I've reviewed hundreds of speakers, and back when I was selling high-end audio, I auditioned many hundreds more. Summing up those experiences here's what I've learned: they all sound different, but some sound more "right" than others.
"Right" connotes an even-tempered balance that doesn't call attention to itself and is likely to wear well over the years. The Aperion Intimus 5T-DB Hybrid HD should do just that. You can read my full review for Ultimate AV here.
The Intimus 5T-DB Hybrid HD ($2,829) is a six-piece system featuring a pair of 5T towers, the 5C center speaker, a pair of 5DB dipole/bipole surround speakers and a remote-controlled subwoofer, the Bravus 10D. True, the speakers don't look all that different than previous generations of Aperions, but as they say, the devil is in the details.
Aperion sells direct from its Web site with a 30 day money back return policy. UPS Ground shipping is free in both directions, and Aperion doesn't collect sales tax in the continental US. Feel free to try the Intimus 5T-DB Hybrid HD as I reviewed it -- and then if you decide, heck, I want the larger Bravus 12D sub that'll be no problemo. Aperion will pay for the Bravus 10D's return shipping and you'll just pay the difference in price between the two subs.
The Intimus 5T-DB Hybrid HD is a big step up from the Intimus 4T Hybrid SD ($1,569) I reviewed for CNET a few months ago.
My auditions with the 5T system started with a visceral rush induced by the Spider-Man 3 Blu-ray. The Intimus 5T-DB Hybrid HD may be comparatively small (piece by piece), but I quickly determined the speakers and sub have the combined gravitas of a much larger and more expensive system.
I was consistently impressed by the way the five speakers developed vast, wrap-around soundstages. For example, when bad guy the Sandman (Thomas Haden Church) is pulverized within a scientific experiment, the texture of the sand grains was palpable, which added immensely to the emotional pull of the on-screen action. It wasn't just the 5DB surround speakers--the entire Intimus 5T-DB Hybrid HD's first-rate integration was responsible for maintaining the illusion.