves — the combination sounds better than many floor standing speakers costing twice as much.

    The only down side is the noise floor on the digital amp is perceptible in small rooms if it’s cranked up. This can be compensated for by turning down the gain, and sending it a hotter signal from your receiver or pre-amp.

    The folks at Aperion were great about answering my questions and giving me tips on setting it up. Very happy with the purchase and the experience!


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