1723 THX 5.2 – Top Choice 2023 – AVS Forum

The Arendal 1723 THX speakers should be at the top of your shortlist whether you want speakers for a dedicated home theater or speakers that will outperform with every movie you watch.

Over the past 4 years, Norwegian brand Arendal Sound has slowly been making waves in the A/V community. Whenever I see a question about what speakers are best for a home theater, there’s always at least one person suggesting Arendal Speakers. The company was founded in 2016, making it relatively new to the Home Theater and Hi-Fi Industry. Its flagship product, the 1723 THX speaker line, has been developed with the idea of producing performance, precision, and build quality at a relative value.


The Tower THX (a floor-stander), Monitor THX, Center THX speaker, Surround THX speaker, and a variety of subwoofers represent Arendal Sound’s 1723 THX Series. The speakers have a quality finish with matte or gloss black and matte or gloss white options, however, the gloss options will be phased out in the near future. Rather than a wild design, the quality of materials and the manner of construction are emphasized with these speakers, and it is immediately apparent as you begin unpacking them. They arrive in a solid package with all-around edge guards and are sandwiched between two layers of polyethylene, with another piece covering the center. After you remove all of the outer packaging, there’s another level of protection against scuffing and moisture from the drawstring bag, which is a nice addition. They also come with cotton white gloves to help you handle the speaker without leaving fingerprints on the finish. Even the unpacking instructions and owner’s handbook contain some witty jokes, demonstrating Arendal’s obvious devotion to its product.

The speakers are built from HDF (High Density Fibreboard) rather than MDF (Medium Density Fibreboard). The reason for this is that it produces a more acoustically neutral cabinet. This is notably true for the two-part HDF and aluminum waveguide, and Arendal employs HDF thicknesses varying from 18 to 50mm throughout the speaker. Internal bracing has also been constructed to enhance cabinet strength and reduce any unwanted panel vibrations that might produce audible distortion. The excellence continues with the rear-mounted binding posts. The plate is a brushed black metal with rhodium-plated binding posts and jumpers, which are typically seen in more costly speakers.


The speakers are all 4 Ohm designs with reasonable sensitivity ratings of 92dB for the Towers, 87dB for the Surrounds, and 89dB for the Center. The suggested amplifier power for the Monitors is 400W at 4 Ohms, while the Surrounds require 300W. When combined with the sensitivity, the Arendals approach 105dB reference peaks in most listening spaces, bringing these speakers to THX certification standards.

The deep waveguide, made of aluminum and high-density fiberboard, is the most prominent feature of the 1723 THX Series. A waveguide like this has many advantages such as controlling the tweeter’s off-axis response across its operational range, resulting in a more dispersed top end. It also aids in controlling dispersion at the bottom end of the tweeter’s frequency, ensuring that it closely matches the directivity of the woofer and aiding in driver integration.

1723 thx tower

Starting with the Towers, the speaker is a 2.5 way design using four 8-inch woofers and a synthetic 1.1-inch soft dome tweeter. The rear of the speakers features three ports with several configuration choices. The Towers come with port plugs that you can use for a completely sealed design which will give you the least amount of bass extension at around 55Hz plus or minus 3dB. You can also plug into just one or all of the ports. I find plugging into the middle port gives the best result in my room by providing powerful low extension with punch. Keep in mind, Arendal does state you might hear some port noise if you choose to keep them open, but I didn’t notice any during my testing. These behemoths weigh approximately 111 pounds and measure approximately 45-inches tall, 14.5-inches wide, and 15.5-inches deep.

1723 thx center

The Center is a two-way design with two 8″ mid-bass drivers and a 1.1″ tweeter housed in a deep waveguide. The mid-bass drivers are made of lightweight, long fiber pulp cones that pass the signal to the tweeter at 1500Hz and dive down to 58Hz in sealed mode or 34Hz in fully ported mode. The two rear ports also come with foam plugs, allowing users to choose between a fuller bottom end and steeper bass roll-off with the ports open or a tighter impulse response and more gradual roll-off with the ports sealed. The cabinets are huge for a stand-mount design, being around 10.5 inches high, 25 inches wide, and 15.5 inches deep, and weighing roughly 60 pounds.

1723 thx surround

The front of the Surround THX features the same waveguide-set tweeter as well as an identical 8-inch mid-bass driver, resulting in fantastic tone matching and precise imaging. Arendal has mounted two 4-inch dipolar drivers to the angled side baffles of what the company calls a TriAxial speaker. At nearly 18-inches tall, 17-inches wide, and a weight of just over 38 pounds, you’ll definitely need to place them into studs.

1723 subwoofer 1V

Moving onto The Sub 1V, it’s the second-largest subwoofer in Arendal’s lineup with a single 13.8″ side-firing driver. The Sub 1V, like other subs in the 1723 series, has both XLRs and RCAs. The Avalanche 800 IQ amplifier in the 1V generates 800W and has a 2.6″ LCD color display with a multitude of tuning options. The display allows you to choose from six preset EQ settings, low pass filters, slopes, and a seven band parametric EQ. There’s also a feature that enables users to flip the screen’s orientation, which is very useful when attempting to alter settings without moving the sub or completely contorting your body. Also on the rear, the 1V has a long narrow slot port and comes with a foam port plug, allowing you to experiment with sealed and ported modes.

Arendal Sound App

The Arendal Sound App allows you to control the 1723 Subwoofer and easily adjust your PEQ bands to fit your in-room performance. There’s also a useful grouping option that allows you to create different groups with multiple subwoofers. During my testing, I found this app to be really useful compared to having to access the back of the receiver to make any adjustments.


Arendal provided a complete 1723 Series 5.2 system for assessment, which included two satin black towers, a Center, two Surrounds, and two Subwoofer 1V’s. Arendal suggests roughly 50 hours of break-in time once connected, so I kept background music playing for the first few days. My room is 20’ x 17’ and acoustically treated, and despite having three rear ports, the 1723 Towers are very adaptable in terms of arrangement.

Experimenting with several different positions for the towers, I find the sweet spot to have a slight toe in. In terms of placement, these speakers are not that sensitive. There’s a common misconception that speakers that are rear-ported, especially ones with three ports, are going to be difficult to place. I can gladly report that’s not the case with the 1723 THX Towers. About 2.5 feet from the wall gives these speakers a great soundstage.

While set up in my room, I paired them with a couple of different amps. My first test was with the Marantz CINEMA 60 receiver. I really wanted to see if it was able to drive these speakers by itself, and the answer is yes. While I would definitely recommend a lot more power, if you have a receiver that’s capable and you decide to upgrade your speakers first, you won’t be disappointed with using what you have. Ultimately, I went with the Emotiva XPA-3 power amp, which sends 490 watts per channel into 4 Ohms 2 channels driven to run the front soundstage, while alternating between the Marantz CINEMA 60 and my Denon 4700H.

For a stereo configuration, what sounds the best to me is the Pathos Logos MkII Integrated amp.

My listening position is around 10 feet from the front stage and 6 feet from the surrounds, and I can easily get the THX standard 105dB peak with these speakers. I found listening at that level to be just a tad much so I turned it down a notch, but for those who prefer it really loud, the Arendals have plenty of leeway.

Music Listening

While listening to “Faster” by Samantha Fish, the first thing you notice is how much weight and power the guitar carries as her vocals overlay the sound of the instruments. Not only is her voice dead center of the soundstage, but it also plays loud without adding too much character to the sound. This speaker does not sacrifice quality in the midrange at all. It strikes an excellent mix between precision and pleasure.

Moving over to “Hounds of Love” by Kate Bush, this song demonstrates how well these speakers can handle bass. There is enough weight to delight but not to the point where it overpowers the presentation. The lows are nimble, enjoyably rich, and multidimensional. Adding both Sub 1Vs gives a quick and dynamic bottom end that blends perfectly with the towers.

Another song that really stands out among these speakers is “Dreams” by Fleetwood Mac. The whole “Rumors” album is an audiophile’s dream and with these speakers, you can totally see why. Their vocals lock into the perfect spot in between the speakers while instruments flow effortlessly throughout the entire room, resulting in a broad soundstage.

Movie Watching

Moving onto movies, this is where these speakers truly shine. The Arendals can certainly do music justice, but two-channel listening is not what most people think of when they see these speakers. As I was setting them up, I couldn’t wait to get them dialed in and to try out some of my favorite demo discs.

One of my go to movies for testing bass performance is “Pacific Rim”. During the scene where the Kaijus attack Hong Kong, you can hear the layering of different sound effects throughout the speakers. Not only do you hear each individual sound from one speaker to another, but you can also feel the detail of the robotic arm as it punches through the building. As the cargo ship is flying through the air and smashing up against the buildings, the subs slam into you with such intensity, but it isn’t just the subs doing all the lifting. The speakers accompany the subs with sudden dynamics and range from calm to in your face with absolutely no sign of strain. It is hands down one of the best experiences I’ve had in my home theater.

Another demo disc that I put on when I really want to push the limit is “Mad Max”, in particular the first chase scene. The surrounds were great at locating individual sounds around and behind me, as well as filling in the overall ambient noises. While the 1V subwoofers pound away with every explosion, the towers can produce perfect separation without losing any detail. One subwoofer would have been more than enough in my space, but the bass sounded tight, powerful, and evenly distributed across the seats, so two subwoofers are recommended if your budget allows. If there’s any fault I can find with these speakers, some of the background noise lacked a bit of clarity in the midrange. With that said, there’s also a nice amount of specificity to each sound and individual components in the scene are simple to track while hearing parts and pieces of vehicles surround you.

Moving onto “Mission: Impossible – Fallout,” these speakers, especially the Center, provide a great amount of detail that most speakers lack. While watching the fight scene in the club’s bathroom, the dialogue is crystal clear. At every point when the fighting stops, you can hear each breath they take without effort. The Arendals performed brilliantly in every scene in this movie. From the boomy lightning strikes in the skydiving scene to the helicopter scene at the end of the movie, these speakers can handle everything that’s thrown at them with ease while still providing a great amount of structure.


Arendal Sound offers an ideal delivery, warranty, and return policy. Its speakers come with a 10-year warranty, which is on the higher end when it comes to loudspeaker warranties. The company’s product pricing structure includes delivery, and they will handle all shipping fees for any warranty concerns on their end. The company also provides a 60-day at-home trial period during which the customer can return the speaker for a complete refund. With the trial period, it makes it a no brainer to give these a try if you’re in the market for a new set of speakers.

All of these luxury touches, together with their immaculate style and specifications, make these speakers among the best I’ve tested and certainly an AVS Top Choice for 2023. There is so much to enjoy about the Arendals that listing their flaws is difficult. They provide a genuinely attractive bundle that is difficult to compete with. They may be a little too big and intimidating for some, but the company has you covered with the smaller ‘S’ version. Aside from the performance, the build quality is also superb.

The Arendal 1723 THX speakers should be at the top of your shortlist whether you want speakers for a dedicated home theater or speakers that will outperform with every movie you watch.