Six years ago I wrote a post about the Behringer B215XL speaker and how I found its 2-way design featuring a compression horn tweeter made it quite suitable for home theater use and its overall pleasant sound even allowed it to excel at music. The one caveat is that they require a subwoofer because that’s how they are designed: Deep bass response is sacrificed for efficiency.
Overall the design of the speaker is great for home theater. It's all black, comes with an integrated molded horn featuring a 1.75" compression tweeter, and built in accommodation for wall mounting. As a bonus, the standard warranty is 3 years.
A Proven Economical Solution for High Impact Home Theater
The sound quality this speaker model this is verified and proven. I reviewed a pair at the time, and also compare them to other speakers at a AVS Forum get-together where the Behringers were the least expensive speakers demoed and yet held their own.
But more importantly, in the years since I posted that thread, many AVS Forum members have taken the B215XL plunge and found that the system delivers the dynamics they sought at the price point they needed to make it possible.
It’s particularly appealing about these Behringer speakers is they make no attempt to play deep bass. The result is a friendly 8-ohm impedance in a speaker with 96 decibel sensitivity it’s 250 W power handling. This is great for matching up with a competent AVR, the high sensitivity means you’ll properly experience the impact of home theater sound, and the high power handling means that you will not blow out your speakers, even if you push your system to its limit. Moreover, the extra power handling means that you can use external amplification with the speakers to get even more impact out of them.
As the forum thread about the B215XLs progressed, some members tried out the smaller and even less expensive Behringer B212XL speaker. The consensus is that it is also a solid choice for a high performance, low costs multi channel home theater speaker system.
You Need a Subwoofer
One thing that MUST be stressed is the need for a subwoofer. Both the B215XL and B212XL have bass that starts rolling off well above what you need for music or movies. They are true satellite speakers, even if their size makes you think they hit hard down dee that's just not how they are designed. But if you add a sub, the system comes alive and you'll be amazed at how cohesive the sound is.
Room Correction/EQ plus Bass Management are a Must
These are PA speakers that happen to work well in home theater, but they can use a little help to sound their best—like any speakers in any room, a bit of EQ or room correction is the answer. With the Behringers, the main goal is to tame the bass so it integrates well with the subwoofer(s). Bass management is also needed because you are going to use a sub (or multiple subwoofers) with these speakers with the typical AVR default 80 Hz crossover working well.
B215XL or B212XL?
You may be wondering what the specific differences are between the B212XL and B215XL. Here’s the brief rundown: The larger B215XL actually has a narrower dispersion pattern, which is consistent with its use of the larger 15” woofer. The B215XL horn offers 70 x 40 degree dispersion versus 90 x 60 degree with the B212XL.
If your seating area very spread out, the wider dispersion may be an advantage. But... the B215XL has better frequency response specs: 55 Hz to 20 kHz vs. 65 Hx to 18 kHz for the B212XL. The other difference is the B215XL is 1 dB more sensitive and handles a little bit more power (250 W continuous versus 200 W). These are not huge differences, but it does mean the B215XL will offer a little more headroom for those who like to push their systems to the limit.
Of course you can also mix and match B215XL and B212XL, using the B215XLs as mains and the B212XLs as surrounds. If you are undecided, it's worth spending time in the original B215XL thread and doing a search for B212XL to read some of the comments from members who opted to use that speaker. Or you can add a post asking for impressions.
It's a Top Choice
Make no mistake, if you’re looking for maximum bang for the buck in a home theater speaker, have a tight budget but are seriously in the process of speccing out your home theater, you need to consider the value proposition of the Behringer B215XL and B212XL speakers. Pretty amazing for a speaker that's been around this long.
The Behringer B215XL is a Top Choice for putting together a high powered home theater system on a relatively tight budget.
Click here to buy the B215XL on Amazon
Click here to buy the B212XL on Amazon
Read the original B215XL thread by clicking here
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