The heart of this package is the E60 which is a two-way design using a 5 ¼" woofer
and the polished 1" VRNO tweeter. The unit stands a bit more than 12" tall,
9" wide, 7 ¼" deep, and weighs 16 pounds. It represents the jump from the
E50 unit by upgrading from a standard 1" aluminum tweeter to the
proprietary VRH.O.™ tweeter.
The magnetically shielded
E60 provides a wide frequency response from
60 Hz -30 kHz and a sensitivity of 90 dB. Recommended are power requirements
ranging from 50-250 watts. As with the entire line, these are 8 ohm
speakers. Through the heavy front screen is a noticeable front port.
Acoustics refers to their woofer design as incorporating DCD™ (Deep Channel
Design) and by their definition, allows for greater excursion. Mounted in
front of the tweeter Boston Acoustics touts an AMD™ (Amplitude Modification
Device) allowing a smoother response through the audible spectrum, and
All E-Series units come with solid five-way binding posts and can be bi-wired
or bi-amplified. The back is nicely designed for wire management, and in fact
it continues into the stands if chosen. If you opt to mount the units on the
wall, a bracket is available.
Mounted on the 27" tall EFL aluminum stand, the E60 has a spacey ergonomic
look. The lines of the speakers which include no 90 degree edges flow
through the stands from top to bottom. It's actually very elegant, as the
color flows from the speaker through the stand. The cast base is wide and
solid, with carpet spikes (looks like a free-weight laying flat on the
ground). The tube is hollow for wires, and the cap is identical to the bottom
mounting plate on the speaker.
The E50 is very much the same as the
E60, yet its profile is smaller at 6"
versus 7 ½" and its length is longer, 18" versus 12 ¾". It accommodates a
second DCD woofer although smaller at 4 ½". The 1" tweeter is not the VRH.O.™
but the older VR design.
As a center channel, it comes furnished with a "pillow" – a curved stand
allowing the speaker to be cradled and angled to the listening area with a
XB6 Powered Subwoofer
This represents a new line of subs from Boston Acoustics with four sizes
available. The XB6 is the second largest with a 12" front firing Deep
Channel™ driver. The design compliments the E-Series, especially
walnut vinyl veneer. It stands 13 ¾" high, 15 ½" wide, and about 14" deep. The weight is 28 pounds.
It's rated to deliver a substantial 625 watts of dynamic power and 200 watts
@ 50 Hz into 4 ohms. It sports a flush volume control right on top for easy
and quick adjustments. On the rear you'll find both line and speaker level
inputs. Along with an on/off switch, the removable power cord is always
The XB6 can automatically detect a signal with an auto on/off switch, and if
you want more control (than through your processor), a polarity switch and a
crossover adjustment from 50 to 150 are provided. A nice touch are the
recommendations right on the rear for crossover settings. Second only in
size to the larger XB8, the XB6 will dip down to 29 Hz within
± 3 dB.
subwoofer features BassTrac® from
Boston Acoustics. Essentially the circuit
tracks the input signal and prevents the internal amplifier from being driven to a
point of distortion – thus resulting in an even and clean playback.
The fit and finish are consistent with the high quality I find throughout the
E-Series line. Astoundingly the veneer is said to be vinyl, yet I would swear
is real wood veneer that matches the side panels on the E60s. The edges are
chamfered and rounded for a more elegant look. The unit is also surprisingly
quite light for a subwoofer this large at a mere 28 pounds.
Like the other speakers in the E-Series, the XB6 metal grille is fixed, yet
a front port is clearly seen along side the driver.
As I mentioned, I do very much like the look and size of the E60 units on
stands, and they are not imposing at all, in fact they seem to feel quite
naturally scaled in my living room setting. My modest space is 12 ft wide by
17 ft deep with standard 8 foot ceilings. That places the front speakers about
8 feet apart. Out of necessity, the subwoofer is placed near a corner, about 3
feet from each wall.
used an Anthem D1 processor and Rotel power amplifier for all movie and music
playback. I used a few sources for DVD and music playback including the
McCormack UDP-1 universal player. Last but not least the power cables used
were by Wireworld and interconnect and speaker cables by Ethereal.
From the onset, I will say I have truly enjoyed the sophisticated sound I've
experienced from the E-Series. I refer to an envelope created of polished and
natural music. The dispersion and non-directional character from the
E-Series fills the room rather than identifying the sound path from the
speaker to you ears.
As a complete package, I very much thought the E-Series exceeded my
expectations from the surround units through the subwoofer. The XB6 easily
handled my room and complimented the E60s nicely. In fact, a subwoofer like
this can accommodate a larger room without stress.
For example, Snakes on Planes is a bass-intensive movie, and the XB6 sub handled
this campy flying horror's crackling and thunder with ease. Bass was tight
and explosive, with not even the slightest boom, which means low distortion.
That's not to say it wasn't as tamed with music where I did need to make
adjustments on the fly with multi-channel discs. Although my processor
allows a modification with a ± dB
control, I found it also simple
enough to make the slightest adjustments with the volume control on top.
With the Love or hate the Beatles DVD-Audio version of the popular stage show in
Las Vegas, I found the tracks refreshing and wonderful in surround. The
E-Series handles the first track "Because" with plenty of air around
the vocals, spatially and completely holographic.
I found the E60s generally very smooth – treble through the midrange -
listening to guitars and violins had believable tonal qualities. Listening
in stereo with the XB6 subwoofer active, Hilary Hahn's violin and Natalie
Zhu's piano collaboration on Mozart's Violin Sonatas were delightfully
rendered. Highs were adequately extended, and the E-Series created enough
warmth and texture to do the duet justice.
I find the E-Series an impeccable bit of engineering - outwardly the
precision of design, and execution of each piece, each turn of an end cap. I
love the fact that with all this high-tech look, that BA "warmed up" the
look of the speaker with the high polished cherry veneer or the low-luster
black ebony walnut flush-mounted side panel.
I'm quite impressed by the Boston Sound™ - in fact I believe the E-Series sets a
precedent in this price range for performance and value. I would gladly make
this my everyday theater speaker system.
Piero Gabucci -
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