• WANTED: Happy members who like to discuss audio and other topics related to our interest. Desire to learn and share knowledge of science required as is 20 years of participation in forums (not all true). Come here to have fun, be ready to be teased and not take online life too seriously. We now measure and review equipment for free! Click here for details.

Emotiva Airmotiv B1+ Review (Bookshelf Speaker)

amirm

Founder/Admin
Staff Member
CFO (Chief Fun Officer)
Joined
Feb 13, 2016
Messages
34,988
Likes
130,327
Location
Seattle Area
This is a review and detailed measurements of the Airmotiv B1+ two-way bookshelf speaker. It was kindly sent in for testing by a member and costs US $229 a pair. Currently Emotiva shows it as unavailable though so don't know if it is discontinued or what.

The B1+ looks like other Emotiva products which is to say somewhat industrial and bland:

Emotiva Airmotiv B1+ Review Bookshelf speaker.jpg


Back panel is as expected in a budget speaker:

Emotiva Airmotiv B1+ Review back panel Bookshelf speaker.jpg


Measurements that you are about to see were performed using the Klippel Near-field Scanner (NFS). This is a robotic measurement system that analyzes the speaker all around and is able (using advanced mathematics and dual scan) to subtract room reflections (so where I measure it doesn't matter). It also measures the speaker at close distance ("near-field") which sharply reduces the impact of room noise. Both of these factors enable testing in ordinary rooms yet results that can be more accurate than an anechoic chamber. In a nutshell, the measurements show the actual sound coming out of the speaker independent of the room.

I performed over 1000 measurement which resulted in error rate of roughly 1%.

Testing temperature was around 60 degrees F.

Reference axis for measurements was the center of the tweeter (by eye). Grill was not used in either measurements or listening tests.

Measurements are compliant with latest speaker research into what can predict the speaker preference and is standardized in CEA/CTA-2034 ANSI specifications. Likewise listening tests are performed per research that shows mono listening is much more revealing of differences between speakers than stereo or multichannel.

Emotiva Airmotiv B1+ Measurements
Acoustic measurements can be grouped in a way that can be perceptually analyzed to determine how good a speaker is and how it can be used in a room. This so called spinorama shows us just about everything we need to know about the speaker with respect to tonality and some flaws:

Emotiva Airmotiv B1+ frequency response measurements.png


This is not bad! On-axis response is very good if one ignores a few bumps. Directivity is very good although flatter than one would want in a hi-fi speaker (could sound a bit bright). We can see the cause of the three bumps easily in near-field measurements:

Emotiva Airmotiv B1+ driver frequency response measurements.png


The most obvious is the port resonance which interferes with woofer response. The high frequency one is caused by the unevenness of the tweeter.

Early window reflections are similar to on-axis due to good directivity:

Emotiva Airmotiv B1+ early window frequency response measurements.png


Predicted in-room response is as we would expect:

Emotiva Airmotiv B1+ predicted in-room frequency response measurements.png


Impedance dips to 4.5 ohm which is typical of these bookshelf speakers:

Emotiva Airmotiv B1+ impedance and phase measurements.png


I was impressed with the low distortion of B1+:

Emotiva Airmotiv B1+ distortion measurements.png


Emotiva Airmotiv B1+ THD distortion measurements.png


Horizontal beamwidth is smooth and even as predicted from spin data:

Emotiva Airmotiv B1+ Horizontal Beam width measurements.png


Emotiva Airmotiv B1+ Horizontal directivity measurements.png


You have a bit of freedom relative to how you align you ear to reference axis (center of the tweeter):

Emotiva Airmotiv B1+ Vertical directivity measurements.png


Emotiva Airmotiv B1+ Listening Tests
General performance and tonality here was good. As was the ability to play loud and I mean really loud. There is hardly any deep bass which helps with the small driver not bottoming out or getting overly distorted. Occasionally I would think the sound was a hair bright. And in general, a bit muddy. So I pulled out the EQ tool to knock down the resonant peaks:

Emotiva Airmotiv B1+ Equalization EQ.png


Ah, now I had the clarity that I wanted to hear! Then again, could be imagination given the small corrections. :) If you have this speaker, try these and report back.

Conclusions
Looks like the money was put toward good engineering with Emotiva Airmotiv B1+. A port resonance is the main thing that is missed but otherwise, this is a good design that should sound good in many spaces due to nice directivity.

Overall I am happy to put Emotiva Airmotiv B1+ on my recommended list. With equalization, its score could even bump higher that what is awarded here.

------------
As always, questions, comments, recommendations, etc. are welcome.

Any donations are much appreciated using: https://www.audiosciencereview.com/forum/index.php?threads/how-to-support-audio-science-review.8150/
 

Attachments

  • Emotiva B1+ Spinorama.zip
    88.4 KB · Views: 98

B4ICU

Active Member
Joined
Feb 19, 2021
Messages
157
Likes
84
Manufacturer Specification vs. measurements: https://emotiva.com/collections/loudspeakers/products/airmotiv-b1-pair
Sensitivity: 86dB/w/m SPL vs 85dB/w/m SPL - 1dB is no big deal.
Fr. response: 48 Hz – 28 kHz (+3/-3 dB). vs -3dB on EQ chart. - Better than Spec. I would not touch it with EQ for 3 dB.
Sensitivity vs max power: 70W continuous / 150W peak.
For Sensitivity of 85dB/w/m SPL, the peak SPL or continuous SPL is relatively low: 103dB SPL and 106dB relatively.
I'm pleasantly surprise from EMOTIVA's bookshelf speaker.
 

Kustomize

Member
Joined
Apr 16, 2020
Messages
84
Likes
77
I always thought their T2+ tower or something which is a 3 way and goes for $1,000, is a very nice bang for the buck. If this bookshelf is anything like those, those must be really great then!
 

IVX

Addicted to Fun and Learning
Forum Donor
Joined
Mar 3, 2019
Messages
798
Likes
1,951
Location
South of China, SHZ area
interesting that the speaker has "8ohm" impedance rating when in fact it rather "4ohm", the same time quite low 86db/m*W sensitivity will look too low(83db/m*W, a loudspeaker test specifies not really wattage but voltage 2.828Vrms for an "8ohm") if the speaker would be labeled as 4ohm.
There is old trick that came from Pro-audio where long time no any progress with the sensitivity(the dynamic loudspeaker was invented 123 years ago), was compensated overrated impedance labeling, as a result some "high-sensitive 8ohm" drivers had 1.7ohm(so my amps designed for Pro-audio had 1.5ohm tuned OCP!).
 

alont

Member
Forum Donor
Joined
Sep 1, 2018
Messages
46
Likes
90
Amir, thanks for the review! I'd really like to see what it measures like with a port bung. Seems like it could potentially be the new value king if you're using it with a subwoofer.
 

GWolfman

Senior Member
Forum Donor
Joined
Nov 3, 2020
Messages
343
Likes
396
Wow, did better than I was expecting (Emotiva seems to be a mixed bag). Wondering now if these have a bigger (bookshelf) brother...
 

DuncanTodd

Active Member
Joined
Nov 2, 2020
Messages
199
Likes
117
Wow, did better than I was expecting (Emotiva seems to be a mixed bag). Wondering now if these have a bigger (bookshelf) brother...
They have the T0 which is sort of a bookshelf in a larger cabinet (like a small tower).
 

DuncanTodd

Active Member
Joined
Nov 2, 2020
Messages
199
Likes
117
Amir, thanks for the review! I'd really like to see what it measures like with a port bung. Seems like it could potentially be the new value king if you're using it with a subwoofer.
They are very popular on AVSForum. Nice to see the review concurs.
 

Robbo99999

Major Contributor
Forum Donor
Joined
Jan 23, 2020
Messages
2,925
Likes
2,451
Location
UK
Not bad not bad, especially considering the price, no deep bass but it's a 5" woofer so. Decent but no magic!? I could imagine that due to the relatively low cost, lack of deep bass, and good vertical (& horizontal) directivity that these would find best use in a multi-channel theatre system.
 

pierre

Addicted to Fun and Learning
Forum Donor
Joined
Jul 1, 2017
Messages
602
Likes
1,308
Location
Switzerland
Not bad. More data after morning coffee (x3) and some biking :).

Here is a possible EQ that will change the score from 4.7 to 6.2.

Code:
          SPK FLT
 -----------------
 NBD  ON 0.49 0.28
 NBD  LW 0.45 0.22
 NBD PIR 0.36 0.25
 SM  PIR 0.74 0.96
 SM   SP 0.91 0.96
 LFX       53   48
 LFQ     0.50 0.53
 -----------------
 Score    4.7  6.2

Here is the EQ in APO format:
Code:
EQ for Emotiva Airmotiv B1+ computed from ASR data
Preference Score 4.7 with EQ 6.2
Generated from http://github.com/pierreaubert/spinorama/generate_peqs.py v0.7
Dated: 2021-04-11-11:41:08

Preamp: -1.1 dB

Filter  1: ON PK Fc  1649 Hz Gain -3.20 dB Q 0.40
Filter  2: ON PK Fc  1887 Hz Gain +3.38 dB Q 3.32
Filter  3: ON PK Fc  9999 Hz Gain -2.62 dB Q 0.81
Filter  4: ON PK Fc  2715 Hz Gain +2.44 dB Q 10.82
Filter  5: ON PK Fc  1299 Hz Gain -1.54 dB Q 12.00
Filter  6: ON PK Fc   981 Hz Gain -1.18 dB Q 12.00
Filter  7: ON PK Fc  9642 Hz Gain +1.54 dB Q 6.21
Filter  8: ON PK Fc  8057 Hz Gain -1.22 dB Q 12.00
Filter  9: ON PK Fc   696 Hz Gain +0.96 dB Q 0.85
Filter 10: ON PK Fc   637 Hz Gain -1.22 dB Q 7.73
Filter 11: ON PK Fc  6381 Hz Gain +1.03 dB Q 4.07
Filter 12: ON PK Fc   364 Hz Gain +1.45 dB Q 5.32
Filter 13: ON PK Fc   994 Hz Gain -0.99 dB Q 5.58
Filter 14: ON PK Fc   480 Hz Gain -0.80 dB Q 12.00
Filter 15: ON PK Fc  8925 Hz Gain +0.48 dB Q 12.00
Filter 16: ON PK Fc  1571 Hz Gain +0.75 dB Q 12.00
Filter 17: ON PK Fc   403 Hz Gain +0.98 dB Q 12.00
Filter 18: ON PK Fc 14950 Hz Gain -2.83 dB Q 2.89
Filter 19: ON PK Fc   373 Hz Gain -0.75 dB Q 12.00
Filter 20: ON PK Fc  2079 Hz Gain -0.82 dB Q 12.00

You can visualize the EQ and see the impact on the spinorama with details on the PIR:

filters0.png

filters1.png

filters2.png
 
Last edited:

fredoamigo

Senior Member
Forum Donor
Joined
Mar 11, 2018
Messages
353
Likes
521
Location
South East France
I don't know why? but in Europe the price doubles to €449

(edit) unavailable in the Usa for 229 USD on the Emotiva website but available for 449 euros on Emotiva Europe ..
 
Last edited:

DanTheMan

Active Member
Joined
Oct 19, 2020
Messages
146
Likes
187
Wow! I’m truly impressed. Previous Emotiva speakers I’ve seen measurements for were bad. This is better than “not bad”. I’ve had a couple Emotiva products over the years and disliked them all. Purchased them all at once believing their hype. I had written the company off completely but they look to be actually trying to make a legit product now. I would have liked the HT preamp/ eq I had, but it was filled with glitches And came with a “no returns” policy. They did fortunately take it back however After a ton of grief. Nonetheless, only Samsung has given me more of a headache.
 
OP
amirm

amirm

Founder/Admin
Staff Member
CFO (Chief Fun Officer)
Joined
Feb 13, 2016
Messages
34,988
Likes
130,327
Location
Seattle Area
But now i wonder why the A130 got the golfing panther and this one didn’t.
The A130 has better bass. It got a marginal golfing panther.
 

respice finem

Addicted to Fun and Learning
Joined
Feb 1, 2021
Messages
942
Likes
1,266
At this price, quite interesting as surround speakers for a small home cinema. The question is, however, how many would buy it despite not optically fitting the rest...
 

DSJR

Addicted to Fun and Learning
Joined
Jan 27, 2020
Messages
850
Likes
981
Location
Suffolk Coastal, UK
It's been suggested that shoving the port round the back minimises interference from the direct sounds from the front, but it appears not to be the case if these upper midrange resonances are screwing with an otherwise well behaved driver. Short of blocking the port either completely or with dense foam, thereby creating a 'controlled leak,' any ideas as to how these comparatively nasty midrange resonances can be better tamed while keepngat least some of the benefit?
 

respice finem

Addicted to Fun and Learning
Joined
Feb 1, 2021
Messages
942
Likes
1,266
I'm afraid if this was easily and cheaply achievable, the manufacturer would have done it.
 
Top Bottom