There are a couple of predominant ideas to buying a set of 5.1 surround
sound speakers packaged together. For one, they
eliminate the task of finding speakers that are going to work well together
in a surround sound setting. This is not so much a chore as a passion to
many. However, there still exists the surround sound-less individual who is
more geared towards getting home and getting his Jurassic Park on, then
spending the time either on-line or in the store choosing speakers that are
going to work well together.
The speakers in these packages also tend to be
more compact then your full-blown speaker set up, which often can dominate
the look of a room. Thus, there are many manufacturers that offer packaged
solutions - more commonly known as Home Theater in a Box, or HTIB - and this trend seems to be responsible for getting more and more
of the mass public involved in the enjoyment of surround sound
The subject of this review is to see if Infinity’s new TSS-750 5.1 surround sound package utilizing their new speaker cone technology
offers a quality sonic experience, differentiating itself in this category
of speaker packages, which often are barely adequate.
The TSS-750 is little brother to the TSS-1100, which has a bigger, more
powerful subwoofer (12”, 250 watts RMS), and big brother to the TSS-450 which
uses smaller (2.5”) mid-drivers in its center and satellite speakers, and
has a smaller, less powerful sub (8”, 100 watts RMS).
The TSS-750 5.1 package
includes four satellites, a center channel speaker, and a subwoofer. The
package also includes mounting hooks for the satellites, a center channel
stand, standard speaker wire, and a subwoofer RCA/RCA cable.
All of the speakers in this package utilize Infinity’s new metal matrix
design. In a nutshell, the more inflexible a speaker cone material is, the
higher the breakup frequency of the cone will be. A metal speaker
cone’s breakup point is very high in pitch, but it is audible as "ringing",
like a bell. By using a combination of materials in a hybrid
design, additional damping of this ringing can be achieved to varying
The TSS-750 satellites are a two-way design consisting of a 3.5” mid-driver
and a ¾” tweeter. The center speaker is of the D’Appolito configuration,
featuring the tweeter sandwiched dead center between the two mid-drivers.
The satellites and center speakers are rated at 88 dB and 89 dB sensitivity
respectively, and the crossover between the mid-drivers and the tweeters is
at 3.5 kHz. Both the satellites and the center speaker are housed in a
curved, tapered aluminum enclosure that has an attractive brushed finish.
Gold-plated binding posts are nestled in a cutaway in the back of these
speakers, and are a nice addition especially for this category.
of the curved taper of the center channel speaker, a small plastic stand is included,
which provides the advantage of being able to angle the center speaker
either up or down based on its position relative to your display.
The subwoofer included in the package has 150 watts RMS of power and
features a 10” driver housed in a ported enclosure. On the back of the sub
are right and left line level inputs, a volume control, a crossover
knob adjustable from 50 Hz to 150 Hz, a switch to choose between having your
signal processor or the subwoofer handle bass management with its own
crossover, and a phase switch that toggles between 180 degrees and 0
degrees. Some of these features, such as the phase switch, are unusual at
this price point.
also received satellite speaker stands for making room placement easy.
They are hollow which allows you to run the speaker wires up through them,
providing for a very neat and tidy installation. I found the stands' bases
to be very heavy, so I had little worry that I’d ever knock them over
accidentally. The speakers and stands that I received were platinum in color
but are also available in charcoal. Overall the TSS 750 speakers and stands
are very attractive and have a sleek, modern look that would work well
with contemporary furniture and decor.
One of the problems of compact speakers having small mid-drivers is that
they fall a bit short of producing a full robust mid-bass. This is obviously
a design tradeoff, and if you want more mid-bass, then choose one of
Infinity's other models that have larger mid-drivers.
With that being said,
these speakers require a good blending with the subwoofer. I found that
there was a bit of a dip in the satellites and center speaker’s mid-bass
range from 130 Hz to 160 Hz. I tried moving the satellites further from the
wall to avoid mid-bass cancellation which improved the response a little. By
placing the subwoofer at the front of the room near my display and adjusting
the crossover very high (150 Hz), I was able to smooth out the response
and achieve a good blend with the rest of the system.
As for the phase
switch, it was left it in the 00 position. The subwoofer was effective
down to about 34 Hz where it started to roll off (this matches
up exactly with the specifications listed in the manual). Placing the front
speakers about eight feet apart from each other and placing the surround
satellites to the side and slightly behind the listening position worked
very well for imaging and surround effects. In general, this system works
well in smaller rooms and requires average amounts of power from a mid-grade
I tested this system using a Yamaha 5760 receiver, a Panasonic CP-72 DVD
player, and a host of other audio sources such as an Xbox, and a PC computer
using a Sound Blaster Audigy ZS platinum sound card. I used the speaker and
subwoofer cables that came with the TSS 750, and all other interconnects
used were also generic. My listening room is treated with both acoustic
paneling and bass traps.
These speakers do sound nice. For instance, with Diana Krall’s DTS release
of Love Scenes, Russell Malone’s subtle guitar plucks were easily
distinguished from Christian Mcbride’s smooth laid back walking bass lines.
Diana’s voice sounded natural and soothing, and I could hear the air
surrounding her punctual consonants, a tribute to the detail these speakers
present. The subwoofer laid down Christian McBride’s artful bass work with
no problems, always ending the notes when he did, and never overstating the
you want to hear an emotional classical piece for piano and orchestra, check
out Artur Rubinstein’s performance of Chopin’s Piano Concerto No. 2
is a powerful blend of charged piano virtuoso and sweeping full-bodied
strings. The speakers responded better than I expected to this
difficult piano material. They were able to articulate Rubenstein’s trills
and piano runs while projecting a tone that was not sharp or overly punchy.
The orchestra material came across well, and the line between the satellites
and subwoofer effectively disappeared. This is not the best of recordings
and the speakers handled it well.
Sting seems like someone who has managed to travel all over the world and
acquire some weird instruments, which he consequently uses on all his new
albums. It certainly makes for good test material, as it covers every
frequency range that I would consider important. On his new album,
Love, we have a conglomeration of instruments from tabla to flamenco guitar,
and there is a lot of voicing going on at once. Once again, the TSS 750
covered all of the details exceptionally well. On the other hand, some of the
punch of the music was lost, as there is a considerable amount of information
in the mid-bass region on this album.
I used newer titles like Hellboy and Day After Tomorrow to test the
surround sound performance of the TSS-750 system. The fast response time of these
speakers combined with their low distortion presented action scenes that kept
me at the edge of my seat. The center channel’s dialogue was especially
clear, natural and crisp, with not many indications of any sibilance
problems. The subwoofer could deliver when needed, and did a very good job
of not pedaling out single note bass.
At the Arcade
Being that I enjoy computer and video game entertainment, I also found
this package to do a fantastic job with both my Xbox and computer system.
Most of the newer games, such as Need for Speed Underground for the Xbox and
Doom 3 for the PC were created with a surround sound system in mind.
overly spooky sound effects and weapon noises came into full effect into my
room, as I bashed and mashed away at my keyboard, confronting armies of the
undead. Need for Speed Underground on the Xbox played in Dolby surround, and
with these speakers, I could actually pick out the car noises from the trendy
For the price, the TSS-750 package serves as a good investment for all
your entertainment needs. The extra subwoofer features, the attractive
appearance, and the attention to presenting sonic fidelity which is not
distorted or colored puts the Infinity TSS-750 5.1 sound system into leader
board position in this category of speaker packages. I never heard any
problems with ringing, and that is impressive giving the amount of detail
these present in the upper range. I would surmise that certainly a larger
system would fill out the mid-bass details, but then it would also not be as
compact and room decor friendly. I would especially recommend these to
someone who is looking for an affordable system to fit into a small office
or recreation room, and also who appreciates the softer side of listening,
and the finer details of music.
- Adrian Wittenberg -
Yamaha 5760 Receiver
Panasonic CP-72 DVD Player
PC equipped with a Sound Blaster Audigy ZS
Real Traps Bass Traps
Sonex and Auralex Acoustic Paneling