Professional Reviews

CG5 Line

AVS ForumJuly 2019

RSL CG5, CG25 & SpeedWoofer 10S System Review

The subject of this review is a 5.2 system from RSL Speakers (Rogersound Lab) consisting of their CG5 bookshelf speakers, CG25 center channel and a pair of SpeedWoofer 10S subwoofers. The CG5 uses a 5.25″ midrange driver with a cone made from aramid fiber coupled with a 1″ silk dome tweeter motivated by a neodymium magnet. They measure 12 5/8″ x 7 5/8″ x 11 1/2″ (HWD), weigh 16 pounds, have a stated frequency response of 54-35,000 Hz ± 3dB and have an 86dB sensitivity rating. Note that 35kHz is not a typo. The CG25 uses the same tweeter along with a pair of midrange drivers arranged in the ubiquitous MTM alignment (midrange-tweeter-midrange). Dimensions are 8 1/2″ x 19″ x 9 3/4″ (HWD), weight is 23 pounds, they have a frequency response of 51-35,000 Hz ± 3dB and are a click above the CG5 at 88dB sensitivity. Read Full Review >

Jim Wilson

Home Theater Review June 2019

RSL CG5 Bookshelf and CG25 Monitor/Center Channel Reviewed

For the past two years, I’ve lived with RSL’s CG3 5.2 Home Theater Speaker System on pretty much a daily basis. With most of the Atmos-based AV receivers I’ve reviewed, this rocking little system has served as the bed (augmented by a quartet of GoldenEar SuperSat 3s affixed to the ceiling for overhead duties). When I wasn’t reviewing an Atmos system, the CG3 package has been the alpha and omega of my bedroom home theater speaker system.

All of that is simply to say that pulling the company’s new CG5 out of the box was a bit of a shock for me. The CG5 is big. And not just bigger than the CG3, or the larger (now discontinued) CG4 that we reviewed a while back. It’s a beefy beast of a bookshelf speaker, measuring in at over 12.5 inches tall, over 7.5 inches wide, and 10.75 inches deep, and tipping the scales at 16 pounds. Read Full Review >

Dennis Burger

Home Theater Review Star Logo

CG3 Line

Sound and VisionMarch 2017

RSL Speakers CG3 5.1 Speaker System Review

When it comes to loudspeakers, how big is big enough? How small is too small? What size is j-u-u-ust right? Speaker buyers have been asking these questions, and speaker makers have been answering them, ever since a certain Brand B shook the world years ago with micro-sized satellites employing 2.5-inch drivers that struggled to reach down to 200 hertz, mated with similarly challenged Lilliputian subs. Physics notwithstanding, buyers took to them in droves—and since then, the race to the bottom, cubicvolume-wise, has been on.

RSL Speakers, no stranger to the trend (though with a history of fine results), has debuted their most recent answer in the form of a new, compact design, the CG3. RSL, originally known as Rogersound Labs, was reborn a few years back with the introduction of the CG4, a small bookshelf design that was met with wide approval at Sound & Vision, including from me. The CG3 is slightly smaller and (at an individual price of $135) substantially cheaper than the CG4 ($250), employing a samedimensioned but visibly different (and presumably less costly) driver complement: 4-inch woofer and 1-inch soft-dome tweeter. Like its predecessor, the CG3 exploits the California firm’s proprietary, labyrinth-like “compression guide” enclosure to reach a claimed –3 decibel point of 100 Hz—pretty good for a speaker that’s sized like a portly half-gallon milk carton. The new model also shares the same “upside-down” tweeter-underwoofer layout, engineered in part to accommodate the diagonal plenum inside that bifurcates the internal volume to create the compression guide and feed the slot-shaped port on the bottom. You can see more about how and why this works on RSL’s website. Read Full Review >

Daniel Kumin

AudioholicsFebruary 2017

RSL CG3, CG23, Speedwoofer 10S 5.1 Speaker System Review

In 2015, I had an epiphany reviewing RSL’s CG4, CG24 and Speedwoofer 10 loudspeaker system. Until that time, I had never auditioned RSL speakers, much less heard of the company. Let’s just say that once I was done experiencing the incredible CG4 system, the name RSL became unforgettable. I can only say that never before (or since) have I experienced such clean, crisp, and dynamic sound from a home theater system of this size.

Reviewing the CG4 system was like taking a nostalgic look back at audio history too.  Back in the 1970s, Rogersound Labs founder, Howard Rodgers, started building speakers in the back of his audio store the way he thought they should be built with high quality parts and construction. Howard got his break when a Warner Bros. producer listened to his speakers and the rest, as they say, is history. There’s more to the story from my original review on the RSL CG4sRead Full Review >

Theo Nicolakis

Home Theater Review April 2017

RSL CG3 5.2 Home Theater Speaker System Reviewed

As a scientifically minded person, I find few things quite so satisfying as being proven wrong … and few speaker systems in recent memory have delighted me quite as much as RSL’s new $1,478 CG3 5.2 home theater speaker system.

You might think that I’m hinting at a poor first impression of the new speaker lineup, but that’s not the case. At least not exactly. To be quite blunt about it, my initial thoughts upon unboxing the quartet of CG3 bookshelf speakers ($135 each) and CG23 center speaker ($200 each) could best be summed up as, “Oh.” The cabinets, while sporting a lovely piano-black gloss finish, don’t stand out in any particular way for speakers their size: 9.5 by 5 by 6 inches for the bookshelves and 16 by 6 by 6.4 inches for the center. The binding posts, while perfectly functional, appear to be standard Parts Express offerings. The drivers–four-inch Kevlar cones and one-inch silk-dome tweeters–certainly look lovely enough, but they could best be summed up as “tried and true” from a design perspective. Read Full Review >

Dennis Burger

Home Theater Review Star Logo

CG4 Line

AudioholicsAugust 2015

RSL CG4,CG24 and Speedwoofer 10 Loudspeaker System Review

In the 1970s, Howard Rodgers started Rogersound Labs in a small shop on Lankershim Blvd. in North Hollywood. In the store, Howard carried not only the name brand speakers of the day but also built his own in the back of the store. Since Howard didn’t have to worry about middleman markup, he used high-caliber parts and built the speakers his way with the quality and construction he thought speakers should be built with. He then sold RSL (Rogersound Labs) Speakers alongside all the other brands. One day, RSL got their so-called big break. A record producer from Warner Bros. came into the studio from his office down the street. He listened to Howard’s speakers, bought them and over time, many other Warner Bros. employees did the same. As the story goes, word of RSL speakers spread across various Hollywood studios and the fledgling company grew to several locations. Because RSL speakers started popping up in record studios in Southern California, studio monitors were a specific focus for the company from early on. Read Full Review >

Home Theater Review December 2014

Rogersound Labs CG4 5.1 Speaker System Reviewed

I started reviewing home theater speaker systems in 1991, way back when there were only one or two companies making a dedicated center speaker. Since then, hundreds of systems have passed through my various listening rooms, at prices from $50 (yep) to well over $500,000 (really). They’ve appeared in countless configurations, from huge tower speakers to satellite speakers the size of golf balls. Of all of them, the ones I most often enjoy reviewing are the ones that employ medium-sized, two-way satellite speakers and a subwoofer in the 10- to 12-inch range. They’re usually easy to set up, the speakers usually blend well with the subwoofer, and the modest size of the woofers in the satellites tends to give them broad dispersion and a big, spacious sound. One great example is the Rogersound CG4 5.1 system. The CG4 system is based around four 10.5-inch-high CG4 satellite speakers, each one with a four-inch, polypropylene-cone midrange/woofer and a one-inch, silk-dome tweeter. The horizontal center speaker is the 16-inch-wide CG24, which has the same drivers as the CG4 with the addition of an extra mid-woofer. Both models use Rogersound’s Compression Guide design, which divides up the interior of the speaker cabinet to reduce cabinet resonance and ports the woofer through a thin slot. Read Full Review >

Brent Butterworth

Home Theater Review Star Logo

Home Theater Magazine December 2011

The RSL CG4 and CG24

“The RSL CG4 and CG24 made a gratifying first impression that never wavered as they journeyed through content with the unflappability of an experienced traveler. They were coherent from top to bottom” “The balance among midbass, midrange, upper midrange, and high frequencies was everything one could hope for.” “Bass integration between satellites and sub was seamless.” “…the RSL system delivered the goods with as little listening fatigue as I\’ve ever had with any high-resolution speakers delivering a noisy movie.” “It was hard to believe I was listening to loudspeakers driven by an amplifier.” “I fell in love with it from the first moments I listened to it.” “…a product can achieve a five-star performance rating only if it is “reference quality.” This speaker handily qualifies.” “It got the best out of everything I used to audition it. Wow, wow, and wow again.” “…the price/performance ration for these compact speakers sold direct on the Internet is through the roof.” Read full review >

Mark Fleischmann

Sound & Vision Star Logo

Men’s Journal January 2013

RSL 5.1 Theater System

With speakers, the best things usually come in big – and expensive – packages. But the RSL 5.1 Theater System turns that truism on its head, delivering superior home theater audio from small speakers, all for a (comparatively) affordable price. Thanks to its design and construction, the bookshelf-size front and surround speakers produce sound usually reserved for their taller, more imposing relatives, floorstanding models. Their small size means those of us who don’t have a dedicated home theater room can easily add big surround sound without the speakers dominating the decor. The RSL system overcomes one of the biggest flaws in bookshelf-size home theater speakers: It delivers bottom-end sound with aplomb through crisp, defined bass and low-frequency effects (LFE). Credit some of that to RSL’s decision to put the woofer above the tweeter, which the company says reduces the interference between frequencies. But even more props go to the 10-inch subwoofer. In addition to the tactile rumble most subwoofers produce, you can hear the details that comprise the effect. When the Batmobile races to catch the Joker in ‘The Dark Knight,’ the engine’s rumble vibrates the floor with impressive oomph, but you also hear the tire’s rubber on the road. It’s a rare feat for a system at any price point. RSL’s system is versatile, too; it produces full vocals and delivers balanced sound on music playback, whether listening to rock, classical, opera, or rap. The system is only available through RSL’s website; the company offers a 30-day trial and pays shipping both ways. [$2,075; rslspeakers.com] Read full review >

Michael Gowen

Home Entertainment January 2011

Product Review: RSL Compression Guide Speakers

“I was able to pick up subtleties I had not previously heard. If speakers are windows into the music, these windows were squeaky-clean.” “James Taylor was present in the room with his characteristic vocal insinuations, accents and humor intact… outside the box.” “with the RSL CG24 Studio Monitor, the ground rules of performance versus price are about to change.” “At no time was the sound fatiguing nor was there any smear or lack of definition among all those layered sounds coming from the CG system.” “All in all, this was pretty amazing performance from a $750 subwoofer (RSL Speedwoofer 10).” “The system imaged wider than anyone had a right to expect, including vertically.” “the Rogersound Labs Compression Guide speakers represent the same outstanding value and performance that they did decades earlier.” Read full review >

Home Entertainment Logo

Electronic House April 2011

Hands On: RSL Compression Guide Speakers

“The RSLs created a very rich, three-dimensional soundstage that seemed larger than such small speakers should be able produce.” “On movie soundtracks, the system also performed well. Once again I was impressed with the fullness of the presentation.” “After spending a couple of weeks tossing a wide variety of music and movies through the speakers, I packed them up very impressed with what a $2,075 sub/sat system could deliver.” Read full review >

Grant Clauser

Electronic House Logo

Positive Feedback

Rogersound Labs Compression Guide (CG) Stereo System

“The first thing I noticed when I sat down for serious listening was that the speakers completely disappeared. This fundamental and sought-after characteristic of all music systems is hard to achieve, especially at this price range and often at much higher price ranges.” “The speakers threw a wide and deep image with great definition throughout the soundstage. This has always been an advantage of small satellites but often falls apart when the subwoofer is added. Not so with the RSLs.” “Vocal music, both male and female, was full with plenty of midrange detail.” “I played some big symphony works and they sounded wonderful from the deepest bass to the highest highs. The system was especially good at portraying hall acoustics faithfully. I was very conscious of the acoustics in the silent spaces between cuts or movements.” “But the best thing about this speaker system is the way music literally leapt out of the speakers. Its not that they had an exaggerated front and center perspective but the timing and pace of the music were so palpable it was hard to sit still. I found myself playing the RSLs much louder than I usually listen because the music just didn’t want to stay inside the speakers. It wanted to come outside and boogie. At the same time slow and quiet songs and movements drew you inside to enjoy the terrific detail.” “I really believe the star of the RSL CG system is the Speedwoofer™ 10. Once properly set up it delivered strong, deep and dynamic bass with truly excellent detail. In my main system I use a subwoofer that costs 3 times the RSL yet does not go as deep with the same level of detail.” “RSL gets “it”, that listening to music should be fun and you will have fun with these speakers.” “Even if you are willing to spend twice as much you should listen to the CG Stereo System.” “You are sure to enjoy all your old recordings more than ever before.” Read full review >

Michael Wechsberg

Positive Feedback Logo

Widescreen Review July 2012

RSL 5.1 Loudspeaker System

“There’s a 30-day refund policy that includes free return shipping. So you could order the loudspeakers, decide they aren’t quite right for you, and return them and be $0 out of pocket. It’s not likely you’ll return the loudspeakers though.” CG4 “The CG4 produces a very coherent sound from top to bottom. It also produces a spacious sound with plenty of depth when the electronics are up to the job.” “The CG4s are completely capable of revealing differences in sound quality between $600 and $1,600 AVRs as well as between several different sound processors in the $4,000 to $11,000 price range.” Speedwoofer 10 “What perhaps, is a surprise is how tidy the bass is over the entire operating range. I’ve heard subs selling for double the cost of the Speedwoofer 10 that are much sloppier.” “Simultaneous multiple bass notes are reproduced cleanly and distinctly, something that can give subs, even some surprisingly expensive ones, trouble. Whether it’s the Compression Guide design or just overall attention to detail, the Speedwoofer 10 deserves its name.” “I can’t think of a sub near the Speedwoofer 10’s price that would work as well with the CG4 satellites.” Read full review >

Doug Blackburn

Widescreen Review Logo

Sound & Vision September 2011

The SoCal Speaker Kings are Back

“The RSL sats sounded tight and honest.” “The CG4 was accurate and well defined on voices and instruments, without any distinct coloration or bias. I found its sound to be open, crisp, and perhaps just the tiniest shade “forward” over the top octaves, but still even and unforced, making for an airy, detailed presentation.” “I was halfway through Harry Brown’s credits before I realized that the RSL system had simply delivered the cinema-sound goods, left, right, and center (and surround).” “Whatever I played, the system continued to deliver clarity and unforced detail.” “Listening to the Corigliano (and other music) in surround proved satisfying, too. The surround-channel CG4s did not “flashlight” ambient sounds, while the front pair locked up with the center CG24 to form a truly seamless front stage.” “RSL has a very, very good small speaker system here…it performs, without fuss, at a level higher than most at this price point. disregard physical size; for this kind of performance, it’s a bargain.” Read full review >

Daniel Kumin

Sound & Vision Logo