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Product Reviews
Parsons Speakers Photography by Cordero Studios Parsons Speakers
Brent Butterworth
Verity Audio Tamino v2 and h2

The ultimate statement of simple design is the Parsons table—a piece of furniture whose legs are of the same girth as its top, and whose height equals its width and depth. I have never seen a speaker as austere as a Parsons table, but Verity Audio's Tamino v2 and h2 on-wall speakers come close.

Although it seems a shame to conceal the Taminos' simple, spare design, the speakers do come with grilles. (Click image to enlarge)

The v2 and h2, like most on-walls, are available in silver, and they're about the same depth as a typical flat-panel TV. But there the pandering to plasma ends. The v2 and h2 are wide and boxy, their bulk occurring mainly because they're built from thick medium-density fiberboard (MDF) instead of thin aluminum. Aluminum has a tendency to ring unless it is especially well-braced; MDF, in comparison, is much better-damped and less likely to produce sound-distorting vibrations of its own.

The speakers' simplicity extends to their internal technology. The v2 and h2 are two-way designs, with just one woofer and one tweeter per speaker—the same simple driver complement found in the two-way minispeakers so many audiophiles love. Here's what tells me Verity Audio is serious about this speaker: The company created a dedicated version (the h2) for use in the center channel of a surround-sound system. Verity's engineers rotated the woofer/tweeter array 90 degrees for the center speaker, so the tweeter remains atop the woofer, where it's supposed to be. Some speaker companies would not bother creating a dedicated center speaker. They would suggest merely using one of their vertically oriented speakers and rotating it 90 degrees—and they would pretend that it makes no difference in the sound.

But it does make a difference. Two drivers stacked vertically produce pretty much the same sound as you move your head from side to side. But the sound differs markedly as you move your head up and down because the drivers interfere with each other acoustically. So when a tweeter is positioned above or below a woofer, the sound is essentially the same from one end of your couch to the other. If you flip the woofer/tweeter array on its side, the sound at one end of the couch will probably differ radically from the sound at the other end. By preserving the vertical orientation of its woofer/tweeter array, Verity Audio lost a bit of profit margin, but ensured you the best possible sound. Give 'em a hand!

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