I picked up these new Paradigm satellite speakers and thought I would share my thoughts. These are the Paradigm Millenia One satellite from their middle-tier Reference Seres. I was looking for something compact, stylish, and most importantly accurate sounding that would replace my big active studio monitors in my computer speakers (tryiing to reduce the amount of clutter on my desktop). I plan to add a small amp like the Audioengine N22 or a NAD integrated to supply the power to these. (edit: I picked up the N22 and it's a perfect match...great little amp)
First, these things look great. They use aluminum cone tweeter and woofer, and are housed in a ported solid aluminum enclosure with your choice of gloss white or black. They come with desk stands and wall mounts for your mounting convenience. There is a few degrees of give for the desktop stands, so you can aim them up slightly. The speaker terminals won't take bananas and are spring loaded, but I inserted Belden 12 gauge wire into them with no problem. The grille is also aluminum and are magnetically attached. Unfortunately they come off pretty easily and are a bit loose. I noticed that they grills rattled a wee bit when I ran bass test tones through them. I like the fact that the grills are solid, great for curious young fingers.
Here's the specs for the system off the Paradigm site
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 ±2 dB from 120 Hz - 20 kHz
30° Off-Axis ±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 7-3/4 in x 4-1/2 in x 5-3/4 in
The stands are also solid metal and the whole speaker feels like a million bucks. They didn't skimp on the construction of these in any way. You know these aren't cheap computer speakers as soon as you pick them up
Pics or it didn't happen
I measured their bass response in my normal HT room, and it was as expected, rolling off below 100Hz.
I threw some bass sweeps at them and they sound very clean with no chuffing or rattling (except for the grill)
Price is $549 MSRP in Canada for 2.0, $1349 for the 5.0 set. Should be less in the USA. These are made in China. Workmanship is first rate (better than my last pair of made in Canada Studio 10v5 which had some cosmetic flaws)
How do they sound? I would say they are befitting their reference name. These sound very much like their big brother Studio series (they use the same tweeter), there is an obvous similarity tothe sound of the Studio 10 above 150Hz. Certainly they are very limted in the bass (effectvely -3dB point is above 100Hz). Highs are detailed, sparkly but not harsh or siblilant, mids are well integrated, and what limited bass they put out is tight and never bloated sounding. If you take the time to integrate a quality sub (pick one that you can cross over at 100-120Hz), you have a very compact but premium sounding system.
Unlike many other sub/sat systems, music sounds very good, no obvious frequency suckouts in their sound. I also ran these without a sub and obviously a lot of bass was missing, but they were still listenable. I compared these to my Energy RC-Mini which are micro satellites and these Paradigms were a step above in clarity, dynamics, and bass depth despite similar specs.
Of course, dynamically they are very small speakers and thus they work for small rooms only but I was able to fill my 18x15 space with moderate volumes with no problem.
All in all, these are well worth looking at if you want a WAF friendly mini speaker but don't want to give up musical quality.