First Listen: Emotiva’s New T-Zero Speaker and Other Killer Gear at CES 2019

First Listen: Emotiva’s New T-Zero Speaker and Other Awesome Gear at CES 2019

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No guts, no glory. A look inside the all-new XMC-2!
(January 22, 2019) Emotiva surprised us all with a brand new 2018 Holiday release, officially announcing its Airmotiv T-Zero Floorstander just before the end of last year. Billed as a space-friendly tower design (37 ¾” H x 7 1/16” W x 10 ½” D), the T-Zero is extremely wallet-friendly with a price of $499 per pair. Yes, you read that correctly, for only $499 you can purchase a stereo pair of T-Zero speakers. That gives you access to sonic goodness generated by a folded ribbon tweeter and dual 5 ¼” woven fiber drivers, with performance measured at 48Hz – 28kHz.

As part of a geared-up demo room at CES 2019, Emotiva had a pair of T-Zeros in full demo mode, fed by the company’s affordable BasX CD-100 and TA-100 integrated amp (a complete system valued at $1,100). The T-Zero is an impressive looking speaker for the price. I had an opportunity to inspect its exterior and found its scratch-resistant satin black finish to be highly durable, and the speaker’s lines are attractive to the eye. To put it simply: the speaker has a very nice physical presence that certainly won’t dominate a room. Sound-wise, the T-Zero delivers above and beyond its $499/pair price point. It has an impressive full-range sound with a refined upper-end that breathes with class. And I thought the speaker threw a very nice image, which isn't always easy to achieve in an expo setting. Color me impressed. For the price, this speaker will perk your ears and knock your socks off!

Emotiva also had its 16-channel RMC-1 Pre/Pro ($4,999) on display, along with the forthcoming RMC-2 ($3,999) and XMC-2 ($2,999) processors. Rather than give you full details on these models here, I’ll let you get the run down from Emotiva’s Damon Steele in the video below. However, I can tell you the RMC-1 is officially shipping on a limited “build to order” status. According to Emotiva, a lot of model’s delays are a result of the software development side of production. That said, things are inline, and you can snag a spot in a pre-order batch right now.

Emotiva's Damon Steele gives a full rundown of Emotiva's CES 2019 showing.

AV NIRVANA’s Wayne Meyers is set to receive a pair of T-Zeros for review. So stay tuned for a full breakdown of the speaker’s real-world performance! And as Damon noted, we recently reviewed the T2 Tower. You can read that full review, here.
 
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Grayson Dere

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I can't wait for the T-Zero review...$499!!!?? That's incredible!
 

Todd Anderson

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Matthew J Poes

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Todd, whatever happened to that insane receiver that they planned to bring to market based on the RMC-1. It was pretty nuts. Expensive sure, but it’s amplifiers and overall performance suggested it could easily replace separates without any meaningful loss in performance.
 

Todd Anderson

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Emotiva XPA Gen3 2.8 multichannel amp
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SVS Prime Elevation
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Relegated to the back burner for the time being. I’m not sure if we’ll ever see it.
 

Matthew J Poes

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They should bring a multichannel amp based on the same Pascal modules to market. It would be a pretty awesome product and distinct from what they currently offer.
 

Todd Anderson

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Location
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My AV System  
Preamp, Processor or Receiver
Denon X8500H
Main Amp
Emotiva XPA-5
Additional Amp
Emotiva XPA Gen3 2.8 multichannel amp
Other Amp
VSX21-THX
Universal / Blu-ray / CD Player
OPPO UDP-205, UDP-203, Panasonic UB820
Front Speakers
SVS Ultra Towers
Center Channel Speaker
SVS Ultra Center
Surround Speakers
SVS Ultra Surround
Surround Back Speakers
SVS Ultra Bookshelf
Front Height Speakers
SVS Prime Elevation
Rear Height Speakers
SVS Prime Elevation
Subwoofers
dual SVS SB16s + dual PSA XS30s
Other Speakers or Equipment
Behringer 1124p; Aura Bass Shaker Pros; SuperSub X
Video Display Device
JVC RS520
Screen
Carada Cine-White 0 gain
Other Equipment
LG Electronics 65-inch B6 OLED, Sony 65-inch X900F
I’m not sure what they decision influence has been. Part of me wonders if they’ve realized that there’s only so many $4-6k Atmos system buyers out there, and that an all-in-one product would canabalize sales of the three pre-pro designs they’ve created.

Just a guess of course. They thing I know for certain (at least what I was told) is that the AVR has been put on hold. Perhaps they’ll in fact fire up design and manufacturing later this year... who knows!
 
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