Paradigm MilleniaOne 5.0 System and SE Subwoofer Review 
Home Theater Loudspeakers Speaker Systems
Written by Andre Marc   
Tuesday, 26 July 2011

AVRev Readers know it is no secret I am an admirer of Paradigm for their reasonably priced, great sounding loudspeakers. Their product line is extremely deep, with state of the art statement speakers at the top, as well as “lifestyle”, compact, yet highly engineered and attractive looking monitors and subwoofers.  I was offered a chance to review Paradigm’s newish MilleniaOne series speakers, which consist of two MilleniaOne front left and right satellites, one MilleniaOne Center Channel speaker, and two MilleniaOne Surrounds. There is a matching sub available, but I received a Special Edition (SE) subwoofer (which usually pairs with the previously reviewed SE 1 Monitors), along with the Paradigm  PBK-1 (Pefect Bass Kit) to use with the system.

Paradigm MilleniaOneThe speakers are small, measuring 7.75" tall, 4.5" wide and 5.75" deep. They feature a die-cast aluminum enclosure with a high gloss finish that is available in black or white.  The speakers weigh in at 5.6 lbs each, not including the supplied mini stands. My review samples came in a very impressive black finish. The MilleniaOne are oval shaped with a 4" Satin-Anodized Pure-Aluminum Bass/Midrange driver paired with a 1" tweeter constructed from the same material. Included are protective grilles that stay in place via magnets. Paradigm recommends leaving them in place as they provide minimum diffraction and should be sonically transparent.

The whole package is very attractive and will blend in very nicely with any decor, and they can be wall mounted too. The MilleniaOne monitors are priced at $250 each, and are available in two or 5 channel configurations.  The SE Subwoofer is priced at $799, and the PBK bass tuning kit is $99. The basic specs for the speakers are 89 db in room sensitivity, and low frequency extension down to 76 Hz.

Set Up & Listening:

Setting up the MilleniaOne system was about an hour’s worth of work. Since the speakers only accept bare wire, I ordered some good quality bulk wire, stripped it, then connected. Then I attached the high quality mini stands, and positioned. I then worked on calibrating the SE Sub with the Perfect Bass Kit. It is quite an interesting process. First you must install the supplied software on a PC. Then a USB cable is connected to between the sub and the computer. Lastly, you connect the supplied microphone to your PC. A set of test tones are sent through the sub and measured. A frequency response report is generated and then the sub is automatically EQ’d via the software. Pretty neat! The final step is to tweak the sub output level and crossover frequency controls manually. Once I dialed in what I thought was nice balance between the SE sub and the satellites I was ready to roll.

Paradigm SE Sub

To first evaluate the system as a 2.1 music only set up, over the review period I cued up dozens of FLACs ripped from CDs to an external hard drive connected to the Marantz NA7004 network player.  I was quite surprised at the quality of the imaging, genuinely high end sound, and overall pleasing balance of these mini monitors. I was half expecting a pretty small soundstage, and a rather thin balance.  Boy was I wrong. There was real texture, and the bass extension was rather respectable when I experimented with turning off the subwoofer. Of course, with the sub, there was much more bottom end weight and real presence to the music. Paradigm seems to have pulled off some trick to make speakers this small that can make music sound lifelike. Granted, these were set up in the smallest room in the house, with a listening distance of roughly seven or eight feet. But none the less, quiet impressive.

Pardigm MilleniaOne backDuffy’s Endlessly is nice sounding pop production, with heavy beats, big sounding bass, and some rock instrumentation, all anchored by Duffy’s mesmerizing vocals. There are plenty of acoustic instruments mixed in as well. The MilleniaOne set up beautifully preserved all the texture on the closing track “Hard For the Heart”, with slowly strummed acoustic guitars, strings, and a gorgeous lead vocal.  I actually had goosebumps! I heard the same results on tracks from various CDs by Seal, whose funky soul pop I have been a big fan of for many years.  I enjoyed the solid imaging, musical flow, and accurate rendering of Seal’s throaty vocal delivery.  The 24 bit Beatles albums available on USB stick sounded excellent, with great thump on the bass drum on “Come Together” from Abbey Road, and impressive separation of instruments.


Various internet radio stations and music services, like Pandora, sounded remarkably good, despite being compressed.  I was becoming convinced that the MilleniaOne’s could handle anything I threw at it. I believe you would have to try real hard to trip them up, like forcing them to play at unreasonable volumes, or spinning the most demanding, crescendo filled orchestral music you could find.

Paradigm SE SubNext I used my wife’s HP laptop to playback DVD’s and stream Netflix on the full 5.1 system.  Yet again, darn impressive results. I can’t imagine you can do better if space is limited. Soundtracks sounded great, with pin point imaging, clear dialogue, and real sense of immersion in the mix. This was a far cry from the “plastic” sound I hear from prepackaged home theater systems geared towards small living rooms. I really enjoyed everything I threw at the MilleniaOne system and SE subwoofer.  There was never a hint sonically of how small these speakers really are. Special mention should go to the SE sub. The low frequencies it produced were nimble, tight, and had substantial weight, with no loss of articulation or overhang.

Conclusion:

Paradigm, best recognized for providing a tremendous value and great sound across their entire product line, is also known for trickling down technology from their top tier products.  The MilleniaOne series is no exception. The drivers are pretty advanced for a $250 speaker. The workmanship, finish quality, and overall feel is pretty impressive. While I did not get to use the MilleniaSub with the satellites, the SE subwoofer, along with the Perfect Bass Kit was a great match.  I found the software based calibration method rather painless, and it yielded excellent results.

For those with small to medium size media rooms, I can’t think of a better choice than the Paradigm MilleniaOne series. They look great, are easy to position, via wall mounting or the supplied stands, and most importantly, can be configured as two channel, two channel with sub, or multichannel. I believe there are not too many other companies who could pull off all of the above. I guess that is one of the benefits of having a broad product line, a state of the art design and production facility, and a nice R&D budget, as Paradigm does.  Many thumbs up for the MilleniaOne series.

Paradigm MilleniaOne 5.0 System

 

 

MilleniaOne Specifications

$250 per speaker

 

Design (each speaker

including center channel

2-driver, 2-way vented die-cast aluminum

enclosures with integrated baffle and chassis.

Low-diffraction grilles maximize imaging and

ensure smooth dispersion.

Crossover

3rd-order electro-acoustic at 2.2 kHz

High-Frequency Driver

25-mm (1 in) S-PAL™ satin-anodized

pure-aluminum dome

Bass / Midrange Driver

102-mm (4 in) S-PAL™ satin-anodized

pure-aluminum dome

Low-Frequency Extension*

76 Hz (DIN)

Frequency Response:

On-Axis

30° Off-Axis

 

±2 dB from 120 Hz - 20 kHz

±2 dB from 120 Hz - 18 kHz

Sensitivity - Room / Anechoic

89 dB / 86 dB

Suitable Amplifier Power Range

15 - 100 watts

Maximum Input Power

50 watts

Impedance

Compatible with 8 ohms

Height, Width, Depth

(not including stand)

19.5 cm x 11.5 cm x 14.5 cm

7-3/4 in x 4-1/2 in x 5-3/4 in

Weight (unpacked)

Approx 6 Lbs

Finishes

Gloss Black, Gloss White

 

SE Subwoofer Specifications

 $799

 

Design

Single high-excursion driver, configurable

down-firing / front-firing driver, sealed

enclosure, patented built-in Ultra-Class-D™

power amplifier, USB port / PBK Interface

Amplifier: High-Current,

Discrete Output

900 watts Dynamic Peak / 300 watts RMS

Amplifier Features

Auto-On / Off, soft clipping

Bass Driver

254-mm (10 in) CAP™ cone, oversize

ceramic / ferrite magnets, 50-mm (2 in)

4-layer voice-coil, dual Nomex® spiders,

AVS™ die-cast heatsink chassis

Low-Frequency Extension*

24 Hz (DIN)

Subwoofer Cut-Off Frequency

Variable 35 Hz - 150 Hz; Bypass Option

Sub / Sat Phase Alignment

Variable 0° - 180°

Line-Level Inputs

RCA (L/R-Mono) for L/R Line-Out

or Sub-Out / LFE-Out of receiver,

processor or other line-level source

Height, Width, Depth

 

NOTE: Feet must be used

in every installation

29.1 cm x 27.9 cm x 27.9 cm

11-1/2 in x 11 in x 11 in

(Height includes feet; depth

includes grille and amplifier)

Weight (unpacked)

8.73 kg / 19.25 lb each

Finishes

Black Gloss, Rosenut

 

 

Reviewer System

  • Digital Sources: Marantz NA7004 Network Player connected via Ethernet, Western Digital 1 TB hard drive FLAC, HP Laptop, Toshiba DVD player
  • Amplifier: Cambridge Audio 540R 5.1 home theater receiver
  • Cables: Kimber, Transparent

 

 

 

 

 






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