Insignia 6.5" Two Way

Category: Speakers

here's my review from

Ok, these cost me $48 and change, so I'm not committing a lot of time to this!
There should be some hype about these speakers. They are quite good for the bucks. No, they're not going to rock your world, but they're an uncommonly good value, at least after listening to them one day!

Seemingly built well, extremely stylish for the price point! The "driver within a driver" design has some merit here, since space is a precious commodity in a bookshelf speaker. Build quality (at least externally) seems extremely good.

They use the KEF - like tweeter in the middle of the mid/bass. Woven bass driver like B&W. Great binding posts! Cabinet appearance like a $10k pair of Krells in black! Whoever copied all the design concepts really knew what they were borrowing!

They sound, well, fine. Don't expect miracles, but no one should for under $50! Their imaging is their strongest point. But they will not handle stress of higher levels without distortion, they have a somewhat monotone treble, and the bass "pops" as the level increases. But, these things should be expected in a cheapo speaker.

What's not expected is the fit and finish quality, the striking design, the way that one can drive them pretty hard without it sounding horrific. The most important feature of their sound is the listenability. I was surprised how inefficient they were. I had to crank them up plenty to get them to sound loud. But, that is their saving grace - they are warm, and are not going to begin mediocre and end up like scratching on the chalkboard, which is not the case in so many bookshelves.

It should be noted that I listened on my higher end system, with tube hybrid integrateds. With a SS amp/receiver I assume some of this gentleness will be diminished, but would think they'll still sound ok.

I recommend them for very small spaces, where volume is not going to reach high levels. They almost sound better when their visuals remain in focus over the sound. That is, when they play softly and look handsome, one is drawn to them. The grills are fine, but they really look great without. The faux piano finish is a nice touch and makes them look far more expensive than they are.

They'll also fool a lot of the uninitiated. Take a pair to college and mate them with decent economical electronics and you'll look like you know what you're doing! Their portability is a big bonus.

I recall fondly one of my first pair of speakers were Radio Shack two ways, with 6" bass and I believe soft dome tweeter that had a plastic "dispertion grill" (for lack of better terms) that made it look vaguely like a horn tweeter. LOVED those speakers and used them all throughout college in a sub/satellite system. These, dimensionally, and with their appealing sound, take me back to that era.

No one who's seriously into the equipment should consider these, however. They aren't ProAC replacements. They turn harsh with increasing volume. If you have a den, workspace, etc. for casual music, they will do fine. I find little fault with them for the price. They are better than I anticipated. They look so good, it's a shame they'll be going into the garrage! But, I'll have the best looking/sounding garrage system in the neighborhood, which is really important to a true audiophile. ;)

Where to get? Best Buy
Out of curiosity I bought a pair. With the 5% Father's Day discount and $25 in Reward Certicates I got them for
$20 out the door. For grins I put them in my main system ($50k at retail) and they sound pretty good at moderate levels. The appearance and apparent build quality is excellent. Without a doubt the biggest audio bargain I've gotten in a long, long time.

these are a steal at $40/pair. have very "solid" sound (not tinny). Bass is adequate, teamed with a paradigm subwoofer, they really shine. Makes "brand name" speakers costing hundreds more look bad. Wish they made a center channel speaker to match them.
I love sound at a bargain price. Looks,sound, and build quality are just part of what is inside the 6.5 Insignias. They have a very well built crossover and binding post, heavy wiring,and 40oz.magnet. Also egg shape foam inside a very well designed box with a grill cover thats better than speakers costing three times as much. In all the reviews I've read, no one has broken these speakers in for more than a few hours. After days of moderate movies and music,they're more than fitting the bill for bookshelves. I would buy another pair before ever paying the price of BOSE or JBLs. I have had them hooked up to a luxman amp and they perform as well as my definitives (KEY WORD BREAK THEM IN). Then post your reviews.
I was at the local Best Buy checking out the rumor that they now sell B&W speakers. To my surprise I saw some nice B&W 683s and more. When I was walking around I then saw a pair of Insignia NS-B2111 6-1/2" Bass-Reflex Bookshelf Speakers on sale now for $70. I remembered the positive things a lot of people have said about these speakers through the years. Anyone care to give an update regarding these Insignia speakers and how they sound after spending more time with them? At $70 I may give them a shot. I don't know where I would put them but I could figure something out.
Hi Jedinite24
I have modded a few pair of these, when finished they were much better than described here. I've tried different mods including complete crossover rebuilds, but the one I like the best overall is easy and I stole most of it. I opened the speakers and filled the grooves with plumbers putty, then replaced the caps with better parts, I did the Zaph crossover addition (mounted it internally) which really flattened these out. The only thing that I did that I found no one else did was cut a ring of felt that fit on around the tweeter and glued it on. It actually looked fine and made a significant differnce in smoothing out the high end rise caused by diffraction. To any of you that have these, These mods cost around $50.00 and made this a respectable speaker.
Hi Timlub

Thanks for chiming in. I did buy a pair of the Insignia's as they were on sale still after I made the post. I know I can do the filling of the grooves and re-enforcement of the cabinets. I'm going to look into the Zaph crossover addition. I saw something from Madisound as well. I'm not the handiest with soldering but I'll see what I can do.
I've read more threads on this speaker than I care to think about and have looked at 3 different crossover designs as well as doing one myself. The final result with the way that I have described above was as good as any I had tried. You must include the felt. Here is the Zaph link for his compensation network. You'll need to cut the leads inside and put the zaph network between the input and the crossover. Also, I don't recall how many, I believe 4 caps that are an easy exchange on the stock crossover, replace these with decent film.