High quality audio isn’t something you can go halfway on; if you’re looking for great quality sound you can find it in all sizes, but a floor-standing speaker can give you some really impressive bang for your buck.
I’ve had a variety of audio setups over the past seventeen years (it almost scares me to write that) from home theatre-in-a-box solutions to quality bookshelf options. Having the Definitive Technology BP-8060ST Bipolar Supertowers in my home was a unique experience… and that’s what we’re going to be talking about today.
The packaging for speakers is never subtle, especially when they’re as large as these towers. Each tower comes with its own box, and they’re enough to fill the back of a decently-sized minivan. It’s even more delightful when you realize that there’s a box-within-a-box; it’s not a great surprise as these outer boxes can get damaged in transit.
Inside that second box you’ll find a wrapped and protected speaker, surrounded by three pieces of styrofoam. The upside to having two boxes is that your cat, should you own one, will have twice the fun to play with. With two boxes per speaker and two speakers to set up my cat was in heaven.
Screws and feet for the speaker are tucked into a cavity in the end of one styrofoam piece, while the power cable is tucked away at the other end with the manual.
Power cable? Yes, power cable! The BP-8060ST is a “SuperTower” that includes a powered subwoofer. According to the company’s website Definitive pioneer this powered tower technology, and from the looks of the BP-8060ST it’s a category they’ve mastered.
The actual speaker itself, when standing in place, takes up only 1 square foot of room, which may not seems like a lot–but it’s still a significant space investment for someone with a smaller place like mine. Situating the pair in the corner of my condo’s main room, I gave them a bit of the space out from the wall. Why? These SuperTowers are “Bipolar” speakers, meaning that they have drivers facing both the front of the tower and the back. This is a design created to project a rich sound field again both in front and behind the speaker. With two speakers working in tandem, the physics of it should mean that you get a 3D soundscape.
At the heart of my home theatre setup I’ve had a variety of receivers over the years, Harman/Kardon, Yamaha, and most recently Pioneer. To test out the Definitive Technology BP-8060ST SuperTowers I used my Pioneer VSX-919; it’s not the optimal solution for high performance speakers, but to get a feel for the tone I pulled out my older Polk Bookshelves and my DVD-Audio copy of The Eagles Hell Freezes Over.
I should note that I have a bit of history with this disc; years ago when I worked in the Kitchener Future Shop I was stationed in the computer department. The unique thing about that is that particular department was positioned right outside the cavernous rooms the massive rear projection TVs and the home audio setups. In the heyday of DVD it was a heady time when big audio packages seemed to flow out the door like fast food orders, and it was a time of many demos. The home theatre guys in store 56 loved their audio demos, and every single one of them carried a copy of Hell Freezes Over. I’ve heard that disc so many times and on so many sets of speakers that the nuances of it are etched into my brain.
With that in mind, and warmed up from my familiar bookshelves, I connected the BP-8060 towers up. No matter what your opinion of heavier gauge speaker cables are, I will say this: having a good quality cable and a decent banana plug on the end makes it a whole lot easier to adjust your speaker setup. My receiver only had a single LFE output, so a Y-adapter (RCA) let me hook up the powered subs for both units. While some receivers have two LFE outputs (for 7.2 or 9.2 audio) mine, sadly, does not.
With them plugged in I took a little time to adjust the sub volume on the speaker (easier than adjusting it through my receiver) and, hitting play, I sat back and listened.
For the past few years I’ve been doing most of my casual listening through a single Geneva XL speaker. It produces great audio and can give you a quality stereo/surround feel, but it can’t compete with a real stereo setup.
I’ll cut to the chase here: the Definitive Technology BP-8060ST SuperTower speakers sound excellent. You’re paying for a premium product here, and you’re getting one, from build quality through to the most important part, sound quality. The range on these speakers is suitably impressive; the powered sub give you crisp bass that rounds the sound out–if you want to, you can feel it in your bones. The mid-range is rich and full, and highs are clear without straying into shrill territory. I listened to the entire disc from start to finish, and then cherry picked some of my favourite songs. In each case I found an accurate version of songs that I’ve come to love.
With manual control of the sub you can tailor the experience to your liking relatively easily. I’d err on lower rather than higher for volume out of the sub–they pack a serious punch.
For the sake of argument I took the time to connect my receiver up to my Epson 3020 projector and watched some TELUS TV. It’s absolutely overkill, but if you’ve got a home theatre setup there’s no reason why you couldn’t use these speakers as the bedrock on which your audio system rests. They’re more than powerful, and the timbre seemed to match quite nicely with my existing centre channel and rear channels.
The only objection to a speaker like this is cost, and that’s an objection that overcomes itself based on what you’re looking for. If you’re looking for a premium experience, this is it. They offer the looks, the performance, and the overall experience that’s built for people who want amazing audio. While they may not be the perfect solution for those with limited space (like me), if you’ve got the space, the Definitive Technology BP-8060ST SuperTowers are one of the best audio choices you can make.