We reached out to Creative Sound Solutions to review their P215 Speakers. Originally we were going to check out a pair of their DIY Speakers but felt as though we should get a baseline of what CSS has to offer first. I didn’t want to build a speaker and review it poorly due to my own construction skills so now that we know what is possible from them we are going to do the DIY speakers as well. While I have confidence that I could build speakers correctly i don’t think it is fair if that is the only experience I have with their products. I unboxed the pair when they arrived and did our little teaser photo shoot with them. I took that time to get more familiar with the design, and look over the fit and finish of the pair. Lets jump into the review.
P215 first impressions and appearance
My personal opinion is the Creative Sound Solutuions P215 speakers have an excellent look, modern and classic blended very well into a package that can fit with almost any furniture. For the photos I took they are sitting on a 150 year old buffet from Itally and look well at home, in my more mid century styled listing room they still have a wonderful presence. There are no speaker grilles for these, while I do not mind as I prefer the look without them, those with small wandering fingers in the house may need to consider this when choosing placement. It can be hard to find speakers that look nice in almost any room, and while many audiophiles may not care about appearance, I think it is still important when you use them in living spaces of the house. Those of us fortunate enough to have dedicated listening spaces can often get away with less than attractive options for the sake of sound. Luckily with the CSS P215 you don’t have to worry about compromising sound or looks. The first thing I noticed in terms of sound was how full the speakers sounded for being bookshelves. The bass and mids where ever so present in the room. The highs were clear and detailed, though that is to be expected with a speaker of this cost, 2599.00 US to be exact.
The P215 delivers full bodied sound with a neutral tonality. They are not especially bright or warm, making them great for listening to a wide range of music. They would also likely work well for a 2.1 setup for TV, Games and Movies. The cabinets are quite large for the the driver size with a single port near the top of the rear panel, which may very well lead to the more full bodied sound they deliver compared to other speakers with similarly sized drivers. Also on the back panel you have the option to bi-wire or bi-amp the speakers if you so choose. I used the supplied jumpers and single wire for my testing. Having the option to Bi – amp is great, as it gives the user even more flexibility to dial a pair of speakers in. I have seen many people use tube amps with solid state to power different parts of a speaker through Bi-amping to get the exact sound they want. Personally I do not think bi-wiring makes a much of a difference, though that is simply my experience. If you are not sure what the difference is let me explain that a bit.
Bi-amping is using to separate amplifiers to power a speaker. Bi-wiring is using one amp output split into two wires into the back of a speaker that has four binding posts. In either case you remove the jumpers from the speaker if they are installed then connect your cables to either a pair of amps or a single amp split into two wires. I made a little graphic to help with this.
With that understanding we can see how much opportunity for fine tuning is available for an already wonderful sounding speaker. It is hard to compare these speakers to anything I have listened too. They have a neutrality and fullness that can be hard to come by in a bookshelf option. I think perhaps the closest speaker to these I have personally listened to at length would be Bowers and Wilkins’ 705. That is not to say they are a side by side exact comparison, but if you are familiar with the tonality, the CSS’s sound most similar to them in my experience.
I listened to a wide range of music on the P215 via both vinyl and streaming. As I mentioned they play well with every genre I listen to which includes jazz, hip hop, classical, rock, pop and others. While they didn’t necessarily stand out as perfect for any one of them, the versatility is welcomed. My reference speakers being Martin Logan LX16’s are exactly the most exciting for rock or hip hop, however are wonderful with jazz and classical. The P215 offered plenty of detail through the frequency range though when compared to air motion tweeters there is a slight difference that may not be positive if you prefer the speed and detail of a ribbon or AMT speaker.
Crossover Point: 2100 Hz
Recommended Power: 20-100 watts
Nominal Impedance: 8 Ohm
Frequency Response: +/- 2 dB from 60 Hz to 20 kHz
Sensitivity: 87 dB @ 2.83 V
Fb: 51 Hz
F3: 53.4 Hz
Testing Equiptment :
Marantz SR7009 – preamp
Nakamichi PA5 Stasis Power amp
Audio Technica Lp7 Turn Table
IfI Zen Blue Dac
Spotify Premium and Vinyl
Audio Quest evergreen interconects
Gear It speaker cables
As part of the conclusion I like to talk a bit about who a produce is for, or rather who may benefit the most from said product. This tends to be easier with ultra high end or entry level products, as we near the middle of the budget road it is a bit different. If you have 2500 dollars or so to sue just on your speakers there are a ton of great options out there, so ho may enjoy these this most? Personally I think these are perfect for the living space user. Someone who shares the that space with others and is a common area of the home. As much as I love some of the speakers out there I am not sure I would want them in my living room. The P215 offers great looks on top of great sound. They are great for a listener with some cash on hand who listens to a wide variety of music and may also like to use them with gaming or television. They offer high end sound quality for someone on more of a space budget than money budget. They can blend into almost any decor so they won’t be an eyesore to you or guests. If you have a mid tier system and want to step up your bookshelves to something with more filling sound than many the CSS P215 should be on your list to check out. If you want to save quite a bit and are pretty handy you can also check out thier DIY kits as well.
Creative Sound Solutions did not pay in full or part for this review, they did supply the speakers for review.
As always don’t just take our word, read other reviews and listen for yourselves when possible.
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