Optimus PRO-X88AV Floorstanding Speakers

PRO-X88AV

2-way monopole tweeter with 5"polypropylene shielded

User Reviews (19)

Showing 1-10 of 19  
David Latchaw   Audio Enthusiast [May 21, 2002]
Strength:

Cheap. Good for those who put their graphic EQ in the "V" formation.

Weakness:

Shrill high-end uncontrolled, thumpy bass.

I went in to pick up a pair of the modern equivalent of the old Minimus 7's and got these instead. They suck. They're classic "sizzle-and-boom" boxes with a harsh top and a booming one-note bass. I found them unlistenable. Unfortunately, the X44's, while better, are still not as good as the old Minimus 7's.

Similar Products Used: Minimus 7 Optimus Pro 7AV (RCA X44)
OVERALL
RATING
1
VALUE
RATING
2
jschatz   Audio Enthusiast [Mar 05, 2002]
Strength:

Cheap, cheap ,cheap. Sturdy cast metal, full sound in a small box

Weakness:

Need subwoofer for adequate bass but so do all small speakers.

How can you go wrong with these little wonders for $49.00 a pair (when on sale, which is about every other month)! Available in black or white, they are compact (about 4"x8"), substantial (hefty cast metal cabinets and metal screen fronts- these things are indestructible) and pump out crisp and punchy sound. Radio Shack has been making similiar models for years under the Radio Shack, Optimus and now RCA labels but they are basically the same. The latest models comes with a rear port for improved bass. I wish they still came with the threaded openings for screw-in mounting brackets but they do include a picture hanging-style bracket on the back. These are not a substitute for larger, audiophile tower speakers but they are fantastic for home theater (add a subwoofer) and for bookshelf or desk use. If you''re a snob, take off the nameplate and call them "Studio reference monitors." I''ll take these over any small Infinity, Polk, Boston Acoustics, JBL at 3 times the price.

Similar Products Used: Infinity, JBL
OVERALL
RATING
4
VALUE
RATING
5
Sid Lipkin   Audio Enthusiast [Jan 16, 2000]
Strength:

Linaeum tweeter. Versatile for home theter and music. Price. Budget priced but expensive sounding.

Weakness:

Lack of bass. Spring clips.

Hurry up and grab these while you can. They are being discontinued and are currently on sale for $49.95 each which is an absolute steal (and the best audio dollars I've ever spent).
I currently have these in a setup that includes:
Optimus Pro X88-AV ($49.95 ea)- L/R Fronts
Optimus Pro CS5 ($79.95 on sale)- Center
Optimus Pro LX5II ($59.95 ea with Value Pass)- L/R Rear
Mirage FRx-S8 ($299.95)- Subwoofer
Sony STR-DE635 ($299.95)- Dolby Digital Receiver
Sony DVP-S330 ($299.95)- DVD Player
IMHO the X88-AV is one of the best mini-monitors you can buy for under $100. They blow away anything Bose has to offer and can compete and sometimes exceed the likes of Polk, Klipsch, and Paradigm mini-monitors when paired with a decent sub (I started with a Boston Acoustics CR400.... and found it a little boomy so I picked up the Mirage, which had far superior bass accuracy and packed just enough wallup in that price range).
In terms of home theater, I find the X88's to produce an unbelievable front soundstage when used with the Optimus CS5 center channel. They produce a wider stage than the LX5II's (which had more of a swirling field in the front due to being dipoles). I am not able to differentiate between front left, center and right (they blend extremely well) and the front panning in Dolby Digital is unbelieveable with the X88's and CS5. They are timbre matched with the CS5's, and LX5II's so the effect is very clean. The ultimate stamp of approval was when my wife actually noticed.... we've actually gotten up to answer the phone on several occasions while a phone was ringing in a movie and thought the cats were fighting in the other room while watching the techno scene from Blade (with the vampires growling and hissing). BTW, the LX5II's are unbelievable rears!
I really made the switch to the X88's since I also use this system to listen to mostly two channel music. I found the LX5II's to be a little muddy and sloppy when listening to two channel CD's (although they filled the room well). I found the X88's produced a very clean, crisp sound with a large and accurate sound field (the LX5II's were cramped in the front and therefore suffered from too much diffusion). With the X88's I started picking up things in my favorite recordings that I never knew existed using Polks, Bose, etc. I've never heard the high hat of Neil Pert with more precision, the organ of Jimmy Smith so solid, the acoustic guitars of REM so detailed, etc. Everything I listen to sound good on these. I have the X88's on 40 inch stands and have the rear LX5II's at the same height (2 ft from the wall). The same stand heights seemed to help with front to back panning in home theter...as in bullet shots in the Matrix(I started with the LX5's about 40" high in the rear and the fronts were lower at 24" and that didn't sound as good). If space is limited, use these in place of the LX5II's since the LX5's need to be a foot or two away from the walls to sound best.
I'm pleasantly surprised at how good this system sounds because of the price and because I got them at Radio Shack. I would gladly spend more than the $50 each I paid for these. Slap a Paradigm, Klipsch, etc. face plate on these and they sell for much more. Despite the fact that Radio Shack does everything in their power to not sell speakers, they succeed despite themselves and their Lineum speakers are the best kept secrets out there (as are the non Lineum XTS-10's which are a cheaper and way better Bose AM cube). Unfortunately for Radio Shack (and fortunately for consumers)they are poorly marketed. Don't judge any of the Lineum line of Optimus speakers until you get them home. Spend the $50 dollars and know you can return them in 30 days. The speakers I've bought at Radio Shack in the last year all sounded like crap in the store and blew me away when I got them home.
The Radio Shack in store displays do not do any of their speakers justice. They usually do not have them set up properly (in most cases only one is set up or none at all). The store acoustics are not adequate for auditioning speakers and the sales staff are not properly trained on the benefits of their own products to show off their speakers (one guy looked at me like I was an alien when I mentioned the Lineum tweeter). Nothing against Radio Shack personnel, they are always courteous and have never given me a hard time returning speakers. Although they make a superior product, selling them is almost an after thought for them.... (I guess speakers aren't their top priority). How else can you explain all the Optimus reviews on this site with buyers getting into the action late.... buying speakers for 60% off the regular price on a whim and then realizing how great they are (while trying to snap them up before they're discontinued... as in LX8's, which I know were great).
Let's hope RS continues this trend.... try these or the LX5II's with the CS5 and a good subwoofer and you'll get some serious "reverse snob appeal" when you play your system for your friends. I know I feel a little guilty that I get such great results from this system at such a great price with a "speaker graveyard" in my basement that includes Bose 201's, Bose Acoustimass 5, Polk Monitor 8's and 10's, a Sony out-of-the-box system, CSW New Ensemble. I guess ears don't care about price and labels.

Similar Products Used: Bose, Polk, Boston Acoutics,Cambridge Sound Works all at home, Klipsh and Paradigm in stores.
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
Mike W.   Casual Listener [Jan 18, 2000]
Strength:

Exceptional price, and the wide-angle tweeter.

Weakness:

Not quite up to "name brand" speaker standards.

I have been looking for a pair of small, inexpensive speakers to hook up to my Yamaha RX-595 receiver to use mostly for TV audio plus a little classical CD listening - I'm no megabuck audiophile, to be sure. I narrowed it down to the Pro-X88AV and JBL's Control 1x Personal Monitor, now discontinued but available for $100 at J&R in NYC (www.jandr.com). For music the JBL's were far and away superior, but for TV audio I found them a little too bright. The X88's were simply less harsh on TV audio and had a nice full, bassy, non-directional sound for their size. I had a hard time letting go of those JBL's - if you want them for music, they are a steal for $100. If you get the X88's, wait for the predictable 1/2 price sale and get each for less than $50 (as I did). I give the X88's 4 stars for performance. At the sale price, I'd give the X88's 6 stars if I could.

Similar Products Used: Other Optimus speakers, JBL Control series.
OVERALL
RATING
4
VALUE
RATING
5
Gene   Casual Listener [Mar 17, 2000]
Strength:

Price, looks, impressive sound

My original plans were to buy Infinity RS4s and CC3 and move my B&Ws to the rear, but fortunately Crutchfield screwed up the order. So I started shopping around locally (if you've ever been to the Big Island of Hawaii you'd realize what few choices there are). My system now includes:
B&W 201s for front mains (about $200-$250 for the pair)
Pro-X88AVs for the rears and the center ($50 each)
Audio Source SW15 sub ($179 at Costco)
Sony STR-DE835 ($329 at Costco)
RCA RC5901P 5 disc DVD/CD player ($299 at Costco)
I can't believe how good the X88 sounds as a center speaker. I originally wanted the matching center but the local Raio Shack was out of them. I saved $25 and feel as though it sounds just as good. The sound matches quite well with my B&Ws (as they are somewhat bright also). I've only listened to one DVD since completeing my setup but it sounded terrific. If I were in need of front speakers as well I would definetly pick up 2 more of the X88s. For $250 total plus a sub (pick one) you would have an awesome budget home theater that could hold its own against systems costing more than double. I have a total of about $1200 invested for everything (not including the TV). This is not much more than I had originally planned to spend for speakers alone. Those of you who are not audiophiles please do yourself a favor and check out some of the less expensive products reviewed on this site.
Bottom line, these speakers are an excellent value.

Similar Products Used: B&W V201
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
Larry   Audio Enthusiast [Jun 25, 2000]
Strength:

Clean Mids, great spacious highs

Weakness:

bass sucks, cheap spring wire connects

To fit my RPTV in I had to get rid of my (beloved) Allison floor speakers. I thumbed my noise up at everything at Best Buy and Circuit City and was heading to a "real" audio shop to buy PSBs. I happend to be in RadioShack for some widget and demo's the LX5-IIs, which are nice - then I heard the X88AV's. In comparison they have nicer highs and FAR superior mid. (I found the LX's to be very muddy in the mid). I was able to get 5 on clearance for $40 each. I was planning on spending more on one speaker than what I bought 5 for! I coupled the five optimus speakers with my Klipsh sub and the results are great. I won't say they are better than PSBs et al that cost several times as much but they definately hold their own and are absolutely an outstanding value. If you buy them make sure you have a good sub, I'd say it mandatory. My only issue is telling people what brand speakers I have -but I'm getting over it.
PS Act quickly to get these on clearance - they are getting hard to find at this price.
PSS The Rad Shack wall mounts are $60 per pair. I used two 50 cent L backets per speaker and they work great.

Similar Products Used: LX5-II
OVERALL
RATING
4
VALUE
RATING
5
Shawn Clark   Audio Enthusiast [Jun 19, 2000]
Strength:

Great sound
On Clearance - $39.95 each

Weakness:

None - For the Price

I was crusing the mall when I walked into Radio Shack and saw these one clearance for $39.95 a piece. They are normally $99.95. I has purchased 4 Pro LX-5's from Radio Shack in the past. I use those 4 for my home theater. The 88's are going into the bedroom to be used as regular old stereo speakers. These sound very similar to the LX-5's, which is a good thing.

Oh, and BTW, Radio Shack is NOT going to stop selling the Optimus speakers. They are just putting the RCA label on them. They are still the same speakers though.

Similar Products Used: Optimus Pro LX-5 (4)
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
Greg   Audio Enthusiast [Feb 17, 2000]
Strength:

Value

I tried these side by side against the PRO-44XAV's for a whole day. The 44XAV's blow these away despite their smaller size. Both have similar treble and bass but the 88AV's were much more muddy sounding in my setup (Kenwood VR-309). See my review under the 44XAV's or do your own taste test. While I think both of these speakers are remarkable for this price, don't go flaming me until you try the 44AV's yourself.

Similar Products Used: PRO-X44AV
OVERALL
RATING
3
VALUE
RATING
4
Jeff   Casual Listener [Feb 06, 2000]
Strength:

Great sound, Outstanding price

Weakness:

Cheesey Connectors

I got the latest Radio Shack Flyer and saw that they had all of their speakers on sale. I was needing a set of surrounds and decided to check out what they had. As is standard at Radio Shack, the speaker displays were not working at one store, and at the other store I tried they had one channel working. Did a comparison with several different speakers and was impressed with the sound of the 88's. I remembered reading about the lineaum tweeters and was very impressed with the crispness and presence they produced. They were $49.99 - half price, and IMHO a bargain at twice the price. BTW, if you want some, hurry, when they are gone, they are gone. Radio shack will no longer be carrying optimus, and will be replacing it with el-cheapo RCA. All I can say is if you buy these, you will not be dissapointed!

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
Patrick   Audio Enthusiast [Feb 01, 2000]
Strength:

Very good Linaeum tweeter
Did i mention cheap yet??

Weakness:

Lame spring clips
weak woofer
highs are a little too bright

I couldn't believe I would buy speakers from Radio Shack either. But after the first few good reviews of this speaker, I decided to try them out for myself. I was pleasantly surprised at how good they sound compared to more expensive bookshelf speakers. And they were cheap too! I paid 49.99 each for mine, not the 49.95 that people here been saying, but I'm not complaining. The Linaeum tweeter is really good at dispersing highs and I always find it a joy to listen to them. One little nitpick with the tweeter is that on some instruments seem over-exaggerated like the clash of cymbals, it sometimes seem a little louder than it was intended to be heard. Another downside is that the standard 4 (3.75 maybe? its SMALL) inch woofer is weak at low frequencies. Its not a big deal for me because I use it in conjunction with an Infinity BU-120 subwoofer. I also got the sub cheap, less than 165 if I recall correctly. If you need a nice set of small and quality sounding speakers, get these x88's and for cheap too. Hurry because Radio shack is no longer going to sell Optimus stuff sometime in the near future.

Similar Products Used: KLH 400B
NHT SuperZERO
Boston Acoustics CR6
OVERALL
RATING
4
VALUE
RATING
5
Showing 1-10 of 19  

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