Axiom Audio has added another center channel to round out its comprehensive center lineup. This makes four center channel models ranging from their VP100 ($274), VP150 ($434), VP160 ($570) and their flagship VP180 ($750).
The VP160 is based on the well-established W(T/M)W arrangement of drivers which is done to improve off-axis response compared to conventional horizontally mounted MTM designs. This makes two of four of Axiom center channel speakers to employ a single tweeter design.
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Axiom employs the same magnetic grilles and silver color dust cap aluminum cone drivers found on all of their V3 products. Designed to place dialogue right in the center of the action, the VP160 Center Channel features the identical 6.5-inch woofers, 5.25-inch mid-woofer, and 1-inch titanium tweeter as the M60v3 tower speaker. Axiom claims that using the same drivers gives the listener a seamless soundstage across the front array. In order to match the kind of serious output the M60 floor standing speaker can provide, Axiom had to build a “monster” center channel.
We like the direction Axiom Audio is taking with this new center channel, proving you can have your cake and eat it too. They built this product on a well established design topology to ensure good on and off-axis performance while also designing it to be a tonal match to their M60v3 floorstanding speakers. We initially felt the front ports adds too much bulk to the cabinet, but there are some advantages to this approach.
Perhaps down the road, Axiom may consider offering a sealed or rear firing port version of this product for those that demand a less imposing cabinet. We estimate placing the ports in the rear would shave 4 inches off the width of the cabinet which doesn’t sound like a lot until you attempt to place it in a finite-spaced entertainment center. Axiom offers so much customization to the fit and finish of their products that offering this option is certainly not beyond their reach.
Axiom Audio VP160 Speaker