Surround Sound Speaker Systems

Axiom Epic 80-800 Speaker System: M80v3 Tower, VP180 Center, QS8v3 Surround, and EP800v3 Subwoofer

ARTICLE INDEX

Introduction

When shopping for loudspeakers today, we assign many different criteria to our decision. Do we choose on price, sound quality, aesthetics, science or some other aspect? Of course a discriminating listener wants the best of all these worlds and there are many manufacturers ready, willing and able to deliver on all counts. Axiom is one who has been at their game a long time. Founder and President Ian Colquhoun started out in the 1970s as a protégé of legendary designer Dr. Floyd Toole. This group of engineers which included other well-known names such as Kevin Voecks (Revel) and Paul Barton (PSB) developed many of the design philosophies and testing procedures that are commonplace today. Through their efforts, we now have a class of loudspeaker that is known for its "Canadian Sound."

Specifications

  • M80v3 Tower
  • Design: Three-way, Ported Enclosure
  • Drivers: Two 1" Titanium Dome Tweeters, Two 5.25" Aluminum Midrange, Two 6.5" Aluminum Woofers
  • MFR: 34 Hz - 20 kHz, ± 3 dB
  • Crossover Frequencies: 160 Hz, 2.3 kHz
  • Nominal Impedance: 4 Ohns
  • Maximum Amp Power: 400 Watts
  • Dimensions: 39.5" H x 9.25" W x 17" D
  • Weight: 56.8 Pounds/each
  • MSRP: $1,380/pair USA
  • VP180 Center
  • Design: Three-way, Ported Enclosure
  • Drivers: Two 1" Titanium Dome Tweeters, Two 5.25" Aluminum Midrange, Two 6.5" Aluminum Woofers
  • MFR: 34 Hz - 20 kHz, ± 3 dB
  • Crossover Frequencies: 150 Hz, 2.7 kHz
  • Nominal Impedance: 4 Ohns
  • Maximum Amp Power: 400 Watts
  • Dimensions: 9.25" H x 39.5" W x 17" D
  • Weight: 56.8 Pounds/each
  • MSRP: $720 USA
  • QS8v3 Surround
  • Design: Two-way, Sealed Enclosure
  • Drivers: Two 1" Titanium Dome Tweeters, Two 5.25" Mid/Woofers
  • MFR: 95 Hz - 20 kHz, ± 3 dB
  • Crossover Frequeny: 2.5 kHz
  • Nominal Impedance: 8 Ohms
  • Maximum Amp Power: 400 Watts
  • Dimensions: 8.25" H x 11" W x 6" D
  • Weight: 13.5Pounds/each
  • MSRP: $558/pair USA
  • EP800v3 Subwoofer
  • Design: Sealed Enclosure
  • Driver: Two 12"
  • Amplifier: 800 Watts RMS
  • MFR: 12 Hz - 150 Hz, ± 3 dB
  • Low Pass: 40, 60, 80, 100 & 150 Hz
  • Phase: 0 and 180 Degrees
  • Inputs: XLR Line with RCA adapter, Speaker level
  • Output: XLR
  • Subsonic Filter: On - 20 Hz, Off - 12 Hz
  • Dimensions: 15" H x 45.5" W x 17" D
  • Weight: 110 Pounds
  • MSRP: $2,380 USA
  • Axiom

The parameters of this class of loudspeaker are fairly simple – unfailing accuracy, low distortion and a large listening window. While this is an oversimplification, the important thing to keep in mind is these speakers are meant to present their material totally unaltered with no coloration or modification of the original signal. Some might call them "revealing." For those who demand the absolute truth from their music or movies, they are regarded as "just right."

Axiom Audio markets a full line of loudspeakers and subwoofers that are available only through direct Internet sale. This keeps their prices quite low. You can see from the specs on this page the total price of my review system is lower than that of many mid-fi speakers. In a high-end system, the cabling would likely cost more than a complete Axiom surround setup. For this review, Axiom sent me all their flagship models – a pair of M80 towers, the new VP180 center, QS8 surrounds and the monolithic EP800 subwoofer. All models are brand new third-generation products with updated crossovers, new driver designs and a first for Axiom, magnetic grills.