AVS Forum banner

1 - 11 of 11 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
19,544 Posts
Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Sound Appeal Bookshelf - My subjective review

As my adventure for quality budget friendly speakers continue - these caught my
eyes on Amazon. They look generic and there was that used auto salesman pitch.
However, they caught my attention and after eating the fish and spitting out the
bones, I ordered them - they were on sale for $69 shipped and sold and shipped
by AV-Express - you can also buy them from AV-Express direct. I do not know for
sure, however I think that AV-Express and Sound Appeal are connected somehow.
The company does have an online customer support and is quick to ship - and it
is nice that they use Fedex.

The speakers do present a good sense of music that sounds more realistic and less
artificial, compared to the more average cheapy speakers. It looks like that they did
put some thought and engineering into them - and they say, that they do go through
quality control checks. I believe they have been out since the fall of 2014. And based
on their Youtube video, they had some speakers in mind to compete against - and did
present some measurements on the video (do not know all the details of how they
did or were measured).

When you pull out the speakers you notice the budget feel and look - however, they
look better than Dayton and Monoprice speakers and look better than the Pioneer ones.
They are lighter than Pioneer as they weigh around 6.1 lbs - however they have a 6.5"
woofer and 1" tweeter. The grill is removable, however it is hard to pull off - need to
be careful so it will not back fire against the drivers. My main gripe is that they do have
push pin connectors - since they sound nice, I can live with it as they do/will easily out
perform the Bose 201 speakers. They claim a 12 db octave crossover, so I decided that
I would check that - the woofers and tweeters are tight (which is good). After I removed
the screws - I had to knock gently on the back panel to break them loose. The crossover
is 12 db octave on the tweeter, and the woofer runs full-range. The cabinet is 1/2 inch
and may be less on the back panel, as it sounded a little more hollow. I did not want to
push out the terminal cup to check it. The cabinet uses corner block bracing on the baffle
and back panel (good for the regular $79 shipped price) - and they did damp the inside
with thin egg-crate foam. They sounded decent/nice with the foam - however after the
first test run I did pull it out and replaced it with Parts Express 1/2 inch Sonic Barrier to
damp the inside - while not a head and shoulders difference, it did make a meaningful
and noticeable difference.

Now the sound - while not perfect, they are musical and do not really irritate and annoy
me - that is a sign that they put some work in the design. For a speaker to survive for me,
they need to handle voices like Sade, Patricia Barber, Jackie Evancho, Diana Krall, Sting,
Joan Osbourne, and Willie Nelson (Willie for testing only, not a big fan) - If the voices come
across rough, then the speaker is fired. On instruments I will test with trumpet, saxophone,
piano, drums, guitar, violin and some organ notes - violin will be the stress test for my ears.

They to me, do decent with the octave to octave balance for the price. The bass for this
price is tight, articulate and musical - the slot port seems to work well, and Dr. Mushy and
Dr Boom were not invited to the design team. The midrange is open and detailed and clear,
with a small boost between 1 and 2 khz - the tweeter is nice and smooth without the added
spice for detail, and has no excess sssszzzz. It seems to be rolled off some - and begins to
drop after 15 khz - however for me and most people it is not a big deal. I would rather have
it than a hard cheap plastic $1.50 half inch dome tweeter.

Overall for the price they are nice/decent - more expensive speakers will be more defined and
refined and full. The Sound Appeal due to the price will lack some tonal depth with voices and
music. They are somewhat lively and vivid in the midrange due to a lack of depth, However they
do image nicely and have a good central presence. Compared to more expensive good speakers,
the overall soundstage will be somewhat limited (due to price). At extreme volume levels, they
can get somewhat forward - however, they do not dance on my head or slap my ears and push me
away. They can sound slightly boxy due to the light cabinet - However they performed better with
the Sonic Barrier - worth the $15 with shipping and still keeps the price under $100.

Now on movies they do nice - good detail and can get loud. They did fine with the Man of Steel.
However, their best use will be as surrounds. For one on a real tight budget, you can buy three
pair and use one as a center and have a spare for around $240. From my tests they have some
bass below 60 hz and will cross nicely to a subwoofer.

I favor these speakers over the Pioneer ones. However, some people will still choose Pioneer or
maybe Micca 42x (I have not heard them). From the measurements that I saw - the Micaa looks
to have a dip in the midrange where the Sound Appeal will have a small boost. The Micca 42x
looks to have a raised treble, where the Sound Appeal will droop down some. So it will all be a
matter of preference between the 3. Now maybe we do have a 3 ring circus.

Yes, the Sound Appeal will benefit from a mod - they could use some baffle step compensation
and maybe a coil on the woofer - maybe some DIY person in the future will toy with them. It
will take them up another level. However as is, some people will not care and a lot of people do
seem to like them.

If you can spend a little more - then go for Philharmonic AA or Wave Crest - However if the
budget is tight then I would go with these. They are a good option for a second room or the
bedroom - and will work well in the garage. They can take some power.

However, it is possible after all this that my ears are filled with heavy wax.:)

 

·
Registered
Joined
·
19,544 Posts
Discussion Starter #2 (Edited)
Well, for the 1 out of 6,000 who are interested.:)

I tweaked the cabinet a little more - I added some poly-batten with the Sonic Barrier,
This helped to clean up the mids and voices a little more. Put the grill back on, and
gave them another round. For $79 shipped these are really nice, and will hold their on
against some more expensive speakers out there.

I will take them over all the bookshelf speakers on the regular Best Buy floor, except
for the Sony Core bookshelf.

One thing for sure, the bass is nice and tight for a budget speaker.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,171 Posts
Thanks for the review. You mentioned these speakers to me recently. As surrounds, do you feel they are the best option under $100? Any others worth considering at that price point?

Thanks!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
19,544 Posts
Discussion Starter #4
Thanks for the review. You mentioned these speakers to me recently. As surrounds, do you feel they are the best option under $100? Any others worth considering at that price point?
For under $100 they are my choice/preference for surrounds in Home Theater.

I have no other recommendation at this time - as these are nice.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
176 Posts
Thanks for doing this review! I'm working on doing my own of the same speakers. With some very preliminary impressions is that for $69.99 they are pretty good. Absolutely better than the Daytons, Polk R/T/M doorbusters, JBL Loft. And do compare pretty favorably with the Pioneers.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
176 Posts
It looks like these Sound Appeals are gaining a little review traction. Some of it not for favorable.

But I'm a fan, I've just completed my measurements and have spent a few hours ABing them with the Pioneers and the Daytons and find these to be very good for the price. Construction is lacking and the grills are trash though. I'll get my more detailed review up in a few days.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
19,544 Posts
Discussion Starter #8 (Edited)
It looks like these Sound Appeals are gaining a little review traction. Some of it not for favorable.

But I'm a fan, I've just completed my measurements and have spent a few hours ABing them with the Pioneers and the Daytons and find these to be very good for the price. Construction is lacking and the grills are trash though. I'll get my more detailed review up in a few days.
I am a still a fan.

Some people just expect high-end for a low-end price. Reality has to set in
somewhere. Construction is not high quality due to price - no shock there.
However, what you get out of this for the price and sound is still workable.

If someone is going to be offended by marketing hype - then a lot of speaker
companies are in trouble!

There is always some sweet and bitterness, with budget-friendly speakers!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
19,544 Posts
Discussion Starter #9 (Edited)
OK, things are starting to get a little wild with the Sound Appeal over tech and marketing.
And I should have paid more attention and gone into more detail about the box size, when
I wrote this up.

So I took a measuring tape, well make that 2 tapes and measured the front baffle. I measured
from the top where the vinyl wrap is to the bottom side of the front baffle, as the drivers are
counter-sunk. The front baffle is 1/2 inch - however, the sides and back panel are 3/8 inches.
So, marketing is stretching (over-rating) that some in their pitch.

Now this gets interesting - there is a debate about the tweeter size. Well I measured that also, and
it has cost me one tweeter.:eek: I took it apart and the dome measures 1 inch - however, the voice
coil measures 3/4 inch. So call it what you want - as it is a one inch dome with a 3/4 inch voice coil.

However, all in all these speakers do sound nice to my ears - and not all will agree, as some expect
high-end sound for the lower budget friendly price.

Sorry if I caused any mix-up - I will be more focused about specs next time. Now I need a new tweeter.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
19,544 Posts
Discussion Starter #10
Now this gets interesting - there is a debate about the tweeter size. Well I measured that also, and
it has cost me one tweeter.:eek: I took it apart and the dome measures 1 inch - however, the voice
coil measures 3/4 inch. So call it what you want - as it is a one inch dome with a 3/4 inch voice coil.
Well this is cool - I contacted AV-Express, and they said if I pay shipping
that they would send a whole new speaker to replace the tweeter. I will
communicate with them more tomorrow.:)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
19,544 Posts
Discussion Starter #11
Well this is cool - I contacted AV-Express, and they said if I pay shipping
that they would send a whole new speaker to replace the tweeter. I will
communicate with them more tomorrow.:)
They kept their word and sent 1 brand new speaker to replace the tweeter.
Was somewhat of a challenge to un-hook and place in my modded cabinet
box. Tested it out and works fine.

In checking the 12 db high pass crossover on the tweeter - the cap is 100
volts, and not 50 volts like you get with some cheap or cheaper ones. How
ever, I can not tell the specs on the coil.

Just like before, the box is 1/2 inch front baffle, and 3/8 inch for the rest of
the box with light-weight wood.

They do not need to play up the build, when the speakers sound as nice as
these do for the price.

Customer service and Email communication has been good with AV-Express.
 
1 - 11 of 11 Posts
Top