Surround Sound Speaker Systems

Hsu Research ULS-15 Subwoofer and HB-1/HC-1 MK2 Speakers


HB-1 MK2 Bookshelf and HC-1 MK2 Center Channel Speaker

The HB-1 MK2 is Hsu’s second generation bookshelf speaker. It's a ported, two-way design, consisting of a 6.5” woofer and a horn tweeter. The MK2 improvements include a Neodymium magnet for the tweeter. Hsu claims that the MK2 has a flatter frequency response and an improved horn over the original design. As with most horn designs, the HB-1 is very efficient, rated at 92 dB sensitivity. Although rated down to 60 Hz (-2 dB), I chose to cross over the HB-1’s at 80 Hz and send the LF to the subwoofer. The HB-1 MK2 ranges from $149 in satin black, $179 in wood veneer, and $199 in piano black.

The matching center channel HC-1 MK2 uses the same horn tweeter, flanked by two 6.5” woofers in a horizontal W-T-W configuration. The HC-1 MK2 has two small ports on the rear panel, and comes with a very handy mounting system that allows the speaker to be angled either up or down towards the viewer. The HC-1 MK2 lists for $239 in satin black, $279 in wood veneer, and $299 in piano black.

My prior experience with Hsu speakers was that they emphasized function over form, and as a result didn’t pay much attention to aesthetic appearance. However, both the HB-1 and HC-1 come in a variety of real wood finishes, as well as piano black. The review samples were finished in rosenut, and they looked great. The speakers have a single set of binding posts, and also magnetic removable grilles.