The name Boston Acoustics refers not only to a geographic location and famous speaker company, but also to the rich New England hifi tradition. Over time, a number of performance-minded speaker companies have sprung up near Boston, including Acoustic Research, Advent, Cambridge SoundWorks, KLH, Snell Acoustics, and others. The common denominator that connects these firms is their shared, passionate belief that loudspeakers ought to be faithful, accurate, and uncolored conduits for the music they reproduce. Where some manufacturers treat speaker design as an impressionistic art form, Boston Acoustics has always held itself to a higher standard. Sonic impressionism is not the Boston Acoustics way, which is why you’ll hear the firm’s representatives speak in reverent terms of their desire to preserve the famously neutral “Boston sound.”
In this review the Boston sound is represented by the reasonably priced Bravo II speaker system. At $1599, it consists of five Bravo II “multipurpose” speakers, which serve as both L/C/R and surround speakers, plus an XB4 powered subwoofer. Let me tell you up front that, despite its deceptively modest price, the Bravo II rig is a very serious performer.
Boston calls the Bravo II a multipurpose speaker for good reason. The slender two-way monitor features an enclosure made of rugged molded ABS and comes with an ingenious mounting bracket that offers positioning options galore. To wit: The Bravo II can be placed on a wall, in a corner, on a stand, or positioned on a shelf or tabletop, either vertically or horizontally. In short, you can put the Bravo II just about anywhere. Rounding out the picture, the 100-watt XB4 features a 10-inch woofer and Boston’s proprietary BassTrac circuit, which “tracks the input signal to the subwoofer and prevents its amplifier from being driven into distortion.”