- Manufacturer & Model
- Aperion Audio Verus III V8T Tower Speaker
- $3,998.00 Pair
Patented 28mm Aperion Axially Stabilized Radiator V.2 Silk Dome Tweeter
+2dB - -4dB Level Adjustment for fine-tuning the Treble and Mid-Range
Two 5.25” Woven-Kevlar Midrange Drivers with Aluminum Phase Plugs
Two 8” Woven-Kevlar Woofers with Butyl Rubber Surrounds
Aperion Custom 3-Way, 3rd Order Crossover Network
Anti-Resonant, Internally Braced, Ultra-Thick HDF Cabinet Walls
Curvilinear Design & Compound Angles Minimize Panel Resonances
3-way, D’Appolito Driver Configuration
Bass Reflex Design with Dual Rear Ports (optional port plugs included)
Bi-Amp/Bi-Wire Ready, 5-Way, Gold-Plated Binding Posts
12 Gauge Binding Post Straps
Furniture-Grade Gloss Cherry Veneer or Gloss Piano Black Finish
Lightweight Magnetic Grille
Custom Aluminum Bases, Floor Spikes, and Footers
The Verus III Concert V8T is a beautiful speaker with soft curves and luxurious finishes. The speaker is available in a lustrous, furniture-grade Gloss Cherry natural wood veneer or a Gloss Piano Black Lacquer finish. The driver complement is one 28mm patented Aperion Audio silk dome tweeter, matched with two 5.25” Woven-Kevlar® mid-range drivers in a D’Appolito configuration. Two Woven-Kevlar 8” woofers supply the bottom end in a twin-ported cabinet, and an Aperion custom three-way crossover feeds all drivers. Treble and mid-range are adjustable using jumpers arrayed above the bi-amp/bi-wire capable 5-way binding posts on the speaker’s rear. The drivers are hidden behind a molded plastic, cloth-covered, magnetic grille cover. The tall tower is ably supported by heavy-milled aluminum outriggers that are securely bolted to the bottom of the speaker.
Aperion Audio is an internet direct company headquartered in the U.S. in Wilsonville, Oregon, and has been in operation since 1999. Aperion Audio designs, manufactures and sells a wide range of speakers, electronics, and accessories.
I’ve had the opportunity to review Aperion Audio products in the past. Specifically, the Aperion Audio AMT Di-Polar Super-Tweeter, and the MK-II Planar-Magnetic Ribbon Super-Tweeter, and I found them well-made, functional, and easily integrated.
When Aperion Audio, via AV NIRVANA, offered me the opportunity to review their flagship, top-of-the-line, pinnacle-of-the-pack, ruler-of-the-roost offering, the Verus III Concert V8T Dual 8” Tower Speaker, I jumped at the chance to get a listen to one of their full-range offerings!
After some back-and-forth before delivery, I suggested that Aperion Audio consider sending along their Verus III center channel speaker. Happily, they complied by sending along their Verus III Grand V6C Center channel speaker! But that will be a separate review, so stay tuned for that!
I had a “fair warning” from Aperion and FedEx that the speakers were en route. When they arrived, they were deposited on my front porch by the mysterious phantom FedEx team, who managed to dump them and disappear before I even got to the front door.
The large tower boxes were imposing, standing at 58.5” (148.5cm) with a shipping weight of 98 lbs. (44.3kg) each.
In what had to be close to a first for FedEx (or UPS, for that matter), there were no significant dents, rips, or breaches in the boxes, and all looked good.
I rolled the heavy speakers upstairs and unpacked them in my listening room.
Each speaker was double-boxed in heavy-weight cardboard containers. When exposed, I found the speaker tightly and securely suspended between two closed-cell foam endcaps Two additional snug-fitting closed-cell foam girdles were around the center of the speakers providing extra support.
Each speaker was wrapped in a clear plastic bag. Once the plastic was peeled back, an elegant Royal Blue, velour-like bag with a gold braided drawstring was revealed.
This packaging was so reminiscent of one of my favorite bourbons that can’t legally be called a bourbon (call me a Canadian Whiskey, please!) that my mouth started watering. OK, OK… I know one bag is purple, and the speaker baggie is royal blue, but I’m sure you get my drift! My initial thoughts were, “Something good is about to come out of that bag!”
And, once that velour bag was stripped away, a truly gorgeous speaker was revealed. My sample pair was supplied in furniture grade, real-wood veneer High-Gloss Cherry. But, if Cherry is not your thing, the speaker is also available in a High Gloss Piano Black Lacquer finish.
The other items in the box were an instruction manual and a polishing cloth. The aluminum outriggers, hardware, Allen wrench, carpet spikes and metal footer disks, gloves, and additional jumpers were found in a small separate box tucked into one end of the main container.
Construction and Design
As mentioned, the finish on my sample speakers was jewel-like and beautifully done. All seams and joinery were tight and flawless.
The speaker is substantial, weighing in at 77lbs (35Kg) and 98lbs (44.3Kg) boxed. Dimensions of this hefty speaker are 51" H x 11" W x 14" D (1287mm H x 269mm W x 350mm D).
The front panel is a simple matte black from top to bottom. All drivers are front-facing and sit flush with the front panel. All mounting hardware is hidden beneath attractive formed rubber surrounds.
The substantial speaker grille assemblies are cloth stretched over a heavy molded plastic structure with cutouts for the drivers. The grilles snap into place using an embedded magnetic capture system and sit flush in a precision-milled niche in the cabinet face. Grille, on or off, the speaker presents with a handsome face.
The speaker’s sides, back, and top are soft curves that provide non-parallel surfaces designed to break up internal resonances and standing waves in the heavily braced cabinet. The “Curve Linear” cabinet design also minimizes external diffraction artifacts. The walls and front baffle of the Verus III Concert are 1.0 inch thick HDF material. My highly scientific “Knuckle Rap Test” returned a solid “Thunk!” with no overt signs of hollowness or ringing.
Below is a cutaway view of the Verus III Concert V8T speaker showing some excellent detail. Note, the closed-back tweeter is in the same separate compartment as the two 5.25” mid-range drivers. The mid-range chamber is sealed from the speaker's main ported chamber.
The two high-excursion, 8” Woven-Kevlar woofers occupy the main chamber, with the two ports and the crossover (not shown). The main chamber has acoustical foam material to provide some additional damping. The main bass enclosure has about 2.17 cubic feet (61.6 cubic liters) of internal volume.
The back of the speaker contains two 2.5” flared ports that narrow as they recede into the cabinet. The ports arrive with foam plugs installed. The foam plugs are not just throw-aways but are used when room constraints dictate that the speakers be placed near a wall. This placement could cause the bass to bloom and become a bit boomy with the rear ports open. So instead, the plugs seal the box to tighten up the low-end, at a slight sacrifice of bass extension.
The cabinet’s backside is home to a somewhat busy connection panel along with the speaker's rear ports. In addition to the two sets of sturdy 5-Way binding posts, four sets of jumper sockets allow for some custom tuning of the tweeter and mid-range, from +2dB to -4dB, depending on the number of included banana plug jumpers used and the position in which the jumpers are placed.
The binding posts are knurled heads of what appear to be polycarbonate over brass inserts, while the binding posts themselves are solid brass and non-ferrous. There are two sets of binding posts splitting the tweeter/mid-range and the bass sections of the speaker to allow for bi-wiring/bi-amping if desired. Instead of using a solid “jumper strap” as is typical, the two crossover sections are, in this case, coupled using neatly made 12-gauge wire jumpers covered with a “TechFlex” type of covering, ending with color-coded shrink wrap (red/black), and terminated with, what feels like crimped, brass spade lugs.
The driver arrangement consists of a 28mm, patented Aperion Axially Stabilized Radiator silk dome tweeter that sits between two 5.25” Woven Kevlar midrange speakers in a D’Appolito Array enclosed in a separate sealed chamber. The two 8” Woven Kevlar woofers are stacked below the D’Appolito array in the main body of the cabinet.
Aperion Axially Stabilized Radiator™ Silk Dome Tweeter
Aperion’s patented ASR tweeter was designed to allow for a lower crossover frequency to unburden the midrange drivers above 2.6 kHz, where they tend to beam. To address this, Aperion Audio had a design goal of developing a tweeter with a diaphragm that resists “rocking” near its resonant frequency. By pinning the diaphragm’s center in a plane above the voice coil, it becomes “axially stabilized,” minimizing unwanted distortion. The silk dome is coated in a specially developed damping compound to ensure a smooth and accurate response with controlled resonance characteristics. The refined “wishbone” waveguide is said to result in better output, with a more uniform frequency response and wider dispersion across the entire operating range.
5.25” Woven Kevlar® Midrange Driver with Aluminum Phase Plug
The midrange drivers cross over at 230 Hz in the mid-bass range. The rigid Kevlar material allows for a warm, clean, and dynamic response. The speaker is driven by a high-performance ferrite magnet structure with a vented pole piece to reduce heat build-up and a larger T-yoke to allow for an increased excursion to increase mid-bass response. The aluminum midrange phase plug aids the driver in providing additional coherence and an extended level of detail and smoothness in the critical mid-range.
8” Woven Kevlar Woofers
The long-throw, linear excursion, with extra-long voice coils, design of the woofers is voiced to render a punchy, tight, clean, and accurate low-bass response.
According to Aperion, the end goals for the custom three-way, 3rd order crossover were a smoother, more neutral, and better-balanced frequency response across the entire frequency spectrum They also worked to enhance phase integration (timing) between the tweeter and midrange drivers and smooth the transition between bass and mid-range.
Crossover points are at 230Hz and 2.9kHz. The 3rd order design should offer up slopes around 18dB/Octave. While there is no mention of the style/architecture of the crossover stated, given the number of components, I’m guessing a 3rd order Linkwitz-Riley or similar configuration.
The Verus III crossover employs superior components, including Aperion Audio’s own custom high-quality thin film capacitors to provide minimum dielectric loss, customized internal wiring, custom air core inductors, and a custom laid-out, stacked PCB.
According to the company, the level of quality components paired with a time-intensive iterative design to actualize the fine-tuning of the crossover network have resulted in meeting the design process allowed the speaker to meet output goals and deliver notably better sound.
For this review. the Verus III speakers replaced my “reference” GoldenEar Triton One.R speakers in my listening room. They were positioned on my custom DIY speaker isolation platforms using the Aperion Audio supplied cone-style feet.
Final placement found them with a 6˚ toe-in, 48” from the right-side wall and 45” from the left. This arrangement put the rear ports of the speakers 46” from the front wall, and the front baffles 60” into the room, giving them plenty of space to breathe.
The Verus III Concert speaker is Bi-Wire/Bi-Amp capable. Still, I eschewed either of those connection schemes, leaving the supplied jumpers in place and paralleling twin 10ga Belden 5T00UP speaker wires. The speakers were driven throughout all testing with my Parasound Halo A21 amplifier (400 watts RMS into 4Ω – 250 watts into 8Ω).
Although I did experiment a bit with the jumper settings (tweeter, and mid-range adjustment jumpers). I ultimately returned the jumpers to their 0dB positions for all testing and listening sessions.
I set up and, using my iPad, ran the Audyssey MultEQ room correction App on my Marantz AV7703 processor using eight microphone positions. Then, using the same MultEQ App, I limited the Audyssey effect to 600Hz and below leaving the mid- and high-frequencies untouched.
My test setup consists of REW used with a MacBook Pro, MOTU M2 Audio Interface, and a MiniDSP UMIK-2 microphone. Of course, the other component of my test setup is MY ROOM. These measurements are not meant to supplant or contest the measurements given by the manufacturer. Instead, these measurements should only be used to offer a comparison point from a real-world user perspective.
Figure 1 Is the SPL vs. Frequency Response as supplied by Aperion Audio. Claimed frequency response in the specs is 26Hz to 35kHz (IEC 268-5 specifications).
The Aperion Audio supplied graph shows a flat response from 47Hz to 35kHz, with a solid presence out into the “high-frequency hinterlands” of 40kHz and beyond.
The bass response is down about 6dB at the stated low-end response of 26Hz. The slope's interesting sharpness on the graph indicates that the measurements were done in an anechoic or quasi-anechoic environment, and the small peak at 17Hz is probably the port output.
I quickly tested the available level adjustments using the different jumper positioning. All measurements reflected those published by Aperion Audio and aligned with the Aperion curves (Figure 1) above.
I started testing with the UMIK-2 at one meter, directly on-axis with the tweeter. All 1-meter testing was done with Audyssey off, the Aperion Audio Verus III Concert V8T running full range, and no subwoofers on. Only the right speaker was used for 1-meter tests.
The tweeter and mid-range jumpers were set for 0dB for all testing unless noted.
Figure 2 shows the speaker tested with and without the grille assembly. The configuration/design of the grille assembly seems to cause some diffraction/attenuation of the frequencies above 700Hz.
Although this is easily seen in the test curve (Below), in practice, I couldn’t decern a real difference with the grille on or off while running the curves or later during the listening tests. Smoothing in Figure 2 was 1:12 to highlight some of the more minor aberrations.
Figure 3 is the SPL vs. Frequency Response curve at 1 Meter with 1:1 smoothing applied and the grille assembly in place. While I ran a sweep from 4Hz to 30kHz, the graph limits realistically reflect the limitations of my equipment.
Aperion Audio claims a frequency response of 26Hz to 35kHz, with no ± dB limits provided (other than the reference to the IEC 268-5 specs). My testing indeed confirms the low-end reach is even slightly better than claimed (in my room).
The high frequencies are, of course, where my equipment falls flat, but the curve clearly shows significant high-frequency energy extending beyond my modest equipment limitations.
Figure 4 (below) shows the off-center axis (OCA) frequency response measured at 1 Meter. For this testing, I moved the measurement microphone from the starting position of directly on-axis with the tweeter to 15˚, 30˚, 60˚, and 90˚ (to the side of the cabinet) while maintaining the 1-meter distance and the “directly toward the tweeter” orientation of the microphone. The measurements show a steady drop-off of the mid-range and the high frequencies, as is normal and expected for any speaker of this type.
Listening Position Measurements
I kept it simple at the listening position and measured the Verus III V8Ts full range with no subwoofers engaged and Audyssey turned off. I measured from three positions: the center listening position, the far-right seating position, and the far-left seating position.
Figure 5 below indicates a nice flat response 26Hz to beyond 14kHz, where room interference, and proximity issues, begin to mess around with the high-end.
On the bottom end, the room added a nice reinforcement bump to the low frequencies. Looking at the curve, I noted a solid bass presence starting around 15hz and peaking at 110Hz in the Mid-Bass. The room adds or subtracts a bit of bass at either seating extreme.
The speaker exhibited a smooth and consistent frequency response across all front seating positions.
I can verify the Aperion Audio claims of a low-frequency response to 26Hz (down 6 or 7dB from where the curve flattens), and the low-end reach is slightly better than claimed, factoring in a bit of room gain.
However, as previously mentioned, I cannot verify the high-frequency extension claim with my test equipment other than to say the measurements indicate significant energy extending beyond 20kHz and the normal limits of human hearing.
After a two-week break-in/acclimation period, I approached critical listening as I usually do by gathering some of my favorite media and some new material in various formats.
Initial listening was with the Aperion Verus III Concert V8 T’s unsupported by subwoofers. I listened to CD selections from Thomas Dolby, “Airhead,” “Hot Sauce” (a George Clinton cover), and “The Ability to Swing” from the 1988 release, Aliens Ate My Buick CD and the opening tracks of the Windham Hill compilation CD, Soul of the Machine, “Rizzo” and “Time and the River” by Mitchel Forman and Fred Simon respectively. These are all tunes that contain substantial, tight, and sometimes deep-digging bass passages.
The full-range pedigree of the V8T’s was clearly displayed by reproducing the tunes with a solid bass foundation that filled my rather large room with tight, articulate, and full-bodied low-end at all volumes I demanded of them. Furthermore, with the V8T’s running sans subwoofers, even the extreme low end of a synth or 5-string bass was very present and accounted for.
When I reengaged the subwoofers, I found that only the lowest-of-the-low synthesizer content had been missing and was now brought to the fore, with the power and “body” of the content pleasantly reinforced.
I once more engaged the Audyssey Room Correction but restricted its effect to 600Hz and below and continued running the Verus III V8 T’s as “Large” (Full Range) speakers.
All subsequent listening was with the subwoofers on unless noted.
Streaming (Amazon Ultra H.D. Music via Marantz HEOS 96kHz/24 bit)
I’m not sure why I suddenly could not get Frank Zappa out of my head, but there it was. Over the years, I’ve found that the only way to remove a Zappa “earworm” from the ol’ noggin is to listen to copious amounts of the same. So with that in mind, I instructed Amazon to dredge up the “seminal” insanity of the 1979 release of Joe’s Garage – Acts I, II, & III and began to listen.
If you are interested in the gory details of the Joe’s Garage story, Wikipedia has an interesting write-up that seems accurate enough and can be found at https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Joe's_Garage.
Luckily(?), Amazon streams this “Rock Opera” in Ultra H.D. at 96kHz 24bit, so every erg of detail was available and on display. A lot is going on here besides the standard rock band instrumental lineup (Guitars, Bass Guitar, Standard Keyboards, Drums), and sometimes include xylophones, marimbas, all manner of saxes, horns, layered percussion, various keys/synths, and of course Zappa’s tasty guitar work.
The Aperion speakers rendered the well-recorded, complex arrangements and the many layers of interesting instrumentation with clarity and an expressiveness sometimes lost on lesser speakers. Lyrics are central to any Frank Zappa effort, especially as you might imagine, for a “Rock Opera” type project. The Verus III Concert V8T speakers delivered vocals and spoken word content with a rock-solid center image and enviably smooth clarity.
Ultimately, Joe’s Garage – Acts I, II, & III is a wicked, downright vulgar, at times hilarious, somewhat creepy, multi-layered satire and social commentary. It was both panned and praised at the time of its release but holds its own as a certain kind of “classic” today. Regardless, it served my needs by driving the Frank Zappa “earworm” from my brain while ably displaying the ability of the Verus III V8Ts to deliver this oddly coherent mishmash of sound.
I continued to listen via Amazon Music Ultra HD, sampling artists as diverse as the Beach Boys, The Beatles, Michael McDonald, and Kenny Logins. The V8T’s never failed to deliver a listenable and pleasant experience.
I finished my streaming session with some hardcore Progressive Metal action from Tool.
I listened to “Ænima” and “Forty-Six & 2” from the 1996 release of the Ænima album. I started at a staid, laid-back volume level and then finished with a slightly more genre-appropriate (and insane) volume level. Both samples were easy to listen to, but as expected, the higher volume level just seemed more “right.” The Aperion Audio speakers easily presented the tunes at any volume I asked of them, but the music just seemed to “open up” at the higher volumes. The speakers never displayed a hint of stress or stain, maintaining their “cool” throughout.
*Ænima Defined - The title Ænima is a combination of the words ‘anima’ (Latin for ‘soul’ and associated with the ideas of “life force” and a term often used by psychologist Carl Jung) and ‘enema,’ the medical procedure involving the injection of fluids into the rectum. The combination of the two words is meant to be a metaphor for the “cleansing of the soul.” Ænima - Wikipedia. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ænima
I started CD listening sessions with one of my favorite recordings from 1986, the well-recorded and atmospheric So by Peter Gabriel. Although I listened to the CD in its entirety, I focused on four tracks, playing each through with and without my Rythmik F18 subwoofers engaged. Those four tracks were the tonally rich “Red Rain,” the much more upbeat, solid, and more “pop-ish” “Sledgehammer,” the haunting and depressing but still tonally rich duet with Kate Bush “Don’t Give Up,” and the irreverent but lyrically brilliant, and totally fun “Big Time.”
All the tunes were rendered by the Verus III Concert V8T speakers with a tight, coherent low-end, a rich, well-defined mid-range, and a smooth, somewhat laid-back but extended, airy, and well-defined, without ever being harsh, high-end.
With or without the subwoofers engaged, I was hard-pressed to decide which was best. I finally opted for the sound that I, and I think most of us, have become accustomed/enamored with, a slight or even a marked over-emphasis on that bottom octave of bass that has only a tiny place in the real world of live music but does tend to generate a sense of foundation, weight, and excitement that only a well-integrated subwoofer (or the finest full-range speakers) can bring into the listening environment.
With the confirmation that the subwoofers were dialed in to my satisfaction, I left them on for all subsequent listening unless noted.
Next, I revisited another of my favs from the ’80s, the 1985 CD release of Brothers in Arms by the Dire Straits. This Grammy-winning (Best Engineered Album) album was recorded (for the most part) over four months at famed Air Studios on the island of Montserrat (a U.K. Territory) from October 1984 to February 1985 and mixed at the Power Station in New York. The album was one of the first significant projects to be recorded on the then-newish Sony 24-Track Digital recorder using PCM digital encoding and fed by the decidedly unadulterated Analog Magic of the legendary Neve 8078 mixing console.
Again, while I listened to the entire CD, I focused on two specific tracks. Those tracks were “Money for Nothing” and “One World.” Again, the overall sound presented by the Aperion speakers was open and airy with a solid center image and wide soundstage featuring tight, weighty bass (with or without the subwoofers on), smooth and pure mid-range with the same extended, open, and the airy upper registers noted previously.
Bass and kick drum were tightly connected throughout both tunes and presented with a solid, visceral feel at higher volumes. The guitars were distinct and etched into the soundscape but maintained that ethereal Mark Knopfler trademark sound. The vocals were distinct and forward enough to stand out appropriately in the mix. Drums, especially the snare and the toms, had excellent snap and weight. Keyboards, particularly the Hammond B3/Lesley combo and the piano used, were presented perfectly by the Aperion speakers. Synths had an excellent edge and brightness when in the mix.
I cued up two of my favorite orchestral works to check out the more classical side of things.
I started by listening to two tracks from the Deutsche Grammophon 1995 recording of Gustav Holst’s The Planets, performed by the London Philharmonia Orchestra, conducted by John Eliot Gardiner. The Planets OP.32 (orchestral version) has been recorded and released no less than eighty-one (81!) times since 1922. I have not listened to those many other releases, but I find this release by Deutsch Grammophon to be an outstanding recording within this genre. This recording was made in the interesting and rich live venue environment of All Hallows, Gospel Oak Church in London, England.
The Aperion V8T speakers presented “Mars, the Bringer of War” as appropriately heavy, dark, and solemn. The tone of track 3, “Venus, the Bringer of Peace,” was much lighter and airier. Both segments were reproduced with a feeling of weight and impact but maintained an intimacy and delicate touch when the mood lightened. The strings were warm and woody, with a nice edge riding the top of the violins. The Verus III Concert speakers accurately portrayed the mood and emotion of each track, evoking an appropriate feel for each selection. It was all rendered with a beautiful openness and feeling for, what I would imagine, the venue space would sound like.
Next up was an orchestral work done in a slightly different manner. While the previous recording was done in a “live performance” venue, the entirety of the following selection was done in Abbey Road’s Studio 1 in 1997. I’m referring to the second major “classical” work by Sir Paul McCartney, the “symphonic poem in four movements” Standing Stone (CD). Performed by the London Symphony Orchestra, Standing Stone is a modern symphonic work coupled with a massed choir.
As one would expect from Abbey Road Studios, the recording is stellar, and the 80-piece orchestra and 120-voice choir sound incredibly massive when in full swing. The Aperion Audio Verus III Concert V8T speakers handled the “full tilt boogie” of the louder passages without breaking a sweat and not a hint of breakup or compression. Softer passages were handled equally well, and the recording's substantial dynamic swings were rendered with aplomb. The speakers rendered everything with a silky smoothness in a slightly forward manner coupled with an extensive soundstage. The woodwinds were sweet and smooth, while the massed strings were warm and woody sounding from bottom to top, with that typical “edge” riding on top of the violins. The horns were “brassy” and forward when present without any hint of harshness. The percussion was massive, with appropriate weight and impact.
I started multi-channel music listening by cueing up an SACD that features the female voice and uses the surround sound as ambiance, not as effects.
If you’ve read any of my reviews in the past, you know where I’m going. To get a feel for the female voice, I listened to my audiophile favorite Nora Jones, on her inaugural 2002 release, Come Away with Me (SACD). The speakers presented the vocals with a rock-solid center image and a clean natural sound with that Nora Jones’ trademark breathy-ness but not a hint of congestion or chestiness. The piano was clear and defined throughout. Electric guitars remained subtle and suitably restrained in the mix, while the acoustic guitars had an open organic sound. The upright bass had a deep, warm, rounded, and woody feel. Drums on this laid-back recording were mainly in the background but clearly defined. The brushwork on several tunes was delicate, with plenty of snare sizzle, and was clearly defined. Although expanded by the ambiance pumped into the surround speakers, the soundstage remained intimate. The Verus III V8Ts played well with the other surround speakers (Verus III Grand V6C center, B.G. Radia SA320i surrounds) in the system, and I never felt that there was a timing or timbre mismatch.
The second selection on the multi-channel list was the oh-so atmospheric, which borders on new-age ambient at times, 2014 release of the film version of Pink Floyd’s fifteenth studio album, The Endless River (Apple TV 4K – iTunes, 5.1 surround). The album is mainly ambient in structure, with only one-track containing vocals. The visual content of the “movie” is disconnected, overwrought, and even distracting at times, at least to me. However, the sound is excellent, and it is perhaps better listened to and not watched anyway!
And sound good it did! Every burp and burble, every gurgle and chuckle, every drone and murmur, were hyper-defined and presented in an atmospheric but coherent way.
Although it is not listed as ATMOS encoded, my Marantz AV7703 processor recognized it as such and upsampled the content. The Verus III V8Ts played and blended well with my little Polk ceiling speakers matching well with the extra dose of ambiance they were pumping into the room.
Movie and Surround
I sampled a lot of television and movie content. Primarily streaming iTunes/Disney+/HBO Max/YouTube services through my Apple TV 4K box.
Throughout it all, the Verus III performed admirably with all effects and types of content. The sound remained connected to the screen and transferred seamlessly around the surround sound sphere as needed.
With stereo content such as YouTube, the V8Ts were a pleasure to listen to. The sound quality of YouTube is, of course, all over the place, but the Aperion speakers made it as listenable as it could be. Of course, well-recorded content fared better, but the speakers went a long way toward mellowing and taking the edge off the crappier presentations.
Willow (Dolby ATMOS) – I’ve been off and on watching the somewhat variable sequel to the 1988 fantasy movie of the same name. The Disney+ series has had its share of weak/awkward character interactions and storylines, of which I have not been a particular fan. But as I am making my way through them (I just watched episode #6 at the time of this writing), I find some of the nonsense starting to resolve, and I am now able to enjoy the emerging/developing storyline and more.
Regardless of my perceived weaknesses in the fabric of the story, the V8Ts performed well by keeping the soundtrack listenable and the action solidly connected to the screen while propelling the visuals forward. LFE bursts were handled perfectly by the Aperions coupled with my Rythmik F18 subs.
The rest of the soundtrack was reproduced with a natural feel, and any surround effects were handed off smoothly to the surround speakers. The center channel (Aperion Audio Verus III Grand V6C) blend was smooth, seamless, and a perfect timbre match.
I watched the newish Netflix Original, The Witcher: Blood Origin, in its entirety (four episodes). The series was presented in HD 1080P and 5.1 Surround Sound (however, my processor insisted on upsampling to ATMOS). While I had high hopes for this limited (very limited) series, it was, at best, “Meh.” The visuals were just OK, but the sound was a decent mix with a generally good to great ambient feel and an excellent and solid LFE mix. The somewhat clunky dialogue was woodenly delivered by most of the cast, with the one exception being the redoubtable Michelle Yeoh. However, even though woodenly delivered, the system presented the dialogue with clarity and pinpoint precision in the soundstage. Dialogue, or sounds from the left or right stage or the rear, were appropriately panned and placed to good effect. The Aperion Verus III Concert V8Ts blended perfectly with the Verus III Grand V6C center and the surrounds to provide a seamless transition around the surround sound sphere.
OK, OK…. I know I’ll possibly take some flak for this, but I enjoyed this movie waaayyy more than I disliked it. I’m talking, of course, about the Dwayne Johnson vehicle, Black Adam.
I’ve watched this movie twice now using the Verus III V8Ts. The first time I enjoyed it as a movie night movie. The second viewing was to evaluate the Verus III Concert speaker’s bass and LFE capabilities after watching Todd Anderson’s Bass Hunters Video Review on AVNirvana.com at (https://www.avnirvana.com/threads/bass-hunters-8-black-adam-in-4k-hdr-and-dolby-atmos.11518/).
I started by listening to the relevant scenes with the V8Ts running full range and then again with the subwoofers engaged. While the listening experience using only the V8Ts was enjoyable, they were undeniably short on that low-end grunt and the visceral punch that the subwoofers added to the mix.
With that out of the way, I concentrated on the sound and found it thoroughly enjoyable and engaging. Music, effects, ambiance, and LFE (when using the subwoofers) were impactful and perfectly balanced throughout. In addition, the dialogue was smoothly panned and perfectly placed when moved across the front channels.
Final judgment on the Verus III Concert V8Ts as the front of a home theater system? Excellent in every respect. However, to wring maximum LFE impact from your system, you must add a subwoofer or two (or four :-) to the mix.
The center channel speaker used throughout the listening sessions was the very fine Aperion Audio Verus III Grand V6C, which proved to be a good match for the V8Ts. There is, however, what is probably a better match to the big V8Ts, which is the now available, but unavailable at the time of this review, the matching Verus III Concert V8C center channel speaker!
Stay tuned for the full review of the Verus III Grand V6C center channel speaker.
Summary and Closing Thoughts
From the narrative so far, you might gather that I enjoyed my time with the Aperion Audio Verus III Concert V8T speakers, and you would be right!
Initially, the speakers might appear chunkier than many of their size and price range because of the wide front panel, height, depth, and stance. That chunkiness, however, is certainly immediately mitigated by the soft rounded curves and the beautiful fit and finish of the cabinet. And that somewhat imposing look quickly faded to a non-issue as I quickly adjusted to, and came to quite like, the overall aesthetic of the speaker.
But the actual test of any speaker is… how the heck does it sound?
If I go back to my listening notes, I find that nothing, I mean nothing, stood out as sub-par. The low end was fast, solid, well-defined, and extended. If music is your thing and not home theater, you could easily go sans subwoofer and still be a happy camper… at least, I could. Unless, of course, you are a pipe organ aficionado in search of that elusive 16.4Hz, C note (four octaves below Middle C!).
The mid-range was buttery smooth, always intelligible, and presented with a coherent natural sound.
The high-end, as projected by the patented 28mm Aperion Axially Stabilized Radiator V.2 Silk Dome Tweeter, was open, defined, airy, and extended, with a beautiful smooth presence. And dare I say it? Yes, I dare! This silk dome tweeter had a lovely silky and non-fatiguing sensibility that I enjoyed immensely!
All this hyperbole (read embellishment ) that I just spouted boils down to this; this speaker delivers a very listenable, eminently neutral, and natural sound, with an extensive soundstage that should please most listeners!
But maybe you have an overwhelming desire or preference for a speaker that overemphasizes certain parts of the sound spectrum. Like it hyper-hot on the high-end? Like a low-end that booms? Do you like a mid-range that honks like a horn or makes men more manly or women more, well… womanly? Then Bubba, this just may not be the speaker for you.
Because despite its imposing physical size, above all, this is a speaker that simply disappears into a room and delivers the music in a natural, neutral, unadorned way. And I find that very appealing indeed!
But what about the need for the level adjustments of +2 dB to -4dB for the tweeter and the midrange? I found no use for them myself in my acoustically treated room. However, as I put some thought into it, there certainly is a case to be built for this option. Suppose, just suppose, that your room is a very hard acoustic space and the high-end seems a little harsh or the midrange a bit forward. Then perhaps a roll-off on those drivers could be just the thing. Or maybe your room is overly damped and could use a bit of boost in the treble or midrange. With the +2dB jumper setting, the V8Ts have you covered.
Or maybe there is yet another reason. While digging through the Aperion Audio website, I found pictures with the Aperion Audio Super-Tweeters perched atop the Verus IIIs, and if you like the sound of a speedy planar ribbon or AMT folded ribbon tweeter (I usually do :-), then the -4dB roll-off option makes a lot more sense for integrating one of the Aperion Audio super tweeters.
Ultimately, I found the Aperion Audio Verus III Concert V8T speakers to be a beautifully executed design on many levels. It can play as loud as any sane person, or a borderline insane person like me, wants to push it without issue, or soft, delicate, and nuanced. It handles large dynamic swings with ease and grace. Of the wide variety of genres of music played through various sources, I could not find one that it couldn’t handle ably while always bringing a smile to my face.
Whether the headliners for a high-end stereo or multi-channel music system or the front foundation for a spectacular home theater system, the Aperion Audio Verus III Concert V8T speakers are sure to please most.
Price-wise, at just shy of Two Grand each, they are certainly not a budget speaker by any stretch of the imagination. However, Aperion Audio does occasionally run specials with healthy discounts. Check their website for current pricing (www.Aperionaudio.com).
That is not to say that these are overpriced speakers. I don’t consider them so! At that $4000.00 per pair price point, I consider them a BARGAIN!
If you are leery of buying a speaker over the internet, Aperion Audio has you covered with a thirty-day in-home audition. In most cases, shipping costs are covered both ways should you decide to return the speakers for any reason. Add in a five-year transferable warranty, lifetime telephone tech support, online training, help, and guidance, and any concerns should be alleviated.
If you are in the Wilsonville, Oregon area, Aperion Audio has the welcome mat out if you want to audition the Verus line of speakers in person.
From the Aperion Audio website:
“Aperion Audio is headquartered in beautiful Wilsonville, Oregon - just south of Portland. Whether you’re a resident or a visitor, our welcome mat is always out -- so please drop by anytime. You can settle back and listen to music or sample a movie on our Verus Grand speaker lineup in our sound room, meet the team, get advice, or just talk shop with our home theater gurus.”
It doesn’t get any friendlier than that!
If the Aperion Audio Verus III Concert V8T speaker fits your budget and your room, give them an audition, I think you will be very pleased.
Specifications: Aperion Audio Verus III Concert V8T Tower Speaker System
Frequency Response: 26-35,000Hz (IEC 268-5)
Recommended Power: 250-500 Watts
Crossover/Frequency: Passive/3rd Order/230Hz/2.9kHz
- Tweeter: Patented 28mm Custom Aperion Axially Stabilized Radiator
- Midrange: 2 – 5.25” Woven-Kevlar w/Aluminum Phase Plugs
- Bass: 2 – 8” Woven-Kevlar Cone w/Butyl Rubber Surrounds
Enclosure Type: Anti-Resonant, Internally Braced, Dual Rear Ported
Product Dimensions: 51" H x 11" W x 14" D/1287mm H x 269mm W x 350mm D
Product Weight: 77lbs/35Kg
Shipping Dimensions: 20" x 17" x 58.5"/ 510mm x 430mm x 1485mm (LxWxH)
Shipping Weight: 98lbs/44.3Kg