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Emotiva Airmotiv C1+ Center Channel (review by Erin)

sweetchaos

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Thanks to @hardisj for another speaker review!

This is Emotiva 3-way center channel for US$300/ea.
FYI, it's been out of stock for months now.

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Emotiva%20Airmotiv%20C1%2B%20Vertical%20Contour%20Plot%20%28Normalized%29.png


Preference score (according to Erin): 1.6 (5.0 with sub)

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Emotiva%20Airmotiv%20C1%2B%20Harmonic%20Distortion%20%2896dB%20%40%201m%29.png

Emotiva%20C1%2B_Compression.png



Erin's Conclusion:
If you want to see the music I use for evaluating speakers subjectively, see my Spotify playlist.

I always listen to speakers before I measure them. This ensures I am not swayed by the measurements before I listen. Listening done on-axis but I also turned the speakers to face out into the room as well. I found on-axis to provide the best overall response. Listening volume between 80-95dB at 4m.

  • Good sensitivity at 89.4dB @ 2.83v/1m. Which, interestingly, is the exact same average sensitivity I measured with the C2+. Go figure!
  • Linearity shows some issues. Namely, it suffers due to some odd behavior from 1-3kHz. Partly due to the CTC spacing between the midwoofers and partly due to diffraction. There is also a HF boost which is found in all the other Emotiva speakers using this tweeter. It resulted in the speaker sounding treble heavy which needed to be remedied via EQ for me to enjoy the speaker.
  • F3 is higher than I’d have expected for its size so make sure you have a subwoofer that you can use to take the pressure off this speaker.
  • Beamwidth is about ±40-50° through the midrange so not much of an issue with off-axis seating except for the 1.5-2kHz region where the beamwidth narrows very quickly.
  • Output wrt distortion is good through the midrange but does show quickly increasing distortion below 100Hz. This is understood, though, as the response of the speaker is already falling off at 12dB/octave below this frequency. Again, use a subwoofer.
  • Compression is all over the map here. The HF compression is really wonky; similar to what we saw in the C2+ speaker though maybe a bit worse, depending on what frequency/SPL you are evaluating.
I was really curious to see how this speaker sounded and measured compared to the Emotiva C2+ which I tested previously (link). There were some pretty clear issues with the C2+ in regard to its horizontal radiation pattern which result in a narrow pattern through the midrange. I attributed that to the distance of the side woofers and partly to the dual mids. I expected the C1+ would fare better. That does seem to be the case. Although, the response linearity itself does have irreparable issues which EQ cannot remedy. I think a few modifications would help this speaker a good deal. For example, a steeper crossover slope on the woofers would clean up the directivity mismatch in the midrange and imrpove the overall response.

As stated in the Foreword, this written review is purposely a cliff’s notes version. For more details about the performance (objectively and subjectively) please watch the YouTube video.

Discuss!
 

dfuller

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You know, for $300, this isn't bad. Especially compared to the other options at this price point. I agree with Erin re: crossover mods though.
 

beaRA

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Well that's not what I had hoped for. Much like the SVS Prime Center, we are getting usable horizontal dispersion with a not so great on-axis response. The Elac UC52 is a better buy right now on sale for $370. I am increasingly bummed that the Infinity RC263 is a goner.
 

gbrnole

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bass taking a nosedive at 150hz. resonance between 1.8khz to 2.5khz. a compromised horizontal dispersion. horrendous linear response.

i think i'd rather jus find a single kef q350 and lay it on it's side and probably stuff the rear port if it's going in an entertainment center.
 

XDM

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I have this center speaker in combination with the Emotiva B1+.
In my opinion the 'timbre' doesn't match the B1+, perhaps because this center speaker is sealed and the B1+ is ported.
This means that, as Erin says, "the response of the speaker is already falling off at 12dB/octave below this frequency [100 Hz]"
Seems I can cross the B1+ over at 80 Hz but am expected to cross the C1+ over at 100 Hz...
 

sofrep811

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I own their T1 speakers related to this and for what I need in a somewhat small music room they work fine. I'm sure the stats wouldn't be that good, but for under $1K --no regrets.
 
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