Pioneer SP-PK21BS 5.1 Speaker System Review

May 16, 2023
Justin Ankus

The Pioneer sppk21bs speaker system was the best-sounding option we tested at this price, providing movies and music with exceptional clarity that is usually associated with more expensive systems. But its large speakers make it less suitable for buyers seeking something discreet to live life comfortably.

The two front SP-BS21-LR bookshelf speakers stand 12.6 inches high and measure 7.2 inches wide by 8.1 inches deep - that makes them almost half a foot longer and an inch wider than one of Energy Take Classic 5.1's center channel speakers, and almost twice as deep. When coupled with its SW-8 subwoofer, this system can fill most living rooms, and is more than large enough for most home theater setups.

Every speaker features a two-way bass-reflex cabinet equipped with a four-inch woofer and one-inch soft dome tweeter mounted to separate flared baffles; both drivers use polypropylene cones with an reported frequency response from 65Hz-20kHz.

These compact speakers weigh an economical eight and a half pounds and feature an elegant black ash finish and are constructed to be sturdy, with a curved cabinet designed to minimize internal vibrations. When tested by a knuckle rap on top of their cabinet revealing solid construction with no evidence of cheap materials; plus their six ohm load and 84dB sensitivity make them an excellent match for many modern AV receivers.

After testing out the SP-PK21BS's home theater capabilities, we watched "Tron: Legacy" Blu-ray and found its massive soundtrack fully engaged the system's low frequency ability. The SW-8 subwoofer provided solid low end, while front-to-rear envelopment of surround mixes was particularly seamless and coherent. Next we tried stereo SACD recordings of Aaron Copland's "Fanfare for the Common Man," featuring its distinctive tympani drum flourishes, and Mozart's Piano Concerto; both recordings sounded refined and detailed due to superb processing and amplifier design that went into their production.

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