Infinity Reference One Mini-Review

Discussion in 'Loudspeakers' started by Tomorrow, Oct 18, 2006.

  1. Tomorrow Audioholic Ninja

    Mar 4, 2005
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    I just purchased a mint pair of Infinity Reference One speakers from ebay. I thought I'd give you speaker-info craving AH'ers a little review. I got this pair for a couple of reasons. First, I wanted to spend way less than a hundred bucks for a set. They are finished in an oak veneer that sort of matches my oak office furniture (where the speakers reside). And lastly, I also have a pair of Reference EL's that act as my rear surrounds in our HT that I really like. The two models share all attributes except the size of the woofers (6" in the One vs. 5" in the EL), and of course the cabinet size. The Ref One also digs 15 Hz deeper at 55 Hz +/-3db.

    Though these have 8 or so years on them (mostly stored in a closet in their boxes), there was no noticeable degradation of the surrounds or any other defects indicating less than new condition. I have not had time to open up the cabinets and check the innards, yet.

    These are 6 ohm nominal speakers. I've found that they are a little inefficient but open up a bit with a tad more power judiciously applied than I would normally provide to my JBL's. They are driven as Zone 2 from my Yamaha RX-V2500. Both the EL's and One's have the Polycell tweeter that Infinity made to replace their famed EMIT tweeters. My personal opinion is that these do not nearly deliver the clarity and sweet airy quality of the EMITs. However, in my opinion, blending planar tweeters with your typical woofer drivers is a trick seldom accomplished. There is more unity of sound from the highs to the bottom ends in the newer the cost of the airy quality of the high end.

    Unfortunately, the speakers had to be less than optimally placed...somewhat recessed behind scanners and printers. Nevertheless, I pushed ahead.

    I fed the One's a variety of music from the Yammie and my underrated Panasonic F87 DVD changer. I both rocked and cajoled the little things. I listened carefully to Ian Anderson's Divinities (Divinities on the Infinities.. ;) ), Adrea Bocelli's Romanza, the Outlaws' So Low, and Joe Bonamassa's A New Day Yesterday.

    These bookshelf speakers do not put out the wall of music that my mains do, but I was quite impressed at their delicacy. While the Outlaws and Bonamassa rocked quite decently, the screaming guitar power that was lacking at be expected from these little guys. Still, the stage was there, and I was rocking (...well, rocking as much as an old man can, lol). The soft and testosterone-free music was a delight coming from the little bookshelf speaks. Divinities seems written for bookshelves and these did darn fine justice to the old and favorite cd. From the highest twinkling bells to cello and bass foundations, the Ref One's didn't miss anything. No straining at any level. Bocelli didn't exactly share the room with me, but his music came across with power and with air. I knew I was listening to speakers...not an imitation of a live performance that top-end speakers claim. So there certainly was room for improvement. (But at what cost?!)

    In all cases, the imaging of the performers and stage was deep, wide and right on the money. I'd rate them "mid-stage"...not nearly as forward as I'd expected. Played louder, the One's opened up really nicely, providing much more presence and seeming accuracy (and real 'liveness'). Unfortunately, my office is small and my hearing sensitive (bad, but sensitive :( ) So I kept the volume down for most of the listening sessions.

    These impacted me equally with some of the better bookshelf speakers I've auditioned, including Monitor Audio, Def Tech, Paradigms (Studios!), etc. Best of all, they cost many hundreds less. I'm quite pleased with my new setup. (Thanks also go out to labor cohort and technical guru, AverageJoe.)

    Here are the specs of the Reference One's from the Infinity website and a couple of pics. Good cheer.


    Frequency Response: 55Hz - 25kHz (+/-3dB)
    Crossover Frequency(ies): 4000Hz
    Sensitivity: 90dB (1 watt/1 meter)
    Nominal Impedance: 6 ohms
    Power Rating: 10 - 75 watts
    Woofer: 6" (15.2cm) IMG
    Tweeter: 0.75" (1.9cm) Polycell
    Last edited: Aug 13, 2007

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