Definitive Technology CLR 2500 review:

Definitive Technology CLR 2500

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4 stars

CNET Editors' Rating

The Good Terrific bass for a center channel.

The Bad Less than terrific treble.

The Bottom Line Unusually gutsy sound for a center speaker.

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8.0 Overall
We found it strange to adjust our surround sound decoder's center channel setting to Large, but considering the power of the Definitive Technology C/L/R 2500 speakers, it'd be more appropriate to call this control Supersized. Replete with a built-in powered eight-inch subwoofer, these speakers provide impressive bass, especially when compared to most other center speakers. We found it strange to adjust our surround sound decoder's center channel setting to Large, but considering the power of the Definitive Technology C/L/R 2500 speakers, it'd be more appropriate to call this control Supersized. Replete with a built-in powered eight-inch subwoofer, these speakers provide impressive bass, especially when compared to most other center speakers.

Unlike most Definitive Technology speakers, the C/L/R 2500 is not bipolar; instead, it has drivers only in the front. Depending on its placement, a bipolar center speaker's rear-facing drivers can annoyingly bounce sound off of the screen of a TV, especially off the hard glass of direct-view sets. Otherwise, the C/L/R speakers are much like smaller versions of the BP2002TL towers. The C/L/R 2500 uses the same mid/bass drivers and tweeter as the BP2002TL in the same D'Appolito array (developed by and named for Joe D'Appolito), with the tweeter centered between bass/midrange drivers to control dispersion. Like the BP series, the C/L/R 2500 can also be bi- or tri-amplified, and its subwoofer amp has a line-level input. The sound was clearest for us with the subwoofer level knob positioned at 12 o'clock. This shielded speaker isn't much to look at; the front and top are covered entirely with black grille cloth. For the sides of the device, you have a choice of gloss black for $799 or cherry for $899. And though this is pricey, it's not beyond reason, considering the built-in sub.

Overall, the sound was clear but not quite crystalline. The sparkle could be restored with a 1-dB treble boost. However, many home-theater systems disable the tone controls for Dolby Digital or DTS decoding--the primary modes in which a center speaker operates. The subwoofer's sound was tight and plentiful but did not go dramatically low; a rock fan could be happy with a system made of five C/L/R 2500s, but an organ freak would want to add an independent sub, crossed over very low, to fill in the bottom octave or so. As a center channel, the C/L/R 2500 integrated very smoothly with the BP2002TL towers. Because it can easily produce unusually high levels of sound for a center channel, it's an especially good choice for people who listen at loud volumes and for those with big rooms.

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