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Infinity Reference Speakers: R12 Sub EXPIRED

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Harman Audio has select Infinity Reference Speakers listed below on sale from $179.99. Slickdeals Cashback is available for this store (PC extension required, before checkout). Shipping is free.

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  • About this product:
    • Most prices match this previous Frontpage Deal.
    • This Infinity Reference RC252 Center Loudspeaker is $249.96 lower (71% savings) compared to the list price.
  • About this store:
    • Details of Harmon Audio's return policy can be found here.
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Edited July 23, 2021 at 12:52 PM by
Selected Infinity Reference Speakers are back on sale again:

Harman Audio [harmanaudio.com] has select Infinity Reference Speakers on sale below. Shipping is free.

Speakers Available:

Infinity Reference RC252 2.5 Way Center Speaker $99.99 [harmanaudio.com] OOS

Infinity Reference RS152 Book Shelf Speakers $129.99 a pair [harmanaudio.com] OOS

Infinity Reference Sub R12 $179.99 each [harmanaudio.com]

Enjoy!
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jockovonred asked this question on 07-21-2021 at 10:56 AM

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"Reference" in audio terms is generally referred to a speaker that is flat or "uncolored" in nature. It's a pure-even balance in tone/sound. The idea is that in recording studio audio-engineers are recording and listening to the pure and direct sound, and tuning it as desired for their desired mix. They do not want any bias (such as bass or highs) that would have them tune the mix differently that how you're hearing it. This is my understanding of where "reference speakers" were used.

When you listen at home, some people desire to listen to music as engineered, or intended it to be heard. By it's nature, "Reference" now used as a marketing term to imply the above definition. As a counter example, some speakers have more bass bias or have louder highs in their default configuration (think cheap systems) - so the term "reference" can mean something to potential buyers. As music tastes are subjective, whether this appeals to you or not is up to you.

I will say, that to my ears, these speakers are well balanced and flat and are pleasing to me. Just know they're not in the same price league as recording studio reference speakers or really high end home audio.
I've never heard the RC253, but I have the RC263 and it's the clearest dialog speaker I've heard. English is my wife's second language and she remarked right away that she could understand dialog better than the Sony and Polk before. For me, that was worth the effort to make the space for it.

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#3
Can someone explain what is reference speaker?
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#4
Quote from chhaganbhujbad :
Can someone explain what is reference speaker?
"Reference" in audio terms is generally referred to a speaker that is flat or "uncolored" in nature. It's a pure-even balance in tone/sound. The idea is that in recording studio audio-engineers are recording and listening to the pure and direct sound, and tuning it as desired for their desired mix. They do not want any bias (such as bass or highs) that would have them tune the mix differently that how you're hearing it. This is my understanding of where "reference speakers" were used.

When you listen at home, some people desire to listen to music as engineered, or intended it to be heard. By it's nature, "Reference" now used as a marketing term to imply the above definition. As a counter example, some speakers have more bass bias or have louder highs in their default configuration (think cheap systems) - so the term "reference" can mean something to potential buyers. As music tastes are subjective, whether this appeals to you or not is up to you.

I will say, that to my ears, these speakers are well balanced and flat and are pleasing to me. Just know they're not in the same price league as recording studio reference speakers or really high end home audio.
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Last edited by blueknigh7 July 19, 2021 at 09:33 AM. Reason: (sp)
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#5
I jumped in on a pair of Infintiy R263 Floor Standing speakers a couple of weeks ago when they went on sale and were posted here. I absolutely love them. They replaced a pair of Polk Monitor60's (which I now use as surrounds in the same set up). I want to replace my center channel, a Polk CS2 Series, and have been holding out for the Infinity RC263.

For those more familiar, or more experienced on this stuff than I may be, is the 2 way RC252 listed here a huge downgrade from the 3 way RC263?

I know they all go on sale every few months so I don't mind waiting on an RC263 sale if it is. The one negative on the RC263 tho is the size. It's a gigantic center and it won't fit in my console.
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Last edited by Dicka24 July 19, 2021 at 10:16 AM.
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#6
Quote from Dicka24 :
I jumped in on a pair of Infintiy R263 Floor Standing speakers a couple of weeks ago when they went on sale and were posted here. I absolutely love them. They replaced a pair of Polk Monitor60's (which I now use as surrounds in the same set up). I want to replace my center channel, a Polk CS2 Series, and have been holding out for the Infinity RC263.

For those more familiar, or more experienced on this stuff than I may be, is the 2 way RC253 listed here a huge downgrade from the 3 way RC263?

I know they all go on sale every few months so I don't mind waiting on an RC263 sale if it is. The one negative on the RC263 tho is the size. It's a gigantic center and it won't fit in my console.
I've never heard the RC253, but I have the RC263 and it's the clearest dialog speaker I've heard. English is my wife's second language and she remarked right away that she could understand dialog better than the Sony and Polk before. For me, that was worth the effort to make the space for it.
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#7
Pasting from the last deal:

Here are a few things to consider about these speakers and brand, based on tons of reading and online research I've done over the past few months. Admittedly, I moved from not knowing about this brand to having a 3.x setup with them, then 5.x and now 7.x. Obviously, that's based on my impressions so YMMV.

The RC263 is a behemoth of a speaker. It's powerful, has nice bass to it (although it could benefit from a dedicated sub) and delivers clear sounds. It's really of insane value given its price. As mentioned, it's HUGE. make sure you account for its size on all dimensions before making the purchase. Take the measurements and verify it fits your media console or can comfortably sit on top of it. Some people suggested hanging it on a wall, but that sounds too obtrusive too given its size. Here's a review from the fantastic site "Audio Science Review" (link ): "The Infinity RC263 has excellent objective measurements for a budget center speaker. They have tried hard to hit key aspects of good sound in a horizontal center speaker within a very tough budget. So unless you can afford to spend a ton more, the RC263 makes for a very good center speaker in a home theater, augmented by a subwoofer"
The R162 (I have 4 of those) are amazing for their price. It's really a great speaker. Review (quote: "The Infinity R162 definitely seems to have benefited from good design. Whether on purpose (to sell better in showroom) or not, the elevated highs are a bit of an issue but fortunately that cam be tamed with equalization. The rest of the performance both objectively and subjective is very good and not at all that of a cheap junk speaker"). Once I got the R253 I actually felt that the R162 are of less value, but given their size they are still great. I use them for surround channels (L/R and back L/R. I put them on "PERLESMITH Universal Floor Speaker Stands 26 Inch for Surround Sound" for $70/pair).
The R152 are supposed to be little brother of the 162. They are smaller, but I don't know if its worth buying those when you can get the R162 for a few $ more.
The R253 tower (I own 2 of those) are fantastic. Review : "The Infinity Reference 253 is one hell of a package. You couldn't build one quarter of it for what they are selling it for right now. The new measurements show excellent performance, sans two bits: a dip around 2 kHz and too much treble energy. Both were easily fixable with EQ". That review also reports an issue with the tweeter range, but it's unclear whether that was a one-off or not. I couldn't hear issues with my unit, but I'm far from being an audiophile, and I don't own the relevant equipment to measure the sounds, as was done in the review. I'm happy with my units, to be clear.
The R263 are supposed to be even better than the 253. They are slightly bulkier, so I didn't get/hear them.


Brand/Service/Delivery:

When in stock, they ship super fast - you get it in 3-4 days. Don't think twice - order as IT WILL GO OOS soon.
When things go OOS and backordered, some have us waited ~6 weeks with very poor and conflicting communication from Harman Audio reps regarding the status of orders.
Many report packages arriving banged up. Mine missed a few inches of cardboard. However, I haven't read on someone who got a banged up product. Definitely take photos of the boxes once you get them, instead you need to report an issue.
HA have a 30 days return policy. I haven't tried it, but it sounds good on paper.
Some people report getting coupons codes for a small discount after contacting HA support and complaining about issues with past orders. YMMV.

Good luck!
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#8
Quote from mem4720 :
I've never heard the RC253, but I have the RC263 and it's the clearest dialog speaker I've heard. English is my wife's second language and she remarked right away that she could understand dialog better than the Sony and Polk before. For me, that was worth the effort to make the space for it.
My bad. I meant the RC252 center.

You echo what many have said about the RC263. Looks like I wait a little longer for it to go on sale.
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#9
Quote from Dicka24 :
My bad. I meant the RC252 center.

You echo what many have said about the RC263. Looks like I wait a little longer for it to go on sale.
I would get the bigger center channel if you can accommodate it. I have an IL36c which is the predecessor by a couple generations of the RC263. Before that I had an IL25c which is the predecessor of the RC252.

For some content it doesn't matter, but in panning action scenes of movies or for all channel stereo when watching fights it makes a better wall of sound effect.

Ideally, you'd want your center the exact same as your stero drivers, but that doesn't usually work without an acoustic projector screen.
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#10
It's weird how they market the RC252 as a 2.5 way speaker. It seems to be a 2 way speaker.

I think they are counting the tweeter waveguide as a 1/2 driver which is odd.
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Last edited by Selman July 19, 2021 at 10:49 AM.
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#11
I have a situation where I have space for two horizontal speakers under the tv to the left and right, and not space for vertical bookshelves.

I am thinking of getting two of these for left/right and virtual center. I wonder how well they would work. I would maybe add a sub.

I have two 5.4 atmos setups in my summer home. But don't have the layout for this in my winter home and therefore thinking of giving these a try to be at least better than the 77 lg oled speakers.

edit: never mind these are too large for mu available space. I have 18w 7.5h 13d available.
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Last edited by Flyingboat July 19, 2021 at 11:36 AM.
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#12
One day I will get a SD alert that the RC263 is back in stock and on sale.... Will keep waiting until then!
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#13
Quote from Dicka24 :
I jumped in on a pair of Infintiy R263 Floor Standing speakers a couple of weeks ago when they went on sale and were posted here. I absolutely love them. They replaced a pair of Polk Monitor60's (which I now use as surrounds in the same set up). I want to replace my center channel, a Polk CS2 Series, and have been holding out for the Infinity RC263.

For those more familiar, or more experienced on this stuff than I may be, is the 2 way RC252 listed here a huge downgrade from the 3 way RC263?

I know they all go on sale every few months so I don't mind waiting on an RC263 sale if it is. The one negative on the RC263 tho is the size. It's a gigantic center and it won't fit in my console.
Crutchfield lists some of these as DISCONTINUED and some are not to be found on their website. Do you think the RC263 (currently out of stock) will ever be back in stock and on sale again? That is the one I want too!
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#14
Quote from Dicka24 :
I jumped in on a pair of Infintiy R263 Floor Standing speakers a couple of weeks ago when they went on sale and were posted here. I absolutely love them. They replaced a pair of Polk Monitor60's (which I now use as surrounds in the same set up). I want to replace my center channel, a Polk CS2 Series, and have been holding out for the Infinity RC263.

For those more familiar, or more experienced on this stuff than I may be, is the 2 way RC252 listed here a huge downgrade from the 3 way RC263?

I know they all go on sale every few months so I don't mind waiting on an RC263 sale if it is. The one negative on the RC263 tho is the size. It's a gigantic center and it won't fit in my console.
Wait for the 263 if you have the towers because it's perfectly matched with the size of it's woofers and depth of sound from the full range 3 way. If you had the 253s I'd probably say you can get away with the 253 center but still, the 263 is as prominent of a tower as it should be for a center. It's basically a tower condensed. I love the way the 263s sound by themselves in Direct mode on my amp. It's got just the right amount of bass when I don't want the sub on, and I go to 2.1 channel which fires up the sub/s when I do. With the matched center the three in DTS music presentation the L/R/C+sub really comes on alive. And for when I want to really crank it up, I have the 6 channel option that power the extra r162 sitting on top of the towers when I want a really loud stereo soundstage. The center really holds up well with the towers. Sounds like a fkn concert in my house!

I actually love this entire setup so much I might double down and pick up another rc263 the moment it goes on sale again because I have two other 162s in the box still that I might setup up with a record player if I don't do the surround sound setup. They are rather large for floating near the back so I might try and install in-ceiling for rear surrounds and use the bookshelf as fronts in the other room.
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Last edited by Sam_i_am July 19, 2021 at 05:15 PM.
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#15
Quote from jimschoice :
Crutchfield lists some of these as DISCONTINUED and some are not to be found on their website. Do you think the RC263 (currently out of stock) will ever be back in stock and on sale again? That is the one I want too!
I know everyone wants a sale but a person can only wait so long. Me, I have the RC263 center but if I was waiting, I would have bought this...but it's refurbished and semi on sale:

REFERENCE RC263 REFURBISHED - $350 [harmanaudio.com]
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