The statuesque 633-T tower speakers are the largest ever offered by Aperion Audio, the online direct-sales speaker manufacturer. The speakers stand 41.5 inches tall, 10.1 wide, and 18.1 deep. They weigh 70 pounds each--that's 14 pounds brawnier than Aperion's other tower, the 533-PT powered towers. The company sells the 633-T on its Web site for $499 each.
The speaker uses two 6.5-inch composite woofers and a 1-inch soft dome tweeter. Aperion's new HD-X3 impedance-leveling crossover technology is said to produce better sound, greater efficiency, and an easier load for amplifiers than the crossovers used in previous generations of Aperion speakers. The 633-T's gold-plated, five-way binding posts accept single or dual banana plugs, spades, pins, or bare wire.
Pick up any Aperion speaker and the first thing you'll notice is that it's a lot heavier than you thought it would be. Here's why: instead of relying on commonplace 0.5- or 0.75-inch-thick medium-density fiberboard (MDF), Aperion cabinets are constructed from 1-inch-thick high-density fiberboard (HDF). The heavily braced cabinets minimize resonance to produce more accurate sound. And unlike the cheesy, vinyl-wrapped surfaces that are the norm for a lot of speakers these days, all of Aperion's speakers sport real cherrywood or high-gloss piano-black finishes.
Aperion's extrathick foam packing materials and blue velour "socks" protect the speakers on the way to you. And to top things off, if you buy the 633-T with a multichannel speaker package (such as Aperion's System E bundle), Aperion will include a high-quality sound-pressure meter to help you get the best sound from your system. Aperion is so confident that you'll love the 633-T that the company sells the speaker with a 30-day, money-back return policy. UPS Ground shipping is free (ditto the return shipping if you're not satisfied) in the continental United States. The speaker is sold with a 10-year warranty.
We found the Aperion 633-T to be a little sensitive about placement. Position them too close to the rear wall and the bass can turn muddy, while putting them too far out in the room will result in lost focus and detail. If you want to extract the best sound from your investment, be prepared to move the speakers around your room to find the magic spot where the sound locks in. At that point, install the provided machined brass leveling feet and brass footers to protect your floor's finish. The feet definitely firmed up bass detail and definition.
Living with the Aperion 633-T, we were once again reminded us that even the better satellite/subwoofer systems can't match the sonic gravitas of a full-size speaker system. Big special-effects-driven DVDs came alive over the 633-Towers; scary films, such as the truly gruesome Saw, were scarier, and we noted the speakers sounded less like home theater and more like the sound of a great movie theater. Size still matters.
Home-theater performance was strong, but we'd bet a lot of folks will buy the Aperion 633-T for its musicality. CDs had the midrange naturalness we crave and rarely get from smaller speakers; bass instruments have satisfying weight and nuance. Crank up hard rock from the likes of Queens of the Stone Age or the Ramones and the 633-Ts will kick serious butt. Jazzophiles will dig the speakers' free-flowing swing and natural ease. Yes, in smaller rooms, satellites are the only practical option, but if you're lucky enough to have the luxury of space--say, 400 square feet or more--go for the gusto and try a set of 633-Ts. And since Aperion offers free shipping--even for returns--you have nothing to lose.