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PSB Imagine X1T review: Refined towers could use some pep

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The Good The PSB Imagine X1T has a revealing sound that lets acoustic music, classical and vocals sound natural and refined. The styling is tasteful, and the front bass port frees up speaker placement compared with more typical rear-ported designs.

The Bad This tower comes up short on big speaker oomph and power.

The Bottom Line The PSB Imagine X1T is a sweet-sounding speaker and very easy to listen to, but it lacks the gravitas of other similarly sized and priced towers.

7.4 Overall
  • Design 8
  • Features 7
  • Sound 7
  • Value 7

Stand-mounted speakers like the B&W 685 S2 are great if you have a small space, but if you want to to fill a large room with sound you need to go for floor-standing towers. Until it was discontinued, the PSB Image T6 was the reference floor-standing speaker in the CNET audio room, forming the backbone of many of the reviews on these pages for the last few years. The T6 has been replaced by the new Imagine X2T ($1,299, AU$2,199), but the Imagine X1T ($898, £749, AU$1,599) reviewed here offers a glimpse at its performance for a much keener price.

The X1T is a little more diminutive than other floor-standing speakers at its price, but still offers a 2.5-way configuration and the deeper bass extension you can only get from a tower. Their sound is likeable and they're attractive with the yellow drivers contrasting against the black cabinets. And yet something's missing.

The PSBs are up against some tough competition. They don't resolve as well as the SVS Prime Towers and they don't rock as hard as the Klipsch RF-62-II . While the PSBs try to approximate the SVS's revealing nature, it can turn to brashness with poorly recorded material.

Shortcomings aside however, if you're a fan of acoustic music or jazz you might find the PSB Imagine X1T fits the bill very well.

Design and features

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Sarah Tew/CNET

Standing at only 34.5 inches (0.9m) tall the PSB Imagine X1Ts are on the small side for a floor-stander, and in our audio room they were simply dwarfed by the 5 inches taller Klipsch RF-62-IIs.

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Sarah Tew/CNET

The X1T has a 1-inch titanium dome tweeter, which is protected by a plastic guard, paired with two 5.25-inch woofers in a striking yellow finish. While they may look similar to B&W drivers, they are actually constructed of a ceramic/polypropylene hybrid and not B&W's iconic Kevlar. The X1T is available in a single-finish option of faux black ash, and weighs 38 pounds (17kg).

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Sarah Tew/CNET

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