NextLevel Acoustics Reference Cinema Speakers Review [VIDEO]

Manufacturer & Model
NextLevel Acoustics Reference Cinema Speakers
Link
https://nextlevelacoustics.com/product/reference-cinema/#1653587409629-0dccc74f-7d92
Highlights
Precision imaging. Quick, hard-hitting dynamics. Can be installed in- or on-wall.
Summary
If you're looking for cinema-style performance but don't have the space for bulky MTM speakers, the NextLevel Reference Cinema Speakers should be at the top of your list. Rivaling much more expensive models that monopolize much more of your square footage, the Referece Cinema series visually disappear into your room while creating a soundstage that is not bound by walls.
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Speakers can make or break a home theater system, and their performance can be dictated by everything else in your room, including the room itself.



NextLevel Acoustics has been around for awhile now, based out of New England, and they’re mainly known for their high-end sound bar offerings. But the company makes a full product line - over 40 different speaker solutions - including bookshelves, in-walls, in-ceilings, and subs, and they’ve recently added the Reference Cinema series to the list, which can be configured as an in-wall or on-wall speaker. Like the rest of the product line, the Reference Cinemas are designed by industry veteran John Sollecito, who is well-known for his Infinite Slope crossover technology and audiophile-grade speaker designs.

The NextLevel Acoustics Reference Cinema line of speakers is a high-quality, great sounding speaker that fills a void in the market. It’s a cinema-style, MTM horn speaker that doesn’t carry with it a huge space requirement, or a huge price tag. I tried and failed to find another speaker of this design with 8-inch drivers, or an in-wall / on-wall form factor.

For more details on my measurements and evaluation, watch the video below!





NextLevel Acoustics Reference Cinema Speakers

  • Woofers: 2x8" Carbon Wool
  • Tweeter: 4x4" Horn
  • Recommended Amp Power: 70-500w
  • Frequency Response: 50Hz-20kHz
  • Impedance: 4 ohms
  • Sensitivity: 96db (1 watt/1 meter)
  • Max SPL: 118db @ 2m

 

Todd Anderson

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Great review, Travis. Interesting that you felt the NLAs helped to tame some of the harsher sounding mixes (like Point Break). That’s not always easy to do.

I wonder if some of that resulted from a fresh calibration with your Anthem?
 

Travis Ballstadt

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NextLevel Acoustics Reference Cinema
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NextLevel Acoustics Reference Cinema
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NextLevel Acoustics Reference Cinema
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NextLevel Acoustics Angled Satellite
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They still have those?
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Great review, Travis. Interesting that you felt the NLAs helped to tame some of the harsher sounding mixes (like Point Break). That’s not always easy to do.

I wonder if some of that resulted from a fresh calibration with your Anthem?
It was definitely thanks to the Anthem. But the biggest difference is that the NLAs were much more easily correctable and fine tuneable, whereas the Triads had a very difficult time making any corrections without shrinking the entire soundstage - it was always all or nothing.
Definitely not the NLAs making Point Break sound better per se, but the NLAs being more amenable to room correction.
 

Todd Anderson

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Denon X8500H
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AudioEngine A2+
DAC
THX ONYX
Universal / Blu-ray / CD Player
Kaleidescape TERRA, OPPO UDP-203, Panasonic UB9000
Front Speakers
GoldenEar Technology Triton One.R
Center Channel Speaker
GoldenEar Technology SuperCenter Reference
Surround Speakers
SVS Ultra Surround
Surround Back Speakers
SVS Ultra Bookshelf
Front Height Speakers
SVS Prime Elevation x4 (Top Front, Top Mid-Front)
Rear Height Speakers
SVS Prime Elevation x4 (Top Middle, Top Rear)
Subwoofers
dual SVS SB16s + dual PSA XS30s
Other Speakers or Equipment
Behringer 1124p; Aura Bass Shaker Pros; SuperSub X
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JVC NX7
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Seymour Screen Excellence, Enlightor NEO AT Screen
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iFi Audio Zen Blue
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LG Electronics 65-inch B6 OLED, Sony 65-inch X900F, ZeroSurge 8R15W x 2, ZeroSurge 2R15W x 2
Interesting. I love the look and form factor. Were these demoed at Cedia?
 

Travis Ballstadt

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Front Speakers
NextLevel Acoustics Reference Cinema
Center Channel Speaker
NextLevel Acoustics Reference Cinema
Surround Speakers
NextLevel Acoustics Reference Cinema
Front Height Speakers
NextLevel Acoustics Angled Satellite
Rear Height Speakers
NextLevel Acoustics Angled Satellite
Subwoofers
SVS SB2000 x2
Video Display Device
JVC DLA X790R, Lumagen Radiance Pro 4240
Screen
SeymourAV Proscenium 124” diagonal 2.40:1
Remote Control
Unfolded Circle Remote 2, powered by HomeAssistant
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PLEX Server, AppleTV4K, Bluesound Node2i
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AppleTV+, Amazon Prime, HBO Max
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They still have those?
Other Equipment
Rega Planar 6, Rega Exact2 cart, Rega Aria Mk3 Phono Stage, Jolida JD202BRC, Rega RS-5 Speakers (2-channel system)
Interesting. I love the look and form factor. Were these demoed at Cedia?
Yes, they were in the HiSense booth with a UST, Kaleidescape and a Trinnov processor.
 

Sonnie

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Fabulous review Travis... really enjoyed it... and it sounds like you enjoyed these speakers so much you are keeping them. Congrats!

I never thought I would EVER find anyone else that owned the Delicate Sound of Thunder on LASERDISC... lol. I thought surely I was the only one that ever owned it. We used to watch that regularly. I was glad to finally see the new release... much needed, especially since we no longer have the laserdisc player or S-Video.

Love the video review presentation... very professional. You guys are going to kill it wth these. :T
 

Travis Ballstadt

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NextLevel Acoustics Reference Cinema
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NextLevel Acoustics Reference Cinema
Front Height Speakers
NextLevel Acoustics Angled Satellite
Rear Height Speakers
NextLevel Acoustics Angled Satellite
Subwoofers
SVS SB2000 x2
Video Display Device
JVC DLA X790R, Lumagen Radiance Pro 4240
Screen
SeymourAV Proscenium 124” diagonal 2.40:1
Remote Control
Unfolded Circle Remote 2, powered by HomeAssistant
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PLEX Server, AppleTV4K, Bluesound Node2i
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AppleTV+, Amazon Prime, HBO Max
Satellite System
They still have those?
Other Equipment
Rega Planar 6, Rega Exact2 cart, Rega Aria Mk3 Phono Stage, Jolida JD202BRC, Rega RS-5 Speakers (2-channel system)
Fabulous review Travis... really enjoyed it... and it sounds like you enjoyed these speakers so much you are keeping them. Congrats!

I never thought I would EVER find anyone else that owned the Delicate Sound of Thunder on LASERDISC... lol. I thought surely I was the only one that ever owned it. We used to watch that regularly. I was glad to finally see the new release... much needed, especially since we no longer have the laserdisc player or S-Video.

Love the video review presentation... very professional. You guys are going to kill it wth these. :T
Thanks Sonnie!

An old friend of mine turned me on to that Pink Floyd show when I was in college. He had the LaserDisc, and I had him record it to an SVHS so I could watch it. Then when I could finally afford a LaserDisc player I had to search and search for a copy of the Pink Floyd disc. Finally found one on a newsgroup where you messaged the store, they mailed you a copied inventory/price sheet, and then you could mail them a check to place an order. Picked that and a couple great ELO discs on that order.
 

Sonnie

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StormAudio PA 16 MK3
Computer Audio
Intel NUC w/ Roon ROCK
Universal / Blu-ray / CD Player
Panasonic UB9000 4K UHD Player (for media discs)
Front Speakers
RTJ 410
Center Channel Speaker
MartinLogan Focus C-18
Front Wide Speakers
JTR Neosis 110HT
Surround Speakers
JTR Neosis 210RT
Surround Back Speakers
JTR Neosis 210RT
Front Height Speakers
JTR Neosis 110HT-SL
Rear Height Speakers
JTR Neosis 110HT-SL
Subwoofers
JTR Captivator 2400 x6
Other Speakers or Equipment
VTI Amp Stands for the Monoblocks
Video Display Device
Sony 98X90L
Remote Control
Universal MX-890
Streaming Equipment
Kaleidescape | FireCube | Lenova X1 - Intel NUC for Roon
Streaming Subscriptions
Lifetime Roon Subscription
Tidal
qobuz
Netflix
Amazon Prime
Satellite System
Dish Joey 4K
Other Equipment
Zero Surge 8R15W-1 | Salamander Synergy Equipment Stand
We had a stack of laserdisc back in the day. I think we still have them somewhere here at the house.

I'm tripping out at these video reviews... very cool.
 

Scottyb

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Too Many! :)
Hey Travis,
I saw you kept the NLA over your Triads. Now that you've had them a while would you still do it? How much of an improvement would you say t is? The reason I ask as I'm in the exact same bot with Triad Siler In-walls and been debating on going to a wave guide speaker. We, like you, have a Seymour AV screen(one of the best bang for the bucks in the AV industry) so I'm thinking we would experience very similar results as you. thanks for you opinion on this Travis!! If you want, you can PM me.

Scott
 

Travis Ballstadt

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NextLevel Acoustics Reference Cinema
Center Channel Speaker
NextLevel Acoustics Reference Cinema
Surround Speakers
NextLevel Acoustics Reference Cinema
Front Height Speakers
NextLevel Acoustics Angled Satellite
Rear Height Speakers
NextLevel Acoustics Angled Satellite
Subwoofers
SVS SB2000 x2
Video Display Device
JVC DLA X790R, Lumagen Radiance Pro 4240
Screen
SeymourAV Proscenium 124” diagonal 2.40:1
Remote Control
Unfolded Circle Remote 2, powered by HomeAssistant
Streaming Equipment
PLEX Server, AppleTV4K, Bluesound Node2i
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AppleTV+, Amazon Prime, HBO Max
Satellite System
They still have those?
Other Equipment
Rega Planar 6, Rega Exact2 cart, Rega Aria Mk3 Phono Stage, Jolida JD202BRC, Rega RS-5 Speakers (2-channel system)
Hey Travis,
I saw you kept the NLA over your Triads. Now that you've had them a while would you still do it? How much of an improvement would you say t is? The reason I ask as I'm in the exact same bot with Triad Siler In-walls and been debating on going to a wave guide speaker. We, like you, have a Seymour AV screen(one of the best bang for the bucks in the AV industry) so I'm thinking we would experience very similar results as you. thanks for you opinion on this Travis!! If you want, you can PM me.

Scott
Hey Scott. The NLA are head and shoulders better than the Triads, but my Triads were also older builds, so could have been different components if yours are newer.

If you look at NLA’s Instagram, they just posted a video earlier today with Jeff Meier after Jeff calibrated a couple NLA theaters this weekend. His remarks echo what I’ve found. They’re incredible.

http://instagr.am/p/Croqvs3gVvO/
 

Scottyb

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Triad
Front Height Speakers
Triad Bounce
Subwoofers
Martin Logan
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Sony XW5000
Screen
Seymour AV
Remote Control
Harmony
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Roku, Apple TV
Streaming Subscriptions
Too Many! :)
Thanks for the update!!
 

Travis Ballstadt

Administrator
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Messages
1,125
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Seattle, WA
More  
Preamp, Processor or Receiver
Anthem AVM60
Main Amp
Emotiva BasX 5
Additional Amp
Emotiva UPA-500
Universal / Blu-ray / CD Player
Kaleidescape Strato C/Terra 48TB/Compact Terra 6TB
Front Speakers
NextLevel Acoustics Reference Cinema
Center Channel Speaker
NextLevel Acoustics Reference Cinema
Surround Speakers
NextLevel Acoustics Reference Cinema
Front Height Speakers
NextLevel Acoustics Angled Satellite
Rear Height Speakers
NextLevel Acoustics Angled Satellite
Subwoofers
SVS SB2000 x2
Video Display Device
JVC DLA X790R, Lumagen Radiance Pro 4240
Screen
SeymourAV Proscenium 124” diagonal 2.40:1
Remote Control
Unfolded Circle Remote 2, powered by HomeAssistant
Streaming Equipment
PLEX Server, AppleTV4K, Bluesound Node2i
Streaming Subscriptions
AppleTV+, Amazon Prime, HBO Max
Satellite System
They still have those?
Other Equipment
Rega Planar 6, Rega Exact2 cart, Rega Aria Mk3 Phono Stage, Jolida JD202BRC, Rega RS-5 Speakers (2-channel system)
I was able to sit down with John Sollecito and pick his brain for an hour a few weeks ago, and dug into the design process of the Reference Cinema series (which will add the Pro Cinema speaker soon, a quad 8" + horn). Pretty interesting, and the performance backs it all up. Really dynamic, clean and explosive.

 
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