Paradigm Reference Mini Monitor v2 Floorstanding Speakers

Mini Monitor v2

2 way bass-reflex . One 165mm (6.5") driver with diecast chassis, ICPâ„¢ injection-moulded co-polymer polypropylene cone, Apicalâ„¢ former, and one 25mm (1") PTDâ„¢ pure-titanium dome and former, ferro-fluid damped/cooled tweeter.

User Reviews (46)

Showing 1-10 of 46  
jawzx   Audio Enthusiast [Sep 17, 2004]
Strength:

Mids that come damn close to speakers costing $2000 or more. Bass Extension thats unreal for a 6.5" Great imaging, able to handle all but the very busiest music with ease.

Weakness:

Not quite as much treble extension as some. Rear port can make them boomy if positioned poorly. Vinyl covering material not terribly durable.

If a better value in small speakers exists I don't know what it is. The Minis are so strong in so many areas and such a fantastic value that I don't know if talking about weaknesses is a worth-while endeavor...but here goes; treble response on the Minis, though smooth and revealing is not quite as refined or extended as B&W DM303s, and some other Brittish products. Bass, though tight and tremendously extended for a 6.5", will require a sub to really rock the house like a mad DJ. They aren't as efficient as some other small speakers, and actualy need a little grunt to really fire them up. Beyond these little nit-picky issues the Paradigm Mini-Monitor (v2 and v3) may simply be the best speaker value on earth. There are speakers that sound better, and speakers that cost less. I have yet to hear anything close to what the Minis can do for less than $600.

Similar Products Used: B&W DM-303 B&W DM-602 lots of other Paradigms B&W CDM1-NT Tannoy Mercury mx2 a/d/s CM7 Tannoy Sensys DC-1 Canton LE-103 Canton Karat M-10
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
kexodusc   AudioPhile [Dec 08, 2003]
Strength:

Sonic accuracy, price, build quality

Weakness:

a very deep box, a bit harder to mount to walls than most bookshelf speakers, small price to pay

These are version 3's (4th quarter '03). I picked these up to match them to new Monitor 7's and replace a set of rear Paradigm Titans I had. These are incredible little speakers. I spent about 2 months sampling Axiom, Klipsh, PSB's and Paradigms. I'm not going to knock the Klipsh or Axiom speakers, they were beautifully designed and sounded pretty good as well...the PSB's were overpriced and simply outmatched. I find the Axiom's (bought a bookshelf set for upstairs from a friend, felt bad I didn't buy everything from him) don't have as accurate a mid range or bass sound as the Mini's. The crystal clear highs the Paradigms spit out are quite impressive. The ultimate difference between the Paradigm Monitor series and the others I tested was the ability to handle power and louder volumes without compromising sonic accuracy across the dynamic range, something the Klipsh seemed to fail miserably at, and the Axiom never had to begin with. I use these 50/50 between music (Blues, Jazz, Classical, and Rock) and HT. They are very good as rears and you won't believe how much sound comes out of these little things. Highly recommended.

Similar Products Used: Klipsh, PSB, Axiom, Paradigm Titans
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
Feanor   Audio Enthusiast [May 15, 2003]
Strength:

Detail, imaging, soundstage, air, natural mid-range.

Weakness:

A bit "forward" with slight exaggeration of high-mid or low-high, e.g. high violin notes.

I suspect the version I bought in 3rd quarter of '02 is ACTUALLY VERSION 3 -- 1" PTD titanium tweaker, ICP co-polymer 6.5" mid/base, etc.. Price above is in Canadian dollars. They are remarkable speakers anywhere close to their price range for resolution, imaging, and soundstage. They are extremely accurate and airy throughout the mid-range in general, reproducing male and female voices very well. You ought not to expect too much from mid-size bookshelf spearkers in terms of base. I can't say whether the Minis are a much worse or better than the competion: for my part I use a PSB Subsonic 6 subwoofer for everything below 80Hz. This combo works extremely well in my location, without any false deep or mid-base boost. The Minis are NOT a "warm" sounding speaker. To me the Mini v3 are a bit forward in high-mid to low-top end. The high range of violins, woodwinds, and brass sounds a little exaggerated, though remaining every clean and grain-free. This might be drawback for classical listeners. I was able to mitigate this "problem" to some extent by angling the speakers straight ahead rather than toed in. (Or maybe the problem is really just my amp -- an ancient Phase Linear 400!) Also, the Minis are highly revealing of less that really good recordings and associated equipment: don't expect them to hide flaws elsewhere. No doubt these speakers deserve a careful listen in, or even a bit above, their price range.

Similar Products Used: Paradigm Atoms
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
paradigmtime   Audio Enthusiast [May 11, 2003]
Strength:

Beautiful sound, great looks, and very affordable.

I got a pair of these Mini Monitors roughly a year ago at a Champagne Sale at a local stereo shop. I had researched these puppies well in advance. After listening to them, it was obvious that Paradigm makes if not the best, some of the best speakers for the value. I have never heard a better 6.5" speaker in this price range. Highs are crisp without being harsh. Bass is really tight, refined and PRESENT. It is necessary to have a sub for great low end extension, but you could easily do without it for casual music listening listening.

Similar Products Used: JBL, Klipsch, B&W
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
steve6   Audio Enthusiast [May 10, 2003]
Strength:

Price, ultra sharp high end. Tight, punchy midbass.

Weakness:

None, really. Well, they are hard to find. I had to get the speaks at one place and the stands at another. But that was cool, in a way, hanging out in high-end shops for a change. And this is not a weakness, but they gotta be on stands, and most of the cheapos have far too small a platform. The minis aren't square, you will have to drop some dough on stands. Also beware that shielded ones only come in black. And, of course, if you want serious rock/rap-music or action-movie kind of bass, you'll doubtless add a sub.

This actually is a review of the mini monitor V3. Did extensive reading on these babies here and elsewhere. Picked them up yesterday. Got the appropriate Premier stands for them today (if you're ever in Little Saigon, stop in at Top Audio, they are nice folks. LOTS of Paradigm.) At any rate, all my expectations have been fulfilled. I gave them a try by themselves, thought the bass was punchy as advertised, but then decided to mate them with my Polk PSW 450. Listening to Clapton's "From The Cradle" at this moment. Nothing short of stunning. Those who say the tweets "sizzle" and that the minis are bright must be a lot younger than me. Us old folks lose high-end hearing, and "sizzle" is the sound I crave. The minis are very rich and full-bodied with surprising detail. Ooomph, yes, but also delicacy -- I spun Regina Carter's new disc and have never heard a violin reproduced with such sweet clarity. I also second what others have said about the little guys sort of disappearing. I hear music, I don't see speakers. The Paradigm mini monitors are an incredible, almost unimaginable bargain.

Similar Products Used: The mid-fi gamut: JBL, Polk, Infinity, yada yada yada.
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
Audio lover   Audio Enthusiast [Feb 11, 2003]
Strength:

Great quality for the price.

Weakness:

Would like a wee bit more bass at times.

My setup: NAD C370 Amp NAD 520i CD Player Paradgm Mini Monitors Types of Music: Classical Jazz Folk Blues Review: They say to have a nice sounding system, that you should build from the amp up, speaker wires and RCA feeds matter!!! I was looking for a set of speakers that I would soley use for two channel stereo listening in the under $400 price range. I went out and listened to just about everything that I could find using a fav Diana Krall CD. I must admit that I was heavily influenced by a friends PSB setup. I then read a review in stereophile on the Atom series speaker and decided to find a local shop that carried them. Purely out of interest, I had the salesman pipe up the mini monitors. I was immediately impressed with the low end ability, combined with uncompromised clarity on the mids and high-end. When I got them home, I played 10 CD's straight of my favorite music and truely wondered why someone would want to abuse this speaker with Home Theater! They sound great. The sound stage is accurate, if not a wee bit narrow. Proper speaker stands and distance from the wall and floor will give you better sound stage. As you can tell from my setup, I am way over powered... Yet these speakers eat it up... I have never turned my amp up past half way, the bass hits hard, the mids are crisp (definitely not metalic--like so many other speakers out there). The highs crystal clear and not over powering. Short of buying a set of speakers two times this value, you will be hard put to find this quality. I am playing around with the idea of getting a 10" sub, just because there are times when I want bass vibes to shake up my drink while I sit lost in musical bliss. I must admit that I am keen to hear these dudes in a home theater setup, but I will not go near a setup that is not top notch, perhaps a linn system with a hint of electronic tube imatation....

OVERALL
RATING
4
VALUE
RATING
5
breck42   AudioPhile [Jan 23, 2003]
Strength:

Quality build...These things are built like a tank...the sound is second none!

Weakness:

none

This is a followup to my previous review last year. First thing you want to do when you get these speakers is take off the worthless grills. I couldn't believe the change it made after removing them. It was truly like night and day. It was like I opened the lid on all the trapped music. The imaging and especially the sound staged opened up like I couldnt believe. I played the "oh brother, where art thou" soundtrack as a test and is sound like the vocals were coming from within my living room(stereo listening). Second, buy solid speaker stands and fill them with sand. This was another truly amazing transformation. The bass tightened up tremendously and the sound was noticably more punchy. No more boom, boom. I was truly impressed. If you are using the front grills and not using solid 40lb plus stands, you are literally missing about everything these wonderful speakers have to offer. Other noticeable improvements will occur if you add quality 12 gauge speaker wire and as much amplification you can afford. I'm using an H/K 100watt amp, which is plenty.

Similar Products Used: I've listened or owned them all, and none have topped the mini's at any cost.
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
Tw   Casual Listener [Nov 26, 2002]
Strength:

price and quality(what you see is what you get)

Weakness:

maybe bass but i'm waiting to get a powered sub .right now it sounds great even though.the bass is there but for punch it is a little lacking

I love these little babies! they're a real gem at this price range.if it was double i think it's worth it.i don't know about a break in period but being a car audio guy ,these minis are so clean and warm sounding.if it is true about the breakin then i'm happily just waiting for it to happen.i'm using denon avr 1803,praradigm cc 300 and atoms(surounds)and it's so enveloping,the music.they're used mostly for ht but i'm learning to like music at home also.

Similar Products Used: sony towers and tiny cc and surrounds
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
Clarke Robinson   Casual Listener [Oct 08, 2002]
Strength:

Best speakers in the world at this price range!!! Are they really? I don't know, I couldn't find a single shop where I could compare Paradigm with NHT, PSB, or Monitor Audio. One salesman told me he "couldn't sell Paradigm and NHT together...the Paradigms would blow them away". However, most accounts I've read put NHT as a more accurate speaker, and Paradigm as a more dynamic speaker. Even comparing them side to side could give you a misleading idea of which speaker is "best". My advice? Get something you enjoy, don't go into debt to do it, and then stop reading these stupid reviews and get on with your life. Music may be an essential part of life, but the fancy stuff its played on is not.

Weakness:

Paradigm is only available in snotty little audio boutiques, and from what I can tell they only sell through one snotty little audio boutique per area code in the US (in the SF bay area, there's one in San Jose, one on the peninsula, and one in the city). Not a big deal, but these places are used to having millionaires come in and shop for multi-thousand dollar systems. Paradigm speakers are priced for regular folks (like myself), making them the cheapest things available in these shops. I have no problem with that, but a lot of times the salesmen in these shops make you feel like they're wasting their time selling you a $400 pair of speakers, and they're not doing their job unless they can 'upgrade' your purchase to, well, anything else in the store. So be on your guard. Just to note, I had no such problems with the guys at Sound Perfection in Menlo Park, CA. I assume that Paradigm avoid the whole 'superstore chain' scene to keep tighter contols on their quality, and avoid becoming another Klipsch, which sells bargain gear at high prices at Good Guys, and audiophile gear at astronomical prices at...at...where? Where do you go to get Heresy 2s anymore? Or La Scalas?

I got at pair of V2s on closeout as my local dealer was making way for the V3s, but these are worth full retail. I don't really have anything to add to the many glowing reviews you'll read here, except this: I was a little hesitant to get these because of all the reviews I've read about the Minis being 'too boomy'. I really wanted to try the front-ported Monitor Audio Bronze series, but I couldn't find a pair to audition anywhere in the SF bay area. Anyway, I described my concerns to my local Paradigm dealer and they gave me a pair of official Paradigm rear-port plugs for free. Cheap little rubber plugs, perfectly sized to fit the rear port of the Minis, directly from Paradigm, evidently available free from any Paradigm dealer. Sure, they'll knock a few hzs off your bottom end, but if you're concerned about boominess, and you have a sub anyway, why not? So, I brought my Minis home, hooked 'em up, broke 'em in, and I'm still waiting to hear the 'boomy' low end. Let me explain, I've got these set up in the worst possible way: my 'media room' is a converted bedroom, the system is in the closet, with the Minis on the closet shelf, a half inch from the back wall. Okay, there might be about a 5hz wide band of muddiness somewhere in the 80 - 120hz range, but its not bothersome enough even to bother putting the plugs in, I'm digging these things just the way they are. I'm having way more problems keeping the lid on my tuned-port Klipsch sub (also in the closet) to worry about any alleged 'boominess' in the low midrange of the Minis. Maybe I'm not listening critically enough? Not experienced enough an 'audiophile'? Cheap equipment? I dunno. I do know that I love how my system sounds, and don't feel compelled to spend another dime on it. My equipment: Onkyo TX-SR 500 reciever Philips DVD player (cheap, from Costco) Sony CD player (bottom of the line 200 CD carousel) Klipsch K-RSW subwoofer Klipsch KSS-2 rears

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
sperlina   Audio Enthusiast [Oct 05, 2002]
Strength:

Open, clear soundstage. Crisp highs and more midbass than should be possible in a small speaker.

Weakness:

Need to be placed near wall and sound noticably better with solid amp. (What doesn't though??)

This review is actually for the brand new v3 model. I have to say, I auditioned a ton of bookshelf/stand mountable speakers in the sub $500 category, and nothing compares to these speakers. Paradigm has been refining and polishing the mini for years, and it's no secret that they are truly the steal of the industry. The new version III's sound cleaner with tighter, deeper bass than before and the overall fit and finish has improved. The new logo and arched grille cover make for an even more expensive looking speaker. But we all know that for under $400, these little gems really shouldn't sound this good. The soundstage is grand, they have crystal clear highs, and the bass is extremely accurate. I would definitely recommend that you use good quality stands and put them fairly close to the wall (about a foot or so) for the best sound. Also, it never hurts to use a quality amp/power supply. I noticed a difference when I listened to them with a decent or higher end amplifier.

Similar Products Used: Klipsch, Boston, B&W, Monitor Audio, Phase Technology, Energy, etc.
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
Showing 1-10 of 46  

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