Viewing Review: For the price, a miraculous speaker. Capable of causing goosebumps when matched with a good subwoofer. - AVS Forum | Home Theater Discussions And Reviews
For the price, a miraculous speaker. Capable of causing goosebumps when matched with a good subwoofer. Edit
by imagic Combined Rating: 4.2
I confess, I am a bit of a SP-BS22 addict. I've probably bought more pairs of this speaker than any other. I have recommended it to more friends than any other speaker I can think of. I currently...
Pros Cons
  • Excellent tweeter renders smooth, detailed highs. Can be used without a subwoofer. Measures near flat, sound is uncolored.
  • Limited output without a subwoofer. Not the most exciting looking speaker. Relatively large considering the size of the drivers.
I confess, I am a bit of a SP-BS22 addict. I've probably bought more pairs of this speaker than any other. I have recommended it to more friends than any other speaker I can think of. I currently have two pairs in my house, although I've had as many as four pairs at once in the past.

When on-sale, the Andrew Jones designed bookshelf costs $99/pair. Considering the quality of the drivers and the cabinet, it's amazing these speakers can be sold for a profit. I am a bit of a speaker hacker, and I had to see what the drivers in the BS22 were like. It's clear the Andrew Jones put a priority on generous magnets, because compared to a pair of Polk bookshelf speakers I also took apart, the Pioneers have gigantic magnets. There was no skimping on the parts that matter, and that includes the very solid, curved cabinet.

The woofer is rather small, measuring a mere 4" across. That doesn't impede its performance, so long as the speaker is not pushed to deliver club-level volume with dubstep. At moderate listening levels the output is full-range and very satisfying. With a little care in placement, the BS22 produces a nice holographic soundstage, with precise instrument placement and a sense of depth that belies their relatively small size, and undeniably small price.

The one-inch dome tweeter is slightly recessed in a metal waveguide. The tweeter itself is precisely machined, and is capable of tremendous output—after all it is the same tweeter that is used on the SP-FS52 tower speaker. When the SP-BS22 is crossed-over with a subwoofer, its performance improves dramatically. Even using a 80Hz crossover allows the little Pioneer to sing like a Soprano. The tweeter does not break up or compress, even when pushed to irresponsible levels. This is a tremendously useful quality, because it means these speakers are a good choice for a surround-sound system. When used as part of a 5.1 or 7.1 system—consisting of either all BS22s or a mix along with the FS52 towers—the resulting system performs far above its modest price point.

My listening habits lean towards electronic music, dub, and hip-hop. In those genres, the BS22 does not disappoint, as long as it has a subwoofer's support. For movies, the precise imaging and the smooth, clear highs make for a very dynamic surround-sound experience. The soundfield becomes three-dimensional and has a tangible, believable quality to it that lesser bookshelf speakers cannot conjure.

When I first bought the overachieving Pioneer, I was so enthralled with the sound, I built up a new system with three pairs. I bought a fourth pair and powered them with a mini amp for use as near-field monitors, which is very pleasing and still in use today. Eventually I did replace two pairs of the BS22s in my main system with FS52s, but one pair of displaced BS22s became "front height" speakers, fully realizing the potential of my Pioneer Elite SC-55 receiver. Which brings me to another point—I bought my AVR based on my experience with the BS22, which really was like a gateway drug. Now my system has plenty of Pioneer in it, and I blame Andrew Jones' over-performing little bookshelf for starting that addiction.
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Ka7niq 10-28-2013, 05:12 PM

Good Review!
You might want to try and find an older Infinity Subwoofer with RABOS for the little Pioneers.
Once you have heard bass set up properly with RABOS, you will be impressed.
Andrew Jones is a great speaker designer, who did the old Infinity Prelude PFR's that I owned, until their foam surrounds fell apart.

I wish Pioneer would turn him loose on a little more expensive line of speakers.

Daekwan 08-19-2013, 02:56 AM

Just purchased the pair from Amazon for $79.. yes $79!! In fact I purchased 2 pair at the price. And 4 of the FS52s at $87 each and 2 of the C22 center speakers for $70 bucks a piece. They have the entire set on sale right now at both Amazon & BestBuy. So act fast if you are interested.

So get this.. I paid $324 for the complete 5 speaker HT surround set. And bought TWO sets for home. One my family room on the 1st floor of my home and the other for my dedicated HT room in the basement. I was already tempted to buy the complete set for $549 (including the subwoofer) from Pioneer, BB or Amazon. When I recieved the email price alert that they were currently discounted.. I couldnt help myself and now have two complete sets for $648.

Of course I still have to purchase a sub to compliment each set. I've heard the SP8 sub that is designed to compliment this set is a little weak due to the 8" woofer. So i'm probably going with the Dayton Audio $109 10" sub in the family room and $129 12" sub in the dedicated basement HT. Hell I might even order ANOTHER pair of the BS22's for dedicated basement HT so that I can have my first ever 7.1 surround setup.

If I purchased everything above ($648 for 10 surround speakers + $229 for 2 subs + $79 for final pair to complete 7.1) I would have still paid less than $1000 ($956) for a complete 5.1 and complete 7.1 speaker set. That price is incredible for pretty much any speaker set. That they are the highly rated Andrew Jones 52/22 setup makes me happier and makes this deal seem even more unbelievable!

HowardV 07-13-2013, 10:14 PM

Absolutely an amazing sounding speaker considering the price. I didn't need a pair, but ended up buying one anyways because it was just too good for the price. Now I just have to find a place for them.

Dark Matter 07-09-2013, 04:56 PM

I'm happy with mine, too. I got a pair of sats, the towers, the center, and still using my Onkyo sub. I look forward to a second pair once I step up to 7.1. I also had a Pio receiver, the 1123K, but it was giving me problems and I hated the remote so I returned it.

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