Speakers to pair with Onkyo TX-NR686 - AVS Forum | Home Theater Discussions And Reviews
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post #1 of 35 Old 06-08-2019, 10:25 PM - Thread Starter
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Speakers to pair with Onkyo TX-NR686

I want to see if I could get some input/recommendations for speakers to pair with my Onkyo TX-NR686 that I just picked up. The system will go in the basement (in a 450 sq ft space) and used primarily for TV and movies. To be honest, this receiver is probably more than I need, but I figure I can upgrade speakers in the future as money permits.

To start, I'm looking to stick with a 5.1 setup for now, and to stay under $500 for the speakers, so have been looking at possibly the Polk T15's, a T30, and possibly the T50's (if my wife will allow that size) with a Polk sub, or the Pioneer SP-PK22BS. Both seem to have good reviews and stays within my budget. Am I on the right track with these options? I'm not expecting the best amazing sound, but would like something decent for now and can potentially upgrade in the future. Currently in our living room I have an Onkyo TX-SR607 with the Polk RM6750 speakers and it's been ok.

Thanks in advance for any input, I really appreciate it!
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post #2 of 35 Old 06-09-2019, 02:29 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mattb2003 View Post
I want to see if I could get some input/recommendations for speakers to pair with my Onkyo TX-NR686 that I just picked up. The system will go in the basement (in a 450 sq ft space) and used primarily for TV and movies. To be honest, this receiver is probably more than I need, but I figure I can upgrade speakers in the future as money permits.

To start, I'm looking to stick with a 5.1 setup for now, and to stay under $500 for the speakers, so have been looking at possibly the Polk T15's, a T30, and possibly the T50's (if my wife will allow that size) with a Polk sub, or the Pioneer SP-PK22BS. Both seem to have good reviews and stays within my budget. Am I on the right track with these options? I'm not expecting the best amazing sound, but would like something decent for now and can potentially upgrade in the future. Currently in our living room I have an Onkyo TX-SR607 with the Polk RM6750 speakers and it's been ok.

Thanks in advance for any input, I really appreciate it!
You should consider keeping your TX-SR607 and spending the money on speakers instead. Good quality speakers will sound much better on a $200 AVR than cheap speakers on an $800 AVR. AVR companies update their lines every year with new features so previous year models are often on clearance. Your current AVR will have no trouble driving any setup you choose so if it's fully functionality, it can easily be upgraded later. If budget is tight, start with 2.1/3.1 and add a sub and surrounds later. It's better to start off with better components and building up from there then to be constantly upgrading which will end up costing you a lot more money you didn't necessarily have to spend.

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post #3 of 35 Old 06-09-2019, 03:59 AM
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With a $500 budget I would worry about the subwoofer later, when more funds are available. For 5 speakers and a budget under 500 bones, the Polk RTiA line (which is on sale) is much better than the Polk T line, which is their bottom/budget line. Right now on the Polk ebay store they still have one CSiA4 center channel for $110, with it being on sale for $150 on the Polk site. https://www.ebay.com/itm/Polk-Audio-...cAAOSwd15c5vIc


Polk also has the RTiA1 bookshelf speakers for $195 via their ebay store, Amazon or you can get that price on their website. https://www.polkaudio.com/products/rtia1


So going this route you are looking at around $300 for the front three speakers, which would allow you to get a second pair of RTiA1's for surrounds and stay within budget, or you could go cheaper on surrounds and get the Polk R150 bookshelf speakers for $39/shipped. On this site, using promo code 10FS drops the price of a pair of the R150's to the $39/shipped. https://morningsave.com/deals/polk-a...0d&PID=4485850



Doing this would allow you to possibly upgrade in the future if you decided to get the larger bookshelf speakers in the line, the RTiA3, or possibly one of the tower models. This would allow you to slip the RTiA1's to surround duty.



I can tell you the RTiA1 and CSiA4 speakers are very good overall, with good clarity and detail. I've been very pleased with them and in this price range they are a good value. The cabinets are finished in real wood veneer, not a cheaper vinyl wrap like a lot of speakers use. There are other options out there, but this is Polk's second highest line of speakers and the sale price makes them very attractive.

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post #4 of 35 Old 06-09-2019, 06:12 AM - Thread Starter
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Thank you both for the input, that is really helpful!

To clarify, I am keeping the TX-SR607 (it’s upstairs in our living area); the 686 will be downstairs in the basement for a separate setup. I got the receiver for less than $300 on clearance so thought it was a decent deal.

I’ll like the idea of starting out with fewer, better speakers and then adjusting the setup as the budget allows. Thanks again for your help!
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post #5 of 35 Old 06-09-2019, 07:50 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mattb2003 View Post
Thank you both for the input, that is really helpful!

To clarify, I am keeping the TX-SR607 (it’s upstairs in our living area); the 686 will be downstairs in the basement for a separate setup. I got the receiver for less than $300 on clearance so thought it was a decent deal.

I’ll like the idea of starting out with fewer, better speakers and then adjusting the setup as the budget allows. Thanks again for your help!
Do you like bright/in-your-face speakers, neutral, or warm sounding speakers?

Personally, I’m not a big fan of Polk’s anymore. They just aren’t what they once were. Cheaper build quality too.

I would get a pair of front speakers for around $500 and then add a matching center and surrounds as you can. Your choices for quality are limited if you stick with $500 for all the speakers.

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post #6 of 35 Old 06-09-2019, 09:16 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mattb2003 View Post
Thank you both for the input, that is really helpful!

To clarify, I am keeping the TX-SR607 (it’s upstairs in our living area); the 686 will be downstairs in the basement for a separate setup. I got the receiver for less than $300 on clearance so thought it was a decent deal.

I’ll like the idea of starting out with fewer, better speakers and then adjusting the setup as the budget allows. Thanks again for your help!
The above recommendations for Polk RTI-A series are a good option. If you want a tower system, you can go with Boston Acoustics A225c & A250's. Going with A360 puts you only $25 over budget.
https://www.accessories4less.com/mak...1.html?brand_f[]=BOSTON%20ACOUSTICS
https://www.accessories4less.com/mak...r-black/1.html
If you went with 3 A 26 bookshelf speakers up front and A25's for surrounds, you can get the 5.0 base layer within budget.
https://www.accessories4less.com/mak...ck-each/1.html
https://www.accessories4less.com/mak...ck-each/1.html

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post #7 of 35 Old 06-09-2019, 07:32 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dan Hitchman View Post
Do you like bright/in-your-face speakers, neutral, or warm sounding speakers?

Personally, I’m not a big fan of Polk’s anymore. They just aren’t what they once were. Cheaper build quality too.

I would get a pair of front speakers for around $500 and then add a matching center and surrounds as you can. Your choices for quality are limited if you stick with $500 for all the speakers.
Thank you all again for the help! I prefer a warmer sound, but my understanding is that the RTiA1/3 are a bit bright out of the box but warm up over time. I'm hopeful that is the case. I'll also take a look at the BA, but I do like my RM6750's - not too bad for a "cheaper" speaker, and would like something a step up from that, just not a whole lot in the budget right now (once the basement finish is paid off I'll have have more to spend). My thought was I could move whatever speakers I purchase now for the basement to the living room in the future and put something of better quality in the basement and eventually get to a 7.1 setup down the road.
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post #8 of 35 Old 06-09-2019, 09:53 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mattb2003 View Post
Thank you all again for the help! I prefer a warmer sound, but my understanding is that the RTiA1/3 are a bit bright out of the box but warm up over time. I'm hopeful that is the case. I'll also take a look at the BA, but I do like my RM6750's - not too bad for a "cheaper" speaker, and would like something a step up from that, just not a whole lot in the budget right now (once the basement finish is paid off I'll have have more to spend). My thought was I could move whatever speakers I purchase now for the basement to the living room in the future and put something of better quality in the basement and eventually get to a 7.1 setup down the road.

I don't personally care for bright speakers, but I have no problem with the Polk RTiA1. It may lean to the bright side of neutral, but I've never had any listening fatigue or any issues of having to adjust the treble down like I have had with other, brighter speakers. They are just bright enough to offer a great amount of detail and clarity, which is key in a center channel. Warmer speakers tend to be worse for home theater, particularly a warmer sounding center channel. Anyway, from a guy who isn't a bright speaker fan, I really have enjoyed the Polk RTiA1 and CSiA4. Their current prices are slashed substantially compared to what their regular price was originally.

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post #9 of 35 Old 06-10-2019, 09:12 AM
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unless you're married to Polk speakers perhaps look at NHT super series of bookshelf speakers. they'll come in right around your $500 budget if purchased at Amazon.

SuperOne 2.1 for front left and right
SuperCenter 2.1 for center
SuperZero 2.1 for surrounds.

Buy a better subwoofer when you save some more money.
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post #10 of 35 Old 06-10-2019, 09:26 AM
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Originally Posted by mattb2003 View Post
Thank you all again for the help! I prefer a warmer sound, but my understanding is that the RTiA1/3 are a bit bright out of the box but warm up over time. I'm hopeful that is the case. I'll also take a look at the BA, but I do like my RM6750's - not too bad for a "cheaper" speaker, and would like something a step up from that, just not a whole lot in the budget right now (once the basement finish is paid off I'll have have more to spend). My thought was I could move whatever speakers I purchase now for the basement to the living room in the future and put something of better quality in the basement and eventually get to a 7.1 setup down the road.
If you want a nice step up in sound quality, you'd better off saving up some money and putting something together when the basement is finished. If you really want something now, start with a nice pair of Emotiva T1's currently at close-out pricing. Add the rest later on.
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post #11 of 35 Old 06-10-2019, 09:37 AM
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Consider the Sony Core SS-CS5 bookshelf speakers - if you search you will find excellent reviews on them, and they are very cheap.
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post #12 of 35 Old 06-10-2019, 09:49 AM
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Originally Posted by mattb2003 View Post
Thank you all again for the help! I prefer a warmer sound, but my understanding is that the RTiA1/3 are a bit bright out of the box but warm up over time. I'm hopeful that is the case. I'll also take a look at the BA, but I do like my RM6750's - not too bad for a "cheaper" speaker, and would like something a step up from that, just not a whole lot in the budget right now (once the basement finish is paid off I'll have have more to spend). My thought was I could move whatever speakers I purchase now for the basement to the living room in the future and put something of better quality in the basement and eventually get to a 7.1 setup down the road.

If you can wait a couple months, Emotiva is supposed to be releasing their refreshed Airmotiv line with much better styling and finally some Dolby Atmos friendly designs too. There are few speakers in this price range that can match their overall performance... so far anyway. Their ribbon-like tweeters tend to be on the slightly warmer side of neutral, but still have great clarity.
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post #13 of 35 Old 06-10-2019, 10:43 AM
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^^Considering the Airmotiv T1 is on closeout pricing I doubt the new replacement towers will be near his $500 budget. Maybe he can get a couple bookshelf speakers at that price.
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post #14 of 35 Old 06-10-2019, 10:44 AM
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^^Considering the Airmotiv T1 is on closeout pricing I doubt the new replacement towers will be near his $500 budget. Maybe he can get a couple bookshelf speakers at that price.

Yeah, I guess he could start with the T1's as long as the new one's have a similar tonality.

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post #15 of 35 Old 06-13-2019, 05:40 PM - Thread Starter
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Thank you again for the input everyone! I wound up ordering a pair of Polk RTiA3's (got them for $219 new) and a CSiA4 center channel ($109 new). My wife wasn't up for tall floor speakers right now - maybe down the road.

Since I have some money left in the budget, was wondering if I should go ahead and get an inexpensive sub now. Was looking at the Bic America F12 for the sub, but wondering if it's the right fit. The entire space is around 440 square feet and the ceiling is either 8 feet or less. There will be a bed on one side of the room with a couch toward the middle. We have two small kids so I don't need something really powerful (don't want to wake them up late at night), just something inexpensive that sounds good. It looks like there's a number of subs in this price range, but after looking through the forums, a lot of the subs being found for around $200 are either discontinued or more expensive now (e.g. the JBL 550p or Klipsch Sub12hg).

Thanks again everyone, I'll post an update once everything is setup!
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post #16 of 35 Old 06-14-2019, 04:26 AM
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Originally Posted by mattb2003 View Post
Thank you again for the input everyone! I wound up ordering a pair of Polk RTiA3's (got them for $219 new) and a CSiA4 center channel ($109 new). My wife wasn't up for tall floor speakers right now - maybe down the road.

Since I have some money left in the budget, was wondering if I should go ahead and get an inexpensive sub now. Was looking at the Bic America F12 for the sub, but wondering if it's the right fit. The entire space is around 440 square feet and the ceiling is either 8 feet or less. There will be a bed on one side of the room with a couch toward the middle. We have two small kids so I don't need something really powerful (don't want to wake them up late at night), just something inexpensive that sounds good. It looks like there's a number of subs in this price range, but after looking through the forums, a lot of the subs being found for around $200 are either discontinued or more expensive now (e.g. the JBL 550p or Klipsch Sub12hg).

Thanks again everyone, I'll post an update once everything is setup!
I would wait for a sale on a sub. The jbl550 was onsale for 199 a few weeks ago and alot seemed more happy with it than the bic. Klipsch was also on sale last week for $200.
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post #17 of 35 Old 06-14-2019, 05:45 AM - Thread Starter
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Yeah, I noticed good deals are out there every once in a while, but haven’t seen anything right now. I’m definitely willing to wait.
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post #18 of 35 Old 06-14-2019, 02:51 PM
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Originally Posted by mattb2003 View Post
Thank you again for the input everyone! I wound up ordering a pair of Polk RTiA3's (got them for $219 new) and a CSiA4 center channel ($109 new). My wife wasn't up for tall floor speakers right now - maybe down the road.

Since I have some money left in the budget, was wondering if I should go ahead and get an inexpensive sub now. Was looking at the Bic America F12 for the sub, but wondering if it's the right fit. The entire space is around 440 square feet and the ceiling is either 8 feet or less. There will be a bed on one side of the room with a couch toward the middle. We have two small kids so I don't need something really powerful (don't want to wake them up late at night), just something inexpensive that sounds good. It looks like there's a number of subs in this price range, but after looking through the forums, a lot of the subs being found for around $200 are either discontinued or more expensive now (e.g. the JBL 550p or Klipsch Sub12hg).

Thanks again everyone, I'll post an update once everything is setup!

For a $200 budget, the JBL 550p would probably be your best bet. I've had many budget subs in that price range and I liked the 550p and Jamo J112 best of all. The 550p goes on sale occasionally, so keep an eye on the jbl.com website. It would be worth the wait for under 2 bills.


The Polk RTiA3 speakers are really nice for just over $200. I've been very happy with the RTiA1's and prefer them over the Infinity R153's I also have, which are good speakers in their own respect. The CSiA4 for $110 was a great deal, so glad you got in on that while it was still available. For just under $330 you would be hard pressed to beat the front 3 speakers you got. These discounts on the Polk RTiA speakers and the quality of what you get from them make them a great value right now.

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post #19 of 35 Old 06-14-2019, 05:36 PM
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The F12 is a decent budget sub. I got a deal on two for $400 and they sound good in my 14x24 basement theater.
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post #20 of 35 Old 06-15-2019, 08:17 AM
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Yeah, I noticed good deals are out there every once in a while, but haven’t seen anything right now. I’m definitely willing to wait.
If usage is entirely TV/HT, the Bic F-12 would a good option for your budget. If there will be music involved, saving up for a better sub would be wise.

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post #21 of 35 Old 06-15-2019, 09:26 AM
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Wait and save up until you can get a better sub. Do not get one that's less than $500.

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post #22 of 35 Old 06-15-2019, 09:28 AM
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Yeah, I guess he could start with the T1's as long as the new one's have a similar tonality.
the new speakers have been reported to still have the amt , so they should be pretty similar..

YAMAHA TSR 5790.. front l/r emotiva b1's and /or kef q100's ..BIC v1220.....Emotiva basx10.... ascend cbm 170 center.. polk t15 rears..samsung 55" j620d
bedroom .. YAMAHA r-xv 383... front l/r.. wharfedale 10.1s... ascend cbm 170 center ... Emotiva basx8... samsung ku6300 50 in
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post #23 of 35 Old 06-15-2019, 09:29 AM
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Wait and save up until you can get a better sub. Do not get one that's less than $500.
unless you can find a *good * used one dirt cheap...
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post #24 of 35 Old 06-15-2019, 11:21 AM
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Originally Posted by Lp85253 View Post
the new speakers have been reported to still have the amt , so they should be pretty similar..
They sound pretty nice already. A more WAF friendly appearance would likely increase sales. We all know that if Momma ain't happy, ain't nobody happy.
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post #25 of 35 Old 06-15-2019, 12:39 PM
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unless you can find a *good * used one dirt cheap...
I happen to know a guy.
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post #26 of 35 Old 06-15-2019, 07:50 PM - Thread Starter
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If usage is entirely TV/HT, the Bic F-12 would a good option for your budget. If there will be music involved, saving up for a better sub would be wise.
I plan on using it for both, so it's probably worth waiting for something of better quality. I'm not in a huge rush, though once things are setup, I"m sure I'll be a little more eager to find something.
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post #27 of 35 Old 06-15-2019, 08:39 PM
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I plan on using it for both, so it's probably worth waiting for something of better quality. I'm not in a huge rush, though once things are setup, I"m sure I'll be a little more eager to find something.

I would steer clear of the Bic F12 unless $200 is all you will ever be able to spend on a sub. In that case, I would wait for the JBL 550p. The F12 has a very humped frequency response and not much extension to speak of. Definitely far from even close to an accurate sub. Used subs are also a real crap-shoot, as you likely have no idea how old, how abused or how reliable the sub really is.

Subs>RBH I-12e/I-12. HSU VTF-15H mk2. Monolith THX 12 (x2)/THX 10(x2). XTZ 1X12. SVS PB-1000 (x2). Speakers>JBL 270/235c/230/225c, Arena 130/125c. Jamo S807/S803. Infinity P363/163. Sony CS3/CS8/CS5. QA 3020i/3090Ci, 2020i/2000c. Monolith Cinema 5 AMT bs. Polk RTiA1/CsiA4. Other Audio>Sony MDR-Z7m2, WH-XB700, XB32, XB31. Sennheiser HD58X, HD4.50, PC37X. HyperX Cloud PS4 HS. Plantronics RIG500 Pro HS. LG FH6,RK8,RK7,PK5. UE Boom3.
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post #28 of 35 Old 06-15-2019, 09:25 PM
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I would steer clear of the Bic F12 unless $200 is all you will ever be able to spend on a sub. In that case, I would wait for the JBL 550p. The F12 has a very humped frequency response and not much extension to speak of. Definitely far from even close to an accurate sub. Used subs are also a real crap-shoot, as you likely have no idea how old, how abused or how reliable the sub really is.
You can ascertain how old a sub is. And most things sold by reputable members here are well taken care of, being hobbyists.

That is a not a guarantee. But I wouldn't get real paranoid about it.

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post #29 of 35 Old 06-16-2019, 01:46 AM
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I plan on using it for both, so it's probably worth waiting for something of better quality. I'm not in a huge rush, though once things are setup, I"m sure I'll be a little more eager to find something.
You can check out SVS outlet page. With 4th of July coming up, they could run the NSD sale again, though there's likely going to be some sales going on from other manufacturers.

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post #30 of 35 Old 06-25-2019, 10:34 PM - Thread Starter
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Speakers are set up! The RTia3's are definitely bigger than I expected (even though I knew the exact measurements). I like the look though. In regards to sound, now I think I know what "bright" means! The clarity is amazing, but (at least right now), they are a bit tiring to listen to. I'm hopeful that I get used to it over time. I also feel like something is missing, and I think it might be the rear surrounds (We still have our 5.1 setup upstairs so I'm wondering if I'm just used to it). Anyway, might be time to look around for some decent rear speakers (need to get something small like satellites as my wife doesn't want anything large in the back). I'm also going to keep an eye out for a subwoofer sale since the 4th of July is closing in.

With that said, I'm impressed with the speakers and happy with my choice! Thank you all for the feedback - looking forward to getting some good use out of these!
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