Review of the Sony XS-GS1720 and XS-GS1720S speakers


Buck Pomerantz

Buck Pomerantz was born and raised in Philadelphia. His parents bought their first television set when he was born. He figured out how to run it by the time he was two. Besides athletics, his formative interests included electronics, amateur radio, music, and stage crew work. He got his BA in writing from Brown University. Then he joined a rock 'n roll band as their soundman and moved to Charlottesville, Virginia. After that venture failed, he spent time in Boston, New Orleans, and Berkeley. He worked in a music store in Austin manufacturing, installing, repairing, and operating sound systems for recording studios, clubs, and bands. He moved back to Charlottesville, ran a little recording studio and finally joined Crutchfield as a copywriter. He has 2 grown children and 3 grandchildren, but after a good nap he can still rock out.

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Sony XS-GS1720 speakers

Sony XS-GS1720 coaxial speakers

Recently, I took a pair of Sony 6-1/2" GS 2-way coaxial speakers, the XS-GS1720, and a set of GS components, the XS-GS1720S, into the Crutchfield Labs and gave them a listen. I played four different songs, in their entirety, switching back and forth between the coaxials and components, and took notes on how well I thought they handled the highs, mids, lows, staging, and imaging of the music.

Listening in the Crutchfield Labs

Over all, these speakers performed very well, reproducing the music clearly with no glaring defects in the sound. In fact, I thought both the components and the coaxial speakers exhibited a remarkable coordination and smoothness in the midrange to mid-bass region, where the vocals and guitars play. The musical imagery, the characteristics of each instrument, was precise and clear. The staging, or the aural illusion of each instrument's relative position on a stage, was excellent and wide for both the components and the coaxial speakers.

Sony XS-GS1720S speakers

Sony XS-GS1720S component speakers

The component set seemed a bit fuller in the vocal range than the coaxials, because the component tweeters sounded brighter than the coaxial tweeters and that brought the vocals out front better, especially on the female voice on the Country ballad I played. On both that song and the percussive Rock instrumental I played, the acoustic and electric guitars stood out crystal-clear with pleasing timbre, and no harshness.

I didn't expect much bass from 6-1/2" woofers, but I was pleasantly surprised by the hints of bass that did emerge in the Afro Beat and Chicago Blues songs I listened to. It's not bad, really, but if you're a serious bass-head, you'll want to add a subwoofer along with these speakers. All the drumming and percussion on the recordings sounded crisp and clear.

These 2-way coaxial and the component speakers, both rated for 75 watts RMS, will sound their best when powered by an aftermarket amplifier rather than a receiver alone, due to their relatively low sensitivity. But once set singing, these speakers play smoothly, and with good definition.

Check out these Sony GS speakers and use our vehicle selector to see if they'll fit your car.

  • Milad

    Posted on 5/4/2015 12:26:30 PM

    I have a pair of SONY GS 6921 in the rear. DO you recommend 1720 coaxial for front? How will be the bass? Will I need a sub?

  • Buck Pomerantz from Crutchfield

    Posted on 5/4/2015 3:29:08 PM

    Milad, I can't recommend those speakers because I don't know if they'll even fit in your car or not. If they do fit in, they'd probably sound fine with those other Sony speakers. As far as bass goes, any car audio system will get better bass with a subwoofer than it would without one.

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