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HTD Level Three (black) review:

HTD Level Three (black)

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The Good Terrific sound; superb value.

The Bad Big black boxes.

The Bottom Line Folks looking to set up a great-sounding home theater for not too much money should audition these speakers.

CNET Editors' Rating

8.0 Overall

The little details set Home Theater Direct's Level Three home theater system apart from the crowd. Exhibit A: The two pairs of gold-plated five-way binding posts on each speaker, though unremarkable for high-end audiophile gear, are incorporated into a system that costs a paltry $749. Exhibit B: The sound is sure to please all but the most fastidious listener who demands very high volumes.

The little details set Home Theater Direct's Level Three home theater system apart from the crowd. Exhibit A: The two pairs of gold-plated five-way binding posts on each speaker, though unremarkable for high-end audiophile gear, are incorporated into a system that costs a paltry $749. Exhibit B: The sound is sure to please all but the most fastidious listener who demands very high volumes.

Wood-Grained Beauty Is Skin Deep

The Level Three system consists of four, large two-way satellite speakers, an even bigger center channel, and a beefy, 12-inch, front-firing powered subwoofer. The 15.8-inch satellites each have a 6.5-inch midrange driver inside and a 1-inch silk dome tweeter. The center channel has two midrange drivers and a single tweeter; its 22-inch width, 9.5-inch depth, and 22.3-pound weight demand a separate shelf above or below your TV set, as trying to balance its bulk atop a TV seems awfully precarious. Three of our review speakers had a nice midgloss black sheen, while the other two were painted dark cherry. Though the finish is much nicer than vinyl-wrapped speakers, they're not much to look at, especially sitting next to the Edge Audio speakers in our listening room.

The Level Three subwoofer's textured wood veneer looks like it belongs to another speaker system. You'll probably hide it in a corner of your living room, so style isn't the biggest concern anyway. On its back you'll find all the necessary connections, including line and speaker level inputs and outputs, crossover and volume knobs, and a phase switch.

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