Infinity Beta 20 series
Few audio companies with a lineage as revered as that of Infinity Systems ever make the transition to the mainstream with their high-end principles intact. Case in point: Infinity's Beta Series. The line ranges from the Beta 10 bookshelf monitors ($330 per pair) to the Beta 50 tallboy speaker ($998 per pair). In this review, we'll be looking at the Beta 20 bookshelf speaker ($398 per pair or $199 each), which can be used as both your main front- and rear-channel speakers in a surround setup--or serve as the rear-channel speakers when combined with Infinity's Beta towers.
Like the other speakers in the Beta line, the Beta 20 employs Infinity's patented Ceramic Metal Matrix Diaphragm (CMMD) speaker-driver technology originally developed for the company's high-end Prelude MTS models. CMMD drivers are said to be lighter and stronger than conventional paper, plastic, or metal drivers. According to Infinity, CMMD drivers produce lower levels of distortion for a more transparent and detailed sound.
The Beta Series' tweeters have recently been revised to extend their ultra-high-frequency response out to 40KHz to enhance their performance with SACD and DVD-Audio disc formats. The tweeter is mounted in a special waveguide to ensure improved high-frequency dispersion throughout the listening room. We also noted that the engineers positioned the tweeter unusually close to the midrange driver, and that close proximity further improves the speaker's sound quality and imaging precision.