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Pioneer SP-BS22-LR may not be the most powerful, but they are definitely some of the best sounding bookshelf speakers you can get for less than $200. Let’s take a closer look and see why this is the case.
To call these beautiful or unique would be a stretch by any standard. With that said, there is some attraction in the simplicity of Andrew Jones’ design. This acclaimed designer went for optimal performance over anything else, which is perfectly apparent when you first take a look at the Pioneer’s SP-BS22-LR.
Cabinets are made from MDF and lack a specific baffle at the front. Instead, each transducer comes with its own surround. What makes the Pioneer SP-BS22-LR stand out is their size. Compared to their immediate competition, you could easily call them compact. Both cabs feature black, glossy wood-grain vinyl. In a way, this makes the SP-BS22-LR easy to fit into just about any environment in terms of aesthetics.
However, they do come across as overly simplified. This is where most people tend to like or completely dislike these Pioneer bookshelf speakers. Either way, it is the performance that makes SP-BS22-LR so attractive.
The specs you are looking at here include a 4″ woofer that features a structured surface and oversize magnets. On top of it, there is a 1″ soft dome tweeter that sits comfortably in a very subtle waveguide. The overall power rating is set at 80 Watts, which is quite an output for such a compact model.
However, the most attractive thing about the SP-BS22-LR is the 6 element complex crossover. Another feature that is unique for the SP-BS22-LR is the shape of the cabinets. These don’t come in your standard boxy enclosure, but rather a curved design that tapers to the back. It is easy to mistake this as a purely aesthetic decision, but such contour of the cabinet actually does a lot to break the standing sound waves inside each cabinet.
Overall, the entire speaker is centered around the crossover, whose performance makes a pretty significant impact on the sound you get.
Most affordable bookshelf speakers rely on the nature of the transducers that come in them in order to reproduce sound. This often results in very obvious dips in specific parts of the frequency range. Even a simple crossover won’t always solve this issue.
When Pioneer SP-BS22-LR was first released, they have pretty much set the standard for compact bookshelf speakers in their respective price range. That complex crossover really gives you a smooth transition between trebles, mids, and lows. Actually, it goes a step further. You are looking at a flawless transition between different parts of trebles, different portions of mid frequencies and so on.
The only real limitation comes in form of somewhat shallow bass response. However, that is a direct result of using a 4″ driver. The clarity you get is impressive, to say the least, even though there isn’t too much coloration present. Pioneer definitely delivered something special in a price range where you don’t often see similar designs.
They are small, they don’t reach too far down in the frequency range. However, Pioneer SP-BP22-LR are among the most capable speakers you can get for your money. They easily punch above their price range.