Snap AV Episode HT-650 LCR is Versatile Problem Solver

The speaker is more than capable of delivering a fun and satisfying experience as a complete system solution.

Snap AV Episode HT-650 LCR is Versatile Problem Solver
Robert Archer · November 19, 2008

Snap AV, a multi-product manufacturer (with lines that include everything from projection screens and mounts to cabling and A/V furniture) has introduced its latest speaker product: the Episode HT-650 LCR.

The Episode HT-650 LCR is a multipurpose loudspeaker that can address just about any home theater installation other than an in-wall/in-ceiling job.

Its versatility, in turn, enables installers to simplify their product selection and ordering processes.

Installer-Friendly Speaker Has Multiple Mounting Options

The Episode HT-650 LCR is a boxed speaker, but it can be wall- or stand-mounted. Because of its front firing ports, it can be placed in a cabinet without any negative effects.

The speaker features:

  • a unique driver array with dual carbon-fiber midrange drive units
  • a 41⁄2-inch planar magnetic ribbon tweeter that can be removed and repositioned within the cabinet to accommodate vertical or horizontal speaker placement
  • two front-mounted contour switches designed to compensate for behind-the-screen placement and boundary interaction

Snap AV says the speaker achieves a rated sensitivity of 95 dB and a frequency response of 70 Hz to 20 KHz.

Installation Comes with No Surprises

In the CE Pro editorial conference room, I used a trio of HT 650s as a left-center-right configuration (then, later as a stereo pair rear surrounds).

Initially, the speakers were unpacked and placed on 36-inch stands that flanked our drop-down screen. Running QED speaker cables, which were terminated with banana plugs from our Anthem electronics, I inserted the bananas into the speakers’ five-way binding posts.

I then switched the front-mounted compensation switches to the appropriate off positions.

Buttoning up the installation, I positioned the center channel horizontally. Using a drill gun to remove the vertically mounted tweeter, I carefully unscrewed the screws from the tweeter’s baffle and pulled the clips off the back of the tweeter.

Dropping the tweeter into the horizontal slot in the speaker’s enclosure, I reconnected the tweeter’s wiring and re-secured the tweeter back into the cabinet.

The entire installation, including the tweeter repositioning and the toeing in of the speakers, did not take any longer than a typical speaker installation.

Speakers Have Solid Sound Stage, Firm Image

Before I start any formal review, I always run the speakers through a break-in period.

After that, I ran a few music CDs to hear how they sounded without a sub and in two-channel. Using recordings from John Pertucci, Two-Ton Shoe, Bonarama and Dave Matthews, I found the Episode speakers threw a solid sound stage with a firm image.

The speakers also provided some midrange resolution, but it was somewhat colored by what I believe was cabinet resonance. I also heard a hint of tinny-ness with cymbals and a bit of compression in the all brass Bonarama CD.

Switching over to a theater set-up, we added a subwoofer and surrounds and listened to the AIX Records sampler DVD, the Led Zeppelin “How the West was Won” DVD-Audio and DTS’ Don Henley’s “End of the Innocence” disc.

Listening to the HT 650s as part of a theater ensemble produced more favorable results. With the sub filling in the bottom end, the midrange coloration was less apparent and the top-end tinnyness was also mitigated.

Episode Speakers: A Problem Solver

The Episode HT-650 LCR isn’t perfect, but it is a versatile problem-solving speaker that can do a lot of things for installers looking to simplify their product lines.

The speaker is more than capable of delivering a fun and satisfying experience as a complete system solution.

If installers use the speaker in their home theater installations, it will meet the performance needs of their clients.

MSRP: $800 each.

  About the Author

Bob is an audio enthusiast who has written about consumer electronics for various publications within Massachusetts before joining the staff of CE Pro in 2000. Bob is THX Level I certified, and he's also taken classes from the Imaging Science Foundation (ISF) and Home Acoustics Alliance (HAA). Bob also serves as the technology editor for CE Pro's sister publication Commercial Integrator. In addition, he's studied guitar and music theory at Sarrin Music Studios in Wakefield, Mass., and he also studies Kyokushin karate at 5 Dragons in Haverhill, Mass. Have a suggestion or a topic you want to read more about? Email Robert at [email protected]

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  Article Topics

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