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Cerwin-Vega XLS-215 Floorstanding Loudspeaker Review  Print E-mail
Home Theater Loudspeakers Floorstanding Loudspeakers
Written by Augie Bettencourt   
Wednesday, 01 December 2010
Article Index
Cerwin-Vega XLS-215 Floorstanding Loudspeaker Review 
Movies and Conclusion

Movie Watching:

I decided to try them for movie watching and started with “The Bourne Identity“ DVD.  Bourne has a very active and enveloping sound mix right from the beginning, and the dynamic range was well rendered with excellent spatial detail. The front soundstage is very nicely spread out and the soundtrack and surrounds are almost constantly engaged, down to the subtlest ambient detail.  Bass response was spectacular and the soundtrack was faithfully duplicated.  The XLS-6C center speaker did a good job of handling dialogue and sonically matches the much larger tower speakers.  Movie watching is all about dynamics and the XLS-215 speakers excel at dynamics like nothing I’ve heard costing three times the price.

I decided to try them with “Gladiator” Blu-ray the epic starring Russell Crowe sounded incredible with the Cerwin Vegas. From the gentle pluck of guitar strings to the dramatic Battle of Carthage, the XLS-215s had the ability to reproduce unrivaled detail, visceral slam and impact.  There are  smaller, much more expense speakers I’ve heard that can match these speakers’s ability to create a convincing soundstage, but none with the deep, powerful bass response of the XLS-215s with each speaker’s dual 15” woofers.  These speakers are big, but they make really big sound, which is very difficult to achieve with a small speaker of any price.

Woofer

Lastly I watched the “Avatar” Blu-ray Avatar didn’t excite me the way it did most people, but this is a great sounding movie.  Pandora just glows with subtle sound, dialogue is perfectly presented and the front and rear surrounds are engaged throughout the entire movie.  The XLS-215 speakers have the ability to reproduce good detail, outstanding dynamics and thunderous bass response with no compression or strain at any sane volume level.

Conclusion:

Gene Czerwinski was a music fan with a design philosophy based on high-efficiency drivers, durability, and “value for money products.”  Nowhere is this more evident than in the XLS-215 tower speakers, each with their two 15" cast frame high excursion woofers, a 6.5" midrange with fiber impregnated cone, and a 1" soft dome tweeter, all wrapped in a nice black wood-grain finished cabinet with metal grille.  They’re not small or polite, and look like something out of the 1980’s, but whether you want to jam with Carlos Santana at concert-levels, or reproduce Avatar’s jungles of Pandora, the Cerwin Vega XLS-215 speakers will never disappoint and represent an outstanding value at $1198 per pair.  If you have the room for a speaker of this size, their ability to produce detailed high frequencies, wide soundstage, open midrange and powerful bass is unparalleled for a speaker costing so little.  They’re not perfect, but I can’t overemphasize how ridiculously inexpensive these speakers are considering how good they sound.  I’ve heard speakers costing three or four times more that don’t sound as good, which could make them the best deal in home audio today.





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