Engaging sound, amazing price point

June 6, 2024
3 mins read
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Summary

PSB Imagine T65 Loudspeakers

WADE BOOTH soaked up the sounds emitting from PSB’s handsome new iteration of its Imagine T65 tower loudspeakers and found their sound engaging and their price point remarkable.

$3999

The 2024 iteration of the PSB Imagine T65 speakers are an enticing proposition for audiophiles seeking high-fidelity sound without the high-end price tag. PSB Speakers, a Canadian company with over 50 years of experience building loudspeakers, has a reputation for delivering exceptional audio performance at accessible prices.

The T65s arrived in robust packaging, ensuring safe transit. Unboxing reveals two solid towers finished in a sleek satin black, painted not vinyl wrapped, with eye-catching carbon fibre accents and silver trim. The build quality is evident from the moment you lay eyes on them. They have a solid construction, reasonable weight, and nice attention to detail inspiring confidence in their potential durability and performance. These speakers are designed to fit into a stylish household and hold their own. Locally they’re only going to be available in Black, but there are Satin White options in the smaller T54 or B50 Bookshelf if you want to integrate with your decor.

The speakers themselves are a visual treat. Each driver – two 6.5-inch woofers, a 5.25-inch midrange, and a 1-inch titanium dome tweeter – is encircled by that sleek silver trim, adding a touch of elegance to the carbon fibre weave on the woofers. PSB’s signature placement of the tweeter below the midrange driver is a technique that they claim helps integrate the highs seamlessly with the rest of the audio spectrum.

The speakers come with two pre-attached aluminium “outrigger” plates on the sides for attaching the feet. You get spikes and pads, both of which sport the same silver accents. I only used the spikes in my carpeted listening room, but the felt-padded pads enable you to place them on wood or concrete floors, and the feet feel sturdy and secure once attached.

On the back, you’ll find a unique slot-shaped bass port and dual 5-way gold-plated binding posts, offering the flexibility of bi-wiring or bi-amping if desired. Weighing in at 20kg each, the speakers are surprisingly manageable to move around. I found it quite easy to slide a foot under them and pivot them into position. A few taps on the MDF cabinet reveal the internal bracing for the separate woofer chambers, a design feature aimed at minimising unwanted vibrations and ensuring clean, accurate sound.

Photo credit: Wade Booth

Sound Quality

The bass response proved a bit of a mixed bag in my room. Now I do caveat that with the fact that every room is different and taming these frequencies can sometimes require a lot of work, so I did my best to give these a fair run.  On some tracks, I found the bass punchy and satisfying, while on others, it can got a bit boomy, especially with heavier bass lines.

Vocals, however, are consistently excellent, clear and well-defined. This is likely due to the tweeter being similar to the one used in their $20k Synchrony series speakers.

The imaging is also impressive, creating a realistic soundstage. In fact, when I played ‘Sanctuary’ by Chris Jones, a friend who was over for a listening session was convinced the vocals were coming from my home theatre centre speaker, so I’ll consider that a win! This song also offers a good bass tone well suited to these speakers, creating a platform for the vocals to sit upon. Separation is key for allowing this song to deliver its rhythmic monastery hums with the silky guitar and tambourine layered on top

The midrange is generally solid, but I noticed it felt a little reserved on certain tracks. When listening to ‘Don’t Know Why’ by Norah Jones, there seemed to be a slight clash between the midrange and tweeter, with her vocals sounding silky in the mids as it pulled into the higher pitches it could sound a tad sharp and piercing, but this song has been known to test many speakers.

Adding in my subwoofer made a significant difference, rounding out the bass and balancing the overall sound. It also allowed the speakers to focus on their strengths in the midrange and highs. PSB offer a couple of options here in the BP series which would likely pair well.

While I briefly tested the T65s in my home theatre setup, it wasn’t a fair comparison as they weren’t well-matched with my existing speakers. However, I did notice that they widened the soundstage and excelled at dialogue clarity. There are a couple of centres in PSB’s PWM series that would match well with these units to round out the entire system.

I will say the T65s handle volume exceptionally well. Even at higher levels, there’s minimal distortion. I had to push them quite hard before I noticed any subtle background noise in the tweeters, well beyond what most people would consider reasonable listening levels.

Considering their price point, $3999, the PSB Imagine T65 speakers offer exceptional value for money. They deliver a level of performance that rivals much more expensive models, making them an attractive option for budget-conscious audiophiles seeking high-fidelity sound without breaking the bank.

Photo credit: Wade Booth

Conclusion

The PSB Imagine T65 speakers are a testament to PSB’s commitment to delivering premium audio experiences at accessible prices. While they might benefit from a subwoofer for the most balanced sound, their strengths in vocal clarity, midrange detail, and soundstage make them a compelling choice for music lovers and home theatre enthusiasts alike. If you’re in the market for a pair of high-performance speakers that offer exceptional value, the PSB Imagine T65s are certainly worth auditioning. This flagship of the Imagine series lives up to PSB’s legacy, offering a compelling blend of premium build quality, engaging sound, and remarkable value.

+ Gear Used: Rotel RMB-1585 amplifier, Eversolo DMP-A6 streamer, Sony UBPX700 Blu-ray player.

The new PSB Imagine loudspeaker range will be available from specialist audio retailers from July 2024 onwards.

www.connectedmedia.co.nz

 

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With a zeal for quality audio from creation to reproduction and over two decades of experience in NZ's electronics industry, Wade covers everything from microchips to what makes aural perfection. He's also something of a craft beer aficionado and sports enthusiast.

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