PSB Image Series Loudspeakers
All prices in US dollars.

For more than 35 years, PSB has built a reputation for performance, affordability, and value. At the 2009 CEDIA Expo, PSB unveiled the eight new speaker models comprising their new Image series, all benefiting from technology trickled down from their successful Imagine and Synchrony series.

The new series includes two floorstanding models, the Image T5 and T6 ($899 and $1199/pair, respectively); three stand-mounted speakers, the Image B4, B5, and B6 ($299, $399, and $499/pair); two center-channel speakers, the Image C4 and C5 ($275 and $375 each); and one bipole surround model, the Image S5 ($799/pair). Paul Barton did most of the acoustic design in the anechoic chamber and laboratory of Canada’s National Research Council, where he’s designed speakers for decades.

The floorstanding Image T6 is the largest speaker in the new line, but at $1199/pair it’s surprisingly affordable, with design details that are unique for the price. The T6 is a true three-way speaker: each of its two woofers operates in its own internal chamber, but they’re run in parallel for the greatest bass output and control. As in PSB’s flagship speaker, the Synchrony One, the Image T6’s midrange driver is mounted above its tweeter. The T6’s front baffle is rounded, as in the more expensive Imagine line, and its drivers are surrounded by rubber flanges, as in the Imagine and Synchrony models, to conceal the driver-mounting hardware and to provide a smooth transition to the baffle.

Paul Barton designed his main models to play music exceedingly well, but of course, two-channel audio isn’t all that’s demanded of today’s loudspeakers. With one surround and two center-channel models, an entire Image home-theater system can be had for a reasonable price. The Image C4 is the entry-level center-channel speaker, at $275; the larger Image C5 costs $100 more.

The interesting thing about Paul Barton is that while he has the skill and resources to build the largest, most expensive speakers imaginable, he’d much rather create something that the masses can afford. For him, bringing high-quality sound into the homes of the many is far more rewarding than making something that can be enjoyed by only the wealthy few. His new Image speakers are very affordable -- a welcome thing in this tough economy -- and appear to be some of his best values yet. []