我就是要超高性價比 – NHT Super系列環繞聲音箱組合

1吋絲質振膜軟球頂高音單元,音質出奇地兼顧細膩與光澤,為電影音箱帶來絲絲入扣的細節分析力

Hi-Fi音響迷或許對美國NHT這個品牌認識不多,但對於AV影音迷而言,NHT卻被譽為入門級的“勞斯萊斯”級別來看待。很多AV迷都熟悉的幾個專業影院音箱確實很棒,比如瑞典Procella Audio寶仙娜、美國Snell詩韻、Klipsch杰士、MK Sound等等,但這些牌子往往也是售價不菲,以現在流行的全景聲7.1.4聲道全配置的話,實在非一般工薪族玩家可以輕鬆承受的。而美國NHT無論在家用亦或是在專業市場上,則一直堅持走高性價比路線,產品設計低調沉實,因此在AV影院圈中收獲了良好的口碑。

Super One2.1、Super Zero 2.1、中置音箱Super Center和超低音SS-10,輕鬆組成一套高性價比環繞音箱系統

從來都是高性價比好手

這一切都和NHT的市場理念和品牌定位有莫大的關系,從1986年由Ken Kantor和Chris Byrne兩位設計師成立之初,NHT就堅持追求Hi-End聲音素質但相對低廉親民的定價策略,因此產品一直給人物超所值的印象。后來NHT品牌營銷權幾經易手,從90年代先后被Jensen International與Recoton收購,在2002年底又被Rockford Corporation收購。2005年,NHT被Rockford出售給科羅拉多州的Vinci Group。直至2008年,NHT Audio的團隊成員及幾位投資者一起買回了NHT,從此宣告了NHT回歸到一直運營品牌的NHT Audio團隊手上。雖然品牌被多次轉讓,但設計團隊一直維持不變,因此設計理念也一直得以延續。曾經的這段經歷,也足以讓我們了解了為何NHT曾在90年代進入中國市場后風靡一時,而后又漸漸淡出,如今轉換新代理后再次被引入國內市場,雖然大環境已經今非昔比,但從產品中,我們可以見到NHT的初心依然。

這套AV環繞聲音箱組合是NHT的入門級產品,包括前置左右聲道音箱Super One 2.1、環繞音箱Super Zero 2.1、中置音箱Super Center和超低音SS-10,5.1的配置很適合一般家居的使用。隻要再加一對Super Zero 2.1就是7.1聲道,再加兩對Super Zero 2.1作天花聲道就成為7.1.4全景聲,型號配置很簡單卻又靈活滿足不同的需求。

10吋大口徑超低音單元依然能帶來快速、敏銳的響應,而且輸出能量與動態都可滿足電影迷的要求

設計成熟、用料扎實

Super One 2.1和Super Zero 2.1其實是相同設計理念的兄弟關系,皆採用兩路兩單元密閉式設計,區別在於使用的中低音單元口徑和箱體大小的差異。Super One 2.1採用6.5吋長沖程純天然紙漿振膜中低音單元與1吋真絲軟球頂高音單元的搭配;而Super Zero 2.1的中低音單元為4.5吋,其它的設計與用料基本一致,長沖程可確保承載高功率輸入,一致的純天然紙漿材質振膜令音色溫暖飽滿。而在分頻器方面,兩款音箱均採用二階、三階相結合的設計,從而令兩個喇叭單元分頻點銜接更干淨利落,避免過多的頻率重疊,可獲得更清爽直率的聲音。而由於採用密閉式箱體設計,因此理論上低音響應比較倒相式結構更快速干淨,而且更適合用於挂牆安裝。

另外,或許照顧到家庭影院暗黑環境的需求,因此NHT音箱都採用單純的黑色外觀,以避免光線反射影響觀看畫面的專注力。音箱表面的亮光飾板採用在日本制作的乙烯基板,確保經久耐用。而且小如Super Zero 2.1同樣以扎實的箱體用料打造,從而避免不必要的震動音染。同時,我們知道越是干淨的箱體越能獲得更清晰的音質和更龐大的動態。當然了,對於Super One 2.1和Super Zero 2.1,玩家也可根據自己的實際預算和環境情況進行選擇,比如預算充足的話,那麼除了中置和超低音之外,其余聲道都可以選用大一號的Super One 2.1,那可以確保每個聲道最高的一致性。同樣的道理,如果預算不太充裕而且聆聽環境又不太大的話,那完全可以連前置左右聲道都採用小一號的Super Zero 2.1,在較小的環境中這樣的搭配效果也相當不俗。

三款Super系列音箱都採用這種穩定可靠的喇叭接線端子,方便多種接頭的連接

而無論前置左右聲道和環繞聲選擇哪款型號,同系列中搭配的中置音箱都是Super Center,其採用典型的橫置兩路三單元設計,兩隻中低音單元和高音單元與Super Zero 2.1保持一致,因此在音色銜接上確保了整套組合的一致性。而且緊湊的高度尺寸,可方便搭配不同尺寸的電視機和投影幕使用。

這次搭配Super系列環繞音箱的超低音是SS-10,一款外形尺寸小巧卻擁有10吋超低音單元的產品。改良自廠方經典的Super 8,將8吋低音升級為10吋,並且內置250W D類功放驅動。表面的亮光飾板依然採用在日本制作的乙烯基板,因此確保歷久彌新。SS-10同樣採用前置喇叭單元密閉式箱體設計,目的也是為了追求更快的低頻響應速度和干淨清晰的音質。SS-10提供了一對LR兩聲道Line In輸入RCA接口,即使用於接入Hi-Fi兩聲道系統也可方便連接。同時還提供0/180度相位切換功能,方便玩家根據需求調整。連續可調的低通分頻點選擇從40-140Hz可選,另外為適應AV功放的低音管理功能,還可將分頻點扭至LFE位置,那麼低通頻率將交給前端的AV功放處理。

純天然的紙漿材質中低音振膜,帶來快速、干淨的聲音表現

意想不到的中性音質

為這套NHT環繞聲音箱組合搭配Pioneer SC-LX88 AV功放,利用MCACC校正了各聲道參數后,以幾部電影與音樂會藍光片來試聽NHT的效果。首先要說的是NHT這套音箱很好驅動,每聲道D類功放輸出260W(4歐姆)的功率對於這種小巧的音箱而言,可以發揮出音箱最大的潛力,加上先鋒一貫以來中性直白的聲音風格,因此更能體現NHT音箱的本底素質。在環繞聲音效上,這套系統最能讓人動容的是在包圍感及聲音的連貫性上,以《珍珠港》日軍偷襲的一段,日軍戰機從后而上,左、右穿梭的環繞感強,戰機壓境的壓迫感有相當連貫一致的重現,發揮了環繞聲像營造強烈包圍感的要求。再來《超人特工隊》中樹林追逐戰的場景,刀片、飛碟在空中穿梭的連貫及包圍感營造更是值得一贊,Dash飛奔的踏地聲和踏水聲的連貫感更是爽快,聲像的定位結像自然暢順。在《珍珠港》片中的戰爭場面的音效也能印証NHT音箱的音質密度與動態表現,比如子彈激發的中高頻就非常爽快有力,速度與方向感准確鮮明,雖然帶點刺耳的金屬聲很有真實感,其爽快敏捷的效果不失營造了子彈密集緊迫的威脅力。另外,影片中各種重金屬的碰撞聲也清脆而富質感,在演繹這種激列復雜場面的整體效果上,NHT不會讓人失望。而關乎耐聽感的中高頻音質方面,重播《歌聲魅影》的女高音,演唱柔韌有勁,單是中高至高頻之間亦豐富厚潤,應付女高音的演喝毫不吃力。而且其舞台演唱的聲音包圍感也有具不錯的規模氛圍營造,令人很難相信這麼便宜的環繞音箱竟然能表現得比很多Hi-Fi音箱都要扎實有力的音質。

超低音SS-10配備L/R輸入接口,皆用在兩聲道Hi-Fi系統也沒有問題,而相位切換、低通分頻點調整和音量控制都是標准配備

或許很多朋友還會關心這套組合裡的SS-10超低音的表現如何?其10吋的低音單元在速度感和扎實感方面能跟得上其它聲道的音質特性嗎?這方面大家就不用擔心了,雖然低音口徑不算小,但響應速度卻是一點都不會拖泥帶水,在表現動態的電影爆炸、撞擊等音效,SS-10的表現完全稱職的,而換作表現交響樂團的低音樂器鋪墊,SS-10又能呈現出足夠的深沉和具有韌性的音質,一點都不會有分析力不夠的模糊和動態不足的拖沓等情況,足以証明其設計和聲音表現都令人滿意。

對於一套入門級的家庭影院環繞聲效果而言,NHT的表現力實在令人驚喜,也難怪這麼多年來NHT總是能獲得海外媒體的高度贊揚了。當然這並非說入門音箱就沒有缺點,表現完美。事實上,這套NHT Super系列的音質細膩感和中頻飽滿感還有進步的空間,與高級Hi-Fi音箱相比有不小的距離,但由於多聲道先天具有更佳包圍感的優勢,因此在重播電影音效時這個差距被無限縮小了,假如你想音質更上一層樓,NHT也有更優秀的高端產品線等你去賞識,比如我聽過用Luxman L-509合並功放驅動NHT高端產品C4落地箱,其表現Jazz樂的清爽與激情是很有味道、很有水准的,而且無論分析力與音場開揚感都達到很高的水准。假如用NHT高端音箱組成多聲道影院的話,那表現決定值得期待。

轉載自 “新音響” 

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NHT C3 BOOKSHELF SPEAKER REVIEW

The NHT C3 is a compact 3-way bookshelf speaker with a dome midrange and acoustic suspension cabinet. The C3 replaces NHT’s best-selling Classic Three. NHT claims the C3 offers a modest sound quality improvement over the Classic Three, along with improved serviceability and sturdiness.

Three-way bookshelf speakers are rare. Adding a dedicated midrange can provide dispersion and distortion benefits, but adds complexity and cost. SECRETS recently covered two other 3-way bookshelf speakers: ELAC UniFi UB5 Slim and Bryston Mini A. These three speakers take three different approaches to the midrange in a 3-way: large dome (NHT), concentric cone/waveguide (ELAC), and small cone (Bryston).

I have owned a pair of Classic Threes for years. I currently use them as rears. When NHT offered their C3 speakers for review, I was eager to see and hear if they could best an, ahem, Classic.

Highlights

Introduction

NHT stands for “Now Hear This,” and has a special resonance for audiophiles who came of age in the late 1980s and early 1990s. NHT’s original lineup, from Model 1 to Model 3.3, were instantly recognizable by their slim baffles set at 21 degrees and anti-diffraction foam strips.

NHT BOOKSHELF LOUDSPEAKER REVIEW SPECIFICATIONS

NHT has mostly used acoustic suspension (sealed) cabinets. See the “Design” section below for more about this design choice. NHT’s founders, Ken Kantor and Chris Byrne, have moved on, but NHT continues their legacy of distinctive, affordable high-performance speakers.

NHT’s currently offers three tiers of freestanding speakers and a custom installation range. The C3 speaker reviewed here is NHT’s flagship bookshelf speaker.

Design

The NHT C3’s looks like an updated Classic Three at first glance. NHT straightened the walls and replaced curves with sharp angles. It was a successful update.

My wife quickly pronounced her preference for the C3’s “clean lines” over our Classic Threes’ “blobby curves.” The Classic Three is so curvy that it requires rubber-tipped aluminum rails to sit flat on a stand!

Angled facets flank the C3’s midrange and tweeter, providing some diffraction control and visual character. Closer inspection reveals that the facets are three separate triangles, not flat planes. I associate this level of cabinet detailing with more expensive brands, such Joseph Audio or Avalon Acoustics.

NHT offers the C3 in one finish: hand-polished gloss black with 7 coats of lacquer.

While gloss black is NHT’s signature finish, I think the C3 would look great the sycamore veneer from the Kantor era. A matte white finish would also suit these cabinets. The C3’s grille attaches with pegs that fit into the driver flanges.

NHT also updated the C3’s midrange and tweeter. The C3’s domes have individual faceplates, which makes driver replacement simpler and cheaper compared to the Classic Three’s ovoid mid-tweeter flange. The aluminum dome tweeter is now a 1″ unit. The foam is gone. NHT specifies crossovers at 817 Hz and 4750 Hz, no orders provided. The new dome midrange thus plays a little higher than the Classic Three’s midrange did.

Like NHT speakers past, the C3 has a sealed cabinet.

Most speakers today have bass reflex cabinets.

The main advantages of going sealed are as follows: the box acts as a spring to prevent over-excursion; 12 dB/oct. low frequency rolloff; no colorations from port resonances. Bass reflex speakers offer higher efficiency just above port tuning. However, they roll off at 24dB/oct. below port tuning, do not protect the woofer, and can have midband pipe resonances. Below is a representative model of a 6.5-inch woofer in closed and vented boxes of roughly the NHT C3’s size. The closed box is blue and the vented box is pink.

Setup and In Use

I auditioned the NHT C3 alone and with subwoofers. Oddly, NHT does not provide placement recommendations in the box, and their website does not have a manual for the C3. I placed the C3s on 30″ tall subwoofer-stands, which put their tweeters at ear height. The speakers were 11.5 feet apart, and the distance from each speaker to the listening position was 13.3 feet.

Like the Bryston Mini A and Monitor Audio Silver 1, the NHT C3 is fairly inefficient. Still, three relatively lower-powered amps (ELAC EA101EQ-G, MartinLogan Forte, and Parasound Zamp v3) powered them satisfactorily. Obviously, my reference ATI AT4007 had no trouble driving them.

The treble was a little hot with the C3’s fired directly at the listening position. I found the best treble balance at a very NHT-appropriate 21 degree toe-in. I use Howard Massey’s SpeakerAngle iOS app to ensure symmetrical toe-in. By contrast, the Classic Threes sound best in this room firing straight ahead. As with the Classic Three, rotation had very little effect on midrange/bass tonality or imaging at the listening position.

NHT’s C3 speakers had no immediately obvious sonic signature. Their midrange and treble are substantially neutral. It took much listening to identify their subtle highlighting of details in guitar or vocal accompaniments as a slight forwardness. Image stability and dialog intelligibility held up very well when I stood up in the sweet spot. Run subless they sound lean, some might say “fast.” Their shallow closed box rolloff made subwoofer integration easy.

Iron and Wine “Beast Epic” I think of Iron & Wine as a modern Simon & Garfunkel, Cat Stevens, or Jim Croce. Like those men, Sam Beam is a skillful melodist with a warm, soothing voice that meshes well with acoustic guitar. He also has their knack for lyrical storytelling. “Beast Epic” is best enjoyed as a continuous rinse of music, not atomized tracks on a playlist.

So vinyl was the natural medium. The NHT C3s’s neutral, clear sound let the record wash over me.

The dome midrange and tweeter highlighted the Beam’s fret work at the beginning of “Thomas County Law” without hardening it. The multilayered vocals on the song were soothing and lush. The NHT C3’s slightly emphasized the pop of the bongos in “Call it Dreaming,” but otherwise smoothly conveyed the richly layered sound buried in the grooves and placed the musicians across our front wall. “The Truest Stars We Know” also sounded great, though the lowest notes were heard rather than felt in 2.0-channel mode.

Mahler Symphony No. 5. Minnesota Orchestra Osmo Vanska conducting

I had not listened to this symphony in quite a while, so when I saw this new interpretation on TIDAL I was curious. From the first bars, Vanska’s interpretation proved quite different from the hyper-dramatic Bernstein/Vienna Mahler 5 I grew up with. Comparatively, Vanska almost dissects the symphony.

For example, compare the second trumpet solo in the first movement, starting at around 5:27 on the Vanska and 6:10 on the Bernstein/VPO. Bernstein’s is a cyclone, Vanska’s a sonorous trumpet solo. Still, I think it is a recording to digest rather than rejecting because it’s unfamiliar. BIS offers it in 5.0 channel SACD, so guess what was recently added to the library!

The spacious and clear recording suits Vanska’s interpretation. The NHT C3’s threw a slightly flatter soundstage than my reference, but every bit of the recording’s width, separation, and dynamics came through. The NHT C3s pulled off the rich low brass sound captured in the recording. The treble range was open and clean, and the treble “bite” sounded a little more natural than on the Classic Threes.

Joy Division Unknown Pleasures (2007 remix)

Joy Division was a late-1970s/early-1980s post-punk supernova that morphed into New Order after singer-songwriter Ian Curtis’s death. “Unknown Pleasures” was their brooding, stormy debut album.

The NHT C3 speakers played “Unknown Pleasures” with clarity and detail.

 Curtis’s baritone-ish voice projected clearly, without the syrup an overripe upper bass can cause. The NHT C3’s clarity and neutrality suited the album’s opening track, “Disorder,” especially well.

The C3’s provided excellent separation between each part and effect, and slightly greater clarity than the Classic Three. Augmented with subwoofers, the NHT C3 deftly executed the “huge wall of sound playing through a tin can” spatial paradox of “New Dawn Fades,” and even subless Peter Hook’s bass line had enough heft to propel the song. The apparent size of the wall of sound was just smaller. The C3’s slightly forward midrange drew my attention to the electric guitar noodlings accompanying Curtis’s vocal entrance, but not distractingly so.

Pearl Jam 2016/04/11 Tampa, FL

Pearl Jam sells “official bootlegs” on their website in multiple formats. The highest-resolution options, lossless 24/96 “ALAC-HD” or “FLAC-HD,” cost about $20. Not a bad deal for 90-120 minutes of music! On Black Friday they had a half-price sale, so I picked up this show and a few others containing my favorite rarely-played Pearl Jam tracks.
One such track, “Red Mosquito” from No Code, convinced me that the NHT C3’s could really rock out. Matt Cameron’s kickdrum came through with nice punch and some tactility even without subwoofers, and his high-hat decayed crisply.

Mike McCready’s audacious slide guitar work soared unfettered into the room from those two metal domes. “Come Back,” from their oft-neglected – except at SECRETS! – eponymous “Avocado” album, is one of the few pure ballads in the Pearl Jam canon. It is one track where I would have preferred a more laid-back presentation than the NHT C3 provided. Pearl Jam closed the concert with a cover of Hendrix’s “Little Wing.” I have not heard Pearl Jam play Little Wing as a standalone song before, though they’ve often played parts of it in the outro to their traditional closer, “Yellow Ledbetter.” Through the NHT C3’s, you could almost hear the crowd being brought gently back to earth.

On The Bench

Fair warning: this section is necessarily quite dense. If you skim this section, pay closest attention to the following three measurements: on-axis frequency response, CEA-2034A listening window, and the polar map.

Research indicates that a few measurements dominate our perception of speaker sound quality. These measurements are: bass extension, on-axis frequency response flatness and smoothness, and off-axis frequency response smoothness. Other measurements, such as distortion, correlate poorly with perception. Accordingly, my bench sections focus on frequency response both on and off-axis, the latter through polar maps that are a huge pain to make but graphically illuminate previously mysterious aspects of speaker sound in rooms. I also measure impedance to determine how hard a speaker is to drive and confirm the speakers were not damaged in shipping.

Aside from impedance, I measure after listening to avoid biasing my audition. For this review I took frequency response measurements outdoors, except obviously the listening room response. All frequency response measurements are 1/12-octave smoothed.

Impedance

Let’s start with the NHT C3’s impedance curve.

The peak at ~70Hz indicates the box tuning frequency. The minimum impedance is just under 4 Ohms between 100 and 200 Hz. The NHT C3 is not difficult to drive. The two samples show excellent consistency, with just a small and irrelevant difference in the impedance peak around box tuning.

The NHT C3 has a single set of binding posts, so I was unable to measure the woofer and midrange/tweeter sections separately. The frequency response of the whole speaker is below, on axis and at 15, 30, and 45 degrees off axis.

The most obvious takeaway from this set of measurements is that the NHT C3 is just superbly flat overall. The most notable deviation is a small but broad plateau starting just above 1kHz and going to 5kHz. Many speakers, such as the Bryston Mini A, are slightly depressed in this region. As expected from the impedance measurement, the -3dB point is about 65Hz. Bass rolloff is the expected 12dB/octave. The tweeter’s resonance falls at about 24kHz, which is very good for an aluminum dome.

I initially thought the dip and bump from 300-500 Hz was a measurement artifact. However, they both show up in the listening position response (below), and the measurement height was different from the listening height. So I believe they are real. Measurements of the Classic Three (below) show similar behavior.

Given the broad dispersion of a 2″ midrange dome and no foam to mitigate edge diffraction, I was curious to see if there were measured diffraction effects that were not apparent to me in listening. Nope: the facets work! The curves were remarkably similar.

The next graph shows the listening window response. While in previous reviews I calculated the listening window according to the Canadian NRC method, starting with this review I will use the CEA-2034A standard. The CEA-2034 listening window response is an 8-point average: on axis; -10, 10, -20, 20, -30, and 30 degrees off axis horizontally; -10 and 10 degrees off axis vertically.

That is one of the tightest listening window responses I have seen. There is a slight but broad midrange hump, which may account for the slight forward bias observed in listening.

For a more finely-grained view of the NHT C3’s horizontal sound output, let’s look next at the polar map.

The absence of small flares above 500Hz indicates substantially resonance-free performance, which correlates with two of the C3’s best attributes: clarity and detail. Like the Bryston Mini A, the NHT C3 has roughly 120-degree coverage all the way up to about 7kHz, where the pattern narrows due to the tweeter dome diameter. Even in the top octave, the C3 maintains 60 degrees of coverage. That is excellent for a 1″ dome.

The NHT C3’s slight midrange elevation causes the bulge in total sound output visible from about 1.5kHz to 4.5kHz. This bump is small, but the extra energy shows up in all angles because the speaker’s coverage is so even.

The next graph shows the averaged response at my listening position for the left speaker, right speaker, and both combined.

Both speakers’ response at the listening position matched very well. Bass extension goes down to 50Hz, which surprised me. I perceived them as bass shy without subwoofers. Because of the C3’s shallow closed box bass rolloff, they can excite room modes that a vented speaker with a similar cutoff cannot. The midrange elevation appears in these measurements, but otherwise the midrange and treble smoothly decline as expected from a good speaker in a reasonable room.

Normally I strongly recommend limiting any EQ or automated room correction based on listening position measurements to the modal region and below. However, due to their broad and smooth response the NHT C3 is the rare speaker that may benefit from correction above the modal region. If you use the C3’s with a parametric EQ or room correction system such as ARC, Dirac Live, or the Audyssey MultEQ App, try raising the maximum EQ point all the way up to 5kHz or so and see if you prefer the sound. You may not, but it is worth trying.

As discussed above, the dip-peak from 300-500Hz measured outdoors also appears in the room measurements.

While the horizontal off-axis response is considered perceptually more important, the vertical off axis response matters, too. The next chart shows the NHT C3’s response from 30 degrees above axis to -30 degrees below axis, in 10-degree steps.

I did not find the C3 to sound much different standing vs. sitting at the listening position. The measurements confirm the C3 has very smooth response above axis. The notch that develops at about 4.5kHz may indicate the midrange/tweeter crossover point. NHT later confirmed to me that the midrange crosses to the tweeter at 4750 Hz.

While I did not find the NHT C3’s grilles audibly consequential, the below graph indicates they have a measurable effect in the upper midrange and treble.

Lastly, given NHT’s comments about the C3 being a minor sonic update to the Classic Three, I decided to measure one of my Classic Threes concurrently with the C3’s. While SECRETS has not measured the Classic Three, at least two other publications have. My Classic Three measured similarly to those published measurements.

The first graph compares the listening window of the Classic Three and C3.

No question, the C3 has smoother and flatter response than the Classic Three. My listening window measurement of the Classic Three shows less top octave than the published NRC listening window. This difference is because the CEA-2034A listening window measurement covers a wider horizontal angle, and the Classic Three’s tweeter has surprisingly narrow radiation in the top octave.

The next graph is a “split polar map.” It shows the horizontal radiation of the C3 on top (-90 to 0 degrees), and the horizontal radiation of the Classic Three on the bottom (0 to 90 degrees).

While both speakers have objectively excellent off axis performance, two differences are interesting. The Classic Three has wider coverage from about 600Hz to about 1.5kHz, and basically the same coverage over the next octave. Thus, the Classic Three does not share the C3’s overall midrange output bump. Perhaps NHT revoiced the woofer/midrange crossover? NHT suggested to me that this difference in lower midrange directivity may result from the different cabinet shape. Additionally, and surprisingly, the C3’s 1″ dome tweeter puts much more sound into the room above 7kHz than the Classic Three’s .75″ dome tweeter.

Conclusions

THE NHT C3 are great speakers to build a system around. Even more so with subwoofers.

NHT’s C3 bookshelf speakers really impressed me. They look great, sound great, and measure superbly. And in true NHT tradition, they accomplish all that at a very reasonable price. While I liked their predecessor Classic Threes enough to buy a pair for myself and deploy them in several systems, I believe NHT is too modest when they claim the C3’s sonic improvements are “relatively minor.” The C3 is better in every measurable way, and I never preferred the Classic Three to the C3 in listening.

For my tastes, the NHT C3 requires subwoofers for optimum performance. Fortunately, their sealed boxes and relatively high cutoff match the assumptions in AVR bass management tools. Thus, integrating subwoofers with a pair of NHT C3’s is less painful than usual. A new system could start with a pair of C3’s and add subwoofers later. Starting with great speakers is generally a more satisfying system building approach than starting with subwoofers. For a compact 2.1-channel system with very high performance potential, consider a pair of NHT C3’s with two identical subwoofers and an ELAC EA101EQ-G or MartinLogan Forte to integrate the speakers and subs. Such a system would punch well above its weight, cost, and ease of setup.

Based on my audition, audiophiles who resist subwoofers may be better served by NHT’s C4, which appears to be a floorstanding C3 with two supplemental 6.5″ woofers. It has about the same footprint as a C3 on a stand. But if you’re less of a basshead than I am, or you’re willing to add subwoofers, the NHT C3 bookshelf speakers will provide a wide open window into your favorite music.

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NHT

NHT將會是我們重點推界產品之一,特別是這對C-4,表現真令人驚訝!

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