On the multichannel front, Infinity's layout demonstrated some welcome abilities. The CC225 center speaker's tonal match to the C336s was excellent - not perfect, but impressively close for a two-way horizontal design. For instance, comparisons of TV and FM announcers between single- and dual-speaker mono revealed only modest shifts of vocal weight and "hoo," even among baritone male voices. The tonal stability wasn't quite as good when the center speaker was listened to off-axis, but it was still well above average.
The C255ES surround speakers performed admirably in both dipole and bipole settings. They delivered plenty of clean level in my fairly large listening room - even in dipole mode - and made a tight enough tonal match to the C336s in bipole position to please even the most demanding multichannel-music maven.
Gone Baby Gone is one of those 2-hour films that demand full-bore, all-channels excellence for only about 90 seconds - but those 90 seconds are absolutely critical. The brief action interludes are all the more shocking and powerful for the dynamic range they carry, and the Infinity suite delivered this with heart-stopping conviction. For the rest of the film, I was entirely engrossed by its seamless tapestry of dialogue, street-scene and interior ambience, and subtle musical score. Is there any higher praise for a soundtrack or a sound system?
Last but not least is the PSW310W sub, which has an active 10-inch driver complemented by two 10-inch cones that serve as passive radiators (ports, more or less). It also incorporates Infinity's RABOS single-band parametric EQ, which can help to reduce a primary room resonance. (A kit that includes a test-tone CD and setup graphing tools is a $60 option.)
The PSW310W didn't get much of a workout from Gone Baby Gone, so I turned to a handful of my favorite subwoofer torture tests from classics like Godzilla and The War of the Worlds. The verdict: impressive. The woof goes admirably low with substantial power, and it sounds clean and tight all the way down. The 'zilla footfalls lacked some of the wall-bending 20 Hz of my everyday sub (a 12-incher about twice the Infinity's price), but they had plenty of slam just the same. It's a solid sub - and did I mention that it's wireless?
With the Classia speakers, Infinity has managed to combine high sonic capabilities with striking appearance and respectable value. Visually, this system might not satisfy every taste (for the record, I dug them), but for those to whom its unconventional looks speak, it should appeal strongly. Better yet, they'll also enjoy sound that's just as striking.
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