I've long admired Aperion Audio's Intimus speakers, but for one reason or another, I never auditioned the company's higher-end Verus speakers. The line starts with the $350-per-pair Verus Forte satellite speakers, but I went for the bigger Verus Grand bookshelf speakers that run $598 a pair. The speaker has a 1-inch dome tweeter and 5-inch woven Kevlar woofer. It measures 13 by 7.5 by 9 inches, weighs 14 pounds, and the curved sided cabinet feels like it's well put together.
Aperion Intimus speakers' satin real cherry wood or high-gloss black finishes are superb, but the Verus' gloss cherry is even better. The review samples' finish is on par with what I'd expect to see on speakers that sell for at least double the price. Gloss black is also available, but my one criticism of the Verus design is the black frame that surrounds the front baffle; it's at odds with the speaker's otherwise clean lines.
The Grands can be used as stereo front left and right speakers or as surround speakers in a home theater system. I listened to them as stereo front speakers, teamed up with a Denon AVR 1912 receiver and Oppo BDP 93 Blu-ray player.
The sound was clear and very pure, but the speakers didn't make a lot of bass. The stereo soundstage was broad and wide open; the Grands' refined sound is aimed at a more "audiophile" buyer than the other Aperion speakers. Still, I felt that for home theater use the Grands really need to be partnered with a subwoofer, like Aperion's Bravus II 8D ($499), but if you're only going to listen to music the Grands might make enough bass on their own. I also auditioned the Grands with our older Aperion 8-inch sub, and the speakers sounded like big towers. Ah, but the current Bravus II 8D sub would bring the price for the speaker and sub up to around $1,100, and for less dough I'd rather listen to a pair of Intimus 5T tower speakers ($950 per pair). The Verus Grand bookshelf speakers are beautiful, but without a sub I don't think they make a lot of sense.
Aperion sells direct, so you can hear the speakers for yourself and return the speakers (and sub) if the sound isn't up to snuff. Shipping is free anywhere in the contiguous U.S. and Canada, and free return shipping is also covered in the U.S.