PSB Imagine mini Speaker Preview
- Product Name: Imagine mini
- Manufacturer: PSB
- Review Date: July 31, 2011 18:00
- MSRP: $760 per pair ($830 w/gloss white/black finish)
- First Impression: Pretty Cool
- Design Type: Rear Port Bass Reflex
- Woofer: 4" Clay/Ceramic filled Polypropylene Cone, Rubber Surround
- Tweeter: 1" Titanium Dome with ferrofluid Neodymium Magnet
- Frequency response: On Axis @ 0-degrees ± 3 dB, 55-23,000 Hz; On Axis @ 0-degrees ± 1 1/2 dB, 65-20,000 Hz; Off Axis @ 30-degrees ± 1 1/2 dB, 65-10,000 Hz; LF Cutoff -10 dB, 50 Hz
- Sensitivity: Anechoic Chamber 85 dB; Typical Listening Room 87 dB
- Impedance: Nominal, 8 ohms; Minimum 6, ohms
- Input power: Recommended 10-80 watts; Program 80 watts
- Crossover: 2,200 Hz, LR4
- Internal Volume: 0.1 ft3 (3.1 litres)
- Dimensions (including grille, feet, and terminals): 5-3/4" wide, 9-1/4" high, 8-3/8" deep
- Weight: 6.5 lb each
Sure, we all love to read about the cost-is-no-object, heavy enough to require a forklift during delivery, we only wish we could someday afford but, even if we could, we could never see ourselves putting out that much money for anything not a house, speaker offerings. They are fun. Cryogenically frozen magnets, cabling shielded by EM interference by a jacket of woven baby seal fur, weapons-grade aluminum enclosures...the list of "features" justifying their incredible cost is almost too long to be believed. Well, you can't believe them for completely other reasons but they are fun to read. In real life, however, we often have to make compromises. We want great sound (we are Audioholics aren't we?) but we also need something that will get past the wife and will also work with our rooms. If we are lucky, we have lots of choices. But if we are looking for small speakers, it gets much harder to find great sound when everyone is peddling little plastic cubes.
PSB is looking to change that their their new PSB Imagine mini speaker - a speaker so small, it doesn't even get a capital letter. At 5.75” wide x 9.25” high x 8.3” deep and weighing 6.5 lbs, the PSB Imagine mini speaker should fit into nearly any environment. The speaker is rear ported for additional bass with binding posts hidden behind a cover near the bottom. There are two holes to fish the wires through you can use banana plugs as well.
Regardless of size, what a real Audioholic is interested in is sound. The PSB Imagine mini speakers are rated, both on and off axis, down to 55Hz at -3dB and 65Hz at -1.5dB. That's pretty impressive at this size and well under the 80dB crossover point suggested by THX. The minis utilize a 4" Clay/Ceramic filled Polypropylene Cone woofer and a 1" Titanium Dome tweeter. The speakers present an 8 ohms nominal, 6 ohm minimum load which should be no problem for any amp on the market these days. With a maximum suggested input power of 80 watts, the Imagine mini speakers are obviously designed for smaller rooms or for light duty (PSB suggests that they'd be perfect for nearfield or computer audio playback). The tweeter is crossed over a bit lower than most (2.2kHz) so that the drivers can be placed closer together than usual, minimizing interference between them.
PSB utilized a curved cabinet to reduce internal resonances. The speakers are covered in a number of real wood veneers (Black Ash, Dark Cherry or Walnut) though Gloss Black or White will cost you a bit extra. The Imagine mini speaker have matching stands and custom brackets available for a variety of placement options.
While PSB touts the $760 price point as being very reasonable for this level of performance (and they may well be right), some consumers are going to question such a small speaker for that price. The fact is that PSB has utilized a lot of the technology in the popular and critically-acclaimed Synchrony Series speakers. Owners of those speakers (or just those that have heard and liked them), are sure to be intrigued. While we understand the need for the port of increased bass response, having it placed on the rear of the speaker (a common problem problem with small speakers) will hamper placement as they may experience bass bloat if that port is placed too close to a wall or other boundary (a common placement for smaller speakers).
The PSB name alone is sure to bring interest to these new tiny bookshelf speakers. Utilizing a proprietary bracket or stand will give you many more placement options but we wish they would have used something more universal as the PSB offerings are sure to be expensive. With a response down to 55Hz, the specs on the PSB Imagine mini speakers are almost too good to be believed. We'd love to get our hands on some for a review and really put them through their paces. They very well may live up to the $760 price tag.
For more information, please visit www.psbspeakers.com.
The Imagine Mini’s listening- window response (a five-point average of axial and +/–15-degree horizontal and vertical responses) measures +0.93/–1.19 decibels from 200 hertz to 10 kilohertz. An average of axial and +/–15-degree horizontal responses measures +1.40/–1.38 dB from 200 Hz to 10 kHz. The –3-dB point is at 80 Hz, and the –6-dB point is at 71 Hz. Impedance reaches a minimum of 4.03 ohms at 284 Hz and a phase angle of –61.64 degrees at 132 Hz.
The bass is amazing for speakers this size, and the midrange, in true PSB style, absolutely sings and lacks the fatigue I feel with my Paradigm Studio 10s (which, to be honest, are punchier on bass and treble.)
If you can afford them and need small speakers for a specialized application, you won't be disappointed.