Dave’s Faves – Emotiva B-1 Speakers

Emotiva B-1 Speakers, $300 per pair
10 3/4h, 7 1/8w, 8 1/4d. 9lbs ea.

The hits just keep on coming from Emotiva. Emo is attacking the entry level speaker category these days which isn’t good news for the rank and file companies who continue to employ traditional dome tweeters. Emo is employing its low mass RIBBON tweeter technology and brings new resolution to the price range.

There are those of us that just love ribbons! We think they’re more articulate than domes of any shape, size, material or price.

Endemic to domes is that they’re not under equal control throughout the cross section of the driver. Ribbons are. The air and detail of ribbons is unsurpassed. Up until now, it took about $1000 per pair to get a fine shelf speaker with a ribbon tweeter, the GoldenEar Aon 3. The GoldenEar is warmer, better balanced and images better. The B-1 is in a price strata that competes with the world of dome tweeters and vanquishes them.

There have to be 300 speaker companies out there. That’s proof that falling in love with speakers is a subjective emotion. I would contend that you simply cannot attain the air, space and “breathy” sound from any dome as well as the lower mass ribbon alternative. You can debate all day long that this speaker has too much bass, that one has too little, and the third one is just right. But what I hear is… the essence of the music just isn’t as lively and immediate without the ribbon. Emo has it. It’s their own design.

B-1 has more going for it than a low mass ribbon tweeter. It features a 5 1/4” Woven Fiber Bass/Midrange. It’s basically a Kevlar driver without having to pay for the Dupont brand name. B-1 has tight bass and an open sound. It’s not a dark “thudder” like the vast majority of what you’ll
find for three bills.

B-1 has a very open sound with a flood light style image. You’ll find most shelf competition is more than a shade dark/murky as a consequence of the dome tweeter. When your speakers are skewed foggy, you can’t get much improvement regardless of what you do ahead of them.