Soundtube manufacture arguably the best pendant speakers for the purposes of quality music reproduction, whilst offering good value for money – with the wide dispersion waveguide tweeter and driver design, fewer speakers are required to achieve the same SQL and coverage. Good job really, they are anything but cheap. However, they are very niche. Used, they don’t really hold their value due to the limited market, and the fact that audio visual installation equipment as a whole has a high mark up/list price for the distributors/installers to milk for high profit margins and when uninstalled, it is of very little use as almost all installations use new equipment with the old equipment usually thrown away or sold on by “waste management” companies who often get paid to sell this sort of equipment at extortionate prices. Quite wasteful really, anyway moving on to the subject of the post…
The entire RSi series (with the exception of the 801i, 1001i and 1201i – subwoofer models), all utilise a 2 way design with the waveguide tweeter mated to a polypropylene woofer. An integral crossover network is used despite the coaxial driver design, which likely plays a big part in the almost hifi quality sound of these speakers.
In fact, many years ago, when Asda had the music section, they used a handful of Soundtube speakers to play the latest CDs on sale separate to the main PA system which typically consisted of dreadful sounding Penton pendant speakers.
The RS800i is the top of the range pendant speaker Soundtube offer (excluding their almost identical looking HP high power series that utilise a compression driver and PA driver style woofer – not sure what element of these are high power at all, they bottom out far quicker, sound brasher and have no bass). I am happy to keep my purchase of the two HP690i I had resigned to history as they sound nothing like the RS series Soundtubes.
On the face of it, you would think an 8″ driver crossed over at 3KHz may sound quite harsh in the midrange – but not this speaker. It uses the same cabinet as the RS1001i subwoofer (which I also own). The RS800i is especially mid bass heavy, however somehow, this doesn’t distract from the clear/clean mids and treble. I suspect this will sound very nice in a high roof area where you don’t get the benefits of boundary gain and acoustics like you do with wall mount speakers, the end result is often a thin sound whereas I can see this sounding amazing in a high roof area.
- Brilliant mid bass response
- Astonishing treble/midrange response with no brashness – unusual for a large driver
- Exceptional power handling – these are rated at 125W RMS, but driven off my ancient 150W RMS x6 Sony amp, the amp distorted before the speaker
- Great build quality
- Brilliant off-axis response, meaning treble and mids are audible from a distance rather than just the bass requring fewer speakers overall on the installation