Pioneer SP-BS22-LR Review
If you enjoy throwing parties but have limited space, then going for traditional floor-standing loudspeakers is not the best idea.
If you need a pair of speakers that serve their purpose (well) and do not get in the way after everybody’s gone, my Pioneer SP-BS22-LR review shows why it is an excellent alternative to the floor-standing speaker variety.
Through the years, Pioneer has maintained its reputation of churning out speakers that are one better than the next, and the Pioneer SP-BS22-LR is no exception.
If compact stereo speakers are what you’re looking for, this review of the Pioneer SP-BS22-LR will give you the inside scoop on its features and performance before you go out and spend your hard-earned money.
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What to Consider Before Buying the Pioneer SP-BS22-LR
Apart from speaker performance, two of the biggest challenges the folks are faced with when choosing speakers are:
- The budget.
- Space constraints.
You have to get the speaker’s size just right if you wish to enjoy the best sound quality.
Getting speakers that are too big for space they’re in could result in a muffled sound without allowing you to enjoy the better dynamics of higher volumes.
On the flip side, get a speaker that’s too small, and you’ll wish you had chosen speakers that could deliver more room-filling audio.
Going the traditional route and getting floor-standing loudspeakers isn’t always the best choice, especially for small to medium-size rooms. Bookshelf speakers offer a great alternative.
As the name implies, the sole purpose of bookshelf speakers is that they can fit almost everywhere.
These speakers are designed to be compact and lightweight, which takes care of the space issue, meaning you can plant a bookshelf speaker anywhere in a room, and it will blend in effortlessly.
While bookshelf speakers are an excellent choice for smaller rooms, you don’t want to get just any bookshelf speaker. And this is where the Pioneer SP-BS22-LR proves to be a good fit, literally. Furthermore, these speakers are proof that getting quality home audio doesn’t break the bank.
Presenting the Pioneer SP-BS22-LR Speakers
The first thing you’ll notice right out of the box is the speaker’s design, which is an upgrade from its predecessor, the SP-BS21-LR, which was fitted with smaller woofers while having a similar size cabinet.
Similar to its predecessor, the SP-BS22-LR is a bass-reflex speaker that features a 4” woofer and 1” soft dome tweeter, both of which, surprisingly, are not magnetically shielded this time around.
The Pioneer SP-BS22-LR features new drivers. Also, the woofer sports a new cone design made from textured polypropylene.
We’re guessing this is to strengthen the woofer for better bass dynamics and at the same time, smoothing the frequency response.
The woofer in the Pioneer SP-BS22-LR also has a rigid dust cap that helps stiffen the voice coil, along with a vented pole piece, which has the primary purpose of releasing the buildup of air pressure under the cap.
The tweeter of the SP-BS22-LR features a dome made from new proprietary material. It also has a significantly bigger magnet and a new custom waveguide, which adds a nice touch to the overall design of the speakers.
With the design of the SP-BS22-LR, you get better efficiency, along with a better off-axis response and high-frequency response. It means good news for those looking for a bookshelf speaker that can deliver a full-bodied sound in small spaces.
Pros of the SP-BS22-LR
- Sophisticated sound quality
- 4-inch structured surface woofer
- Large magnets for better bass quality
- 1” soft dome tweeter
- 80-watt power handling
Cons of SP-BS22-LR
- Sounds dull at high volume
- Good secondary speakers
Not sure yet?
Let’s take a closer look.
Incredible Design Makes the SP-BS22-LR Stand Out in Any Setting
The Pioneer SP-BS22-LR comes with an impressive pedigree, which is something that becomes clear when you notice the signature etched on the back panel. It reads: A. Jones.
Not something very obvious to those who are new to the world of speakers, but the name should raise an eyebrow or two for those who know their loudspeakers.
Andrew Jones is a name synonymous with impeccably designed speakers at TAD Labs, which is a wing of parent company Pioneer Electronics.
Without a doubt, Mr. Jones has a creative range bar none when it comes to speaker design. He has designed some of the finest loudspeakers in the world, with some of them costing a whopping $80,000.
Therefore, you’re safe to assume that you’ll be getting top-shelf quality at an affordable price with this bookshelf speaker.
The Pioneer SP-BS22-LR sports an unassuming appearance at first glance, which is the genius of Alex Jones (which we’ll get to in a moment). The SP-BS22-LR’s cabinet boasts a curved design with slightly slanting sidewalls.
While the design might seem a bit stiffer, there’s a reason for it. For instance, the rigid design helps to reduce the sound waves within the cabinet, which enhances the sound quality to the extent not possible with a traditional cabinet design.
Also, this time around, the grilles are removable and not fixed, an indicator that customers weren’t big fans of the fixed louvers. The removable nature of the grilles gives you the option to decide between having an all-business look or a sleek, chic look.
Tweeter Set in a Deep Waveguide for Superior Efficiency
The Pioneer SP-BS22-LR boasts a tweeter that’s set in a deep waveguide. Tweeters that function with this kind of horn loading are not only high in efficiency but are also screamers that help boost the mid-range.
The tweeter included in the Pioneer SP-BS22-LR has a noticeably widened sweet spot of around 1 inch, which is more than enough for this soft dome tweeter.
The designers, or rather, Mr. Jones, went back to the drawing board with the design of these speakers, doing away with the traditional, massive, permanent grille that muffled the sound of the woofer and tweeters.
The tweeter boasts a revamped design this time around, which results in crisper sound.
Structured Surface Woofer Delivers Better Bass Notes
One major selling point of the Pioneer SP-BS22-LR is that it lets you feel the bass thanks to the structured surface over the woofer. The woofer itself is 4 inches wide, which is as large as they come for bookshelf speakers.
Pioneer has made a few precise tweaks to the structure and design of the woofers in the SP-BS22-LR, which is noticeable, especially when it comes to the oversized magnets.
The integration of large magnets in the woofer results in better bass accuracy and improved rigidity. And that is much appreciated. When you turn up the volume of the Pioneer SP-BS22-LR in a small or medium-sized room.
Sophisticated 6-Component Crossover for Enhanced Low, High, or Mid-Range Frequencies
The crossover of a bookshelf speaker is usually something that goes unnoticed. The primary duty of a crossover is to help break the audio signals into either low, high, or midrange frequencies to deliver the overall sound quality.
For this, the crossover in a speaker uses an intricate circuitry of capacitors and inductors that help break down frequencies.
While most other bookshelf speakers focus on the design of the woofer, tweeter, and the overall design of the speaker itself, they usually skimp on the crossover, using a basic, low-cost crossover made from a single inductor and capacitor, which is a big mistake.
In the Pioneer SP-BS22-LR, you get a sophisticated crossover that ensures enhanced sound quality. The 6-component crossover in the SP-BS22-LR breaks down the audio into crisp and clear, low, high and mid-range frequencies.
6-Ohm Load for Nominal Impedance and a Low Sensitivity Rating
Another reason why the Pioneer SP-BS22-LR shines, in comparison to many other bookshelf speakers in the market today, is the smart combination of technology and design.
The SP-BS22-LR is a step up from the traditional 8-Ohm load. This time around, Pioneer has gone with a 6-Ohm load capacity, which may not seem like much on paper, but makes a significant difference when it comes to performance.
The 6-Ohm load provides the speaker with a nominal impedance that couples with a low sensitivity rating. A combination that means the Pioneer SP-BS22-LR bookshelf speakers delivers an ample amount of power when paired with a good receiver.
With a sensitivity rating of 85 decibels, you get a bookshelf speaker that has more than enough capacity to deliver superior audio performance.
And what stand out is the level of fine detail factored into the design of the Pioneer SP-BS22-LR. No surprise given that it is an Andrew Jones design.
These speakers don’t just look great. They also:
- Produce sparkling audio that can comfortably fill up a medium-sized room with its power.
- Have a configuration that is compatible with the latest sound systems and best home theater speakers . .
What Do Buyers Say?
The Pioneer SP-BS22-LR bookshelf speaker has a lot going for it; so, let’s take a look at what the consumers have to say:
As you’d expect, the Andrew Jones factor has played a big part in the success of the Pioneer SP-BS22-LR bookshelf speakers, and it’s easy to see why.
Many consumers are ranking the SP-BS22-LR right up there with some of the other amazing speakers designed by Mr. Jones.
But, once you get past the curved design, you can’t help but notice the extraordinary performance from this otherwise unassuming bookshelf speaker.
Fans of Pioneer speakers and audiophiles alike give the SP-BS22-LR full marks for its unique design and sophisticated sound quality that gives you robust bass accuracy in a compact structured cabinet.
Here Are Some Alternatives to the Pioneer SP-BS22-LR Bookshelf Speaker
Here are some alternatives to the Pioneer SP-BS22-LR bookshelf speakers that you might take a shine to:
- 5.25” Uni-Q Driver Array
- Reimagined Crossover and Treble Frequencies
- Designed to Reduce Internal Resonances
- Two-Way Bass Reflex Design
- Max Power Input: 100 watts
The KEF Q150 bookshelf speaker is the right choice for you if you’ve got money to spare. The Q150 is the latest iteration of bookshelf speakers from a brand that’s no stranger to speaker technology.
The Q150 features a dampened tweeter loading tube that removes interference from the back of the tweeter, enhancing the sound. You also get a low-distortion inductor added to the crossover for cleaner bass.
The CFD designed port has been moved to the rear of the speaker for better efficiency. Also, the geometry of the ports is tuned for turbulence minimization at higher levels. Overall, the Q150 offers a reliable alternative to the SP-BS22-LR.
- 2-way,2-driver bookshelf design
- 1-inch soft-dome ferrofluid-cooled tweeter
- Five Inch Woofer with Polymer-Treated Driver
- 8 Ohms
- Max Power Input: 100 watts
Those who are searching for a bookshelf speaker that can deliver a satisfying performance will appreciate what the Fluance SX6WH Two-Way Bookshelf Speaker has to offer.
The technology under the solid MDF wood construction is all business. It sports an extra-large, 5-inch polymer treated driver woofer coupled with a butyl rubber surround, a 1-inch, ferrofluid-cooled tweeter, and 5-way gold plated binding post terminals for better conductivity.
When it comes to comparing the SX6WX with the Pioneer SP-BS22-LR, you get the feeling that the latter glides through the finish line while the former tried too hard but fell a few steps short of reaching the mark.
Nevertheless, this can be a good alternative for those who are looking for something different from the SP-BS22-LR bookshelf speaker.
Yes, the size is a bit larger than your average bookshelf speaker, but if you want good sound quality, you will have to accept that.
Besides, where the Pioneer SP-BS22-LR stumbles when it comes to its size, it more than makes up for with its sound quality.
If you’re looking for a powerful bookshelf speaker with sound quality that not only meets but exceeds many other similar-sized speakers, check out the Pioneer SP-BS22-LR speakers on Amazon by clicking here.