I agree he went too hard on the company and their marketing. How many years has it been since they updated their website? Back then, I think they really were better than the competition. However, the game has long since changed.in his "subjective" commentary, said guru puts a far more negative spin on the Ascends despite them having very similar measurements to the Infinity Refs.
But to be fair, the Infinity does measure better.
Part of the reason the Ascend sounds brighter is because its directivity goes really wide in part of the treble, then narrows down again. It really needs a waveguide (and a resistor) to better match the tweeter to what the woofer is doing. It is far from the only speaker to have this problem, but it is a more prominent example from a well-known company.
The Infinity on the other hand has much more consistent directivity from bottom to top which results in a speaker that is easier to listen to when accounting for reflections. It will also be easier to adjust with equalization as all angles of the sound are changed in the same way.
To be clear, I don't think the 170 or 340 are bad speakers at all. I just think there are better options now.