Niro 1.1 Pro II review: Niro 1.1 Pro II

CNET Editors' Rating

4 stars Excellent
  • Overall: 8.0
  • Design: 8.0
  • Features: 8.0
  • Performance: 8.0
Review Date:
Updated on:

The Good Single-speaker surround system; elegant design; demure 8-inch subwoofer; compact multichannel amplifier; straightforward setup.

The Bad Surround effect localizes to a concentrated sweet spot; you supply your own DVD player.

The Bottom Line Niro's lock on the virtual surround-sound formula just gets tighter and tighter; this single speaker/subwoofer/amplifier 1.1 Pro II system approaches the state of the art.

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Intro

Compare Niro's 1.1 Pro II surround-sound system with a typical home theater in a box (HTIB), and a number of important differences immediately stand out. Where most HTIBs feature five or six satellite speakers, a subwoofer, and lots of wires, the Niro has just one larger-than-average speaker with a thick hookup cable and a subwoofer with a skinny wire. Next, while the Niro system doesn't include a DVD player, its amplifier is a good deal smaller than any receiver you've ever seen. Oh, and the 1.1 Pro II's full-bodied sound trumps most of the virtual-surround competition. Niro sells the 1.1 Pro II through the company's Web site for $990. Setup chores are as straightforward as they get: hook up the 1.1 Pro II's superspeaker and subwoofer's one-way-in connectors and a digital cable from your DVD player and cable/satellite box, and you're done. After that, there's nothing to adjust and no menus to navigate--we were watching a DVD in five minutes.

The ultracompact amplifier measures just 7.9 inches wide, 2.2 inches high, and 11.7 inches deep--that's a lot smaller than any receiver we can think of. You can even stand it up on its end and tuck it in next to your TV. It will fit in the most cramped spaces.

The matching superspeaker is beautifully finished in satin silver with gray fabric grilles. It's about as big as a full-size center speaker, and it measures 19 inches wide, 4.3 inches high, and 7.9 inches deep. If that's too large, check out Niro's smaller virtual-surround systems, the Niro 400, 600, or Reference . In any case, the preferred speaker placement scenario is on top of your TV or at the base of a flat-screen TV, angled up towards the listeners' ears. Blocking the speaker's sides would be a major no-no--that would muffle the surround effects. The 1.1 Pro II's satin-gray, one-foot cube subwoofer sits on solid brass cone feet and weighs 14 pounds.

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Where to Buy

Niro 1.1 Pro II

Part Number: NIRO 1.1PRO II

Pricing is currently unavailable.

Quick Specifications See All

  • Color black
  • Speaker System Type home theater speaker system
  • Nominal (RMS) Output Power 150 Watt
    50 Watt
  • Amplification Type active
  • Connectivity Technology wired
About The Author

Ex-movie theater projectionist Steve Guttenberg has also worked as a high-end audio salesman, and as a record producer. Steve currently reviews audio products for CNET and works as a freelance writer for Home Theater, Inner Fidelity, Tone Audio, and Stereophile.