NHT Classic Absolute Center

Center channel speaker

  • NHT Classic Absolute Center


  • NHT Classic Absolute Center

    Grille off shot

Item #: 228ACB

Review Summary

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Our take on the NHT Classic Absolute Center

by Kristen Schaub

Your home theater's most important speaker

The center channel speaker is the workhorse in a home theater system. It has to reproduce clear dialogue and special effects that keep your eyes and ears glued to the movie action. A high-quality center speaker is a great investment for any surround sound setup. Try to choose one that's as closely matched as possible to your front right and left speakers, so that as sound moves across the front stage, it stays seamlessly realistic.

Slender, stylish center channel speaker

Looking for big center channel sound from a room-friendly speaker? NHT made the Classic Absolute Center as small as possible without sacrificing sonic integrity. You'll hear wonderfully open, dynamic midrange and crystal clear highs, for crisp dialogue and engaging special effects that extend across a broad seating area. It's a great choice for any high-end home theater system.

Solid design keeps sound-muddying vibrations at bay

grille off shot

The Classic Absolute Center uses dual 4-1/2" woofers set in a carefully designed sealed enclosure that was modeled by computer but tuned by human ears. Its sturdy construction lets the woofers rock out without adding any sound-muddying resonances to your movie and music soundtracks. The sophisticated 1" aluminum dome tweeter and dual woofers are placed close together, which helps them work in sync. The result is exceptionally even on- and off-axis response, so everyone on your couch can enjoy the clear, sparkling sound.

Classic looks help create a Classic system

This speaker features a beautiful, curvaceous cabinet made of very dense, rigid MDF. It's finished with ten layers of high-gloss paint that's hand-polished between each coat for lasting beauty. Place the Classic Absolute Center on the included aluminum rails and set it below your TV. It's magnetically shielded, so you can safely use it next to older tube TVs.

The Classic Absolute Center is perfectly matched to the rest of the Classic line, so you can create a high-end audio system to meet your needs. Use two Classic Absolute Towers in the front of your room with a pair of NHT's Absolute Zero bookshelf speakers in the back of your room for a stunning surround sound system. And don't forget to add one of NHT's B-10d or B-12d subwoofers for room-thumping bass.

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  • frequency response 80-20,000 Hz (±3 dB)
  • sensitivity 86 dB
  • 8-ohm impedance
  • handles up to 125 watts
  • 1" aluminum dome tweeter
  • dual 4-1/2" polypropylene woofers
  • magnetically shielded for safe placement next to older tube TVs
  • 5-way binding posts
  • acoustic suspension (sealed) enclosure
  • high gloss black finish
  • includes aluminum rails with rubber bumpers for shelf placement
  • 18-3/4"W x 6-1/4"H x 8-13/16"D (including rails)
  • weight: 17 lbs
  • warranty: 5 years
  • Our 60-day money-back guarantee

Hands-on research from the Crutchfield Labs (what are the Labs?)

Features and Specs
Enclosure Acoustic Suspension
Tweeter Dome
Midrange size (inches) N/A
Woofer size (inches) 4-1/2
Connector Type 5-way post
Power Range 20-125
Sensitivity 86 dB
Impedance (Ohms) 8
Frequency Response 80-20k Hz
Height (inches) 6-1/4
Width (inches) 18-3/4
Depth (inches) 8-13/16
Weight 17 lbs
Parts Warranty 5 Years
Labor Warranty 5 Years
Product Research
What's in the box?

Download owner's manual

  • Center channel speaker
  • Detachable grille (installed)
  • NHT logo
  • Setup Guide
  • Product Registration Card

Our Product Research Team

At Crutchfield, you'll get detailed, accurate information that's hard to find elsewhere. That's because we have our own in-house Product Research team — they open the box, verify contents, check the owner's manual, and record dimensions, features and specs. We stay on top of new products and technologies to help people make informed choices.

Driver Technology
Enclosure Design
Mounting Options

Driver Technology

2-Way/3-Driver Design: The Absolute Center's 2-way, 3-driver design features two 4.5" polypropylene mid-woofers with rubber surround and a single 1" aluminum dome, ferrofluid-cooled tweeter. The 1" aluminum dome tweeter features a  powerful neodymium magnet assembly and textile surround.

"Wonder Bar": The Wonder Bar is a cooling/mounting bar assembly for the tweeter. It secures the tweeter from the back of the cabinet, while  cooling the tweeter, and provides another cabinet brace. The Wonder Bar is a solid aluminum bar about 5.5" x 0.75". This design allows NHT to tuck the tweeter tightly between the mid-range drivers which provides great horizontal dispersion, excellent articulation, and high power handling.

Crossover Network: The Absolute Center uses a sophisticated 3rd order crossover that was developed using computer (and human ear) aided design to carefully split the frequencies between the mid-woofers and tweeter at just the right spot (2.5kHz).

Voice Matched: NHT made the Absolute Center as small as possible, while matching the timbre, dynamics, and dispersion of other NHT speakers, such a "Absolute Zero" and "Classic".

Enclosure Design

Acoustic Suspension: The NHT Absolute Center features an Acoustic suspension design (sealed enclosure with no ports or holes in the cabinet). The Absolute Center uses the air that is trapped in the cabinet to control and damp the woofer cone motion. The benefits of an acoustic suspension cabinet design include -

  • tight, accurate bass
  • smooth, natural midrange
  • low distortion
  • high power handling
  • smooth bass rolloff (an important benefit when blending speakers with a powered subwoofer seamlessly)

MDF Cabinet: The Absolute Center's cabinet is very robust, and uses MDF for all surfaces, and dual internal braces. The cabinet is (computer controlled) CNC-milled from 21mm MDF (for the front baffle) and 15mm MDF (for the sides and internal bracing) for rigidity and resonance control.

Curved Side-Panels: The cabinet's curved side panels help to randomize internal standing waves, which improves overall sound quality.

High-Gloss Black Finish: A hand-painted finish with 2 primer coats, 7 color coats, and 2 clear coats producing a beautiful piano quality high-gloss, black finish.


5-Way Binding Posts: The center channel speaker is equipped with one pair of sturdy, nickel-plated 5-way binding posts to ensure a secure connection to many types of speaker cables and connectors. The binding post terminals will accept banana plugs (dual/single), pin-connectors, spade-connectors, and bare wire (16-12 gauge).

Color-Coded: The 5-way binding post terminals are color-coded so you can easily indentify positive (red) and negative (black).

Mounting Options

Placement: The NHT Absolute Center is meant to be placed horizontally. Ideally the center channel should be placed immediately above or below the television, in as close proximity as possible. The Absolute Center is perfect for small to medium size rooms.

Feet Rails:  The Absolute Center comes with two preinstalled aluminum rails with butyl rubber inserts which offer an acoustically optimal and handsome shelf placement solution without the need for additional feet, cones, or other isolation devices.

Tilting Leg: There is an adjustable titling leg on the back of the center channel speaker which lets you aim the speaker downward, if it is mounted on a shelf above your television.

Wall Mounting (optional): The optional PinPoint AM15B Center Channel Wall-Mount Bracket (121AM15B, sold separately) allows you to hang the NHT Absolute Center on your wall.

Note: The Absolute Center does not feature key-hole slots or threaded inserts.

Magnetically Shielded: The Absolute Center is magnetically shielded so placement next to that vintage CRT television isn't a problem.

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NHT Classic Absolute Center Reviews

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3 out of 5

Hi frequency

Written By Hi Fi Head, Rancho Mirage, CA on Wednesday, March 28, 2012
Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
Drop off of hi frequencies anywhere off axis
Natural sounding and blends well with my Braun L200 sides
Off axis highs
Was this review helpful?    Yes | No

Add accessories for the NHT Classic Absolute Center

You'll need wire to connect your center channel speaker to your amp or receiver.Cut your speaker wire to the exact length you need with a spool of bulk speaker wire. No wire is included with this speaker. See all categories & accessories

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For a more in-depth review and enhanced detailed information on the NHT Classic Absolute Center, please visit the Crutchfield website product page (/ISEO-rccbcspd/p_228ACB/NHT-Classic-Absolute-Center.html ).