In light of these strong characteristics, it's no surprise that the Arendal 1723 S series has been rightfully recognized as an AVS Top Choice for 2023.
Before diving into the heart of this review, I thought it would be fitting to address the unboxing experience, which proves to be superior to many other speaker products. Each speaker box arrived carefully wrapped in black plastic for environmental protection. The packaging itself is remarkably robust, featuring triple-walled boxes—an uncommon find.
Once you open the box, you’ll find distinct corner protectors and the longest side of the box is fortified with cardboard slats to resist compressive forces. Thick, resilient foam encompasses the top and bottom, reaching up to 2.5 inches in thickness in some areas. Each speaker is encased in a soft drawstring bag.
The 1723 S THX speakers have been engineered to align with the tonality of their larger counterparts in the 1723 THX series. Both these lines hold the THX Ultra certification, implying that they’ve undergone rigorous testing protocols and successfully passed an extensive set of evaluations. Read more.
The Arendal Sound App offers the capability to control the Subwoofer 2S and conveniently tweak your PEQ bands to suit your room’s acoustics. It also features a handy grouping option, allowing you to form various groups with several subwoofers. Through the course of my evaluation, I found this app to be exceptionally helpful, especially when compared to the alternative of having to access the receiver’s rear to make any adjustments.
The speakers boast a high-quality finish, available in matte black and matte or glossy white, although the glossy finish will soon be discontinued. These speakers don’t rely on extravagant designs but focus on the caliber of materials and the precision of assembly, which is evident as soon as you start unboxing them.
Constructed with HDF (High-Density Fibreboard), the speakers are designed to provide a more acoustically inert cabinet. Internal braces are strategically positioned to enhance cabinet strength and suppress unnecessary panel vibrations that might lead to audible distortion.
At the rear, you’ll find binding posts made of copper, not brass or other metals with lower conductivity. These posts are then shaped and polished, ensuring smooth operation and neat aesthetics.
In my home theater, which measures 21-feet by 16-feet, I arranged the speakers with a few feet of clearance from both the rear and side walls and ensured an equal distance from the speakers to my listening spot. I tinkered with varying toe-in angles and ultimately settled on a mild inward tilt for the speakers, although they weren’t directly facing my seating position.
The speakers were set approximately 10 feet from my listening spot. For testing purposes, I utilized a Trinnov Altitude16 and Amplitude16, supplying 200w to each speaker, and alternated between having the optimization switched on and off, as depicted in the following charts.
While watching “Top Gun: Maverick,” the performance of these speakers is truly impressive. The sound imaging from each speaker is great, creating a compelling sense of reality.
The Subwoofer 2S adds a significant depth to the experience, delivering a powerful, room-filling rumble with each throttle up and flyby, enhancing the thrill of the high-speed aerobatics. The experience is immersive, placing you right into the heart of the intense aerial maneuvers.
Every thumping bass line, electrifying guitar riff, and distinctive rap vocals reverberate with stunning accuracy, giving the battle a rhythmic undertone that heightens the exhilaration.
The sudden sonic explosions, blaster fires, and spacecraft engines are rendered with heart-pounding intensity, without sacrificing detail or clarity. The transition is so smooth that it feels like an organic evolution of the scene rather than a shift in gear, illustrating the fantastic dynamics of these speakers.
The clarity is exceptional, allowing each instrument’s unique timbre and tonality to shine individually, while also contributing harmoniously to the overall composition.
From the rich, resonating bass, the crisp beat of the drum, to the gentle strumming of the guitar, each sound is reproduced with remarkable precision.
I approached this review with high expectations, considering my previous encounter with the original 1723 THX lineup earlier this year. These expectations were not only met but exceeded by the 1723 S models.
While it’s clear that these speakers have been scaled down in terms of physical size, they have not been downscaled in terms of performance. The compact 1723 S speakers offer almost identical sound quality to their larger counterparts, proving that big things can indeed come in smaller packages.
Each speaker in the series retains the exceptional build quality, design, and high-end technology that Arendal has become renowned for. Whether you’re immersing yourself in a blockbuster film or being swept away by a beautiful piece of music, the 1723 S speakers consistently deliver an outstanding performance. They deftly capture the dynamics, the nuances, and the energy of the sound, all within a more compact form factor.
In light of these strong characteristics, it’s no surprise that the Arendal 1723 S series has been rightfully recognized as an AVS Top Choice for 2023.