Infinity comes roaring back with ‘Reference’ home theater speakers

For many of us, the Infinity brand brings back nostalgic memories of CD players (they were devices used to play CDs) feeding through smooth, accurate speakers with sleek designs and an accessible price point. Harman, the umbrella brand that owns Harman Kardon, JBL, Infinity, and others, is playing on our fond memories, reviving the Infinity brand with a brand new Reference series of home theater speakers. The lineup includes everything from floor standing towers, to subwoofers, for a total of nine speakers in all, ready to ship today.

R263 and R253 floorstanding loudspeakers ($1,100/$900 per pair)

Starting from the top down, Infinity’s new floor standing speakers are both three-way driver designs to cover the bass, midrange, and treble. Like all of the new Reference speakers, they incorporate Infinity’s Ceramic Metal Matrix Diaphragm (CMMD) woofers, sculpted in dual 6.5-inch and dual 5.25-inch sizes respectively. The CMMD design enlists aluminum cones between layers of a “durable ceramic surface” for a rigid, accurate frequency response that picks up the subtleties of the sound.

The towers also include Infinity’s flat-piston CMMD midrange drivers, designed to decrease distortion between the mid and high frequencies, and finally, both sets are topped off with a 1-inch CMMD tweeter, which are claimed to be “mated to an advanced waveguide” for seamless integration between the entire driver set for a full, balanced sound across all registers. The drivers for both models are enclosed in braced wood grain cabinets with dual rear ports for minimal low end resonance.

RC263 and RC253 center channel ($500/$350 per pair)

Infinity went all out for the RC263 center channel speaker, utilizing a very similar driver design as the tower speakers, though in a much smaller, closed cabinet. Drivers include dual 6.5-inch CMMD woofers, a single flat-piston CMMD midrange driver, and the waveguide controlled CMMD tweeter for a three-way configuration — something we’ve rarely seen in a center channel speaker. That’s a whole lot of power aimed at the center channel of your movies and surround mixes, and we expect this baby to sing.

The RC253 steps down slightly, utilizing dual 5.25-inch woofers, and the same 1-inch tweeter. However, the 253 loses the midrange flat-piston driver, which is touted as the key to clear and powerful vocals and dialogue delivered by its more expensive companion, which may make the RC263 a better choice, especially for those who watch a lot of movies.

R162 and R152 bookshelf speakers ($500/$400 MSRP per pair)

There isn’t a lot a lot to say about these guys. Each speaker is dropped into a single-ported braced cabinet, and topped with the series’ 1-inch CMMD aluminum tweeter. The R162 should pack a deep punch for a bookshelf thanks to its 6.5-inch CMMD woofer, while the R152’s smaller 5.25-inch woofer outlines a lighter sound. Digging into the specs backs that up, as the R162 reaches down to 49Hz at the low end, while the R152 tops out at 60Hz.

RS152 surround speaker ($500 MSRP per pair)

Like a lot of home theater series, the RS152 perhaps deviates the most from the rest of the family (aside from the subs, of course). The speaker is designed for wall mounting, and as such has some unique technology inside, the most compelling of which is its Hemispherical Soundfield Technology, which uses a combination of driver positioning and waveguide control for a “180 degree hemispherical listening area.” The design is intended to create a seamless dispersion of all frequencies across the back of your home theater room for a more consistent overall performance.

The speakers can be keyhole mounted, and include a 5.5-inch CMMD woofer, and dual 1-inch CMMD tweeters set at angles.

Sub R12 and Sub R10 ($600/$500 MSRP)

Finally, Infinity will bust out two new subwoofers for the series in 12-inch and 10-inch fiber-composite drivers. Both subs are powered by digital amplifiers, packing 300 and 200 watts of earth rumbling power, respectively. The subs come in ported cabinets, and offer controls for crossover, level, and a selectable low frequency output.

Capping a new era for the Infinity family, the new Reference series looks primed and ready to power up your home theater room. It should be noted that, although we’ve quoted the suggested price above, at last check many of the new speakers were available for a lower price on the Infinity website. If you’re in the market, take a peak at the site today and see if your ready to invite Infinity back into your home.

Product Review

Bigger. Smarter. Louder. The Echo Plus makes Alexa sound better than ever

Amazon’s second-generation Echo Plus speaker is the loudest, bassiest speaker in the Echo fleet. While featuring a smart hub with only Zigbee connectivity, other upgrades make this device a worthy smart speaker.
Home Theater

How to buy speakers: A beginner’s guide to home audio

From the difference between bookshelf speakers and monitors to the proper way to audition, our ultimate speaker buying guide has all the information you need to create your own home audio nirvana.
Smart Home

Amazon Echo vs. Echo Plus: Which should you get?

If you're trying to choose between the Amazon Echo or the Echo Plus, then this guide is for you. It compares the two Alexa-enabled speakers in cost, size, looks, functionality, and more.
Home Theater

Learn how to calibrate your home theater speakers for sheer audio bliss

Make your home theater rumble just right with our manual speaker setup guide, a simple, step-by-step walkthrough to getting the most from your audio equipment without needing to rely on imperfect automatic calibration.

Time for a new TV? Grab the 55-inch Samsung curved 4K smart TV for $598

Shopping for a new TV and want to upgrade to 4K? Consider going curved: Samsung makes some of the best UHD TVs on the market today, including its unique curved lineup. Now, you can score the 55-inch Samsung curved 4K smart TV for just $598…
Emerging Tech

Keep your holiday gift list high tech and under budget with these gadgets

Modern technology doesn't always come cheap, but there plenty of premium devices that don't carry a premium price. Whether you're looking for a streaming device or a means of capturing photos from above, our list of the best tech under $50…
Product Review

Google’s third HD Chromecast is still a good streamer, but its value is slipping

At Google’s October event, we saw a slew of new products, but the new third-generation Chromecast didn’t even make it onstage. We spent some time with the incrementally upgraded, third-generation HD Chromecast to see if it’s worth…
Home Theater

They’re not just for gaming: Watch Blu-rays on the Xbox One S and Xbox One X

While the Xbox One S and Xbox One X boost the visuals of your games, they also can pull double-duty as Blu-ray players, but there's a bit of set up needed. Need help? Here's our guide on how to watch Blu-rays on the Xbox One S and X.
Movies & TV

You can ditch cable but still get your 'SportsCenter' fix with ESPN+

ESPN's streaming service, ESPN+, is finally here. Despite appearances, ESPN+ isn't a replacement for your ESPN cable channels, and it differs from other streaming apps in a few key ways.
Home Theater

Throw away those EarPods -- we dug up the best headphones in every style

Trolling the internet for hours to find headphones is no way to live. Instead, leverage our expertise and experience to find the best headphones for you. Here are our 10 favorites.
Smart Home

SiriusXM, Amazon team up for two Echo Dot deals with freebies

Amazon and SiriusXM partnered on two joint promotions. New SiriusXM subscribers can receive a free Amazon Echo Dot. People who already own an Echo device can sign up for new SiriusXM subscription with the first three months free.

Bolster your HD music catalog with the best high-res audio sites

Music connoisseurs relish HD audio, but scouring the web for all the best streaming and downloading sites can be a pain. Luckily, we've done the work for you. Check out our list, and let the high-resolution good times roll.
Home Theater

Lynxsonic’s 4:33 headphones offer premium features at a not-so-premium price

If you're looking for a set of wireless headphones that has a similar feature set to Bose's QuietComfort 35 but with a lower price, the Lynxsonic 4:33 is an intriguing new contender on Kickstarter.
Home Theater

Demystify home audio with our ultimate A/V receiver buying guide

Today's A/V receivers are packed with lots of advanced technology and just plain cool features. From understanding watt ratings to Wi-Fi, we explain how to buy one that will last you for years in our ultimate A/V receiver buying guide.