Customer Review

Reviewed in the United States on November 17, 2019
For full disclosure, I've been fairly happy with 2.1 soundbars so far due to their low financial threshold combined with easy installation while still providing a huge upgrade from today's tv speakers. The latter are getting better despite the space constraints of ever thinner devices, but most have no remote chance to being confused with Hi-Fi speakers, let alone any chance for surround sound or deep bass.

Being presented with the Definitive Technology speaker set, things were about to change even more. However, the first step is that now I needed a receiver since these speakers are passive with exception of the powered subwoofer. The four satellites and the center speaker are traditionally passive. Rated at 4-8 ohm they fit most amplifiers (or "receivers"). As of late, different surround formats like Dolby:Atmos are part of every review and it can be confusing if you had not kept up with the trends. But we'll leave that for a bit later and in my case, last year's Denon AVR-X1500H found a home next to the speakers. (Models seem to quickly age and expensive receivers can be had for half the cost with minimal difference in features and virtually no real difference in sound quality.

The satellites are rated with a frequency response of 65 Hz to 30 kHz, which is well beyond human hearing although there are concepts where the higher harmonies in the inaudible range still contribute to the experience. Be that what it may, these satellites will not be limited by frequency. The speakers can handle between 10W and 150W, while the Denon can "only" supply up to 80W at 8 ohm per channel. That is plenty in a 400 sqft room, and the family agreed on 50% power setting (which I assume is linear and effectively 40W per channel) as the sweet spot for good movie experience.

Going back to comparing to a soundbar for a moment: Relative to the Samsung R550 (2.1) the biggest issue was pretty much the seemingly excessive bass while dialog clarity was severely lacking in full dynamic audio (from an AppleTV4K). Reduce dynamic range and voices became easier to hear but at the expense of a significant less impressive sound. Of course, as a basic soundbar, the adjustability was lacking, too. Volume was never really a problem with the R550.

The CinemaPro 6D is a 5.1 speaker system and the center speaker is a massive step forward to improve dialog clarity. Even without adjustment, movies are suddenly much more to enjoy since effects don't drown out voices and the latter don't seem to mumble anymore in quiet passages. This is probably the most significant upgrade relative to frustration points with the soundbar. The center is rated with a frequency response range of 55 Hz to 30 kHz while accepting between 10W and 175W at 4 to 8 ohm.

With the AVR-X1500H that amounts to four channels with 80W each and totals to 320W of sound output. Relative to the 250W active subwoofer, that's plenty. Definitive Technology offers two ways of wiring schemes between the front satellites and the sub. One is to run the front left and right as "large speakers" (full range) and technically "without" a sub. However, since you'd run the wires thru the sub, the crossover is in the sub. I went with the alternative of wiring the front satellites as "small" speakers and use the RCA output of the receiver to connect the sub via the LFE input. You can manually change the crossover (filter) although it's recommended to open it up to 150 Hz in the latter mode.

Another feature of the subwoofer is the dial on the side where you can adjust the bass response on the fly without having to go thru a setup. It's initially set to the mid position to allow adjustment either way. (Receivers like the Denon AVR-X have a setup routing to make sure the speakers are properly wired and the crossovers are configured right.)

I already mentioned the recent trend of encoding formats like Dolby:Atmos. It turns out, that's actually an encoding to include height information. However that also requires either height speakers (i.e. in the ceiling) or Atmos-enabled speakers. Compact satellites like these are unlikely to contain a height module, and the CinemaPro 6D does not directly support ATMOS. Depending on your receiver, you can configure additional speakers to support Dolby:Atmos but again, for this speaker set that's not built-in.

Mounting the satellites is easy with a twist. If you're familiar with the Sonos speaker mounts (basically a 1/4" threaded stud on a swivel mount), this will fit the satellites as well. However, Sonos back surface seems flat and the third-party mounts I got needed a spacer to be able to tighten the nut.

Further, the banana plug terminals are a bit more shallow than any of the plugs I have in my house. See the picture for the plugs sticking out a bit more than I'd like. This problem does not occur with the terminals in the receiver where they insert all the way. I don't think it's a big functional issue, but not the most attractive configuration either as seen in the picture. This is mostly an issue when having speakers freely mounted and visible.

Finally, the center speaker has a single rubber foot, while the front "feet" are hard MDF and the speaker has a tendency to swivel around the one rubber foot in the back while the front two feet are slippery and cannot resist moments from an attached cable. This is significant to me as I chose to not to mount the center speaker to the wall and setting it on the entertainment center commode instead. If you choose to not mount the satellites, you may run into similar issues there, too.

Overall, this is an impressive compact speaker set and what I thought was baked into the movies turned out to the an issue with my soundbars and the ProCinema 6D a great upgrade once again. This time I didn't think such a big difference was possible, but it turned out to be real. I am very happy with the speakers even if the effort to install is significantly higher than a soundbar. (Wires need to be routed and a receiver is needed, too).
Customer image
4.0 out of 5 stars Excellent compact 5.1 speaker system
By Thomas T. on November 17, 2019
For full disclosure, I've been fairly happy with 2.1 soundbars so far due to their low financial threshold combined with easy installation while still providing a huge upgrade from today's tv speakers. The latter are getting better despite the space constraints of ever thinner devices, but most have no remote chance to being confused with Hi-Fi speakers, let alone any chance for surround sound or deep bass.

Being presented with the Definitive Technology speaker set, things were about to change even more. However, the first step is that now I needed a receiver since these speakers are passive with exception of the powered subwoofer. The four satellites and the center speaker are traditionally passive. Rated at 4-8 ohm they fit most amplifiers (or "receivers"). As of late, different surround formats like Dolby:Atmos are part of every review and it can be confusing if you had not kept up with the trends. But we'll leave that for a bit later and in my case, last year's Denon AVR-X1500H found a home next to the speakers. (Models seem to quickly age and expensive receivers can be had for half the cost with minimal difference in features and virtually no real difference in sound quality.

The satellites are rated with a frequency response of 65 Hz to 30 kHz, which is well beyond human hearing although there are concepts where the higher harmonies in the inaudible range still contribute to the experience. Be that what it may, these satellites will not be limited by frequency. The speakers can handle between 10W and 150W, while the Denon can "only" supply up to 80W at 8 ohm per channel. That is plenty in a 400 sqft room, and the family agreed on 50% power setting (which I assume is linear and effectively 40W per channel) as the sweet spot for good movie experience.

Going back to comparing to a soundbar for a moment: Relative to the Samsung R550 (2.1) the biggest issue was pretty much the seemingly excessive bass while dialog clarity was severely lacking in full dynamic audio (from an AppleTV4K). Reduce dynamic range and voices became easier to hear but at the expense of a significant less impressive sound. Of course, as a basic soundbar, the adjustability was lacking, too. Volume was never really a problem with the R550.

The CinemaPro 6D is a 5.1 speaker system and the center speaker is a massive step forward to improve dialog clarity. Even without adjustment, movies are suddenly much more to enjoy since effects don't drown out voices and the latter don't seem to mumble anymore in quiet passages. This is probably the most significant upgrade relative to frustration points with the soundbar. The center is rated with a frequency response range of 55 Hz to 30 kHz while accepting between 10W and 175W at 4 to 8 ohm.

With the AVR-X1500H that amounts to four channels with 80W each and totals to 320W of sound output. Relative to the 250W active subwoofer, that's plenty. Definitive Technology offers two ways of wiring schemes between the front satellites and the sub. One is to run the front left and right as "large speakers" (full range) and technically "without" a sub. However, since you'd run the wires thru the sub, the crossover is in the sub. I went with the alternative of wiring the front satellites as "small" speakers and use the RCA output of the receiver to connect the sub via the LFE input. You can manually change the crossover (filter) although it's recommended to open it up to 150 Hz in the latter mode.

Another feature of the subwoofer is the dial on the side where you can adjust the bass response on the fly without having to go thru a setup. It's initially set to the mid position to allow adjustment either way. (Receivers like the Denon AVR-X have a setup routing to make sure the speakers are properly wired and the crossovers are configured right.)

I already mentioned the recent trend of encoding formats like Dolby:Atmos. It turns out, that's actually an encoding to include height information. However that also requires either height speakers (i.e. in the ceiling) or Atmos-enabled speakers. Compact satellites like these are unlikely to contain a height module, and the CinemaPro 6D does not directly support ATMOS. Depending on your receiver, you can configure additional speakers to support Dolby:Atmos but again, for this speaker set that's not built-in.

Mounting the satellites is easy with a twist. If you're familiar with the Sonos speaker mounts (basically a 1/4" threaded stud on a swivel mount), this will fit the satellites as well. However, Sonos back surface seems flat and the third-party mounts I got needed a spacer to be able to tighten the nut.

Further, the banana plug terminals are a bit more shallow than any of the plugs I have in my house. See the picture for the plugs sticking out a bit more than I'd like. This problem does not occur with the terminals in the receiver where they insert all the way. I don't think it's a big functional issue, but not the most attractive configuration either as seen in the picture. This is mostly an issue when having speakers freely mounted and visible.

Finally, the center speaker has a single rubber foot, while the front "feet" are hard MDF and the speaker has a tendency to swivel around the one rubber foot in the back while the front two feet are slippery and cannot resist moments from an attached cable. This is significant to me as I chose to not to mount the center speaker to the wall and setting it on the entertainment center commode instead. If you choose to not mount the satellites, you may run into similar issues there, too.

Overall, this is an impressive compact speaker set and what I thought was baked into the movies turned out to the an issue with my soundbars and the ProCinema 6D a great upgrade once again. This time I didn't think such a big difference was possible, but it turned out to be real. I am very happy with the speakers even if the effort to install is significantly higher than a soundbar. (Wires need to be routed and a receiver is needed, too).
Images in this review
Customer image Customer image Customer image Customer image Customer image
Customer imageCustomer imageCustomer imageCustomer imageCustomer image
Report abuse Permalink

Product Details

4.3 out of 5 stars
4.3 out of 5
54 global ratings