Infinity Classia Series C336 Loudspeaker Review
Infinity is a company known for loudspeakers that combine attractive styling with high-tech driver design. The Classia C336 floor-standing loudspeaker is no exception. Its subtle yet distinctive visual elements give it a unique look that sets it apart from your basic rectangular box and it incorporates Infinity's top-of-the-line Ceramic Metal Matrix Diaphragm (CMMD) drivers for refined sonic performance.
The three-way Infinity Classia C336 is the top-of-the-line speaker in the Classia Series (the C205 bookshelf, CC225 center channel and C255ES surround speaker are also available). At $899 each suggested retail, the C336 is in the middle of the Infinity lineup, between the budget-priced Primus Series and the flagship Cascade Series. Measuring 48.5 inches high by eight-and-a-half inches wide by ten-and-a-half inches deep and weighing 56 pounds, the magnetically shielded C336 is substantial in size yet narrow enough to fit easily along a large-screen TV or into a dedicated stereo music system.
The C336 features three six-and-a-half-inch woofers, a four-inch midrange driver and a one-inch tweeter, recessed in a Constant Acoustic Impedance (CAI) waveguide that, according to Infinity, is designed to provide smooth high-frequency coverage both on and off axis. All of the drivers are constructed using Infinity Ceramic Metal Matrix Diaphragm (CMMD) technology, which utilizes driver cones that are made by anodizing a ceramic material to both sides of an aluminum core. This driver cone (and tweeter dome) construction combines light weight with high rigidity for reduced driver "overhang" and excellent resolution and transient response.
The C336 has a frequency response of 40Hz - 30kHz - no need to be concerned with rolled-off high frequencies with this speaker! - eight ohms nominal impedance, an easy-to-drive 91dB sensitivity and a recommended amplifier power range of ten watts to 250 watts. The speaker has two sets of screw-type binding posts, allowing for bi-wiring or bi-amping.
The Infinity Classia C336 has an elegant design, with a front baffle that curves, tapers and slopes into the top surface, and a choice of gloss black or cherry-wood finishes. The black grille has horizontal silver trim pieces across its top and bottom for an understated yet distinctive look; with the grilles off, the silver speaker cones and frames are contrasted against a black front baffle.
At $899 each, you'd expect excellent sound, and the C336 delivers. The CMMD drivers deliver superb low-level detail resolution and transient response. Agile response and relative freedom from sonic "blurring" contributes to the C336's outstanding imaging capability and ability to deliver a wide, deep, large-scale soundstage. Tonally, the C336 is one of the more neutral loudspeakers on the market, not artificially warmed up in the midbass, yet not forward or bright in the treble. Dynamic range is outstanding, although the three six-and-a-half-inch drivers aren't going to deliver the sheer grunt you'll get from larger drivers. Still, the speaker delivers plenty of dynamic punch, and the woofers, midrange and tweeter are exceptionally well integrated.
• The Classia C336 delivers superlative sound, with exceptional resolution and clarity, a smooth tonal balance and outstanding imaging and soundstaging.
• Because this is a full-range floor-stander and employs a trio of woofers, it can play at louder volumes with excellent dynamic impact.
• The speaker's elegant design and choice of gloss black or cherry-wood finishes lets it fit into, instead of stand out from, a room's furnishings.
• Although not inexpensive at almost $1,800 per pair, the C336 delivers true high-end sound quality and is deserving of top-shelf associated equipment.
• This is a big floor-stander - not room-dominating, but still, more than four feet tall - so it's not going to fit into everyone's rooms or home entertainment systems.
• Although the C336 has low-frequency response to 40Hz, you may wish to consider your preferences if you want the home theater or musical impact that lower bass to 20Hz can provide.
• The speaker is superb-sounding, but it doesn't deliver the ultimate level of sonic performance that higher-end (and more expensive) speakers can provide.
The Infinity Classia C336 is a handsome-looking, exceptional-sounding floor-standing loudspeaker that gets you into high-end sonic territory. It offers superb resolution, a natural tonal balance and great dynamic range and presence. If you've got the room and the wherewithal, the Infinity Classia C336 should unquestionably be on your short list of under-$2,000 per pair loudspeakers to audition.