Aperion Audio Intimus 4T Tower Speaker

Dec 19 2011

Aperion AudioCreating the right audio environment is a critical part of enabling an immersive home theater experience, but is often neglected either due to ignorance or the erroneous assumption that good sound is unattainably expensive.  The process of finding the right speakers is made even more difficult with few shops providing an adequate listening environment, let alone one with options in an affordable price range.  Speaker manufacturer Aperion Audio has a solution for these issues, offering their 150 watt, $550/pair Intimus 4T tower alongside a no-risk thirty day trial with shipping covered both ways, so they can be tested in the actual environment where they will see use. 

The Speakers

Specifications:

Dimensions:34" H x 5" W x 7.5" D (Base: 8.25" x 8")
Weight:19 lbs
Construction:15mm (0.59”) MDF, Ported
Tweeter:1x 1" Audiophile-grade Silk-Dome Tweeter
Midrange:2x 4" Woven Fiberglass Composite Woofers
Woofer:N/A
Frequency Response:(+/- 3dB) 60Hz -20,000Hz(+/- 6dB) 50Hz -22,000Hz
Impedance:6 Ω
Sensitivity:88 dB
Recommended Power:25 - 150 Watts

Fans of velvet will love the Aperion Audio Intimus 4T unboxing experience. With each tower arriveing fully enclosed in the material once removed from the box and foam padding which protected it in transit.  Having only previously seen the speakers in photos, I was immediately impressed with the quality of the cherry veneer finish (piano black is also available), solid medium density fiberboard (MDF) construction, and overall fit-and-finish of the pair.  Calling the Intimus 4T a “tower” is something of a misnomer however, because at 34” high, 5” wide and 7.5” deep they do not command the attention and space in the home theater as most floor-standers (the footprint was actually smaller than the ProMonitor 1000 bookshelves displaced for testing).  Some assembly is required to attach the aluminum feet and spike stabilizers; not exactly an effortless process, but one requiring no more than five minutes to get to a fully functional state, which is much less time than any other speaker/stand assembly I have previously encountered.  The nineteen pound Intimus 4Ts are well-balanced and sit comfortably on every surface tested after adjusting the leveling spikes; even easily surviving accidental bumps from the three children occupying the same space.  Cabinet feel is also excellent, exhibiting no unwanted resonance when subjected to knuckle abuse.

Floor protectors

As someone who has spent a significant amount of time living with hardwood floors, it was greatly appreciated that the fancy bag was not the only finer point provided by Aperion Audio - floor-safe isolation mounts for the levelers are also included.

Performance

While the Intimus 4T speakers are small for a floor-standing tower, the same cannot be said for their sound; which is anything but.  The speaker pair slotted cleanly into my six speaker Definitive Technologies ProCinema reference environment, taking left/right mains duty from a set of ProMonitor 1000 bookshelf speakers.  The Intimus 4Ts immediately impressed with their ability to play nice with others – comforting to anyone intending to upgrade piecemeal.  These are the first six Ω speakers I have connected to the Denon AVR-1909 in my home theater, and from what I understand, this rating can be problematic for some audio video receivers (AVR) because it is more taxing on the amplifier.  However, no issues were observed, with the AVR able to drive the 4Ts well past comfortable listening levels while maintaining exceptional clarity.  With just the speaker pair provided, it was difficult to get a truly holistic view of how the Intimus family performs in all home theater scenarios because most of the weight for television and movies is carried by the center channel (which as an aside, should be upgraded first if music is not the primary use of the system).  Audio performance in those scenarios was excellent, but because isolation is impractical for multi-channel audio it seemed logical to lean on music to ascertain the speaker’s capabilities.

Breaking out my favorite music player and probing with a variety of samples across a range of genres, I found the Intimus 4Ts to be a more well-rounded speaker than the reference ProMonitors, with a richer low and mid-range in stereo direct mode.  When properly toed, the 4T creates a very solid center with a wide “sweet spot”. It does give some ground on the high-end however, although it was only noticeable in back-to-back comparisons with material intended to highlight that domain (e.g. Jeff Buckley’s “Everybody Here Wants You”).  Given the difference in cabinet construction and volume, this result [while somewhat unwelcome :)] was not entirely unexpected.  However, they are not perfect, with trade-offs consistent with their size and price range apparent; especially at the low-end  where a discrete subwoofer is necessary to extract the full experience from content requiring solid bass (e.g. 50 Cent’s “In da Club”).  That said, if your tastes do not run that deep (pun intended), the Intimus 4Ts should provide a solid and affordable standalone stereo audio experience in an appropriately sized room.

Conclusion

With great sound and build quality for the money, Aperion Audio’s Intimus 4T tower provides an outstanding value.  Combining this with a risk-free trial and a ten year warranty, it is difficult to not recommend that anyone considering new loudspeaker mains in a small or mid-sized room take a hard look at this pair.  If there is a drawback, it is that the Intimus 4T’s size demands sonic trade-offs similar to a bookshelf loudspeaker without the convenience of the other form-factor.

Pro:

  • Construction
  • Fit-and-finish
  • Sound quality
  • Price
  • Aperion Audio free shipping, thirty day trial/return policy
  • Ten year warranty

Con:

  • Not quite full-range, some compromise at the top and, more notably, low ends
  • Requires a subwoofer to complete the music experience

Thanks to Aperion Audio for providing the review sample unit.

 

Comments

Thanks for the review.  I have the Verus Forte towers and center and I couldn't be happier.  They are a great company. 

Glad you liked it.  I really enjoyed it (not sure about the neighbors Wink), especially the back-to-back comparisons. 

I've been thinking about getting some big floor-standers, when I finally get around to doing it (living in a transitionary space ATM) I'm seriously considering giving the Versus towers a try.

The footprint for the Forte is really small, which is what I needed.  In fact, if not for the Forte, I would have gone with a bookshelf setup.  I've read nothing but good thing about the Verus Grand.  Also, their service is top notch.

Whe I re-model the game room I am planning on getting a full surround set from them.  What would you reccomend for the surround for the usrround channel speakers?

I have bi/dipolar speakers, which I love.  Really, it depends on the layout of the room.  I know that aperion has both normal and bi/dipolar surrounds.  It's my understanding, however, that it isn't as important to match the surround speakers as it is to match the front/center speakers.

Depending on your intended use (music, movies, both), if there is a place to cut cost it is definitely on the surround speakers because they won't see as much critical use.

With music the most important speakers are the L/R mains, if TV and movies are the most important than the center is, hands down, the most important speaker because it does all the heavy lifting for dialog.  In a hybrid scenario I completely agree; getting good, matching speakers across the front is the most important thing.  That said, it's also important to not forget the sub; I think it's more important to have a good sub than good surrounds.

It will be used for a mix of music, movies and Tv.  I currently have a Bose Accustamass-5 system in the living room that does sound pretty good.  My brother got an Aperion system a few years ago and the smoothness of the sound blew me away.  I've browsed their prebuilt systems and they seem to match the front, center and sub pretty well but thought that using bi/di speakers for the surround would make the surround field sound larger.  I'm also on the fence about going 5.1 or 7.1 since all my HD-MKVs are either in AC3 or DTS and not HD audio.  I've never tried to bitstream audio since my amps are over 6 years old and don't decode HD audio. (or even have HDMI inputs)

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