Definitive Technology ProCinema 80 Floorstanding Speakers

ProCinema 80

4 ProMonitor 80 speakers, a ProCenter 100 and a ProSub 80

User Reviews (43)

Showing 1-10 of 43  
Gombi   Audio Enthusiast [Jan 28, 2004]
Strength:

Price, Performance, Construction, Clarity & Detail

Weakness:

None whatsoever..

First of all the price was for a pair. I purchased these for my surrounds. After spending most of my money on the front mains and the center channel I decided to go cheaper on the surrounds but that doesn't mean that these little cuties can't hold their own. First of all, here you will find an aluminum tweeter in a hundred dollar speaker, that's very uncommon. Second, Def Tech made sure that if they made an incursion in the Sat/Sub Market (small is better)they were going in with a quality product and they did. Finally, the price. Come on, you can't get performance like from speakers costing twice as much. If you are looking for a small package that delivers tower-like sound then look no further. As an experiment, I connected these speakers to my sub and used them as main temporarily and all I can say is wow. The detail and clarity of the music was truly amazing so were movie effects. They sound like speakers ten times their size, I kid you not. These little speakers fit anywhere and their construction is solid so you know that you will enjoy these for a long time. In all honesty the best investment I have ever made.

Similar Products Used: Bose Klipsch Sony
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
brad wilson   Audio Enthusiast [Sep 25, 2003]
Strength:

very detailed midrange, crisp highs that are not to bright.can handle a lot of power with no distortion with good equipment..great sub.

Weakness:

it takes a while to break them in..not really a weakness..

i did a lot of research on trying to find the perfect micro/sat system.i read every review on just about everything in this class.just like about everyone else here i wanted great full range sound that only a tower speaker can give.my wife, she wanted the smallest speaker that man made.of course, she really liked the bose cubes.they look cute.but when it come down to what i wanted and what she wanted, we came to one system.and this was after we listened to everything else in it's class. boston, bose, energy, klipsch, mirage.the pro 80's are the only small micro/sat system that has a great warm midrange, detailed highs and a scary low end with the pro sub 200tl.i have them hooked to a nad 762 reciever and they can handle every bit of power it has to offer.the boston 9500 system is'nt to bad but it's a little to bright compared to the def tech's.if you want a full, warm, detailed small speaker system that looks great mounted on your wall..look no farther than this system.it is hands down the best in it's class..trust me i'v listened to them all.

Similar Products Used: boston, klipsch, bose...
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
HT Enthu from Dubai   Audio Enthusiast [Jul 06, 2002]
Weakness:

Misses the wall mounting bracket which comes along with 100s

Good speakers. My ht is ProCinema 100 Front (i wish i had more money for the 200s) Procenter C2 (no compromise) Procinema 80 rear Pro 100 sub on a denon 1802. Recomended.

Similar Products Used: Sony
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
Deano   Audio Enthusiast [May 24, 2002]
Strength:

Great looks, Great build,Great sound,just GREAT.

Weakness:

NONE

I listened to many speaker systems including the mks K5s & K9s all worked well but i found the Def tecs excellent & at £400 cheaper than the MK5s.

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
Brad_Porter   Audio Enthusiast [Apr 08, 2002]
Strength:

For a sub $1000/$1000 system this is a nice started kit for anyone to purchase. The bass is loud but defined providing the installation has been performed properly. The dynamics are extremely good and the actual parts that are inside the ProMonitor (and the speaker and cable connects) are quality components that make this small speaker perform. The center, typical in design, produces clear and precision speech with all the amps settings set to neutral and with no special effects. In basic, this system sounds excellent when everything is set to produce the original discs sound.

Weakness:

The thing to remember is that this is a $1000/£1000 system that is designed to be small and compact but deliver as much of a quality sound as it can. Of course, small and compact designs have their floors and one of them is that the speakers will start to show signs of distress at higher levels. Make note that I said ''higher'' levels and not ''high'' levels. Taking these little speakers above the 10 o''clock position on my amp was a little painful, especially in the midrange area. Although, Def Tech do tell me that this will soften over time. Well, its been three months and they have softened somewhat, but, not a lot. Somehow I have faith though and I think they will soften some more with use. To accompany the above weakness, we need to consider that the ProSub80 is a pig to place and really needs some pushing around to get the sound that you like. This took me around 10 days and quite a lot of cable so be warned. However, it will perform nicely when placed and grounded properly. With all the above in mind, this still is a well-recommended product for people who like sub/sat systems and can''t pay anymore the $1000/£1000. It is good value for money and is easily upgradable

When going to my bank account and finding that I only had enough money to purchase the Def Tech Pro Cinema 80, I was a little disappointed as I really wanted the B+K series to compliment my listening tastes. However, wallets are as wallets are and that means tight, so a purchase of the Def Tech ProCinema80 was made. Set up was nice and easy with myself trying both the high level (front speaker connection via ProSub80) and low level (speakers connected to the amp and ProSub via phono cables) connection types. My preferred type is usually low level but these speakers seem to play a little more smoothly on high level. Strange but true and not everyone will agree. The ProSub80 is a real beast to place and this little 250Watt sub can sound rather boomy and ''wrong'' if misplaced. I must state that ported units (ones with a hole in to me and you) do have a tendency to sound a little less tonally correct rather then sealed units. The ProSub80 has the same issue and correct placement of the unit, the crossover and the volume are vital. Actually replacing the plastic feet with speaker spikes is the first decent upgrade that should be performed. Those of you with wooden floorboards will also need to pop down to the garden center and get a slab of slate. This unit needs to be grounded and tightened! Can’t stress this anymore. I have a SONY STRDB-940 as my reference amp a SONT DVD-725 as my reference DVD-Player. I stood by with my reference disc of Phantom Menace and James Bond: Tomorrow Never Dies. Both discs performed well on the system with the pod race in Phantom Menace sounding rather good. Excellent in fact. All the time spent on the ProSusb80''s set-up was not in vein. The crossovers from front to back surrounds were fabulous with no notable tonal differences. Once again, the gain set on the back surround speakers (as they are usually closer) needs to be fine-tuned to make sure that they don’t ''out-volume'' the fronts. The bike chase scene in Tomorrow Never Dies also stood up for itself and was dynamically wonderful to listen too. Speech sounds clear and precise on the ProCenter100 but please remember to isolate the speaker if sitting on top of a large widescreen television. Big TV''s really resonated with the sound of a badly mounted center speaker and can play havoc with the quality of speech.

Similar Products Used: - B+K ''K'' Series - All Denon Amps - Sony Pascal sub/sat Speaker System
OVERALL
RATING
4
VALUE
RATING
4
Aaron   Audio Enthusiast [Mar 11, 2002]
Strength:

Great mounting brackets (sold seperately) good all around sound.

Weakness:

I little too "little" sounding.

These are great sounding speakers. I currently use them for surround/5 channel stereo and work great. I originally purchased them as front/main speakers but thought they were a little, well "little sounding". I recently purchased a pair of the 100''s and moved them to the front/main and there is a substantial difference. Better all around sound and mid range. If you are using them simply for theatre okay but for music/theatre I would go with the 100''s in the front.

Similar Products Used: None. These are my first small/sub combination speaker.
OVERALL
RATING
4
VALUE
RATING
4
marc turgeon   Audio Enthusiast [Jan 18, 2000]
Strength:

excellent value, good clarity

Weakness:

a bit bright at times. Thjis may temper after they burn in for awhile

I "auditioned" both the energy take 5 system and the definitive pro 80's. While both systems offer outstanding value, definitely go with the def techs for extra couple hundred bones. These speakers have dynamite clarity and create a very full and convincing soundstage despite their size (however, they seem a tad bright at times but this may temper with burnin. I have them paired with a Miller and Kreisel sub so it is not the full pro cinema 80 package. The pro sub has a 250 watt sub and is also a great value. However, I already had a good sub and I think the girlfriends patience on audio spending is getting near. While the satellites are great, I think the center is the real killer. The package comes with the upgraded pro 100 center channel. The clarity of the center is awesome and is a vast improvement over my old Advent center channel.

For those of you looking for these speakers, they are not that easy to find. In the san diego area there is only one dealer and you payn retail! Moreover, you cannot buy these mail order! Since the energy is available over the internet, the price delta can be as much as $300. In my opinion, these are worth it. For the 5 speakers I paid $700 with tax. If you add the sub, your right about $1000. If your like me with a limited budget, this is definitely champagne on a beer budget.

For reference, here is the system I am running:

Sharp 36" direct view TV
Sony 835 DTS/Digital Receiver (100 watts per)
Panasonic A310 DVD
Panasonic Hi Fi VCR
Pioneer CLD 502 Laser Disc
Pioneer Cd Player
Def Pro Cinema 80 speaker package
M&K (Miller and Kreisel) 100 watt sub 10" driver
All monster cable connections (audio,video and speaker wire)

Similar Products Used: energy take 5
OVERALL
RATING
4
VALUE
RATING
5
David Burckhard   Audio Enthusiast [Jan 24, 2000]
Strength:

Highest fidelity 5.1 mini-system for the money

Weakness:

Very sensitive to cross-over adjustment

Pro Cinema 80.6 - The Best Sat-Sub For Less Than A Grand

Speaker technology may not move as quickly as that of other audio components but listening to Definitive Technology's Pro Cinema 80 speakers certainly moves those who hear them. This review contains some information in general concerning speakers in the context of "home theater" and current audio equipment trends. This reviewer hopes that audio gear cognoscenti are not put-off by the extended explanations and those new to selecting audio gear find some usefulness in this review.

My purchase of the entire Pro Cinema 80.6 speaker set is a culmination of a long period of research and a lot of trekking between sound rooms at audio retailers. The speakers were chosen based on criteria ranging from maximum size (set by my wife), a budget (set by my wife), and sound quality (I had some input here). Specifically, our need was a system capable of full Dolby Digital "5.1" output. In essence, we were looking for a low profile, Sat-Sub (SATellite, SUB-woofer) system. This means a total of six units-- left and right front speakers, a center channel, two "surround" speakers and a powered sub-woofer. We agreed that given our limited family room size, free standing tower units would not be acceptable for a variety of reasons. Therefore we would only consider wall-mounted units no larger than a loaf of bread. We agreed that one thousand dollars would be the upper limit we would spend on the set. Surprisingly, my wife wanted to accompany me on my sojourn of listening rooms around Northern California.

After weeks of reading magazines and consulting the web, I had narrowed my search to a manageable number of makes and models. We visited retailers who would demonstrate the Pro Cinemas as well as offerings from Bose Research, Boston Acoustics, Polk Audio, Cambridge Sound Works and others. Initially we were visually impressed with the Bose hand-sized cubes. In comparison however, they didn't measure up in sound quality to less expensive competition from many other manufacturers. We listened to a narrowing field of contenders in a variety of rooms. The Boston Acoustics and Polk Audio speakers were impressive with attractive prices as well. For the money, the Cambridge offerings sounded super. A Canadian speaker manufacturer, Energy, is a relatively new competitor in the speaker market. When we listened to their "Take 5" speakers we were highly enthusiastic and we rated it well above the rest and we were ready to make a purchase. However, we wanted to listen to one last set I had read about in "Home Theater" magazine. We're glad we did.

The Pro Cinema speakers met all our criteria easily but it was their performance that endeared us to them. As much as we liked the Energy system, we both agreed the Pro Cinemas sounded "fuller" and had more accuracy in the low end despite a smaller sub-woofer speaker. We worked a deal and brought it home where they would have to meet the challenge of a much tougher environment -- our family room.

Whereas an audio shop's sound room is optimized for ideal sound reproduction, our family room is configured with a high and sloping ceiling, tile floor, no substantial window or wall coverings, relatively little furniture and is open to the kitchen with its requisite hard surfaces. This is a very "live" as opposed to "dead" acoustic environment. This type of room along with the position of the sub-woofer in a corner can over-emphasize woofer output creating "boomy" noise that can take too long to decay. Judicious restraint on the sub-woofer output can tame this beast however. The room also taxes the high end because tweeters tend to be highly directional and their output can be overwhelmed by lower frequencies if aimed carelessly. Placement and output of speakers are critical. The Definitive Technology's speakers responded well and behaved as expected to my adjustments.

The model 80.6 is the lowest priced Sat-Sub speaker set in Definitive Technology's Pro Cinema line. The other systems include the 100 and 200 which also sound sweet. The ".6" in "80.6" refers to the number of speakers. The front left and right as well as both the surround units are identical with a four-inch bass/midrange driver and a one-inch aluminum dome tweeter. This type of tweeter, the item responsible for reproducing the high-pitched sounds, is of a construction that is found in much more costly speakers according to my research. The center channel, the speaker responsible for most of the sound reproduction during an AC-3 (Dolby Digital) surround sound encoded movie contains two five-inch bass/midrange drivers with the same single tweeter as in the other speakers. It includes an adjustable rear leg so the speaker can be aimed higher or lower respective to its appropriate placement below or above the video monitor (TV) screen. The sub-woofer has an eight-inch driver powered by a built-in 250-watt amplifier. The sub-woofer is known as a "front firing" speaker in that it faces towards the front of the unit as opposed to bottom or side. Manufacturers have differing philosophies in how to configure their subs with some manufacturers offering a variety in the ways a sub speaker faces. The sub-woofer is the ".1" of "5.1" sound reproduction in that it only reproduces a limited portion of the entire range of frequencies - the very low-pitched sounds. The other speakers, however, are considered "full spectrum" or capable of reproducing all pitches. The sub-woofer is responsible for reproducing the low-end sounds of music sources such as CD or radio. The sub participates in the special audio effects in video, DVD and other surround capable audiovisual sources. Listening to the approaching Tyrannosaurus Rex footfalls in " Jurassic Park" takes on a whole new dimension with Dolby Digital and a powered sub-woofer.

My first test was to set up the speakers in stereo mode for music reproduction. I hooked them directly to my receiver's speaker outputs. Then I hooked them up through the sub-woofer's own "cross over" circuitry. My receiver is Sony's STR-DA555ES, a 110 watt per channel unit with discrete amplification on all channels. This low distortion receiver/amplifier is more than capable of driving any home-based speaker system. The "ES" designation refers to "Elevated Standard" which is Sony's top of the line." (Watch for my review!). All my interconnections are by Monster brand cabling.

My standard test sources are normally Latin jazz, Latin influenced swing, or Salsa. And I'll tell you why. Generally the music of this genre is BIG. By this I mean the bands are large with a loud and lively sound. Guitars, keyboards, and bass mix it up with woodwinds and horns and often two or more percussionists. Throw in vocalists and the result is a rich and dynamically complex blend of hot sound that challenges any audio system. My primary test CD was "Westcoast Latingroove" by the San Francisco Bay Area's "Avance". I played this as well as other music and DVDs for a few weeks to "break in" the speakers. My most recent listenings to the CD have convinced me the speakers have ripened to yield some of the best sound I have ever heard leave the voicecoil of any mini Sat-Sub speaker system.

The "sound stage", the acoustic perception of the sound's source, is remarkably real and wide. The attack of the bongos is right on. Cymbals sound like cymbals and are bright without being overbearing. Bass licks flow ever so accurately and tightly through the tunes. Bass performance can be tricky to adjust in a sub woofer for one like me who is new in adjusting "cross over" frequencies and output. But once tweaked, the results are worthwhile. Horn fidelity is so accurate, I feel I can shake hands with the trombone players. Female vocals are a challenge to any speaker. At one point with the Pro Cinemas I was imagining that Avance's Ester Godinez was going to ask me to dance during one of the tracks. In fact, all vocalists sound clear and distinct despite a background of driving melodies and compelling rhythms. When volume was turned up the sound merely got louder rather than assaulting the listener with speaker distortion. Turned down, the response remained fairly "flat." Flat is a good term when describing speakers. It means that all audible frequencies are reproduced equally rather than favoring middle frequencies over highs and lows. This is typical in lesser systems when volume is decreased to lower than normal listening levels. You don't want surprises from your speakers when you change the volume and I'm pleased to report these speakers don't sneak up on you.

The same CD driven by the same receiver on my old set of floor standing speakers sounded dull and dimensionless in comparison.

It was only during viewing of a movie that I may have found a chink in the armor of these fabulous speakers. During my viewing of the DVD version of the animated motion picture "Antz", I was impressed with the high quality of the sound.
The movie itself ain't too shabby neitha' as Jennifer Lopez might say who was the voice of one of about five million worker ants. During the passages where Sylvester Stallone voices a warrior ant, it sounded as if two persons were speaking -- a "regular" voice and a "sad Rocky" voice. The impression was oh so subtle but I was paying extra attention to sound. I believe part of Stallone's voice had fallen into a "roll off" hole. That is, Sly's inherently low voice was reproduced both in the sub-woofer and in the center channel. The range of the center channel could not reach low enough to the point where the sub-woofer could pick it up. This may have been an artifact inherent in the "DTS" version of the movie I was watching or DTS decoding bugs down the line. I may have to further tweak the cross over circuitry in my receiver or in the sub-woofer itself. At least I can. And I will.

The construction of all the speakers in this system is top-shelf. The sub-woofer is enclosed in wood finished in black stain. The other speakers reside in a "poly-stone" shell, a heavy and nearly bulletproof material. I unintentionally tested its integrity by pulling on speaker wire I thought was not connected to a speaker. The speaker fell about three feet to the tile floor without damage to the floor or speaker housing. Speaking of connections, the speakers are supplied with gold plated "five-way" binding posts. These are an all-too-rare but welcome feature on speakers in this price range. This means you can connect speaker wire that has been terminated by a banana plug, pin, spade or ring connector. You can also simply twist on a section of bare wire. The set is available in black or white.

We are more than delighted with our speaker purchase. Admittedly I have heard speaker systems that sounded better but they were huge towers and priced closer to that of a car than a bicycle. Would I bet they're worth twice what I paid? Maybe, maybe not, but I'm normally not a gambling man (set by my wife). I would recommend them to anyone looking for a complete set of speakers for less than a grand.

OVERALL
RATING
4
VALUE
RATING
5
Jim K   Audio Enthusiast [Nov 19, 2000]
Strength:

ProSub 80 Subwoofer; construction; overall sound quality compared to similar products I listened to; great for music; absolutely awesome for home theater (DVD)

Weakness:

none

I have had these speakers for several months now and wanted to provide a 2nd review...

We just watched Saving Private Ryan for the 1st time. WOW! The sound reproduced by the speakers is absolutely incredible. If you shut your eyes, it actually feels as if you are right in the middle of the battle, and about to blown off the face of the planet. It is frightening. I am not kidding.

I have a couple of friends who have spent more money on home theater speaker systems (Paradigm and Polk), and believe me when I say that thier systems don't sound nearly as impressive as my system does. Plus, they have the extra added burden of trying to squeeze those big ugly front speakers somewhere in their family room. I have the luxury of being able to discretetly mount the small ProMonitor 80s on the wall and out of the way.

As I stated in my previous review, the ProSub 80 is a real strength of the system (250 watts and a frequency response of 21 hz - 150 kz). The very very deep lows in movies such as Mission Impossible 2, Saving Private Ryan and The Matrix are extremely impressive. It is impossible for me to overstate this. In fact, the performance of the ProSub 80 was ultimately a deciding factor for me purchasing the Def Tech 80s in the first place.

However, now that the ProMonitor 80s and the ProCinema 100 are broken in, I no longer consider the ProSub 80 to be the primary reason why this system sounds so good. I now believe that the sum of all parts--working in concert with each other--is the real reason why this is such an exceptional system.

As far as music is concerned, I am also very very happy with the performance. However, I have noticed that some of my more "aggressive" cds (Pearl Jam, Nirvana, Deftones, etc.) tend to be a bit harsh sounding. The system--at times--sounds as if it is shouting this type of music to me as opposed to reproducing it. Fortunately, I don't listen to this type of music that often.

I actually have a very diverse musical taste, and like all sorts of rock and jazz music. Pat Metheney sounds fanastic on these speakers; so does the latest cd from Santanna (Super Natural). Relatively speaking, all modern jazz and rock recordings generally sound very good to excellent on these speakers; especially when I set my Yamaha 596 DSP mode to disco.

For the price, you can't find a similar product (miniature satellite system) that can reproduce music like this system can. Bose, Boston Acoustics, Polk, Mirage, Energy, and others all offer competing products, but none seemed to sound as good (at least when I auditioned them)...

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
John R Gutknecht   Audio Enthusiast [Mar 14, 2000]
Strength:

Great Value

Weakness:

None that I can think of

I was all set to buy the Polk RM6500, I even went in to listen to them for almost an hour. As an after thought I asked the salesman to switch over to the Definitive ... I instantly heard the difference. After trying lots of different music and playing with the EQ on the receiver in the store, I knew that what I was hearing was real.

So I bought the ProCinema 80's instead.

They sound great and I can't believe the value they offer.

I've listened to CD's and DVD's that I've heard hundreds of times before and they sound so fresh and alive it's unbelievable. I'm glad I made the choice to go with these.

Similar Products Used: Polk RM6500
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
Showing 1-10 of 43  

(C) Copyright 1996-2018. All Rights Reserved.

audioreview.com and the ConsumerReview Network are business units of Invenda Corporation

Other Web Sites in the ConsumerReview Network:

mtbr.com | roadbikereview.com | carreview.com | photographyreview.com | audioreview.com