Meet McIntosh's XCS1.5K – the world's most bonkers centre speaker?

It is an often repeated trope that the centre 
speaker has the most important role of any in 
a multichannel setup, as it acts as the ‘anchor’ around which the other speakers perform. McIntosh has taken this idea and run with it – the XCS1.5K might be the most extraordinary centre channel model we’ve ever clapped eyes on.

Ticketed at a cool £39,995, the unit replaces the outgoing XCS2K and XCS1K models and weighs 
a whopping 80kg. It has been designed to complement the American marque's high-end XRT2.1K and XRT1.1K floorstanders .

Like those speakers – which sell for £159,000 
and £69,000 respectively, in case you're wondering 
– the XCS1.5K adopts McIntosh’s unique take on configuration. There are no less than 43 separate drivers in this beast of a centre.

Of these, 25 are 19mm aluminium dome tweeters, arranged in a horizontal array on the front fascia. 
Sat below are 14 aluminium cone midrange units (65.5mm). The thinking behind this eye-catching panoply of drivers is that it allows the XCS1.5K 
to deliver an absolutely even response, largely independent of your position in the room.

Low-end heft comes from a quartet of 8in bass drivers, mounted behind the front HF/MF panel and augmented by a port in the enclosure. There's a clever hybrid crossover network at play, says McIntosh: 'All four woofers will reproduce low frequencies but if needed two of them will extend 
to slightly higher frequencies until reaching the crossover point.' Power handling is rated at 1,500W.

The XCS1.5K's cabinet is mounted on a pedestal 
that allows for five pre-selected levels of tilt to best match its position relative to the listener. Around the back, three pairs of proprietary Solid Cinch speaker terminals cater for connection to an amplifier (including bi- and tri-amping/wiring).

The only finish option is piano black gloss, again to match the other models in the range. A magnetic black fabric grille is supplied, although how much this helps the XCS1.5K blend into a room is 
open to question. If you want this over-
engineered centre speaker in your AV setup, McIntosh is taking orders now.