CNET logo Why You Can Trust CNET

Our expert, award-winning staff selects the products we cover and rigorously researches and tests our top picks. If you buy through our links, we may get a commission. Reviews ethics statement

Aperion Intimus 632-LR Bookshelf Speaker review: Aperion Intimus 632-LR Bookshelf Speaker

Aperion Intimus 632-LR Bookshelf Speaker

Steve Guttenberg
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 Stereophile.
Steve Guttenberg
2 min read
We took our first look at Aperion a few years ago when the online direct-sales company offered just one satellite speaker and three subwoofers. Aperion's ever-expanding line now features a bunch of new models, all boasting upgraded technology and improved sound quality. The 632-LR bookshelf speaker is the largest "satellite" ever offered by Aperion: it's 15 inches tall, 7.75 wide, and 12.75 deep, and it weighs in at 26 pounds. The company sells the 632-LR direct on its Web site for $299.
The 632-LR is fitted with a 6.5-inch composite woofer and a 1-inch soft dome tweeter. Like its sister speakers in Aperion's Intimus line, the 632-LR utilizes HD-X3 impedance-leveling crossover technology, which is said to produce better sound, greater efficiency, and an easier "load" for amplifiers than did the crossovers used in previous generations of Aperion speakers, such as the otherwise identical predecessor, the Aperion 622-LR. The 632-LR's gold-plated five-way binding posts accept single or dual banana plugs, spades, pins, or bare wire.
Pick up the Aperion 632-LR and the first thing you'll notice is that it's a lot heavier than you thought it would be. Here's why: instead of relying on commonplace 0.5- or 0.75-inch-thick medium-density fiberboard (MDF), Aperion cabinets are constructed from 1-inch-thick high-density fiberboard (HDF). The heavily braced cabinet minimizes resonance to produce more accurate sound. Cheesy, vinyl-wrapped boxes are the norm, so we give Aperion major props for its meticulously crafted real cherrywood and high-gloss piano-black finishes. Aperion's extrathick foam packing materials and blue velour "socks" protect the speakers on their way to you. It all adds up to a very classy presentation.
And to top things off, if you buy the 632-LR as part of a multichannel speaker package (such as the System E configuration), Aperion will include a high-quality sound-pressure meter to help you get the best sound from your system. Aperion is so confident that you'll love the 632-LR, the company sells it with a 30-day money-back return policy. UPS Ground shipping is free (ditto the return shipping if you're not satisfied) in the continental United States. The speaker is sold with a 10-year warranty.
We listened to DVDs with a pair of 632-LRs partnered with an Aperion 533-VAC center speaker, two Aperion 532-LRs as surround speakers, and the Aperion S-10 subwoofer. The 632-LRs withstood The Day After Tomorrow DVD's full-frontal assault like a pro, and the sound was detailed, without a hint of harshness or edge. Elvis Costello's new Live in Memphis DVD video was a lot of fun. The band tore through old and new tunes with gusto, and the 632-LRs' small stature never crossed our minds.
On Los Lobos' Live at the Fillmore CD, the sound balance was rich and warm, as if the guys were right there in front of us, and their guitars had lots of transient detail. Even after we turned off the subwoofer, the Aperion 632-LRs' bass more than held its own. This is one speaker that we can wholeheartedly recommend to music lovers.

Aperion Intimus 632-LR Bookshelf Speaker

Score Breakdown

Design 8Features 8Performance 8