Boston Acoustics is a well recognized brand in the audio industry. If you haven’t seen their speaker products at your favorite electronics store, you may have seen their car audio products in some vehicle or another. So, the brand needs little introduction. Their latest series of speakers, on the other hand, you may not have heard of yet. The A-series is the company’s effort at providing their signature flavor of sound in an attractive package with “enduring value.”
A 25 bookshelf speaker
To be frank, when we were approached to review some of the speakers in the A series and heard they were the “value oriented” line, we didn’t exactly jump up and down in our chairs with excitement. Often, speakers that fit the “value” profile usually aren’t all that moving sonically. We are pleased to report, however, that after a thorough evaluation of some of Boston Acoustics’ A-series speakers, we learned that they defy many of the negative stereotypes that plague value oriented speaker products.
Out of the Box
For this review, Boston sent us two A 250 floor-standing speakers, an A 225C center channel, two A 25 bookshelf speakers and an ASW 250 10” down-firing subwoofer. These speakers, save the sub, use some combination or another of 5.25” mid/woofers and a 1” tweeter. There are larger floor-standing and bookshelf products in the line which use 6.5” woofers, the same tweeter and, in the case of the floor-standers, an added 3.25” midrange driver. There’s also a smaller, 3.5” satellite speaker and more powerful, front firing 10” subwoofer available.
Unboxing the speakers was a more involved process than we’re used to. The speakers were protected with EPS packing materials (AKA Styrofoam) which broke apart in transport – an unfortunate by-product of direct shipping across the nation. Once the speakers were pulled out, we noticed a protective film had been applied to the speakers’ shiny black surfaces. Peeling it off presented a hassle in some of the corner and seam areas. At one point we had to carefully etch some of the film out of the seams with some plastic so as not to scratch up the finish. With film removed, we went ahead and installed the provided floor spikes to the bottom of the front speakers. For the record, the spikes are not required, though. The bottoms of the floor-standers are already outfitted with rubber disc pads which should keep them from sliding around on wood or tile floors.
Features and Design
The A series of speakers are available in just one finish. The top and bottom surfaces, along with the baffle around the drivers, have a textured matte black finish that looks attractive enough and feels like vinyl. The majority of the speakers surface is finished in a resilient, scratch-resistant, glossy black material that feels plastic-y but looks attractive and seems durable enough to stand up to some household abuse.
The A 250 towers measure 35-1/8 x 12-5/8” x 8-7/8” which puts them in the short, but not exactly thin category. The A 250 doesn’t have the more modern, ultra-thin styling that the manufacturer’s RS series does but they aren’t space hogs, either, and have a pleasant, classic feel that can blend well with varied décor. Measurements for the other speakers are available in the specs section of this review.
As previously mentioned, all of the speakers we received use a 5.25” ceramic/glass fiber polymer woofer with a rubber surround and a phase-plug dust cap. The front and center channels each use two of the mid/woofers and a single 1” soft dome tweeter. The bookshelf speakers use a single 5.25” driver and tweeter.
The front speakers weigh in at just under 30 lbs. The A 225 C center channel is 15.40 lbs and the A25 bookshelf is just 10 lbs. The drivers in the speakers seem to comprise most of their weight, indicating the cabinets themselves are very light. This had us concerned about the sound quality these speakers would exhibit, but Boston Acoustics reports that the speakers are well braced internally to keep them rigid.
All of the speakers have a single port on the rear of the speaker, a single set of binding posts and magnetic, black-cloth grills. The bookshelf speakers have some basic keyhole mounts on the rear but no threaded inserts for securing wall mounts or speaker stands. The center channel also offers no threaded inserts.