A few minutes into Cold Mountain, a U.S. Civil War version of The Odyssey , the Union Army detonates massive explosives hidden beneath a Confederate encampment. To say that I flinched would be an understatement - diving for cover was more like it. The compact size, reasonable price, and sleek lines of Infinity's TSS-1100 home theater speaker system didn't prepare me for its big sound.
Designed to fit easily in almost any décor, the five essentially identical satellites are slightly smaller than a large Quaker Oats container but considerably heftier - large enough to produce high volumes without strain, but still easy to position. Each houses a tweeter and two midrange drivers, all using Infinity's Metal Matrix Diaphragm technology. The brawny, good-looking subwoofer, with a side-firing 12-inch driver and a rear port, stands taller than most of the competition while packing a 250-watt punch.
SETUP The system was simple and quick to set up. Two 40-foot and three 30-foot lengths of prestripped speaker cable are supplied along with a 15-foot cable for the subwoofer with RCA plugs at either end. The sub has no speaker-level inputs, but it does have an adjustable crossover. For my evaluation, I used the crossover in my Denon AVR-2805 receiver (see review, December 2004 issue, pg. 61).
Simple wall-mounting brackets come with the satellites, or you can stand them on their attached, nearly invisible feet. An optional stand ($179 a pair) provides further flexibility for positioning the front left/right and surround satellites. The center speaker has a detachable curved base so you can place it horizontally atop most TVs. I had no problem resting it on my 42-inch widescreen rear-projection Toshiba HDTV.
I positioned the front L/R speakers at ear height and about 6 inches to the sides of my TV, the surrounds slightly above and behind my listening position. The sub went on the floor next to the front wall a few feet to the right of the TV.
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