NSM EXP & 5 Floorstanding Speakers

EXP & 5

The Exp-5 Subwoofer system combines the exquisite performance of our Model 5 minimonitor (see Model 5) and the extraordinary performance of our EXP mini-subwoofer (see EXP).

User Reviews (2)

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FirebirdTN   Audio Enthusiast [May 03, 2006]

Very high quality sound. Not bright, not laid back, but just right.
Good bass for their size. I cound NOT FIND another speaker this size that will extend deep enough into the bass region to "blend" with a quality subwoofer at a normal crossover frequency.
Imaging is really really good. Its difficult to "localize" the speakers. This is really helpful when watching movies, as the sound seems to "envelop" you, not just seems to eminate from the individual enclosures.
Lightweight (7 lbs). I have them wall mounted to 3/8" sheetrock using Omnimounts and "EZ-Anchors" (Didn't have to worry about hitting a stud).


Not really a weakness, as these speakers in silver look VERY good; so good the website picture they now have up just doesn't do them justice as to how they look in person; however, there are other more stylish brands that are more "lifestyle" friendly, but none that sound as good as the Model 5.

Sensitivity. These things are POWER HUNGRY. BUT...again not really a weakness, because when you use speakers this small, you have to give something up compared to a larger speaker. You either have to give up bass extension, or efficiency. I *had* highly efficient small speakers that would play LOUD, but they just didn't sound that great. These speakers aren't as loud since they give up some efficiency, but they sure sound GREAT, and have enough bass extension to "blend" seamlessly with my sub. It seems most small speakers give up the extension and force you to use a higher cross-over frequency. I prefer to give up the efficiency for the extension.

Only reason I gave the value 4 stars instead of 5 was at their MSRP, these things are a STEAL. But the extra $50 per speaker custom color charge took a slight "nic" out of the value rating.

This review is ONLY about the Model 5s, not the EXP. I couldn't find a way to add the Model 5 to the list of product reviews.

Anyway, in a nutshell-These are THE BEST SMALL speakers I have found for under $1000. Yes, I paid OVER $!000 for these speakers, but the only reason was I needed silver, which wasn't listed as available on their website, but they did accomodate my needs for an extra $100 pair.

I purchased a total of 5 of them for my surround sound duties. In my particular case, I started building my modest little "HT" in 2003, and at the time purchased the "Klipsch Quintet IIs" in silver because due to my restrictive layout, I needed something small that could be wall mounted that sounded good. I purchased my Quintets based primarily on how impressed I was with my Klipsh Pro-Media speakers. However, when I installed them, they just didn't sound quite right. They did a fine job actually for HT, but I desired better, and music just didn't sound that good.

After LOTS of research, reading, surfing, etc, I saw it many times that "small speakers just can't do what larger ones can." So I had to get something larger, but I didn't want to purchase regular sized bookshelves because they were just too bulky and heavy for wall mounting (wasn't always able to hit a wall stud). So i was in search of the BEST SMALL speaker I could find that fit my budget. I do not know how I stumbled onto NSM, but I found them. Web searching for reviews of their products didn't retrieve much, but one particular review stood out and made me try their product. Basically the reviewer said "These are the smallest speakers I am aware of that will blend with a quality subwoofer at a normal crossover frequency. Be wary of any satellite speaker that requires a crossover setting higher than 80Hz because you will very limited in subwoofer placement options (near the front speakers), or you will be forced to listen to the sub as a separate enclosure by itself." That isn't verbatum, but I mirror this reviews comments EXACTLY. It took me a while to figure out what exactly I didn't like about the sound of my Quintets. Although during frequency sweeps, I detected no "holes", but they just didn't "blend" well with my Sub.

Once I installed the NSMs (in basically the exact same location as my Quintets were), it sounded absolutely AMAZING. Not only are movies OUTSTANDING, but music is VERY VERY VERY GOOD as well. These are definately some quality speakers. In my experience, you can have speakers that do good with movies, but not too hot with music, but if you have speakers that do good for music, they do VERY well with movies. i have no idea why that is, maybe it has to do with the difference between they way movies and music is produced...

Anyway, I am EXTREMELY pleased with the results. Actually, I do not think...I take that back...I KNOW I could NOT have found a better speaker for the size or price of the Model 5s. These speakers actually "blend" with my sub so well, it is down right spooky. Now when I play material, I hear the deep bass from my sub, but my brain tells me its coming from the Model 5s! Its eerie!!! The blend is SEAMLESS!

Also, I must mention the size again. As just over 1 inch wider, 1 inch taller, and half an inch deeper than my Quintets, these are some VERY small bookshelfs. If you are in the market for a set of "HTIB" size spekaers, do yourself a favor and allow yourself to step up just a little in size. You just can't get GREAT sound from those tiny little HTIB sized speakers they sell at your local electronics store. I had to learn the hard way. Don't make my mistake! I paid almost $500 for my set, then turned around and sold them for $250, which I could have saved if I had done my homework first.

Forget the fact you have probably never heard of NSM, and forget the fact you cannot buy them in your local stores. So far, I have purchased a few different sets of speakers/sub, and only ONE was a brand available at retail stores. The rest were purchased direct from the manufacturer over the internet (often called ID or Internet Direct brands), which allow you much greater value for your dollar than your local electronics store chain with their markups and middlemen and inferior products. Of all the speakers I have purcahsed, the only ones I were not happy with were the ones that were purchased at a retail store.

As to comparing NSM to other ID brands, they have a 30 day money back guarantee just like the more popular ID brands, and also have free shipping, just like some other popular ID brands. As a matter of fact I do have first hand experience with their 30 day money back guarantee. I auditioned a model 7C as a potential center channel spekaer, but in the end returned it-NOT because i didn't like the sound quality, but for my individual layout the horizontal "woofer-tweeter-woofer" aggangement so popular with center channel spekers these days just didn't have wide enough dispersion. A single Model 5 used as a center was much better in this reguard (as just about always a single bookshelf will work better than a WTW center, but just doesn't look "asthetically correct" like a typical WTW center channel speaker does).

If your in the market for a GREAT and small set of HT speakers for under a grand, give the NSMs a try; you WON'T be dissapointed!


Customer Service

I would say above average. One of my speakers was damaged in shipping and we are working to resolve the issue. It is being handled to my satisfaction.

Similar Products Used: These replaced my Klipsch Quintet IIs and I have NO regrets.
Axiom M60tis
SVS PB1-ISD (now called the PB-12-ISD).
Charlie Cook   Audio Enthusiast [Jan 26, 2001]

Smooth Midrange


None for the price

This sat, sub combination is a steal. The sound is rich. The soundstaging convincing and the bass is goes deep. While not as good as my $2k Theils, I consider this the perfect speaker system for my video system and with the small size of the sat speakers, my wife is reasonably happy too.

I first learned about these speakers from a magazine review but with no local dealer was stuck. North Country Audio solved my demo dilema by shipping me the system at not cost to demo and return at my leisure. When I first hooked them up, I was in a word disappointed. They sounded harsh and unmusical. I was ready to return them but decieded to let them burn in for a couple of days. Meanwhile the sound grated on my nerves. Then all of a sudden around the fourth or fifth day they started to sound magical and I couldn't stop listening. Hooked up a Cambridge Audio electronics for a total of $2k the system sounded almost as good as my $10k system.
Highly recommended!

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