We experimented a bit with the sub's "Low Bass Adjust" filter and decreased the deepest bass by 3 decibels, which seemed to smooth the match-up between the satellite speaks and sub. Unfortunately, the Bravus 8D's LCD menu is much too small to be seen from the listening position, so you might need a friend to sit near the sub to make the adjustments or relay the menu info back to you. Maybe the next generation Bravus subs will have video outputs that would put the menu on your TV.
Aperion is so sure you'll love their speakers and subs they sell them with a 30-day money-back return policy. Also noteworthy, the speakers come with a 10-year warranty--that's twice as long as most speakers' warranties. Their Web site also offers floor stands, as well as wall and ceiling mounts for all Aperion speakers.
We started our auditions listening to music in stereo, and rock, jazz, and even classical music fared well, thanks in large part to the Aperion's clear sonics. It didn't hurt that the sub's muscular bass perfectly complemented the speaker's neutral tonal balance. Even when pushed hard with Amy Winehouse's Back to Black CD, the Intimus 5B Harmony SD sounded like it was coasting. We didn't have any older Aperions to compare the new models with, but if our memory serves the new speakers' treble is more refined, and the speaker/subwoofer integration is better than before.
Moving to home theater with the There Will Be Blood DVD, the sound was just as impressive. The scene where an oil well erupts was primal in its violence--and that was before the oil catches fire! The roaring inferno's sound and Jonny Greenwood's nightmarish orchestral score were truly intense. Later, when the fire is extinguished with a dynamite blast, the system's dynamic capabilities knocked us out.
The Sunshine Blu-ray Disc sounded even better. This sci-fi extravaganza about a spaceship headed to reignite our dying sun features a DTS-HD Master Audio soundtrack. The tracking shot of the massive ship was accompanied by a lot of very deep, rumbling bass, and the Bravus 8D proved itself with gusto. The score also used eerie high-pitched accents and delicate sounding bells. The purity of the speakers' treble range was exceptionally refined.
Perhaps the most remarkable of all was the way the Intimus 5B Harmony SD handled the sound of the massive spacecraft's movements as it panned from the front three speakers over to the surround speakers. The sound was astonishingly three dimensional, even as the sound passed through the middle of the room, right over our heads.
The Bravus 8D sub was in the front right corner of the room, but the low throb of the ship's engines in the back of the home theater gave the impression the small rear Intimus 5B surround speakers were large floor-standing models. In other words, the bass didn't seem to come from the sub; it filled the entire room. We had to remind ourselves that the deep bass was coming from Aperion's smallest subwoofer, which was an extraordinarily good match to CNET's 10- by-20-foot home theater room. Then again, if your room is larger or you're really into bass, you might want to move up to the Bravus 10D dual 10-inch or Bravus 12D dual 1-foot subs.
The Intimus 5B Harmony SD is an expensive system, but when you consider its extraordinary build and sound quality, it's well worth it for audiophiles and home theater fans. We highly recommend it.