NHT SuperZero 2.1 Mini-Monitor Speaker Review


MSRP $300
(H × W × D)
9.00” × 5.50” × 5.00”
229mm × 140mm × 127mm
Power Type Passive
Frequency Response 85-20,000 Hz
ASR Score 3.4
ASR Score w/Subwoofer 6.7
NHT SuperZero 2.1 Mini-Monitor Speaker

Key Takeaways

TLDR Summary: The NHT SuperZero 2.1 is a marvel of miniaturization, delivering surprisingly robust and detailed sound from a compact, unobtrusive cabinet. Its acoustic suspension design yields tight bass and clear mids, though it begs for a subwoofer to fill out the lower frequencies. Highs are crisp, if slightly restrained. It's an excellent choice for small rooms, offering high-end clarity at a modest price. On the downside, power handling is limited, so they're best suited for intimate listening sessions rather than rocking out.

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NHT SuperZero 2.1: Our Take

The NHT SuperZero 2.1 Mini-Monitor Speaker is a compact audio solution for the discerning listener who seeks quality sound reproduction in a small footprint. Building upon the legacy of the original SuperZero, which was praised for its performance at an affordable price point, the 2.1 iteration continues to uphold the brand's reputation. These speakers are designed to deliver clarity and detail, making them suitable for both music enthusiasts and home theater aficionados alike. With a minimalist design, the SuperZero 2.1 fits seamlessly into a variety of living spaces and decor styles.

One of the unique features of the NHT SuperZero 2.1 is its acoustic suspension design, which is uncommon in modern speakers at this size and price range. Unlike bass-reflex systems with ports, the acoustic suspension design provides tighter and more accurate bass response. This design also minimizes port noise and reduces the dependence on room placement, allowing for more flexibility in setup. However, because of this design choice, the SuperZero 2.1 may lack the deep, thumping bass that some users might expect from larger ported speakers.

The SuperZero 2.1 employs a 4.5-inch long-throw pulp cone woofer and a 1-inch silk dome tweeter, which together produce a well-balanced and detailed soundstage. The high-frequency response from the tweeter is smooth and refined, avoiding harshness while providing crisp detail. The midrange is also notably clear, ensuring that vocals and acoustic instruments are reproduced with fidelity. For those seeking a more full-bodied bass response, pairing the SuperZero 2.1 with a quality subwoofer can provide a more complete audio spectrum.

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Pros and Cons

In terms of advantages, the NHT SuperZero 2.1's compact size makes it ideal for rooms where space is at a premium. Additionally, its acoustic suspension design aids in producing accurate sound that is true to the original recording. The speakers have a high-quality build and finish, which isn't always guaranteed in their price range. Furthermore, they offer an excellent platform for users looking to build a high-fidelity audio system over time, as they can be easily complemented with additional speakers and a subwoofer.

On the downside, some users may find that the bass response is not as powerful as larger or ported speakers, necessitating the addition of a subwoofer for full-range sound. The NHT SuperZero 2.1 also has a limited low-frequency reach by design, which can be a drawback for genres of music that rely heavily on deep bass. Moreover, these speakers have a nominal impedance of 8 ohms and a relatively low sensitivity, meaning they require a decent quality amplifier to drive them to their full potential.

Alternatives to Consider

For potential buyers exploring alternatives to the NHT SuperZero 2.1 Mini-Monitor Speaker, there are several other products on the market worth considering. The Audioengine A2+ Wireless Speakers offer a similar compact form factor but come with built-in amplification and wireless connectivity options, providing convenience for those who prefer an all-in-one solution. For listeners willing to invest in higher-end models, the KEF LS50 Mini Monitor is renowned for its innovative driver technology and outstanding sound performance.

Another competitor is the Polk Audio TSi100, which is in a comparable price range to the SuperZero 2.1 and offers a bass-reflex design that may appeal to those seeking more pronounced low-end response without adding a subwoofer. For those on a tighter budget, the Micca MB42X is an affordable bookshelf speaker that has gained popularity due to its excellent value proposition, though it may not match the NHT's level of refinement.

In summary, the NHT SuperZero 2.1 Mini-Monitor Speaker offers an appealing blend of compact size, acoustic accuracy, and aesthetic versatility. While they shine in midrange clarity and high-frequency detail, users who demand robust bass may need to invest in additional equipment like a quality subwoofer. As with any audio equipment purchase, personal preference, listening environment, and intended use should guide buyers toward the right choice for their specific needs. It's always advisable to listen to several options before making a final decision.

Frequently Asked Questions

How does the NHT SuperZero 2.1 handle bass frequencies, given its compact size?

The NHT SuperZero 2.1 is quite the enigma, sporting a svelte profile that belies its acoustic output. Due to its compact nature and the physics of speaker design, the SuperZero 2.1 isn't a powerhouse when it comes to producing deep bass. However, it reproduces mid-bass with a surprising level of accuracy and detail. For those desiring a more full-bodied bass response that complements its clean midrange and crisp highs, pairing the SuperZero 2.1 with a dedicated subwoofer is highly recommended. This combination allows listeners to experience a full spectrum of sound, with the subwoofer filling in the lower frequencies where the SuperZero 2.1 naturally rolls off.

Can the NHT SuperZero 2.1 be used for both music and movies, and how do they perform in a home theater setup?

The versatility of the NHT SuperZero 2.1 Mini-Monitor is one of its strong suits. While these speakers shine in the clarity and precision required for discerning music lovers, they also make for an impressive home theater experience, especially when set up as part of a surround sound system. Their ability to articulate dialogue, coupled with a crisp representation of on-screen effects, makes them an excellent choice for movie buffs seeking an immersive cinematic experience. Nevertheless, to truly capture the dynamic range of a movie soundtrack, including those rumbling lows that are a staple in action sequences, incorporating a subwoofer is advisable.

What are the ideal placement and mounting options for the NHT SuperZero 2.1 to ensure optimal sound quality?

Placement and mounting are critical with the NHT SuperZero 2.1 to maximize their performance. These speakers are designed to deliver their best when given room to breathe. Ideally, they should be placed on stands, ensuring that the tweeters are at ear-level when seated. This allows the sound to propagate freely and arrive at the listener's ears without interference. The SuperZero 2.1 can also be wall-mounted, which not only adds to the aesthetic appeal but can also enhance the bass response due to the boundary reinforcement effect. However, be mindful of the distance from walls and corners, as this can sometimes result in an overemphasis of bass frequencies, depending on room acoustics.

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NHT SuperZero 2.1

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