CE Pro Hands On with Hard-Rocking mini

February 1, 2012

Hands On: PSB Imagine mini Bookshelf Speakers

PSB's Imagine mini Bookshelf Speakers Rock as Hard as Dedicated Two-channel Loudspeakers Two or Three Times Their Size

By Arlen Schweiger

Canadian manufacturer PSB Speakers picked an apt name for its Imagine Mini bookshelf loudspeakers. At first glance, it’s hard to imagine how much quality audio these Minis can put forth. But once you start listening, that answer becomes crystal clear - the Imagine Minis rock as hard as dedicated two-channel loudspeakers two or three times their size.

Features

With dimensions of 5.75 x 9.25 x 8.3 inches, the Minis can be plugged into various listening setups. Each contains a 1-inch titanium dome tweeter with ferrofluid neodymium magnet, plus a 4-inch clay/ceramic-filled polypropelene cone woofer with rubber surround. When you remove the grille, the industrial build quality is evident, down to small details like the PSB Speakers brand badge in front of the tweeter. PSB measures sensitivity at 87dB and on-axis frequency response of 55 Hz to 23 kHz. The 6.5-pound speakers come in black ash, dark cherry, walnut wood veneer, gloss black or gloss white finishes to meet a variety of interior designs.

Setup

The Minis provide a couple of options for connecting speaker wire to the terminals situated beneath the cabinet, which is yet another design detail that makes them appealing. Depending on where the speakers are placed, you can either thread wire horizontally through the holes that access the terminals, or you can connect directly from below. I tested the speakers in a couple of setups. In the first, hooked up to Anthem gear, I used generic 12-gauge bare wire. When I switched to electronics from NAD , I connected the Minis with heftier-sheathed QED cables terminated with banana plugs.

Value

At $760 per pair, this is about the only place clients might bat an eye - and that’s only if they perceive to be paying a lot for small bookshelf speakers. They won’t think twice after you demo them. With their versatility and uniqueness, combined with rock-solid performance, the Minis are sure to develop a nice following in the audiophile world. The top end is clean, and midrange very detailed. PSB has a sound reputation, and including these can only enhance your audio line.

Imagine mini Dancing

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