Just going to keep writing down some impressions each day for the next week or so for anyone interested in these speakers.
4/7: For one, they got here fast. Shipping was free (per the usual Emotiva purchase) and they got here in 2 days. From Tennessee to Texas. They weight 25 lbs a piece so they're reasonably heavy for what could be considered bookshelf speakers. Anyway, on to the sound. First impressions were very good. The first word that came into my head was punchy. These things have a very crisp, thumpy sound. Center image is right on although the soundstage itself seems a bit small (remember my last speakers were MMGs, so I'm used to huge soundstage) but this could just be positioning which I'll fiddle with more as the days go by. Other than that they just sound great. Bass is impressive and extended. Now I do have a few initial nit picks. The 'level' knobs feel a bit flimsy compared to the rest, but that's not a big deal when you're actually listening. The only other thing is that with a sound this punchy I wish I could 'feel' it a little more. Every thump is very well separated, but you just don't feel it in your chest. I think you'd need to add a subwoofer if you want more 'thump' or 'rumble'. Overall I'm happy with this purchase so far.
Side Note: I realize after writing this and some impressions in the CNET review of the Airmotiv 4s I'm having a hard time describing the bass how I want to. The bass absolutely fills the room. It's very strong and sounds great...you just won't feel it in your chest.
4/8: Started the morning off with some low level listening as the roommates were asleep. They seem to work really well without much loss of detail. The bass is unchanged (still very punchy and energetic) where as the treble loses a little bit of its detail. Instruments are still easy to pick out. I feel they're mostly unchanged at lower levels. You of course get more energy at higher levels, but that's just how it works usually. It gets more fun as you crank it up. :D Most of the low level listening was done in a 'near field' environment today as well rather than the mid field of the impressions yesterday. They seem to work well up close but because of their depth they're still a bit impractical if you have a narrower desk (like I do). I think one of the smaller models would work better depending on your desk. I'll do more listening from different distances later but at about 2 - 3ft from the center they still sound great. Another thing I'd like to mention that I started using were the EQ controls on the back. Haven't and probably won't fiddle with the high cut as I don't think it's necessary. The low end EQ however is coming in handy (especially for low level listening this morning). I use the -2db settings on the low end and everything feels a bit more balanced that way. While the bass always sounds great it can get a little overpowering at both low and high volumes depending on what you're listening to. The -2db cut just seems to get everything 'right back in line' if it gets a little crazy. I haven't used the -4db cut yet but that's just because I like bass.
4/9: Just a small update today as I have to work most of the day today. I was using these for TV last night (they're actually set up in the living room) and it improved the experience a lot over the built in TV speakers (obviously). Voicing was much more on point and the soundstage puts things in their place as long as you're not too far away (~6ft or so). The bass of course shines through once again, but they also just give me a lot more of the subtle sounds that make TV shows and movies a more immersive experience. I'm considering doing a fully powered 5.2 system with the Airmotiv line at this point. We'll see how that pans out.
4/10: After fiddling with them for awhile longer as far as positioning goes I can safely say that they are definitely a 'sweet spot' speaker. The tweeter is very directional and the highs sound off if you're not in the right spot. They sound fine from anywhere for the most part (not unlistenable), but it's very obvious when you move into the 'sweet spot' and when you move out. That being said I think that for me these aren't going to be a very good fit. While they sound good as a near-field they're just too large to fit properly on my desk and they're not practical for me as a mid-field.
While I've come across no particular problems with the sound I have decided to return these. They just turned out to not fit in anywhere in my plans. Too big for my desk and a little small to fill the living room up for movies. These would be a really good investment for someone that might be setting up a home studio with a little more space than myself, but I think most people just looking for a decent small monitor should look at some of their smaller models. If they sound anything like the 6s you'll be very pleased with them as computer speakers.
Edited by MorbidToaster - 6/10/12 at 3:49pm