There’s a new addition to a well-regarded speaker family—the Emotiva Airmotiv E2 wall-mounted surround speaker. This 2-way, bass-reflex (ported) design features a forward-facing 5.25″ woven-fiber woofer and two 32mm Airmotiv folded-ribbon tweeters, one on each side of the woofer at an angle.
This is a variation of a bipole/dipole design, but it’s much more flexible than most. Specifically, you can configure the Emotiva Airmotiv E2 as a direct-radiating bipole (tweeters are in phase with each other) or as a dipole (tweeters are out of phase with each other).
Even better, in dipole mode, you can select which tweeter is wired with the same polarity as the front speakers. According to commonly accepted best practices, the front-facing drivers in side-surround dipole speakers should be wired with the same polarity as the front speakers, while the rear-facing drivers should be wired with the opposite polarity. As a result, the front and rear drivers in the right and left side-surround speakers should be wired in the opposite manner with respect to each other. Fortunately, the Emotiva Airmotiv E2 lets you do just that, which means that one speaker can serve in either position.
You can also select an “inverse bipole” configuration, in which both tweeters are wired with the opposite polarity of the woofer. This is appropriate for rear-surround speakers, increasing their soundstage and making the room seem larger. The bottom line is that the Emotiva Airmotiv E2 lets you optimize its performance in a wide variety of surround installations.
The speaker’s twin ports are on the front of the cabinet, so it can be easily mounted on a wall. Speaking of the cabinet, it’s a scaled-down version of the company’s Minimum Acoustic Signature design with removable, magnetically attached grills. In addition, it ships with a heavy-duty steel mounting bracket.
According to Dan Laufman, President and CEO of Emotiva Audio Corp, “Most modern surround-sound standards recommend using direct-radiating surround speakers for the most precise localization of objects and most accurate soundstage, but in some cases, such as in small rooms or when the surrounds are located very close to listeners, bipole speakers can make a better presentation. The E2 offers both options, including the choice of forward- or rearward-oriented dipole or inverted bipole, where both tweeters are out of phase with the mid-woofer, ensuring that the listener will find the perfect setting in any surround system.” In addition, he says, “The E2 was developed for universal appeal, not only to home-theater enthusiasts, but to custom-installation professionals who need maximum flexibility and reliability when designing a system of any size or budget.”
And the price? $459/pair. Once again, Emotiva proves that high-end audio doesn’t have to be high priced.