Page 2 of 2
The height of the Monitor 9, roughly 44 inches, was perfect in relation to my seating position, with the tweeter, at just about ear level. The sound was not localized to the speaker, with the overall soundstage floating free, even with heavily compressed soundtracks or live television musical performances. One thing I should mention is that the cabinets are solid and they don’t vibrate or produce any unwanted noise, which is important when watching a movie at full blown, movie theater volume. According to Paradigm, they use “acoustically inert high-density hardboard reinforced by strategically located radial braces that limit unwanted resonance, and increase enclosure stiffness.”
One of the impressive aspects of the Monitor 9’s performance was dynamics. It could go from a whisper to a scream with virtually no effort and in a totally natural way. There was plenty of headroom. To overload these speakers, you would really have to go out of your way to blow up the volume. At very quiet volumes, they sounded just as natural.
If I had the room, I would add two monitor 9’s for the rear channels. For me, that would all that I would need, and would allow my receiver to coast having the easy task of driving so many efficient speakers. Some would say that’s overkill, but the diehards seem to claim that the front and rear channels should ideally used the same speaker and a matching center channel to boot. Maybe with my next house!
Listening to two channel music was also a joy. Even though the Monitor 9 has four drivers, it remains coherent, with excellent, midrange clarity. Overall I would say the balance is slightly on the warmer side of things, which works really well for vocals and acoustic instruments. Bass goes deep, with plenty of weight. If being used in strictly a two channel system, I would personally not feel the need for a subwoofer. That being said, Paradigm has a line of excellent subs, with several new ones being added to the line recently.
Paradigm has for many years been at the leading edge of sanely priced, excellent sounding loudspeakers, and the Monitor series may be the sweet spot for budget home theater and hifi enthusiasts. I really could not find many flaws with these speakers considering the price. They are very nicely put together, sound great across the frequency spectrum, and are very versatile. They work equally as well for fronts in a home theater set up, or for main speakers in a two channel set up.
I have tested a few other speakers in my home theater that offered more detail and resolution, and a bit more clarity, but the cost more than my entire investment in the whole set up, from nuts to bolts! Needless to say, you would have to spend loads more to get closer to the state of the art. I will reiterate that Paradigm, in their Reference line, offers speakers for far less than their competitors that in my opinion are off the charts in value. I have an acquaintance that uses the Studio 60 in his two channel system and I have enjoyed some wonderful listening sessions there.
As a huge bonus, they look great, and they blended in beautifully in the decor of my living room. They are available in a bunch of finishes, and the Rosewood finish I chose was very attractive. Paradigm claims its proprietary SuperDrive™ technology, coupled with very high efficiency produces ultra low distortion and clarity. I agree. One of the benefits of this technology is that a modestly powered amplifier or home theater receiver can make it sing with minimum effort. They also claim to offer authentic high end sound for modest prices. I can’t agree more with that as well. Add to that the fact they are made in North America, unlike most of their competitors, it becomes an easy recommendation.
- Design: 4-driver, 2-1/2-way bass reflex, quasi-3rd-order resistive port
- Crossovers 3rd-order electro-acoustic at 1.9 kHz, 2nd-order electro-acoustic at 500 Hz
- High-Frequency Driver 25-mm (1 in) H-PTD™ dome
- Bass / Midrange Driver 165-mm (6-1/2 in) M-ICP™ cone, 25-mm (1 in) voice-coil, die-cast heat sink chassis
- Bass Drivers: Two 165-mm (6-1/2 in) carbon-infused polypropylene cones, 25-mm (1 in) voice-coils, die-cast heat sink chassis
- Low-Frequency Extension: 39 Hz (DIN)
- Sensitivity - Room / Anechoic; 96 dB / 93 dB
- Suitable Amplifier Power Range: 15 - 200 watts
- Maximum Input Power†: 150 watts
- Impedance: Compatible with 8 ohms
- Height, Width, Depth: 40-5/16 in x 7-1/2 in x 13-1/4 in
- Weight (Unpacked): 14.9 kg / 44 lb each
- Finishes: Cherry, Rosenut, Black Ash, Wengé
Paradigm Electronics Inc.
205 Annagem Blvd.
Mississauga, ON L5T 2V1
Phone: (905) 564-1994
Reviewers Home Theater Set up:
- DVD player: Oppo 981 Universal Player, Panasonic DVD-R
- Home Theater Receiver: Cambridge Audio 540R
- TV: Vizio 55 inch HDTV
- Digital Cable: Time Warner HD DVR
- Speakers: Paradigm Monitor 9 V5, Paradigm Atom, PSB subwoofer
- Cables: QED, NuForce, Kimber, PS Audio, Home Depot. Audioquest, Generic