Speakercraft’s AIM7 Five is a versatile, two-way speaker featuring a pivoting woofer and tweeter, meaning that in principle it can be used in either a general purpose or home theater setting. But our take is that the AIM7s work best when used as the sonic equivalents of easy-to-aim track lights. Just point the drivers where you want a focused “pool” of sound and enjoy.
The AIM7 Five is the top model in the AIM7 family, featuring a 1-inch dome tweeter and a 7-inch woofer. Speakercraft’s AIM/PivotBall system, offered in all AIM7 models, lets you direct the output of each driver toward a specific listening area. You can also adjust the sound using three-position switches, one for Bass and one for Treble. The speaker is held in place by four dogleg-type clamps, which makes installation simple.
The AIM7 is relatively directional, meaning that it produces a tight but somewhat narrowly focused “pool” of sound where its drivers are aimed. As you move away from that focal point, the sound becomes softer and more diffuse, and the middle frequencies sound recessed.
At its focal point, the AIM7’s sound is lively and expressive, so that sonic details such as the percussive attack and chime-like sustain of Gary Burton’s vibraphones on Like Minds [Concord Jazz] sound appropriately energetic and engaging. The same goes for Earl Wild’s piano as it boldly states the main theme of Gershwin’s “Variations on ‘I Got Rhythm’” [RCA Living Stereo: SACD]. Move out of the sweet spot, however, and female voices can begin to sound withdrawn.
Bass is articulate though not as deep as the official specs would suggest. We tried the “+3dB” BASS control setting, but found that as the lows increased, bass clarity decreased—not a great tradeoff.
Overall, though, the AIM7 is a flexible performer thanks to the combination of pivoting drivers and the Bass and Treble switches.
To exploit the things the AIM7 Fives do best, aim the drivers carefully to create pockets of focused sound—perhaps over a favorite desk or a seating area. Speakercraft suggests the AIM7 Fives can be used for home theater applications, but the speaker doesn’t really provide the precise, ear-level soundstages or high-powered dynamic capabilities necessary for that application. TPV