Paradigm PW Soundbar - AVS Forum | Home Theater Discussions And Reviews
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post #1 of 18 Old 05-12-2017, 02:29 PM - Thread Starter
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Paradigm PW Soundbar

After doing some research, picked this up from Amazon. The Paradigm PW seems to be a duplicate of the Martin Logan Cadence. Following is my very un-technical review which I posted on Amazon:


I wanted to simplify my audio visual set-up (Yamaha AVR, 3.1 Definitive Technology speakers and SVS subwoofer). Just too many wires and equipment clutter for my small living room. After spending time researching, I decided on either the Paradigm PW or the Martin Logan Cadence soundbars. The two models seem identical and both companies are owned by the same umbrella group. Both of these are new models which were debuted at CES (Consumer Electronics Show) in January 2017. I found a few very positive reviews for both models, but there just aren't that many reviews yet available. What influenced me was the reputation for Paradigm, reviews for an older soundbar model, and specific features. What was important to me were 3 HDMI inputs, wireless subwoofer adapter, Apple Airplay as well as DTS Play-Fi technology. Set-up was very easy. Plugged my Verizon set top box, blueray DVD player, and Roku streaming player into the soundbar with HDMI cables, and then another HDMI cable from the soundbar to my Samsung TV. I have the bar laying on a media cabinet in front of my TV. Comparing the soundbar to my previous set-up, I actually like the sound better. The Dolby sound is crisp and engaging. Dialogue is very clear. Special effects (explosions, crashes, rainfall, etc) sound great. It's quite possible I didn't have my previous Yamaha receiver set to optimal settings (lots and lots of setting choices). Music is also very good. I tried the soundbar without a subwoofer, and then with my SVS subwoofer. Definitely recommend using a sub. The nice thing is you can use any brand of subwoofer. I connected the sub to the soundbar with a cable, so haven't yet tried the wireless adapter. I have a lot less clutter and fewer cables, without sacrificing any sound quality. Very happy with my purchase.
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post #2 of 18 Old 05-27-2017, 11:34 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kschles View Post
After doing some research, picked this up from Amazon. The Paradigm PW seems to be a duplicate of the Martin Logan Cadence. Following is my very un-technical review which I posted on Amazon:


I wanted to simplify my audio visual set-up (Yamaha AVR, 3.1 Definitive Technology speakers and SVS subwoofer). Just too many wires and equipment clutter for my small living room. After spending time researching, I decided on either the Paradigm PW or the Martin Logan Cadence soundbars. The two models seem identical and both companies are owned by the same umbrella group. Both of these are new models which were debuted at CES (Consumer Electronics Show) in January 2017. I found a few very positive reviews for both models, but there just aren't that many reviews yet available. What influenced me was the reputation for Paradigm, reviews for an older soundbar model, and specific features. What was important to me were 3 HDMI inputs, wireless subwoofer adapter, Apple Airplay as well as DTS Play-Fi technology. Set-up was very easy. Plugged my Verizon set top box, blueray DVD player, and Roku streaming player into the soundbar with HDMI cables, and then another HDMI cable from the soundbar to my Samsung TV. I have the bar laying on a media cabinet in front of my TV. Comparing the soundbar to my previous set-up, I actually like the sound better. The Dolby sound is crisp and engaging. Dialogue is very clear. Special effects (explosions, crashes, rainfall, etc) sound great. It's quite possible I didn't have my previous Yamaha receiver set to optimal settings (lots and lots of setting choices). Music is also very good. I tried the soundbar without a subwoofer, and then with my SVS subwoofer. Definitely recommend using a sub. The nice thing is you can use any brand of subwoofer. I connected the sub to the soundbar with a cable, so haven't yet tried the wireless adapter. I have a lot less clutter and fewer cables, without sacrificing any sound quality. Very happy with my purchase.
Great to hear, I too just bought this soundbar. I also came from a 5.1 system and figured that this would probably be ideal to de-clutter. Setup was not as easy for me, as I was unfamiliar with ARC HDMI settings initally. After that was sorted out though everything was pretty smooth. The soundbar sits in a built in media center in front of my TV and matches well with my Samsung KS8000 55" width at 46" wide. Sound is clear and crisp, dialouge was also excellent. One thing that drew me to this bar was the included wireless subwoofer receiver that works perfectly and the ability to pass 4k signals. It is hooked up to a Dayton Sub 1200 for now until I can find room for my PB13 ultra. As the OP suggested, I would suggest to have a subwoofer hooked up, without it, there is very little bass. I haven't done the Anthem Room Correction procedure yet but the surround effect is moderate, meaning I can somewhat hear the surround channels at times. I may add the rear surrounds in the future which work with Play Fi. Width, separation and imaging is good for a soundbar, I can pick out between LCR, but not as good as a decent set of bookshelves obviously. Music sounds great and movies/tv sound great as well. The remote is easy to navigate and am impressed with the quality and feel of it. Haven't played with the network features yet but there is a load of them. Once I setup and run thru the room correction software I will update this post.
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post #3 of 18 Old 05-31-2017, 07:17 AM - Thread Starter
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After using the soundbar for awhile, I'm generally still very upbeat about the performance. The one problem I've run into so far is the hit or miss connection of Apple AirPlay. The airplay option doesn't always appear on my IOS devices (phone and tablet). The last time this happened, I opened the Play-Fi app and found the soundbar wasn't connecting to my wifi network (which is odd, since I have the soundbar hard wired to my router with an Ethernet cable). Leaving the Play-Fi app open for a minute or two seemed to fix the problem as the soundbar eventually showed up as connected. Have to see if this will be a necessary (and consistently successful) procedure in the future.
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post #4 of 18 Old 06-11-2017, 08:21 AM
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i have paradigm soundscape and i wonder if would make sense to upgrade to this one. i dont mean feature wise but sound wise .
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post #5 of 18 Old 06-11-2017, 08:59 AM
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I bet it would be a downgrade sound wise. I haven't heard this yet but going by the design it is meant to fit a smaller form factor. It might give a wider sound stage and better surround effects with its drivers facing to the side but for sound quality its 2.5" full range drivers are not going to compete with 4" drivers and tweeters for the highs that are in the soundscape.
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post #6 of 18 Old 06-15-2017, 01:01 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kschles View Post
After using the soundbar for awhile, I'm generally still very upbeat about the performance. The one problem I've run into so far is the hit or miss connection of Apple AirPlay. The airplay option doesn't always appear on my IOS devices (phone and tablet). The last time this happened, I opened the Play-Fi app and found the soundbar wasn't connecting to my wifi network (which is odd, since I have the soundbar hard wired to my router with an Ethernet cable). Leaving the Play-Fi app open for a minute or two seemed to fix the problem as the soundbar eventually showed up as connected. Have to see if this will be a necessary (and consistently successful) procedure in the future.
Hi there! I'm thinking of getting this soundbar... any way you could tell me it's height? I'm a little worried about it blocking my LG OLED 55".
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post #7 of 18 Old 06-15-2017, 01:14 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by obidow View Post
Hi there! I'm thinking of getting this soundbar... any way you could tell me it's height? I'm a little worried about it blocking my LG OLED 55".
The dimensions are listed as 4" (depth) x46" x 5 1/2". I bought
A small riser for my 48" LG TV.

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0...?ie=UTF8&psc=1
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post #8 of 18 Old 06-15-2017, 01:38 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rony05 View Post
i have paradigm soundscape and i wonder if would make sense to upgrade to this one. i dont mean feature wise but sound wise .
You probably will hear an improvement due to Anthem ARC. It's a very good room EQ solution. The Soundscape did not work well in my room and it doesn't offer EQ, so I was SOL without EQ.

Although, the lack of a proper tweeter and midrange is definitely concerning. Even Bose is now using proper drivers for their ST300 soundbar.

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post #9 of 18 Old 06-15-2017, 03:34 PM
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I agree EQ can make a difference and one of the nice things about this sound bar I heard from one of the other guys (I haven't had the chance to use it yet) is that ARC also EQs the subwoofer. While there is only so much that can be done with 2.5" drivers EQing the bass will often make one of the biggest differences in sound. I know in the past when I have installed a Soundscape systems with Paradigm subwoofers that have their PBK sub EQ it always turns out very nice. On another particular occasion the customer wanted to use an I.D. sub because of its greater output but it didn't have EQ and didn't sound anywhere near as good as the PBK subs. The bass was boomy and you really don't need a monster sub to keep up with a sound bar with 4" midrange drivers. So Paradigm's ARC could definitely help especially because it does EQ the sub as well.

The problem with 2.5" drivers is two fold. ANY driver can play low frequencies, it is just how loud. Ear buds are capable of 20hz but you will only hear it tightly packed in your ear, place them on the table two feet from you and it will be tinny. So while they can make a 2.5" driver go low enough to crossover to a sub, it will be at a much reduced volume. As the volume goes up distortion does too! A 2.5" driver can only move so much air. A 2.5" driver will often be noticed with deep male voices even at moderate volumes, so its upper bass lower midrange often doesn't sound as full or rich. If you boost that area with EQ you will be pushing the limits of the driver and up goes the distortion.

The other problem with a 2.5" driver is high frequencies. Higher frequencies have shorter wavelengths and when the wavelength gets smaller than the diameter of the driver the driver will start to beam. Beaming will create uneven sound levels of the high frequencies as you move around the room. Paradigm might try to compensate for this with their multiple drivers but it is a compromise and never as good as tweeters that can go higher. This is one of the reasons different size drivers and crossovers are used.

Paradigm has a lot of experience in audio and I'm sure they are getting the most out of using these drivers possible company. I'm sure Paradigm could make the biggest, baddest, best sounding sound bar but it probably wouldn't sell. Manufacturers are trying to meet customers demands of wanting everything smaller and less obtrusive but it doesn't always go with the physics of audio
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post #10 of 18 Old 06-21-2017, 10:24 AM
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I just picked up the Paradigm PW soundbar and paired it with an Emotiva BasX 8 sub and honestly I am disappointed!

Even paired with the sub, it just does not compete with a pair of bookshelves. Granted, I am comparing the soundbar to my Kef LS50 wireless and the comparison is not even fair.

For 1300, I would expect a little more. The sound is greatly improved over the speakers on my TV but there just isnt any depth to the sound. It sounds tiny which is to be expected from 2in drivers.

I just had to try them myself as I never had a soundbar in my home before and I did not want to write them off.

The Emotiva is a great sub, especially for 199 dollars and it does greatly help the PW in the lower frequencies. However, the midbass is clearly lacking, especially when compared to a bookshelf.
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post #11 of 18 Old 06-21-2017, 11:24 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tuan209 View Post
I just picked up the Paradigm PW soundbar and paired it with an Emotiva BasX 8 sub and honestly I am disappointed!

Even paired with the sub, it just does not compete with a pair of bookshelves. Granted, I am comparing the soundbar to my Kef LS50 wireless and the comparison is not even fair.

For 1300, I would expect a little more. The sound is greatly improved over the speakers on my TV but there just isnt any depth to the sound. It sounds tiny which is to be expected from 2in drivers.

I just had to try them myself as I never had a soundbar in my home before and I did not want to write them off.

The Emotiva is a great sub, especially for 199 dollars and it does greatly help the PW in the lower frequencies. However, the midbass is clearly lacking, especially when compared to a bookshelf.
Hi did you run the ARC room correction software? I agree, there is no mid bass with this thing...but after the ARC it improved a bit and sounds fuller.
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post #12 of 18 Old 06-21-2017, 12:48 PM
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Hi did you run the ARC room correction software? I agree, there is no mid bass with this thing...but after the ARC it improved a bit and sounds fuller.
Hi,

I did run ARC. It was the first thing I did and one of the reasons I bought the PW.

Maybe its an unfair comparison as I have the Kefs sitting right next to PWs to compare the two.

At the price point, however, I do not think its a good buy. The Kefs are 2200 to the PW 1300. However, after adding a sub, which most people will, the price will increase anywhere from 200-700. Most people probably wont opt for the 200 dollar BasX 8 sub like I did. That makes the price of the PW awfully close to the Kefs.

I would take the Kefs without a sub over the PW as it just so much more impactful, it really isnt even close. The Kefs are also just as easy to setup as the PW.

Unless you absolutely have to have a soundbar, I would look at some active speakers. It would be interesting to see how something much cheaper like the Audioengine HD6s compare to the PW.
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post #13 of 18 Old 06-21-2017, 03:55 PM
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I've said many times on this forum that any decent 2.0 or 2.1 system will destroy the best of sound bars for sound quality. However, 2.0/2.1 systems don't work for everyone's situation and a sound bar is a HUGE improvement over TV speakers. One should think of a sound bar as an improvement over TV speakers that doesn't compete with decent speakers.
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post #14 of 18 Old 07-02-2017, 08:50 PM
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Just got this soundbar. I have to say, I'm totally loving it. A vast improvement over the previous soundbar I had. Even my "could care less about audio" girlfriend thinks it sounds great. Quick thoughts:

-- In my humble, totally anecdotal, non-audiophole opinion, it sounds great. Vast improvement over my previous soundbar. Very crisp, clear separation of L, R and C, the bass is booming with the subwoofer. Good "3D" effect. (I got the Paradigm PDR-100 as part of a package deal... more than enough bass for my apartment.)

-- Music sounds fantastic

-- Wireless sub transmitter works great, super easy to connect

-- AirPlay, as previously posted, is a hit or miss affair. I got it working the second time and it's held steady so far.

-- I have Play-Fi rear surrounds but haven't installed them yet.

-- I tried ARC once. It definitely made everything sound worse with my first attempt. I'll try again at a later time when I have time to experiment. (And the GF isn't begging me to stop the test tones.) To me, the factory presets sounded great, though the bass from the sub was overwhelming for my place. I need to tinker with levels there.

Anyway, two days in, I highly recommend it.
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post #15 of 18 Old 07-02-2017, 11:27 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tuan209 View Post
I just picked up the Paradigm PW soundbar and paired it with an Emotiva BasX 8 sub and honestly I am disappointed!

Even paired with the sub, it just does not compete with a pair of bookshelves. Granted, I am comparing the soundbar to my Kef LS50 wireless and the comparison is not even fair.

For 1300, I would expect a little more. The sound is greatly improved over the speakers on my TV but there just isnt any depth to the sound. It sounds tiny which is to be expected from 2in drivers.

I just had to try them myself as I never had a soundbar in my home before and I did not want to write them off.

The Emotiva is a great sub, especially for 199 dollars and it does greatly help the PW in the lower frequencies. However, the midbass is clearly lacking, especially when compared to a bookshelf.
I have a GoldenEar 3D Array X passive soundbar with a Rythmik L12 subwoofer powered by a Denon AVR-X3200 receiver in my living room. That system doesn't come close to what I get out of my passive KEF LS50's in my main system. I think the GoldenEar is one of the best soundbars on the market (albeit it's passive). It sounds great, and it's actually pretty darn good for music as well (especially with the Rythmik sub), but even it can't compete with a good set of bookshelf speakers like the LS50's.

Soundbars are a compromise. Always have been, always will be.

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post #16 of 18 Old 07-20-2017, 12:55 PM
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Here's some new ARC position info that's not in the manual.
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post #17 of 18 Old 05-24-2018, 02:01 PM
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Very interesting thread. I'm looking at the PW Soundbar for our new house as I'll be challenged to downsize my AV footprint a bit...

Is there any reason I can't hook my components to the PW via HDMI with a 3x1 HDMI switch on the distant (component) end?

Thanks in advance.

-PSF in VA
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post #18 of 18 Old 06-30-2018, 02:30 PM - Thread Starter
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I’ve been enjoying my Soundbar since I started this thread. Yes, soundbars are a compromise, but to my ears; this one sounds pretty good for movies and DVDs (I do have it hooked up to an SVS sub. Apple airplay 2 has been released, and the pw Soundbar doesn’t support it. I contacted the Patadigm support staff to ask about future software upgrades. The response was disappointing....they didn’t know if this might happen. The issue is still being studied. Very disappointing.
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