NHT 2.5i Floorstanding Speakers

2.5i

Vented 8in woofer, 6.5in mid, 1in tweeter

User Reviews (118)

Showing 1-10 of 118  
positivefiction   Audio Enthusiast [Sep 05, 2010]

I have had these speakers for 13 years. I have also owned other speakers in that time, an arsenal of amps, receivers, cd players, record players, media streamers, and over 13 years, the only thing I have not replaced are the NHT 2.5i's.

And here's why. They're frigging stellar!

I've owned speakers by Dynaudio, Spendor, PSB, Polk, and the NHT's are the only speaker that tells me what my equipment sounds like. They dissapear, in the best way possible. When set up right, there's nothing in my room but music. I don't hear the speakers. Just music. With every other speaker I have owned, it was only a matter of time until I heard the speaker. With the NHT's, I just hear the music (and occasionally, the weaknesses in my audio equipment).

As many users have said before me, they require quality power. It's true. They like current. Just true watts. And something that can come close to doubling it's output into 4 ohms. I settled on a Parasound 250w stereo amp, but basically, just find one with a sound you like, and go forward with it.

When they're set up right, with the right equipment, the NHT's weave a delicate balance between transparency and emotion. It doesn't sound like music coming out of boxes. It just sounds like music in my room. Plain and simple.

They're also one of the only speakers I've ever owned that are detailed without beating me over the head with the fact. My Dyns and old Energy's would occasionally sizzle as if to shout "LISTEN TO THAT GOD DAMN DETAIL SON!!!" The NHT's just gently allude to the fact, sound great at all volumes (especially low-mid ones), and don't seem to have an obvious weakness. If I had to pick anything, it'd be the bass, as it can seem a bit absent at times, and a touch boomy if set up wrong. Compared to some speakers, they can get a little overwhelmed with orchestral music, but love jazz and really jam with rock. And man, they get crazy good with modern ambient and drum and bass!

I can really go on (and would), but ultimately, they're awesome! Better than speakers I've owned that cost more, and can be found for rediculously low prices on the used market now. If you can afford the current they require to make them open up, they'll reward you with some fantastic moments listening to your favorite music. Out of every audio purchase I've made, the 2.5's are definitely the most rewarding.



OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
Horgen   Audio Enthusiast [Apr 11, 2007]
Strength:

Neutral, reveals everything in a recording, imaging is superb, bass is firm and goes deep, the highs are among the best i have heard. And they look great!!

Weakness:

low sensitivity, needs to be positioned right for the imaging and bass to sound perfect. I found the guide in the manual to be a big help in positioning them. They also need a proper amp to sound right.

Great looking and sounds great! Best speaker i have had the pleasure fo owning. I just felt the urge to listen through all my cd`s just to hear all the details this speaker reveals. I have heard speakers that cost 5 times what i paid, but my 2.5i actually sounds better than most of them.

Similar Products Used: Qln 199, audiopro ego 515, proson reality 63 mk2
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
Horgen   Audio Enthusiast [Apr 11, 2007]
Strength:

Neutral, reveals everything in a recording, imaging is superb, bass is firm and goes deep, the highs are among the best i have heard. And they look great!!

Weakness:

low sensitivity, needs to be positioned right for the imaging and bass to sound perfect. I found the guide in the manual to be a big help in positioning them. They also need a proper amp to sound right.

Great looking and sounds great! Best speaker i have had the pleasure fo owning. I just felt the urge to listen through all my cd`s just to hear all the details this speaker reveals. I have heard speakers that cost 5 times what i paid, but my 2.5i actually sounds better than most of them.

Similar Products Used: Qln 199, audiopro ego 515, proson reality 63 mk2
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
aram gegaregian   Audio Enthusiast [Dec 17, 2005]
Strength:

Excellent full range sound. Recommend bi-wiring. Good soundstage provided you have the room and floor dimensions.

Weakness:

None! These speakers just need a little breathing room. Not their fault!!!

I can't say enough about this speaker! This is actually my first floor standing speaker. Always ran with the bookshelf/sub set up which I had a lot of success with, but decided to shop for a full range speaker that can deliver a satisfying frequency range response and soundstage. OneCall.com had these speakers for almost half price with full manufacture warranty. After lots of research and auditioning at this high end store down south from where I live, I jumped on them. What a great buy! My amplification consisted of the Rotel RB 1070 (130 watt per) and it sounded pretty dammed good. Decided to upgrade to a pair of 200 watt monoblocks (Sherbourn. These mono's can produce 300 watts @ 4 ohms. I must say that the speakers really opened up, which reinforced my thought that these 2.5i's can be a bit power hungry. Again, the Rotel did an excellent job with current delivery, but the Sherbourns took my speakers to the next level. Now the bad news that are not the fault of the NHT's. Decided to leave the spacious apartment life and buy a home. My living room is fairly large, but dimensionally not the best. I had it made with my previous apartment, but with my proud, humble home, I don't have that ideal speaker placement that I once had. Enough said, I'm still sold on these NHT's! The best I've auditioned for under $2k.

Similar Products Used: Energy C-2's, Klipsh 2.5's w/ KSW 12 sub. Current assc. equipment: Parasound P3 preamp, Sherbourn M/300 mono's, Denon DVD 2900, Chang Litespeed 6400 and PS Audio speaker, IC's and power cords.
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
calvin taylor   AudioPhile [Nov 29, 2004]
Strength:

Open, accurate, balanced, well built, loves current

Weakness:

Loves current. No reciever need apply

I've read and listened to many reviews of this particular speaker, and I'm confused to what speaker could these guys be listening to. Several reviews have this speaker sounding bright, non transparent, and I even heard someone say that the bass was weak. Now let me say a few things about this speaker here. I've had this speaker since July 2001. First thing I would say is that this is not a wimp speaker. It is not to be mated with a reciever, I don't care what brand. It needs a real amplifier, with real current. If you can manage this you will get a speaker that opens up like no other $1,500.00 speaker on the market, but you must get current. The speaker wire is also a determining factor. If you have that can carry ultrawide bandwith and some good current, you have a match made in heaven. You must have a source that can deliver true open sound. When I upgraded my power cord (PS Audio), it was able to reveal all of the improvements that the cord made. And the soundstage is awesome, especially if you can get the correct placement. And I don't even think mine are placed at best location possible, but they fight their way thru anything. What a speaker. I've heard the Thiel 1.6 and 2.3. I've heard the Martin Logan Aoen's. I've heard the Polk Audio LSI series. and also some other top notch speakers. And when I got back home I fell in love my system all over again. Way to go NHT. Too bad NHT wants to focus on hometheater, because they were kicking serious booty. P.S. Don't forget, you must have current and loads of it. And for you tube single ended wimps don't even try, your amp will cry for mercy. Stick with those 98db efficient wimps.

Similar Products Used: JBL'S, SPECTRUM AUDIO, and KEF
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
jason4774   Audio Enthusiast [May 16, 2003]
Strength:

Very emotionally engaging speakers. True full range speakers, with great balance and tonal neutrality.

Weakness:

Very revealing speakers. Not 'bright', but revealing, especially unforgiving of poor amplification. A solid amp partnered with a laid back preamp serves them very well.

If you listen to speakers for things like soundstaging, transparency, than the NHT's probably aren't the speakers for you. Don't get me wrong. They are fairly transparent, and the soundstage is adequate, but that's not their strength, in comparison to other speakers. The strength of the NHT 2.5i is their unique ability to connect the listener to the emotional experience of the musical event. Listening to Dave Brubeck, one's not so concerned as to where the piano is placed in the soundstage, as they're carried away by the playful and confidant delicacy of Brubeck's fingers dancing on the keys of his piano. Listening to Miles Davis, you're not as drawn to notice the perfect placement of the performers in the holographic space, as you are to notice the emotional genius of Davis' trumpet, and the visceral and emphatic tangents of Coltrane's sax. Listening to Billie Holiday, you hear the way she moves you with the raspy and angelic verse sung so perfectly, all the subtle inflections in her voice, the way she stretches out the words, so naturally it sounds like she's telling a story. You hear the way ambient cues fill the room with emotion, and feel the way they change your mood. If I were to describe these speakers in audiophilic terms, it would completely miss the strength of these speakers. Yes, they do image well. Yes, they throw an adequate soundstage. Yes, they are true full range speakers. Yes, they're pretty close to neutral. But, all that misses what these speakers do well, where so many other speakers fail to even qualify. The NHT 2.5i's allow the listener to emotionally connect with the music coming out of them. They engage you. Not forcefully, not grab out and show you how much detail they have... they simply open the emotional energy of the performance to you, and allow you to connect with it, roll with it, and get swept up and carried away with it. If that's how you like to listen to music, the 2.5i's are probably a good place to start. If you like to listen to music, to 'see' the performers in the room with you, you should probably try something else. Other speakers will do that better. The NHT's won't let you 'see' the performers NEARLY as well as they'll let you 'hear' them, and everything they've been trying to say. I've had these speakers for 6 years. I'll keep them for a long time yet.

Similar Products Used: Speakers I own or owned... Dynaudio Audience 50 (great little speakers!) PSB Stratus Mini's (pretty good, too) Spendor s3/5 (bass shy, but lovely midrange)
OVERALL
RATING
4
VALUE
RATING
4
jason4774   Audio Enthusiast [May 16, 2003]
Strength:

Very emotionally engaging speakers. True full range speakers, with great balance and tonal neutrality.

Weakness:

Very revealing speakers. Not 'bright', but revealing, especially unforgiving of poor amplification. A solid amp partnered with a laid back preamp serves them very well.

If you listen to speakers for things like soundstaging, transparency, than the NHT's probably aren't the speakers for you. Don't get me wrong. They are fairly transparent, and the soundstage is adequate, but that's not their strength, in comparison to other speakers. The strength of the NHT 2.5i is their unique ability to connect the listener to the emotional experience of the musical event. Listening to Dave Brubeck, one's not so concerned as to where the piano is placed in the soundstage, as they're carried away by the playful and confidant delicacy of Brubeck's fingers dancing on the keys of his piano. Listening to Miles Davis, you're not as drawn to notice the perfect placement of the performers in the holographic space, as you are to notice the emotional genius of Davis' trumpet, and the visceral and emphatic tangents of Coltrane's sax. Listening to Billie Holiday, you hear the way she moves you with the raspy and angelic verse sung so perfectly, all the subtle inflections in her voice, the way she stretches out the words, so naturally it sounds like she's telling a story. You hear the way ambient cues fill the room with emotion, and feel the way they change your mood. If I were to describe these speakers in audiophilic terms, it would completely miss the strength of these speakers. Yes, they do image well. Yes, they throw an adequate soundstage. Yes, they are true full range speakers. Yes, they're pretty close to neutral. But, all that misses what these speakers do well, where so many other speakers fail to even qualify. The NHT 2.5i's allow the listener to emotionally connect with the music coming out of them. They engage you. Not forcefully, not grab out and show you how much detail they have... they simply open the emotional energy of the performance to you, and allow you to connect with it, roll with it, and get swept up and carried away with it. If that's how you like to listen to music, the 2.5i's are probably a good place to start. If you like to listen to music, to 'see' the performers in the room with you, you should probably try something else. Other speakers will do that better. The NHT's won't let you 'see' the performers NEARLY as well as they'll let you 'hear' them, and everything they've been trying to say. I've had these speakers for 6 years. I'll keep them for a long time yet.

Similar Products Used: Speakers I own or owned... Dynaudio Audience 50 (great little speakers!) PSB Stratus Mini's (pretty good, too) Spendor s3/5 (bass shy, but lovely midrange)
OVERALL
RATING
4
VALUE
RATING
4
Don   Audio Enthusiast [Jan 18, 2003]
Strength:

fast,clean,detailed and an enjoyable listening experience

Weakness:

small footprint,transparency

These are great little speakers. Very natural and if you like drums these speakers are the ones for you, very fast and detailed. I just wished the footprint was larger and they had a little more transparency. If you want it all though, you have to pay out the big bucks! For the money you would be hard pressed to get something better. If you find these speakers go for it, just make sure your equipment is at least Mid-Fi.

Similar Products Used: EPI,Paradigim
OVERALL
RATING
4
VALUE
RATING
4
Ian of Lugarno   Audio Enthusiast [Aug 19, 2002]

Just thought you may be interested to know that after using the NHT2.5i since X-mas my opinion hasn't changed - they are outstanding! My only regret is why didn't I up-grade to NHT earlier from previously owned Bose, AR and JBL speakers. If you are not sure whether to buy NHT - don't be just to it. Regards

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
BrianB   AudioPhile [Aug 14, 2002]
Strength:

Great bass, typically transparent NHT midrange and high-end.

Weakness:

Requires quality amplification – can be painfully revealing of poorer-quality recordings, but less so than NHT’s bookshelf models.

I fiddled with sub/sat systems for a long time before purchasing these speakers, which I could not resist after seeing them at Onecall for 50% their original price. I now realize that there is no substitute for full-range, floor-standing speakers. While a sub/sat system can sound good with very careful placement and tuning, you simply can’t replace the driver area/sound energy that a pair of larger speakers can give, except with larger bookshelf speakers and more than one sub (which causes other problems). The NHT “sound” is well known and described throughout the reviews here – their transparent mid’s, hi’s, and consequently their brutal ability to expose harsh recordings, and worse, harsh electronics. I had been through it all – starting with the Super Zeros on an OK-sounding Harmon Kardon receiver, upgraded to a worse-sounding, low-end Sony ES digital receiver, then the NHT 1.5s on the much better sounding Sony 777ES receiver, and even a stint with the Outlaw 1050 receiver, which I have to say was a poor match (sizzling highs – in the literal sense of the word). All along, I always felt I was missing something – the sound was never as “full-bodied” as what I remembered from my younger days with my old JBL 3-ways. Playing around with subwoofers helped some, but this just created more problems, and was really a pain in the $&^. Enter the 2.5i – Wow! There was the “fullness” that was lacking, along with the trademark NHT detail and clarity. And no finicky room acoustic problems (compared to dual subs, that is; the 2.5i’s, like any speaker, still require careful positioning). Although the Sony receiver sounded just fine (pretty damn good, to be honest), I upgraded to an ATI-1505 150 watt amplifier just to be safe. The additional power and control added another dimension to the 2.5i’s performance. I can now listen to many of my older CDs that had become unbearable on my previous sub/sat setups. Bass response is excellent, going deeper than my previous subwoofers (NHT’s Super Subs), but I was able to push the 2.5i’s 8” woofers to their limits in some movies and pieces of classical music. I currently have them crossed over at 40 Hz to a Velodyne HGS-12 subwoofer, just to fill in the bottom octave and protect the speakers from being over-driven. This setup is, so far, virtually bomb-proof. I have not yet been able to over drive it, despite rattling every

Similar Products Used: Only other three-way ever owned was JBL LX-44. Plenty of two-way bookshelf speaker/sub combos, including NHT Super Zeros and (later) NHT 1.5s with NHT Super Subs, Acoustic Energy Aegis One, Polk Audio
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
4
Showing 1-10 of 118  

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