Pioneer Andrew Jones BS22, FS52 and C22 Speaker Reviews

I don’t know why this review has taken so long. I’ve owned the Pioneer Andrew Jones line of speakers for my surround sound for about 18 months, and I’ve been extremely happy with them. I’m certainly not the only one that feels that way. This line of speakers has been wildly heralded throughout the audio community. This line of speakers is one of the best bargains in audio, giving you great performance at an entirely reasonable price. There’s a reason I used one for the banner of this website.

There are three speakers in this line, each with their own specialties. They each serve a dedicated role in a home theater, and the differences are pretty standard for the industry.

The SP-FS52 Tower Speakers ($130 each) are the best of the bunch. These are tower speakers, which should be the best speakers in any home theater set up. With three large woofers in a four foot tall enclosure, this is no surprise. If you’ve never bought a pair of tower speakers, these are the best first pair of tower speakers you can buy. They will teach you how great large speakers can sound, and how they fill the room with sound. Compared to the bookshelf and center speaker, these will have more bass, have fewer floor reflections, and do a better job at high volumes. However, a pair of tower speakers costs twice as much as the smaller pair of bookshelf speakers.

The BS22 Bookshelf speakers ($127/pair) are a real bargain that make this line of speakers so popular. Bookshelf speakers can fit in almost any listening environment and are very versatile. They are about a foot tall, and are seven inches wide. You can use them in a modest sized home theater like mine without ever running into volume issues.

The C22 Center Speaker ($97) is quite adept as a center speaker, and comes with all of the benefits and issues inherent in a Mid-Tweeter-Mid design. If you’re buying the set for a home theater, make sure to get one as your center channel. 60% of a movie’s soundtrack comes through the center channel, so don’t skip out on one.

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Pioneer BS22 bookshelf speaker mounted as a rear surround speaker. Ghostbusters poster in rear
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Tower and Center speakers in my home theater

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Home Theater Report: Mad Max Fury Road

This weekend I watched Mad Max: Fury Road this weekend and it was quite an experience on the big screen.The movie itself is one that demands to be seen on a large screen with good speakers.

The movie starts off with a spectacular, gruesome and fear-inspiring look at an outpost of civilization ruled by a tyrannical warlord. The visuals of the Citadel and its features looked great on the big screen, and painted the scene of the reemergence of civilization.

Press Image for Mad Max Fury Road
Press Image for Mad Max Fury Road

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Holiday 2015 Guide for Bluetooth Speakers and Soundbars

Well, its that time of year. You’re thinking about what to get your husband, boyfriend, father or brother for Christmas. You’ve thought about some speakers for the TV or maybe a Bluetooth speaker is something they’d really enjoy. If you’re not well versed in the audio world, you’re going to get caught up by marketing and buy something that under performs while being overpriced.

I’m here to help you avoid falling for marketing pitfalls and get you the perfect gift. You only have to follow three easy rules.

My 3 Rules of Beating Audio Marketers
1. Don’t spend more than $20 on stuff made of plastic
2. If they aren’t known for making audio equipment (Vizio, Samsung, etc), don’t buy from them
3. The smaller the speaker, the worse it sounds

If you follow those three rules, you won’t fall for the marketing tricks. Rule 3 is less important than the other two, though. Big plastic speakers will sound worse than small quality speakers. But large quality speakers beat small quality speakers 9 times out of 10.

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You’re Probably Not Any Good At Determining Audio Quality By Ear

One thing every person (including myself) will say at some point when discussing audio products is “it sounds good to me” or “it sounds great” or something to that effect. The problem is, unless you put in some effort, it is very easy to fool a person to decide for themselves something sounds good. This extends not just to the layperson, but to people who have listened to dozens of speakers and reviewed them. It extends to myself and it extends to you.

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How To Pick Out An Amplifier For Your Speakers

So you’ve got a speaker picked out and its time to get an amplifier. You see the speakers have a wattage number and the amplifiers all have one prominently listed too. How do you know how many watts you need? How do you know if an amplifier will work well with your speakers?

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The Audio Industry is Trying to Make 3D Audio Happen. Will it be More Successful Than 3DTVs?

Today the biggest buzz in the world of home theater audio is “object oriented” audio like Dolby Atmos, DTS:X, Auro3D and probably some more that I’m forgetting. This is new to most consumers but it isn’t groundbreaking technology. The underlying mathematics have been well understood since the 1870s. The first products that used this kind of technology were phased-array radars in World War II. However, only now is is coming to your living room. The big developments that have led to these technologies entering the consumer market are: improved compression algorithms which allow dozens of streams to exist on a single disc at once and cheap but powerful chips which can compute the required amplitudes and phase delays in real time. That being said, I still think it’s pretty cool. The academic term behind this is “wave field synthesis”.

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Don’t Get Fooled, Avoid All-In-One Home Theater Systems

So you’re an average consumer, and you’ve decided you want some surround sound in your life. After all, that’s whats in movie theaters, and you’d like your movie watching experience at home to be more like the movie theaters. Its not something you care all that much about, enough to spend a few hundred dollars on at most. You look online, or go into an electronics store, and you find it. One box that has everything you need. One swipe of the credit card and your desire will be satisfied. Every marketing person at every electronics firm knows there are a significant number of people who will act this way; people who want better audio in their lives but don’t know where to start. They take advantage by selling something that looks right, without there being any good way for an average consumer to tell whether or not it is a good product. Its not like you’re going to listen to it beforehand, much less make any objective comparison among several samples. They sell convenience in satisfying your consumer urges, not actual audio quality.

Don't buy something like this
Don’t buy something like this

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Field Report: Summer Audio

No matter what you’re doing this summer, chances are some tunes will make it that much better. The thing is, the places where we want to listen to music in the summer aren’t in our living rooms, home theaters, or our listening rooms. Its on the beach, at a BBQ, on a boat, out at a campsite, or on our deck. I kicked off my summer this year at a rented house over Memorial Day weekend with a group of people. I decided to make use of some speakers I had from an early review and spend a little bit of money to make sure we were never at a loss for some quality audio.

earlysummerreview

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Home Theater Theory: Speaker Directionality and Its Effect on Sound Quality

One aspect of sound performance that is often overlooked is the effect directionality has on sound performance for people sitting outside of the “sweet spot”. At your desk, you can make sure your speakers are always pointing at you. In a room with one seat, you can obviously point all of the speakers at the listener. But most of us listening to audio in our homes have rooms with multiple listeners, and that makes directional effects important to understand. Also, directional effects determine the strength of reflections, always a problem for speakers indoors. The topic of directional effects in the propagation of waves is something that has been both an academic and professional interest of mine, I hope this article sheds a bit of light on how this theory applies to home theater.

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