PSB Alpha P5 Bookshelf Speaker Review

Close up of the PSB Alpha P5
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No matter which system or device you are using to play audio, the quality of sound you hear will be directly impacted by the speakers or speakers being used. This is why we were keen to hear, literally, how the PSB Alpha P5 Bookshelf Speaker performed and whether it could live up to PSB’s claim that its breakthrough design could create a high-quality home theater sound experience.

Overview

The PSB Alpha P5 Bookshelf Speaker is made by PSB, which is a company that has been manufacturing sound products such as speakers and headphones for almost 50 years and is now a worldwide brand in this product niche.

The Alpha P5 is designed to be used on desks, tables, stands or shelves, and while it can simply be part of a stereo sound set up, it can also be an integral part of a home theater system.

What's Inside: Feature Highlights

5.25-inch Polypropylene Cone Woofer

The Alpha P5’s woofer is constructed from a polypropylene cone which is textured, and this has a rubber surround. This design ensures even on full volume and bass levels there is minimal cone break up and distortion.

Low Frequency Response

The woofer in Alpha 5 speaker has one of the highest low-frequency responses of any speaker in this class and this is complemented by the  dual-layer voice coils with high-grade magnets which allow the rear-firing port to produce the finest bass sounds.

Anodized Aluminum Tweeter

PSB has used an aluminum dome tweeter in the Alpha P5 and this has a diameter of 0.75 inches. It is designed to extend the response to high-frequencies to higher levels than ever before without compromising its ability to minimize distortion.

Ferrofluid Cooling

A key feature of this tweeter is the ferrofluid cooling which helps to eliminate dynamic compression and it also employs a neodymium magnet in order to enhance high-frequency sounds.

Front Waveguide

You will notice that unlike the vast majority of other speakers of this type, the tweeter is positioned below the woofer, rather than above it. PSB uses this design, along with its front waveguide, in order to support the crossover network and to ensure that the sound field is even regardless of whether you are standing or sitting down.

High Sensitivity

Sensitivity is a key measure of how well any speaker can convert the amplifier power from your home theater system or music player into sound, and the Alpha P5 seems to punch well above its weight on this score.

It uses an anechoic chamber with a sensitivity measured at up to 89 dB. At that sensitivity, you have a speaker capable of producing sound levels on a par with some tower speakers priced at double the price of the Alpha P5.

Gold-Plated Binding Posts

Being able to connect your speakers properly to your sound or home theater system is often taken for granted but the better the connection is the higher quality the sound should be. With the Alpha P5, you have 5-way connection posts at the rear, which are gold plated.

Gold plating also ensures the highest possible resistance to corrosion and provides a better surface for the speaker wires to connect, thus reducing resistance and a diminishing of sound quality.

Detachable Magnetic Grilles

Every PSB alpha 5 speaker comes with a detachable metal grille that you can remove to reveal the woofer and tweeter in all their glory. It has to be said that while some speakers look visually unappealing with the grille removed the Alpha p5’s appearance is fine either way so it will be down to your personal preference.

In terms of sound quality PSB state that the grille is ‘acoustically transparent’ and for our money, that is true as there is no noticeable difference to audio quality whether the grille is on or off.

Lightweight

When we say lightweight it doesn’t mean if you drop the Alpha P5 on your foot it isn’t going to hurt because each one weighs 10 lbs. What we are referring to is that for the sound levels that this speaker is capable of it weighs a lot less than others of a similar output, but which are much larger, and thus weigh a lot more.

The advantage of this is that it allows you more easily to reposition the speaker whenever you wish to without you having to break into a sweat.

Dimensions and Placement Options

The dimensions of PSB’s Alpha P5 speaker are 6.75 inches x 11.4 inches x 9.5 inches. While it definitely cannot be classed as a mini-speaker, what those dimensions mean, along with its low weight is that you will have plenty of options with respect to the placement of this speaker.

PSB classifies the Alpha P5 as a ‘bookshelf’ speaker, and while not everyone has bookshelves, in effect it means they can be placed in a multitude of locations.

Tables, desks, shelves are obvious ones, or you could simply place them on the floor. Further to that, should you wish to reposition them at any time, you will be able to do so fairly easily.

Color Options

While speakers are not always something that you can color coordinate to your room, at least you have a bit of a choice with the Alpha P5.

You can have them in their standard black ash color, or if you like a bit more of a ‘rustic’ look to your room, you have the option of wood-grain vinyl which is walnut color. Note that the walnut color is on the top, bottom, and sides only, so the front grille and the back panel are still black. 

To learn more about the PSB Alpha check out this video:

 

Conclusion

With the PSB Alpha P5 Bookshelf Speaker, you should be able to enjoy sound levels and quality that you might only expect from speakers which are larger, both in size and in price.

The many aspects of its innovative design combine superbly to produce sound quality that can only enhance your enjoyment of the music you listen to and the movies you watch if you use the speaker as part of your home theater sound system.

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