“Let our rigorous testing and reviews be your guidelines to A/V equipment – not marketing slogans”
Facebook Youtube Twitter instagram pinterest

EMP Impression Series E55Ti Tower Speakers First Look

EMP Tek E55Ti Tower Speakers

EMP Tek E55Ti Tower Speakers


  • Product Name: Impression Series E55Ti Tower Speakers
  • Manufacturer: EMP Tek
  • Review Date: March 04, 2010 04:10
  • MSRP: $995/pair (intro pricing at $795/pair)
  • First Impression: Gotta Have It!
  • Three 6-1/2" (165mm) Poly-matrix Woofers
  • Dual 5-1/4" (133mm) Aluminized Poly-matrix Woofer
  • 1" (25mm) Fabric Dome Tweeter
  • Recommended Power 50-200 Watts
  • Impedance 6 Ohms
  • Frequency Response 40Hz-20kHz ±3dB
  • Crossover Frequency 120 Hz/ 3,000 Hz
  • Sensitivity 88dB (2.83V@1m)
  • Dimensions 8½" W x 47 ½" H x 12¼" D
  • Weight 52 lbs. (23.59 kg.)
  • High-gloss Red Burl or High-gloss Black Ash

One has to worry when a speaker comes out at an unbelievable price point. We know we did when EMP Tek (EMP) released their E5Ti Floorstanding speakers at only $400 (street price). But those turned out to be an incredible value for the money. They have pretty much been universally regarded as one of the best bang-for-buck speaker offerings out there. Unlike many of the "fly-by-night" value offerings that are more hype than anything else, EMP is backed by the technology and know-how of their parent company RBH Sound.

There were some knocks against the E5Ti speakers, however, and one was the height. They were an extremely short speaker putting the tweeter well below ear height when seated. The other thing that bothered us was stability. Even at the shorter height, the speakers were hard to stabilize. Well, EMP listened to the feedback and they've address both issues with their new offering - the E55Ti Tower Speaker.

The differences between the shorter E5Ti speakers and their larger brethren are substantive. This is not a cosmetic difference. In fact, at first blush, the speakers look identical. The shape is the same, the drivers are the same, heck, even the color options are the same. We loved the way the entire EMP Tek Impression line looked and that impression hasn't changed. What is different, of course, is the size of the speaker and driver compliment. While the E55Ti Tower Speakers have all the same driver models, they change their number. The E55Tis have added a third 6.5" poly-matrix cone woofer and a second 5.25" aluminized poly-matrix midrange. While anyone can throw a few extra woofers in a box, EMP is actually taking a different design approach.

Many enthusiasts are familiar with the D'Appolito configuration. This is a Midrange-Tweeter-Midrange (MTM) design where the tweeter's output is directed primarily at listeners in the horizontal plane, minimizing reflections with the floor and ceiling, resulting in increased clarity and a broader “sweet spot.” We've written an article about the benefits of the D'Appolito MTM design.  EMP employed this design with the new E55Tis. The D'Appolito portion of the speaker is actually sealed in its own box within the cabinet. This does dual duty, adding stability and bracing to the cabinet while also allowing EMP to tune the midrange and top end of the speaker. The three remaining woofers are enclosed in an L-shaped area that takes up the entire lower half of the speaker and extends behind the midrange/tweeter box to the top of the speaker. This portion of the speaker is vented to increase bass output.

Bass output is something that EMP has been known for. They often rate their speakers conservatively. We found that the E5Ti's, in our review, had better in-room response than the specs suggested, and we feel confident that these new speakers will perform similarly. According to EMP Tek, the E55Tis are rated down to 40Hz. We wouldn't be surprised to find in-room response down to the mid-30's depending on placement.

The E55Ti speakers stand 47.5" tall - a full foot taller than the smaller towers. This should put the tweeter very near ear level. But one of our biggest gripes with the smaller E5Tis was stability. If a smaller speaker is not very stable, how will adding a foot to the height help? Well it won't, but EMP has a solution. While they aren't pictured in any of the press materials, EMP has developed a "stabilization bar" that will attach to the bottom where the spikes would attach on the smaller speakers. This bar is essentially an outrigger that will utilize the same "jester hat" style spike EMP owners are familiar with. They extend off the sides of the speaker parallel and near the front and back walls. While these stabilization bars will be standard on the E55Tis, they will be offered as an add-on for the smaller E5Tis. We think this is an awesome idea and can't wait to see how this is implemented.

The smaller E5Tis had dual pairs of binding posts on early production runs but really shouldn't be bi-amped. They ended up in later runs including only a single set of binding posts. While the larger bass section of the EMP E55Tis might suggest that bi-amping could be a benefit, EMP once again decided not to recommend that particular feature. At this price point, that's not exactly standard but we've seen speakers at much higher price points that you can't bi-amp, so it isn't unheard of.


We really like what we see with the new EMP Tek E55Ti Tower Speakers. This new entry into the Impression Series sure has impressed us. EMP has addressed all of our issues with their earlier speaker offering. One thing to consider is the new MTM configuration should provide a fairly unique tonal experience. While we expect that EMP will voice these speakers to match their other offerings, we are expecting a significant performance increase. All this technology, looks, and improvements for under $800 street price? Looks like the new E55Ti speakers should be another winner for EMP Tek.

For more information please visit www.emptek.com.

Unless otherwise indicated, this is a preview article for the featured product. A formal review may or may not follow in the future.

About the author:
author portrait

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.

View full profile