The Good: Just about everything. The Infinity Reference R152 speakers have great high’s, mid’s and low’s. Their bass extension is surprisingly good for their size.

 

The Bad: Would be great if these had additional finish options besides black.

 

Summary: The 152’s are well designed and would sound great in any home theater or stereo listening environment. They compare favorably with Polk’s RTi A1s and Klipsch’s 41II’s. May even be a little better.

Infinity Reference 152 5-1/4 inch 2-Way Bookshelf Speakers Pair (Black)

Price: $481.94

5.0 out of 5 stars (4 customer reviews)

8 used & new available from $350.00

Infinity Reference R152 Review

Infinity has been relatively quite in the home theater speaker world for several years. In fact, in recent years their primary focus has seemed to revolve around their budget Primus speaker line-up. So it was a surprise when they introduced their new reference line-up of speakers.  In their reference line, Infinity offers two bookshelf models, the R162 and the R152. The Reference R152 speakers which retail for $349/pair are the smaller of the two models.

 

 

Infinity Reference R152 Features & Design

Measuring 6-7/8″ wide x 13-1/2″ high x 9-3/16″ deep and weighing in at about 13 lbs each, the R152s aren’t tiny.  The cabinets are wrapped in a black finished wood grain vinyl. Currently only available in black, it’s unknown whether or not Infinity plans on offering additional finish options. So, if you were hoping to get these in a cherry color you’re out of luck. At least for now.

 

The cabinets of the 152’s  are slightly tapered on the left and right sides. Similar to the curved cabinets of the Polk RTi A1’s, this doesn’t just add visual interest to the speakers, but it probably also helps to limit sound resonance inside the cabinet . Turn the speaker around and you’ll see two gold plated five-way binding posts and a port at the top.

Infinity Reference R152

The R152’s feature a two-way design and Infinity’s patented Ceramic Metal Matrix Diaphragm (CMMD) technology. With this driver configuration, Infinity sandwiches an aluminum driver between layers of ceramic. This essentially makes the drivers not only lightweight, but extremely rigid which helps reduce sound coloration.

 

One thing you’ll notice right away about the Reference R152s is the striking design of the tweeter. Infinity’s reference line features a 1″ tweeter mounted within a new wave guide design. One of the purposes of this design is to help with high frequency dispersion. Visually, the tweeter has an elegant futuristic appearance that compels you to run these with the grills off . Honestly, I don’t think I’ve ever said a tweeter on a speaker looked good, but the tweeter on the R152’s look pretty slick. Seated below the 1″ tweeter sets the 5 1/4″ woofer.

Infinity Reference R152 Tweeter

Infinity Reference R152 Tweeter

 

Performance

We tested the Infinity Reference R152’s with an assortment of audio samples. After letting the pair break in for several hours we decided to see how capable these little speakers were. Their first challenge was Carlos Santana. We started the listening session with a little “Black Magic Woman” and overall we were very impressed with how detailed and crisp they sounded. Most impressive was how the R152’s seemed to capture every nuance of every instrument. One of the purposes of the CMMD designed woofers is to reduce sound coloration. The Infinity Reference R152 speakers come about as close to doing this as any speaker I’ve heard in this price range.

 

After being sufficiently impressed with how well they handled Mr. Santana, we decided to hit them with a couple of more “modern” tunes. Iggy Azalea’s “Fancy” and Rusko’s “Hold On” were our songs of choice.

 

Iggy Azalea’s “Fancy” pointed out something else about these speakers that we hadn’t noticed with our Carlos Santana listening session. The Reference R152’s have surprisingly good bass for their size. Believe it or not from about 11 ft away we could feel the vibrations. Despite having a frequency response of only 60-22,000 Hz their bass response was exceptional given their size. Rusko’s “Hold On” track, which has a hefty dose of bass, left us more impressed. The bass was tight and accurate and never sloppy. While the Reference R152 speakers don’t have the bass extension of some larger speakers, they’re more than capable of holding their own.

 

After our thorough music session we popped in the “Incredible Hulk” blu-ray. Right away we noticed that the 152’s presented an incredibly detailed and spacious sound field. Every bullet barrage that was launched at the rampaging behemoth pinged and clanked with remarkable clarity. The Hulk’s roar had a satisfactory rumble that filled our listening area.

 

Conclusion

I have to give Infinity a lot of credit for what they’ve done with their Reference R152 speakers. They have a dynamic sound quality, spacious imaging area and deeper bass than they should rightly have. While these are perfect for surround speakers, I don’t think it would be out of the question to use these as front mains in a small or medium sized room. This is the first speaker from their new reference line that I’ve had the pleasure of listening to, but if this is any indication of how well the rest of the speakers in this line sound, I can’t wait to wrap my ears around them.


Where to Buy:

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