Boston Acoustics VS Series Speaker System Real-World Performance
The VS speakers' straight-down-the-middle tonal balance was neither bright nor dull. Midrange was clear as can be and low in distortion. Perhaps the biggest surprise was that it was free of the usual boxy, closed-in coloration I've heard from countless flat screen-friendly speakers of late.
The Journey to the Center of the Earth Blu-ray demonstrated the VS Series' home-theater moxie. The classic Jules Verne story gets pumped up with oodles of special effects as a seismic geologist (Brenden Fraser) and his nephew (Josh Hutcherson) get trapped in a cavern and go on to explore an underworld full of prehistoric beasts and carnivorous plants.
The VS Series were champs at revealing even the tiniest details of falling dust and footsteps' gritty granularity. The reverberation of echoing voices made me feel like I was with them in "a world within the world." Fantastic tremors and subterranean rumblings weren't just deep, they seemed to come from all around.
The VPS 210 sub's deep bass and pitch definition were superb. The fierce roars of dinosaurs placed within wide-open vistas of sound were especially thrilling. With the lights turned down low, I forgot all about the VS lifestyle aspirations and nudged the volume up to a healthy level. The sound remained fuzz free, without the squashed dynamics I've heard from many similarly sized speakers.
Teeth, a coming-of-age comedy/horror flick, takes it to a new level of weird. Early in the film, Dawn (Jess Weixler) exhibits a secret power that manifests itself as heavy-duty teenage guilt and, later on, lots of squirm-inducing gore. Dawn's victims' screams and blood-gushing spurts made me jump; the speakers didn't hold anything back.
Calexico's World Drifts In: Live At The Barbican London on DVD brought me back to reality. Calexico plays an eclectic blend of Tex-Mex, Afro-Peruvian, jazz, and country. I'm a big fan of their studio recordings, but this live concert DVD is even better. Calexico's sound was fleshed out with the addition of Mariachi Luz de Luna's brass and string sections. The combined big band's wide dynamics, from a whisper to a scream, came through unscathed, while the brass sounded perfect and the string tone was relaxed with a truly live, this-is-happening-now vibe. The DVD's Dolby Digital mix was broad, with life-like depth and dimensionality.
The speakers may be skinny, but with the VPS 210 sub throwing its considerable weight around, DJ Krush's low-down moves came through loud and clear. The Japanese hip-hop master's ambient electronica soundscapes were gigantic, extending well past the sides of the VS 224s, with lots of depth. But the VPS 210's grip on the lowest octaves was the star here. Its pitch definition with drum'n'bass patterns possessed a clarity you never get from the tiny but powerful cube subs that are so popular nowadays.