Inexpensive speakers tend to be studies in compromise, attemps to achieve smooth response with low-priced drivers and very simple crossover networks. Recently, however, the qaulity of models at under $500 a pair has dramatically increased, and the Axiom 1,5 is an example of minimizing both cost and compromise.
A 2-way system in a somewhat tall, narrow box, the Ax 1,5 is a very listenable reproducer. Response is +4/-2 dB from just over 500 - 16,000 Hz. Without the 7 dB bump at 400 Hz, response would be within these limits right down to 50 Hz, which is very respectable performance.
Top end response is elevated in a fashion similar to the AR but doesn't sound quite as etched. There are two reason for this seeming anomaly; first, though we reference our measurement to 1 kHz, this frequency is actually in a trough, so much of the midrange is balanced in level with the top of peak, another dip being seen in the first overtone frequency range between 5 to 10 kHz. These characteristics, combined with the boost at 400 kHz, make for a quite natural balance, marred only by some midrange coloration.
In music test this manifested itself in the voice test as a mildly muffed quality and some edginess in female voice a result of the 4 kHz peak.
The surprise, however, in this speaker was the bass extension, down only 6 dB at 40 Hz and about 12 dB at 32 Hz. Measurements of exact cut-off points in bass response are always hard to make, especially in small speakers, because woofer harmonic distortion (or doubling) is high, and tends to be hard to separate from the fundamental. But there was appreciable pure bass below 40 Hz, so judicious placement, as well as reasonable levels, will provide excellent bass response from the 1,5. they should be mounted on stands about 20" high, but will not become boomy from corner placement because of the smooth bass curve.
Frequency Response: 45 - 22 kHz +2 dB
Sensitivity: 89 dB
Impedance: 6 Ω minimum
Recommended Min./Max. Amp. Power: 15 watts /100 watts
Dimensions (W x H x D): 495 x 212 x 193 mm (19,5" x 8,38" x 7,62")