Some speakers have "passive radiator" cones that improve efficiency, but it doesn't help as much as adding more drivers. If I recall correctly, doubling up a driver gives you an extra 3db sound level for the same input power.
The ES90's are a little different.. They are 4-way, with a dedicated midrange and a "supertweeter" that may or may not do anything useful. With a separate midrange, you the frequency response might be smoother, but, in a cheap(er) speaker, having THREE crossovers is probably worse than just a single crossover. Also, passive crossovers sap power, lowering the speaker's efficiency.
I can get RF-52 II for $250. Is it good deal? Yeah, i know it has 5 1/4 in woofer instead of 6 1/2 in. I think this Icon feels cheap.
RF-52 II for $250 is a pretty sweet deal. The Icons look a little funky, but I think the look would grow on me.
One thing to keep in mind is that Reference towers are rear ported, while Icons are front ported. That means the Icons can be placed closer to the front wall without interfering with the bass response.
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