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Infinity Beta 50 review: Infinity Beta 50

The Ray Charles biopic DVD Ray presented an opportunity for the Beta system to rear back and shout. Ray's voice sounded absolutely fabulous--it was big and warm--and his trademark growl will send shivers up your spine. The scene where Ray Charles first improvises what turned out to be a megahit, "What'd I Say?" best demonstrates what makes the Infinity Beta 50 so special. The tune starts with Ray laying down a funky groove on his organ, and the band slowly comes in. Even the crowd's applause sounded right--few speakers in the Beta's price class sound as convincingly realistic. Later on in the film, there's a recording session with a roomful of violins, and the Betas sounded like a set of high-end speakers.

We ended our auditions in two-channel mode, listening to the Beta 50s on their own. Radiohead's Kid A CD projected a near holographic soundfield--the Beta 50s' stereo was so remarkably three dimensional, we thought we had accidentally turned on our receiver's Dolby Pro Logic II surround processing. On some tracks, Radiohead's highly textured sound hovered just behind the plane of the speakers. The bass was deep enough to convince us that some buyers might be able to forgo a subwoofer.

We guess you can tell we were blown away by Infinity's Beta 50s, and we didn't want to send them back. They're that good.

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