Sugg. Retail: $1995.95 (CAN)
Here we have a compact combination of four identical satellites, a centre channel, and a subwoofer, all compact and stylish, the sub remarkably small for its bass extension. According to the manual, “With their versatile design, the satellite speakers can be placed virtually anywhere on shelves or stands, or mounted on a wall using the supplied base.”
That base is swivel-mounted to the bottom of the speaker so that it can provide vertical stand or wall mounting easily, especially for anyone who has already run speaker cables through the walls to the appropriate locations. All are very stylish, with grey enclosure with silver accents on the baffle, which is very small.
The drivers use what Infinity calls Ceramic Metal Matrix Diaphragms (CMMDTM), which are “stiff, yet light, and have high internal damping (damping is a material’s ability to absorb energy).”
“To ensure that Modulus II loudspeakers will sound exceptional in even the most unexceptional listening environment, Infinity has developed the proprietary Room Adaptive Bass Optimization SystemTM.” Called RABOS for short, it involves a CD that can be used to provide a series of bass frequencies to calibrate the subwoofer below 80 Hz to operate smoothly in any room. RABOS has it own remote control with a built-in microphone and LED frequency display that allows the user user to calibrate the sub at the listening position in a half-hour or less. Another thing to note is that there are no speaker-level inputs, a pair of RCAs the only access. The subwoofer has a rotary control to set its frequency range, as well as one for level, both on the rear channel. A RABOS Template booklet, with 6 different calibration charts, allows one to measure the bass frequency response by noting the levels from 20 to 100 Hz and joining the dots during the calibration process. This is an innovative subwoofer tuning feature, essential in many rooms.
The measurement curves for the satellites show that they are voiced for smaller rooms, being a compact system, with a gentle rolloff in the top end to not be completely in your face in the highs. Interestingly enough, the centre channel’s midrange is somewhat flatter (shown below the satellites), so voice and other centre channel information should be well articulated. The centre also maintains excellent dispersion, like the satellites. So, though the system rolls off a bit in the upper midrange and highs, it has full extension to 20 kHz and the mating of subwoofer and satellites is virtually ideal. The irony of the large amount of engineering that developed RABOS is that it isn’t really needed in better rooms, the subwoofer providing (as seen) superb low end extension and smoothness. However, in difficult rooms it can provide the extra tweaking to make thesystem sound its best. I listened to the Modulus system with several components, including the Harman/Kardon receiver and Anthem multichannel preamplifier, and was impressed by the smooth and dynamic performance of the systems, as heard through the Infinity HT speakers. It had excellent transient response, a normal virtue of smaller drivers in compact enclosures, but especially true here because of the CMMD cone composition’s rigidity and freedom from distortion. And with an especially fine subwoofer, the Infinity Modulus II system ranks very high overall among compact home theatre speaker systems we have measured and auditioned.
Related Reviews:AIG Back Issues: Fall 2005
AIG Back Issues: Almanac 1999
AIG Back Issues: Winter 1999
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