NHT SB-2 Floorstanding Speakers

4.71/5 (7 Reviews)


Product Description

In addition to its 1" metal dome tweeter, the SB-2''s newly designed 6.5" woofer delivers bass response to 51Hz, making a subwoofer an option rather than a necessity.


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Reviews 1 - 5 (7 Reviews Total) | Next 15

User Reviews

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

Date Reviewed: July 16, 2003

Bottom Line:   
After listening to these speakers for a couple of months, my strongest impression of these speakers is that they sound good when played loud. These things can handle all the power I can throw at it and they sound really good loud. However, at mid and low volumes, I think that these speakers sound OK. Thats not to say that they sound bad, just that that they don't sound as good as they do when they are played loud. I think they are a good speaker for those who like to play loud. They look and great and build quality looks excellent. I noticed a slight increase in sound quality (the music seemed to 'come alive' a little more) when I removed the grilles.

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Used product for:   1 to 3 months

Duration Product Used:   Audio Enthusiast

Product model year:   2002

Price Paid:    $220.00

Purchased At:   ebay



Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:4
Submitted by Nick a AudioPhile

Date Reviewed: June 30, 2003

Bottom Line:   
I guess you can call me a low end audiophile-I love the stuff but have no budget for it! When I was auditioning bookshelf speakers for my dorm room (I was looking for around $200 and fairly small but listened to a few other price ranges and sizes), I came across these online. As an audiophile, I know never to buy speakers without first listening to them. I read numerous reviews and accolades and for the price (50% off) I figured I'd give them a shot and return them if necessary. I took them out and hooked them up and my mouth dropped. My first immediate impression was from the power and fullness of the music. These NHTs are natural and fairly flat but at the same time very full and very powerful when driven with enough power (they're not terribly efficient, I give them 100 watts). Next, I was struck by the detail of the music-I could here every string in the strum of the deep guitar notes in DMB's "Spoon" and symbol hits and dings were all extremely crisp and pronounced. Because of the fantastic midrange and the mid-treble blend, voices sound whole, natural, and very open. Every instrument sounds as it should. If I had to categorize, this speaker leans toward bright but never quite reaches it. This pair is one of the best sub-$1000 speakers I've heard and I'd go as so far to say probably the best sub-$500 speaker on the market.
Build quality? Excellent. You can see a picture of them for yourself but they are fairly heavy speakers, feel extremely solid, and have little to no resonance when you knock on their cabinets.

As for comparison shopping and listening I heard Boston Acoustics CR65 which were clear but not as full as the NHT's. Also, the Bostons always seem to have a slightly forced, artificial sound to them.
I listened to the Energy C-3 which I also recommend. They were very accurate and very flat and very detailed however, did not have quite the fullness and smoothness of midrange that the NHTs possess nor the power (when properly powered).
I listened to JBL's N26II. I shouldn't have to comment on this comparison test-the JBLs are brassy and no where near as flat nor as accurate nor as enjoyable as the NHTs or any other speaker mentioned here.
I also compared to Athena's AS-B1 which had similar tonal characteristics to the Energy C-3 (they're made by the same company, makes sense).
I listened to Polk R20s which seemed to have a lid over them...when were they going to open up!?
I listened to Infinity Entra Ones which were nice in that they had most of the characteristics of the NHTs but none of them were nearly as refined.
Last but not least, the heralded Paradigm Atoms. These are great little speakers, theres no doubt. They reproduce everything from about 60Hz and up very well and are extremely detailed in doing so. With a price tag of $180, they are an excellent value. How do they compare to the SB-2s? In short, they sound thin. Nowhere near as full as the SB-2s sound (just pick the two up, shear weight will tell you this). The mid-range of the SB-2s really shines as well. Which is better? Depends on your budget. If you can squeeze the $400 then no doubt go with the NHTs. If your budget is a little smaller, look into Athena and Energy and Paradigm-you may be suprised that you like Paradigm best even with its tiny price tag.
Hey...he hasn't mentioned bass yet. Well its there and its reproduced to fairly low frequencies for a bookshelf but a sub is definately a fantastic addition. Believe it or not I have mine paired up with the Yamaha YST-SW105 which is small and inexpensive (takes care of lack of floor space and abuse problems of a dorm room) and reaches to 30Hz which is nice for a cheap 8 inch sub. I found it for $99 at Best Buy and it falls well with my speakers-no real problems in transition when the crossover is set at about 75Hz. Granted this is not the best sub but for the price paid it does a whole lot more than expected.

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Used product for:   3 Months to 1 year

Duration Product Used:   AudioPhile

Price Paid:    $197.00

Purchased At:   6ave.com



Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Ed a Audio Enthusiast

Date Reviewed: January 4, 2003

Bottom Line:   
The SB2s are used as the main channels in a surround system setup which also includes SB1s for surrounds, the SC1 for center channel and SubTwoi subwoofer. I upgraded to these from SuperOnes, SuperZeros and SW2Pi subwoofer.

The SB2 sounds almost identical in character to the SuperOne. But then I tried some material which caused problems for the SuperOne. When I played loud and complex symphonic music on the SuperOne, things got congested. The SB2, on the other hand, maintained coherence, with the instruments remaining very smooth and distinct. Choral music was also better defined. And movies - to die for! Another thing that the SB2 excelled in where the SuperOne could not is the sound of the violin section of an orchestra. They tended to sound a big grainy on the SuperOnes, while they remained smooth on the SB2. In general, when played loudly, high frequency material on the SB2 was excellent while a bit harsh on the SuperOne. These were the very things I was concerned with when deciding to try upgrading. The great high gloss piano black finish is also a great extra.

So now I have the best of all possibilities - all the positives of a SuperOne (great detail and imaging) with the negatives eliminated.

Incidentally, the SC1 and SB1s in my system are also excellent and match perfectly. I'm too lazy to do a separate eval for them, so this is all you will get.

See my review on the SubTwoi and Harman Kardon AVR520 so you can see how I completed my whole system, because synergy counts when making things sound their best.

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Used product for:   3 Months to 1 year

Duration Product Used:   Audio Enthusiast

Product model year:   2002

Price Paid:    $400.00

Purchased At:   Crutchfield



Overall Rating:4
Value Rating:4
Submitted by rgk5 a Audio Enthusiast

Date Reviewed: November 8, 2002

Bottom Line:   
Having sold my beloved Acoustic Energy AE100i's on eBay, I was looking for something similar in size but having a fuller midrange, better imaging, and more dynamic range. The NHT SB2 fills the bill admirably. Its 6.6" mid/bass driver renders vocals very palpably and the metal(alum.) dome tweeter is not "spitty" as some metal drivers tend to be. They are used as the main channels in a Dolby Digital/DTS system driven by a Yamaha RX595A receiver and fed by a Toshiba SD 1200 DVD and a Dual 704 'table with an AT 440ML cartridge.

In the short term, I can report a very high level of satisfaction with the NHT's and the beautiful piano black lacquer finish is an additional bonus.

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Used product for:   Less than 1 month

Duration Product Used:   Audio Enthusiast

Product model year:   2001

Price Paid:    $275.00

Purchased At:   East Hamilton Radio



Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by slantman711 a Audio Enthusiast

Date Reviewed: October 14, 2002

Bottom Line:   
These SB-2's are great for S/S, Have four of them with Center Channel and SW10 Woofer hooked up to a Onkyo 700. This set up is unbelievable to me Watching Movies is a whole Dif. world now. Use to go to the Movies 5 times a month now we go once a month. I give this product a extra half star just on the great Deal I Got. $850.00 for all six speakers and 4 stands. fudjg vjhnb yj bjjgj hn jd bhfdb vgv khj fnv fbd bvglcygys h njfh nvjh n n
Sorry kid had to put her two cents in too.

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Used product for:   3 Months to 1 year

Duration Product Used:   Audio Enthusiast

Product model year:   2001

Price Paid:    $850.00

Purchased At:   Aution ebay NEW!




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