Review: Saxx Truesound TS 900: If you make a little effort you will be rewarded with a largely neutral sound pattern with average performance.
What can you buy for 900 euros? 1.2 tons of cat litter, for example. Or 1340 candy bars. Or speakers. “Excuse me, loudspeakers in this price range!?” asks the high-end, irritated. Yes, of course: The three-way speakers with horn tweeters that we are testing here come from Saxx Audio and are called Truesound TS 900. The name says it all, after all they cost just as much: 900 euros (actually 898 euros ).
“Hui, what’s going on here?” the author of these lines asks himself as he connects the pair of loudspeakers and the first notes sound. “That sounds so …”, oh, let yourself be surprised, dear readers, we don’t want to give everything away right away.
First a few facts about the Saxx company: In addition to traditional loudspeaker manufacturers, who sell their products to people in the classic way via hi-fi dealers or electronics stores, direct mailers have established themselves who sell their treasures directly via the Internet or in their own shops. Most prominent examples: Nubert and Teufel. One of these direct mailers is Saxx Audio, where Saxx stands for “Superb Audio Experience”. It is developed and shipped in Germany, built in China – the company makes no secret of this. “Saxx combines classic virtues – European design, German quality standards and Asian manufacturing efficiency,” she writes on her website.
Saxx Audio allows customers to test all boxes at home. Each buyer has four weeks to evaluate the loudspeakers in their listening room. If you keep them, you get a five-year guarantee on all passive speakers – only active speakers have fewer. So, enough theory, now to practice.
Let’s start with the packaging of the new “Truesound” entry-level line, which has only been available since spring 2021: solid and stable. Once the sound converters, each weighing 25.7 kilograms, have been heaved out of the not exactly small boxes, angular, rather classic-looking loudspeakers see the light of day. The dimensions are 25 x 105 x 35 centimeters (WxHxD). When entering the man cave, the lady of the house says: “They don’t look bad at all!” According to the manufacturer, they are suitable for both stereo playback and home cinema applications.
There are also two options for the colors: the customer has the choice between bronze and black, the surfaces made of decorative foil are matt. This makes them inconspicuous in a way, although they don’t exactly appear delicate. Another positive aspect is that the two eight-inch drivers installed from the front sit neatly in the housing and do not have any visible screw connections. On the other hand, it is not so easy to get to the screws this way if you want to tighten them. You have to first remove the decorative ring with a bit of fiddling. A magnetically holding, stable-looking fabric cover is included in the scope of delivery. The Truesound TS 900 look even more puristic than they already are.
The housing doesn’t need any frills either: it is made of 18 millimeter thick MDF and is reinforced on the inside with two 12 millimeter thick struts above and below the bass reflex tube on the back. Simple but solid single-wire screw connections for speaker cables are available on the rear. At first glance, they look a bit small, but that’s deceptive: The banana plugs of my Wireworld LS cable Eclipse 7, which are not exactly filigree and quite stiff because they are spread a little, fit in without any problems, which experience has shown is not the case with all sound converters or amplifiers is. The large bass reflex tube is located above the connection terminal and has a diameter of a good twelve centimeters. The Saxx Truesound TS 900 stand on round, firmly screwed rubber feet,
On the front, the horn tweeter catches the eye, with two plastic struts meeting in the funnel-shaped center; the membrane of the dome tweeter is made of silk. “The horizontal radiation behavior corresponds roughly to that of a six or eight-inch driver,” explains Saxx Managing Director Benjamin Wilke. “This gives the loudspeaker a homogeneous omnidirectional behavior and a corresponding sound image.” He explains the decision in favor of a horn construction as follows: “The Truesound should also be able to stand in a home cinema, but it must be able to play loud and with a stable level. It is precisely for this reason that we came up with the horn that achieved the best results in our tests in this price range.”
Under the horn, two eight-inch drivers with coated paper cones do their work. The Truesound TS 900 belongs to the category of three-way loudspeakers , so separate drivers are used for high, medium and low tones. The separation frequencies are 500 and 1800 Hertz.
In terms of appearance, the Saxx Truesound TS 900 is reminiscent of some similarly constructed horn loudspeakers from Klipsch. If you want to equip your home cinema with new equipment, you will find other “budget-oriented” boxes in the Truesound line, such as the Saxx Truesound TS 300 effect speaker (239 euros each) or the Saxx Truesound TS 500 face center (359 euros). Although Saxx does not have a subwoofer with the Truesound designation in its range, with the Deepsound DS 12 Cinesub it offers a bass cube that matches the ensemble visually and has exactly the same colors and foils. If you add this sub, you get a complete 5.1 surround set for long and loud movie nights for just over 2,000 euros. But we prefer to stick with stereo playback and risk an ear or two right away.
Saxx Truesound TS 900 listening test
At this point, the “Hui, what’s going on here?” reappears from the beginning. “Hui” means: fresh breeze. Or to put it another way: We are dealing here with a loudspeaker that plays directly from above.
But after unpacking and examining, the first thing to do is to move it around in the room. Try one: set up more than a meter away from the back wall and to the sides, i.e. free-standing and with a slight angle. Can be done if you want little bass, a slim reproduction and a special Hui experience.
Next attempt: keep the position, but stronger, ie angle it exactly towards the listener. This changes the sound slightly – it seems a bit more direct and a bit more dynamic. Okay, the width of the stage shrinks a little as a result of this measure, but that was to be expected. Not ideal yet.
Trial three: only 50 centimeters to the rear wall when aligned to the central listening position. Voilà, the sound clicks into place, the bass is now pleasantly powerful, while the treble is still a bit more prominent in the sound. But that doesn’t bother us, because it’s just a “trace” – and not too much of a good thing.
By the way: The Saxx Truesound TS 900 does not require a lot of power from the amplifier – the manufacturer states a fairly high efficiency of 96 dB. And indeed: you don’t have to crank up the amplifier to achieve high volumes, the Saxx Truesound TS 900 doesn’t need a lot of juice to make the walls shake – and the owner doesn’t need a powerful amplifier for a corresponding performance. For their price range, the Saxx appear surprisingly confident and relaxed when dealing with brute levels (just ask my neighbors, they weren’t so confident).
After the neighborhood has calmed down, it’s time to get down to the details. Let’s start with the stage width and depth: A wonderful piece to check these disciplines is “Into The Black Wide Open” by the German instrumental rockers Long Distance Calling from their 2010 work of the same name. With this excellently recorded song, the instruments are very easy to locate in the room when played back correctly.
It’s obvious that here, simply because of the proximity to the wall, a stage that extends far to the rear is not to be expected. The musical event starts a little bit in front of the loudspeakers, whereby it detaches itself well from the sound converters. In terms of stage width, the Saxx Truesound TS 900 remains rather compact – the music does not or hardly protrudes laterally over the loudspeakers. In terms of localization sharpness and plasticity, however, the inexpensive box surpasses itself: clearly locatable and tangible instruments, a beautifully three-dimensional sound pattern almost as if carved in stone – that was not to be expected in this form and shows how far you can go with a three-digit euro -Amount can come nowadays. This also applies to the resolution
Let’s move on to the bass, which quantitatively depends heavily on the speaker’s location. Pushing around and experimenting is worth it, as mentioned above.
To test the depth and quality of the bass range, I use the new Gary Numan album Intruder on which the old master lets the deepest synth basses bubble in the title track. This is not intended to massage the diaphragm, but to make the brain and guts rumble when the bass rolls over the listening area in combination with the dystopian lyrics. And yes, the Saxx Truesound TS 900 actually comes down deep during squats and stretches, the lower registers are physically noticeable – amazing for a speaker in this price range. Sure, the last bit of detail, definition, dryness and speed is missing in the bass, but hey: We’re talking about a 900 euro pair here. And the Saxx Truesound TS 900 is far from a soft bass – even at higher levels. In comparison with my somewhat outdated Elac FS-189 (pair price at the time: 2.
midrange & treble
Let’s go one floor higher: How do the mids sound? It is precisely the upper bass and the fundamental range that determine how warm and full we perceive a sound. The sound of violins provides a good clue. Time to dig out the VNV Nation album Resonance , where Hamburg-based future popper Ronan Harris has re-recorded some of his best songs with the German Film Orchestra Babelsberg.
With the melancholic “Further” it becomes clear that the Saxx Truesound play with minimal restraint in the lower mids, while the upper ones are pulled through in a linear way – some may lack some melting and warmth, others will find it just as particularly authentic. In any case, reaching into the honey pot sounds different, nothing is “sweetened” here, the mid-range representation appears wiry-neutral overall. And that’s why voices sound the way they’re supposed to sound. This is an advantage, especially for radio plays or films in the home cinema, where between all the Bruce Willis riots and Arnie action fuss, it is always about the comprehensibility of sometimes very quiet dialogues.
The treble works… well, the search for suitable adjectives is not that easy. Extremes like silvery or velvety are immediately discarded, sharp or supple don’t really fit either. Airy and direct – yes, rather. Like a light breeze blowing in your face on the lake shore. This gives musty recordings a little kick of freshness, which ensures more life in the booth. Important in this context: Even at high volumes, which this speaker can easily handle, the treble seems a bit exposed, but never exaggerated or even sharp.
I find the dynamics of this loudspeaker really sharp in a positive sense, which is at an astonishingly high level. The good level of efficiency in combination with the horn ensures a bouncing, direct sound with a nice attack. This will be heard, for example, with “Boilermaker”, the hit single from the new Royal Blood album Typhoon clear. The moment the drums start, the listening room trembles – the drummer hits the pit of the stomach, the groove goes straight to the legs. The crisp presentation of this modern, extremely danceable rock anthem is convincing across the board. The Saxx are also convincing in terms of fine dynamics, although fine impulses and details at lower levels are not worked out quite as clearly as the more abrupt level jumps in the coarse dynamics discipline. Basically, it can be said that the Saxx Truesound TS 900 will bring great joy to listeners of rock and pop music as well as home cinema fans.
Conclusion Saxx Truesound TS 900
Choosing between cat litter, chocolate bars and speakers is easy: the Saxx, of course! The Truesound TS 900 is not a box that shyly waits in the corner for maximum boost from the amplifier to get out of the quark. No, it doesn’t take a lot of power to please – but it does require a bit of patience to set up. If you make a little effort here, you will be rewarded with a largely neutral sound pattern, from which the highs only stand out a little, but without ever becoming sharp. Due to the good dynamics and speech intelligibility as well as the still manageable size, this Saxx is also ideal for home cinema.
The Truesound TS 900 outperforms its price range and is a bargain for me. Workmanship and optics are in order and a five-year guarantee is not a matter of course. If you want to see the TS 900 for yourself, you have four weeks after delivery – if you don’t like it, you’ll get your money back.
The Saxx Truesound TS 900 are sound transducers that …
- generally play tonally balanced – with a slight emphasis on the high-frequency range. This is reproduced directly and freshly, but never appears sharp or intrusive.
- slightly reserved in the lower mids and linear in the upper.
- especially in terms of deep bass quality, they far exceed what can be expected in their price range. There is still room for improvement with dynamic kick bass attacks.
- Thanks to the high degree of efficiency, no powerful, ultra-stable amplifiers or A/V receivers are required to develop their sound potential.
- offer a rather compact stage that opens freely to the front. Instruments and voices are displayed in an excellently localized and tangible manner.
- are also very well suited for home cinema applications due to their dynamic response.
- shine for their price range with an astonishingly high resolution, especially in the upper register.
- Product: Saxx Truesound TS 900
- Category: Three-way floorstanding speaker with bass reflex system
- Price: 898 euros (pair)
- Dimensions & Weight: 25 x 105 x 35 cm (WxHxD), 25.7 kg
- Efficiency: 96dB
- Finishes: matt black and bronze
- Guarantee: 5 years