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Cambridge Soundworks Ensemble IV
34 Reviews
rating  4.26 of 5
MSRP  250.00
Description: Subwoofer and Satallite Speakers


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Reviews 1 - 5 (34 Reviews Total) | Next 15

User Reviews

Overall Rating:4
Value Rating:5
Submitted by rbuszka a Audio Enthusiast

Date Reviewed: June 25, 2007

Bottom Line:   
With these speakers, it's all about your expectations. Thankfully, Cambridge Soundworks is remarkably up-front about the Ensemble IV's capabilities when they state that they understand the sub is tiny, but it's "the best way to make bass at this price point." The sound of the Ensemble IV system is great for background music, or for an unobtrusive system for music listening.

The shoebox-sized bandpass woofer module is on the boomy side, though it's not particularly obtrusive. It lends presence and punch that the cubes just couldn't muster on their own. However, its small size limits its output and low frequency extension, so the larger Bose Acoustimass 3 bass module produces deeper and louder output, but the Ensemble module seems less muddy than the Acoustimass. I wouldn't rely on the Ensemble's woofer module for home theater use, however, unless I had an extremely small space or an extremely limited budget. The Ensemble IV woofer module has a relatively high crossover frequency to the cube satellites, so it's placement sensitive. I recommend placing it out of sight somewhere along the front soundstage.

While the woofer is no slouch, the cube satellite speakers are really the best part of this system. Henry Kloss's later years saw a variety of designs intended to offer greater performance per dollar, so the cube satellite speakers consist of a 3" paper-cone driver (inexpensive, yet excellent for rendering midrange detail) and a four-element passive contouring network which controlled cone breakup and extended the high frequency performance of the drivers. Proper placement usually isn't the main concern with a background music system, but if you set them up as you would an ordinary pair of speakers, you're in for a treat. The Ensemble satellites have a silky-smooth midrange, and a laid-back treble range that makes for easy listening. Another thing that the Ensemble IV satellites do very well is creating a broad stereo image -- when listening to Ben Folds' "Landed", I was struck by how wide the soundstage seemed to be, and yet how accurately each instrumentalist was placed in space. This is a natural strength of single-driver loudspeakers, since there is almost perfect phase coherence from the single voice coil instead of a separate midbass and tweeter.

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Used product for:   More than 1 year

Duration Product Used:   Audio Enthusiast

Price Paid:    $50.00

Purchased At:   eBay



Overall Rating:3
Value Rating:4
Submitted by Keegan a Audio Enthusiast

Date Reviewed: January 14, 2003

Bottom Line:   
Paying $99 for a 2.1 speaker system is definately bang for the buck,sound quality is acceptable for it's price. Not recommended for music listening cause it sound bright.
Good for teens/spouse for light listening,movies

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Used product for:   More than 1 year

Duration Product Used:   Audio Enthusiast

Product model year:   2000



Overall Rating:4
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Josh a Casual Listener

Date Reviewed: May 15, 2002

Bottom Line:   
Incredible sound for the price. I watch a lot of movies and the system sounds great, though I do have to turn the bass on my amplifier all the way up. Placement in a corner when I moved into a new house (with wood floors) helped the bass problem greatly.

I blew the subwoofer one day while listening to music too loud. Cambridge SoundWorks fixed and replaced the woofer for free under warranty, no questions asked. I will need a bigger subwoofer to shore up the bass on this system, You can bet it will be from Cambridge.

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Used product for:   More than 1 year

Duration Product Used:   Casual Listener

Product model year:   2000

Price Paid:    $150.00

Purchased At:   hifi.com



Overall Rating:2
Value Rating:4
Submitted by sbradshaw7 a Audio Enthusiast

Date Reviewed: April 4, 2002

Bottom Line:   
I would like to bring some reason to this review process. These speakers are not good for music listening. There simply is not enough capability from this small, single paper driver to deliver music for a listener, in an enjoyable fashion. In fact one can loose interest in music entirely if this is both an audio and a video system. And the bass is fine. So...
This speaker system is fine for home theater if you are not looking for too much. The subwoofer is excellent for what it is, the center channel may also not be sufficient, but it performs well for a home theater system, for the price an excellent value.

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Used product for:   More than 1 year

Duration Product Used:   Audio Enthusiast

Product model year:   2001

Price Paid:    $150.00

Purchased At:   hifi.com



Overall Rating:4
Value Rating:4
Submitted by Gene a Audio Enthusiast

Date Reviewed: December 26, 2001

Bottom Line:   
At $99, it's a great value. Puts out good music and takes up no space and extremely spouse friendly. No low bass, not a lot of detail, OK or worse soundstage; but it's $99, fits on top of the TV, and is fun to listen to.

On the downside, I returned a different item to hifi.com and they said it takes 3-4 weeks to refund your money. Totally unacceptable from an established retailer like them that is so proud of their return policy.

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Used product for:   Less than 1 month

Duration Product Used:   Audio Enthusiast

Product model year:   2001

Price Paid:    $99.00

Purchased At:   hifi.com




Reviews 1 - 5 (34 Reviews Total) | Next 15

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