Ascend Acoustics CBM-170 Bookshelf Loudspeaker
Ascend Acoustics is doing consumers a favor, cutting out the middle man. They are a direct to the consumer speaker manufacturer which keeps the price down. We recently had the opportunity to review their CBM-170 bookshelf speaker and evaluate its performance.
Look and Feel
The speakers have a very "clean" look to them, and we preferred the look without the grills. The grills were a nice match to the speaker, featuring the same round edges found on the speakers.
The speakers are 12"x9"x10", appearing almost square
when sitting on stands. The flat black finish wasn't
our favorite, as we prefer the glossy look like NHT speakers.
The feature we liked the most about these speakers, were the very nice set of 5 way binding posts. The binding posts used were of excellent quality, and made excellent, good sounding connections with a variety of connection types that we used during testing.
Features - 4.5/5
These speakers are very crisp, and provide a tremendous sense of depth. Mid Range and treble were both produced with excellent clarity. However, we weren't overly impressed with the amount of mid-bass produced, especially considering the larger woofer size. The bass that was produced was very crisp and clean though. As with most bookshelf speakers this problem was easily cured, by teaming them with a subwoofer.
Performance - 4.5/5
Ascend Acoustics has definitely built a nice looking, incredibly accurate speaker that makes music come alive. The $360 price tag for 2 may be a little steep for someone trying to build a 5 speaker system, but you would definitely be well served by starting with 2 CBM-170's as your left and right channels. For music, we haven't found a speaker we prefer over the CBM-170s yet.
Overall - 4.5/5