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Aperion Audio Verus Surround Dipole/Bipole Speaker Preview

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Aperion Audio Verus Surround Dipole/Bipole Speaker

Aperion Audio Verus Surround Dipole/Bipole Speaker

Summary

  • Product Name: Verus Surround Dipole/Bipole Speaker
  • Manufacturer: Aperion Audio
  • Review Date: September 20, 2011 09:45
  • MSRP: $299/each
  • First Impression: Pretty Cool
  • Buy Now
Frequency Response (+/- 3dB) 90Hz to 18,000Hz -- (+/- 6dB) 80Hz to 20,000Hz
Impedance 6 Ohms
Sensitivity Bipole: 88dB -- Dipole: 78dB
Recommended Power 20-200 Watts
Tweeter Dual 1" Audiophile-grade ASR Tweeters
Woofer Dual 4.25" Aperion PhaseSync Drivers
Driver Configuration 2-Way
Enclosure Type 1" HDF, Ported
Dimensions 9.5" H x 13" W x 7" D
Weight 13lbs

Executive Overview

When we first reviewed the Verus Grand speakers from Aperion Audio our first thought was, "What, no dedicated surround?" Sure, the Verus Grand bookshelf speaker is a quality offering, but in a dedicated home theater, you don't want a bookshelf on a stand for a surround. No, you want something wall mounted. We immediately started bugging Aperion for a surround speaker. Finally, they come through and have introduced the Verus Surround Speaker.

To be honest, the Verus Surround speaker is designed to be paired with the Verus Forte line more than the Verus Grand. It shares the same coaxial driver as the Verus Forte Satellite speaker though it is priced more in line with the Grand line at $299 each. Like many dipole/bipole designs, the Verus Surround has a trapezoidal shape with the drivers on the two angled faces. In the case of the Verus Surround, this equates to a single 4.25" Aperion PhaseSync driver with integrated 1" Aperion ASR tweeter on each side. They are mounted fairly high up on the baffle with a small, flared port near the bottom. We're not sure if there is a port on each baffle or if there is only one.

Verus-surround_back

The back of the speaker is fairly spartan with a single set of five-way binding posts and two rubber nubs that cover threaded inserts for use with the included wall bracket. The speaker is a relatively heavy 13 pounds and is 9.5" tall by 13" wide by 7" deep. Like the rest of the Verus line, the Verus Surround eschews the industry standard MDF for the more rigid (and expensive) HDF for the enclosure material. The speaker comes in either a high gloss black or high gloss cherry furniture-grade veneer with acoustically transparent, magnetic grilles. A 10 year warranty, free shipping, and lifetime technical support are included as they are with all Aperion offerings.

There are a few concerns with the Verus Surround speaker from Aperion. First, the "pictures" on the site look more like renderings than actual photographs. From what we could see, there is no bipole/dipole switch. In fact, we looked in the downloadable manual and there is no indication anywhere in the text how to change the speaker from bipole to dipole. Also, the frequency response rating is a bit concerning. The Verus Surround is rated down to 90Hz at -3dB and 80Hz at -6dB. We generally like to see a surround speaker play down to -3dB at 80Hz for easier integration with a subwoofer.  We're curious to hear how this speaker would hold up in a real world environment, especially with boundary gain helping out the bass response when mounted against a side wall.  We still recommend an 80Hz crossover setting as a starting point for your system.  But, if you have the ability to set the crossover higher for the surrounds, you may achieve better results with a 90Hz setting.  Remember though that its usually inadvisable to set a global crossover much higher than 80Hz which will bring the subwoofer into the range were even casual listeners can localize it.

Conclusion

The Aperion Audio Verus Surround speaker fills a hole in the Verus line that has been begging for a plug. While we still have some questions about the speaker (how to switch it from dipole to bipole, how well it will integrate with a sub) there is no denying it is a welcome addition to the line. Meant (from the driver choice) to be paired with the Verus Forte line rather than the Verus Grand, we look forward to the Verus Surround's bigger brother. Right, Aperion?

For more information, please visit www.aperionaudio.com.

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About the author:

As Associate Editor at Audioholics, Tom promises to the best of his ability to give each review the same amount of attention, consideration, and thoughtfulness as possible and keep his writings free from undue bias and preconceptions. Any indication, either internally or from another, that bias has entered into his review will be immediately investigated. Substantiation of mistakes or bias will be immediately corrected regardless of personal stake, feelings, or ego.

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Recent Forum Posts:

Cruise Missile posts on September 21, 2011 09:34
Okay, I ran some sweeps and have found the following items to be true.

- While the sensitivity is way low in dipole mode, they're actually fairly linear right down to the 80hz. crossover point I'm using. (When placed PROPERLY in-room)

- I had an issue with the location of my equipment rack causing the sound to not reach the listening position correctly. The drivers that are supposed to fire to the rear of the room were instead reflecting off the side of my rack. Raising the surrounds a couple of inches allowed the sound to bounce off the walls and re-combine at the listening position with a much improved sound.

- I can be an idiot sometimes. :o The surrounds these replaced were much taller and cleared the rack in the same location.

- Trust your ears! I indeed had an an issue with the speakers in dipole mode, just not one the speakers were responsible for.

- If you are going to put your foot in your mouth, try not to step in anything beforehand.
Cruise Missile posts on September 20, 2011 19:17
I appreciate the replies and open discussion here. Says a lot of the character of the folks at Aperion, as well as your enthusiasm for your products.

I am pleased with these surrounds (in bipole), I was simply relating my experience with them in my room. I also agree that it could be a cancellation issue due to the out of phase nature of a dipole speaker.

Sounds like a great opportunity for an formal review by Audioholics!

As far as anyone else reading, this could be due to the speakers reaction to my room and placement YMMV. Also keep in mind I could be expecting too much due to just how stunningly good the rest of the Verus Grands are!
valvesnvinylfan posts on September 20, 2011 18:13
Hi Mr. Missile, hope you're having fun with our Verus surrounds. I would say Gene pretty much hit it on the nose: With dipole, there will always be a perceived cancellation of bass in the null position, which Audyssey is probably not reading correctly and therefore it is getting the bass xover points wrong as a result in both dipole and bipole modes (I mean, as good as we think the Verus surround is, there’s no way it can do 40 Hz bass in bipole mode—at least, not anything usable–leading to the boundary gain issue mentioned here as well). So, it sounds like these may simply be par-for-the-course Audyssey quirks when it comes to phase issues, boundary gain, etc.

So it sounds like they’re probably working as they should, especially from the null position, but here’s an easy test you can try at home: If you have a test tone disc or can download test tones from the web, try to play a bass test tone warble decay that's lower than 200Hz through the speakers and move about them/get close to them while they're playing: This way, you’re no longer in the bass null, and you can get a better idea of the speakers' lower end response, though you will always get less low end bass reach through dipole mode than bipole mode no matter what. I’ve tried that test here with our speakers, and I can get weaker (but still very usable) bass response down to 80Hz or so in dipole mode. If it really is not playing anything below 200, then it's possible they’re not working as they should, and you can certainly exchange them within your 30 days as we don’t want you to keep those speakers if they’re not working as they should. Thanks for choosing Aperion Audio, hope this helps, and let us know if we can be of any further assistance.
Cruise Missile posts on September 20, 2011 16:52
gene, post: 831776
NEVER trust Audyssey or any auto-room correction system to properly set crossover frequency for your speakers. Audyssey can't deal with a boundary gain of a speaker placed closely to a wall so it will assume the speaker is large and set a low crossover point. As for bipole vs dipole, the dipole setting puts the drivers out of phase to create a more diffuse sound field. This again could be tricking Audyssey.

Try both settings with Audyssey disabled to see which you prefer. You may also want to consult with the manufacturer for more options and guidance.

I fully agree about not allowing Audyssey to chose the crossover points/speaker size. By default I reset the speaker sizes to “small” and choose an 80 Hz. crossover point.

While setting up the system I tried switching from bipole to dipole and was startled by the drop in bass. Enough so that when I finally got around to running Audyssey, I ran it a couple of times changing from bipole/dipole to see if it heard what I heard. The results seem to support this at least on the surface.

In the bipole setting this speaker is a treat to listen to. It blends with the Verus Grands surprisingly well considering it's diminutive size. I Am enjoying this speaker quite a bit with both multi-channel music and movies.

Switch to Dipole and it sounds as if only the tweeters are playing. I fear it may be due to the midrange drivers canceling each other out by sharing the same enclosure and port while being out of phase with each other.

I will contact Aperion soon about my experience, I wanted to give a fair amount of listening before calling them up.
gene posts on September 20, 2011 15:37
I have a pair here.

There is a switch for switching between Dipole/bipole. There is only the one port it resides on the opposite baffle from the switch.

As far as freq. response it's really good in bipole mode. Dipole mode is a different ordeal altogether. The speakers are crippled in this mode.

I haven't taken any measurements, however I can report what Audyssey Multeq XT32 found.

Audyssey set the crossover @ 40 Hz. in bipole setting. Dipole setting nets a crossover set by audyssey at 200 Hz. which is unusable for any sort of decent theater.

I may be using Aperions 30 day trial to replace these with another pair of the Versus Grand bookshelf speakers. The blend with the rest of the Verus Grand line is pretty good in bipole mode though…..

NEVER trust Audyssey or any auto-room correction system to properly set crossover frequency for your speakers. Audyssey can't deal with a boundary gain of a speaker placed closely to a wall so it will assume the speaker is large and set a low crossover point. As for bipole vs dipole, the dipole setting puts the drivers out of phase to create a more diffuse soundfield. This again could be tricking Audyssey.

Try both settings with Audyssey disabled to see which you prefer. You may also want to consult with the manufacturer for more options and guidance.
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