AudioRumble rating 80/100
What We like
Impressive set of features for the price.
Simple yet attractive cabinet design.
Lots of upgrade paths and solid core performance,
What We don't like
Bass drivers are still somewhat underpowered.
|Frequency Range:||80 Hz - 20 kHz|
PreSonus Ceres C3.5BT is among the most proven choices to get under $200. This is an active set of speakers that is designed for convenience as well as performance. Let’s take a closer look and see what these offer.
One of the things that defines PreSonus’ lower end speakers is a simple design. However, simple doesn’t necessarily have to mean boring or bad. PreSonus Ceres C3.5BT actually look minimalist to a point where they are more attractive than a good portion of their immediate competition. These are dark gray and feature a simple baffle with very subtle wave guides around tweeters. The only thing that is breaking up the grayness is the illuminated PreSonus logo on the right side of the bass driver.
PreSonus has opted to place most of the controls at the very front of the speaker, which include volume control, ON/OFF button and 3.5mm AUX out ports. The back panel reveals the rest of the controls and its complex I/O port. You get 1/4“ TRS balanced inputs, a set of RCA unbalanced inputs as well as bare wire connectors for the passive speaker. There is also a TRS sub output, which is a rather nice surprise.
What we have here is an active set of bookshelf speakers centered round the 1“ silk dome tweeter and the 3.5“ driver. If you look at the back, you will see back firing ports on each of the two cabinets, meaning that you have to be somewhat careful when positioning the speakers against a wall.
The overall power is limited at 25 Watts per speaker, and is delivered by a built in amplifier. These come with a crossover as well, which kicks in at around 3,500 Hz. What is truly awesome about the PreSonus Ceres C3.5BT is the fact that you get room acoustic controls in the back. Sure, these only support treble and bass adjustments, but that is already more than what most of its competition has to offer.
On top of that, the I/O cluster is nothing to joke about either. Not only do you get TRS inputs, but these also support third party subwoofers. Lastly, we have to mention Bluetooth suppoort which is just impressive.
Right out of the box, PreSonus Ceres C3.5BT sound decent to say the least. Trebles and mids are well structure, while the lows are there but with some limitations. Getting a proper low end response from 3.5“ woofer cones is still within the realms of impossible. However, when paired with a decent reflex port, you can get a satisfying level of bass even from such small drivers.
Naturally, if you were to hook up a standalone subwoofer unit, which you absolutely can do, PreSonus Ceres C3.5BT would transform into a serious piece of audio gear. Messing around with the EQ at the back can allow you to really dial in the tone to match your room. That is probably one of the best things about this set of speakers. They are biased, as expected, but flat enough where each portion of the frequency range gets good representation.
Those who are looking for a great set of active bookshelf speakers really need to check out Presonus Ceres C3.5BT. This is especially true if you are on a budget. Bang for the buck, these are just awesome.
AudioRumble rating 80/100