Definitive Technology BP-8020ST Floorstanding Loudspeaker Reviewed

Definitive Technology BP-8020ST Floorstanding Loudspeaker Reviewed

Andrew Robinson is a fan of Definitive Technology products. Given the performance he experienced from Definitive Technology's BP-8020ST floorstanding loudspeaker, it is hard not to understand why.

Definitive_Technology_BP8020_floorstanding_speaker_review_small.gifI've been a fan of Definitive Technology for as long as I can remember. In fact, I used their famous bi-polar SuperTower loudspeakers as my personal reference in my home theater for over two years. Imagine my excitement when I learned that Definitive recently updated their storied bi-polar line of loudspeakers beginning with the new BP-8020ST.

Additional Resources
• Read more floorstanding speaker reviews by Home Theater Review's staff.
• Find an amplifier to help drive the BP-8020ST loudspeaker.
• Explore AV receivers in our AV Receiver Review section.

Retailing for $599 each, the BP-8020STs are the smallest, most affordable, bi-polar SuperTowers in the line. Retaining much of the visual styling of the classic SuperTower loudspeakers, the BP-8020ST takes the Spartan look and adds a bit of design flare mainly in its use of subtle, tapered edges as you approach the front baffle. Behind the BP-8020ST's trademark black sock rests two, three and a half inch midrange drivers with a single, one-inch aluminum tweeter sandwiched between in a D'Appolito configuration. Being a bi-polar design, the BP-8020ST also uses the same driver compliment firing backwards as it does firing forward. The BP-8020ST also features a side firing eight-inch, 150-Watt, powered subwoofer. The BP-8020ST has a reported frequency response of 30Hz to 30kHz with a sensitivity of 92dB into a nominal impedance of eight Ohms. That's a lot of capability packed into a fairly compact cabinet, which measures in at 36 inches tall by six inches wide and 12 inches deep. The BP-8020ST comes with stabilizer feet to better "ground" the narrow cabinet, for its 34 pounds isn't necessarily enough to get the job done if you're one with small children or medium to large dogs.

When it comes to connecting the BP-8020ST to your two-channel or home theater system you have a few options beginning with a single pair of robust, five-way binding posts that can accept all types of speaker cable. You can chose to run the BP-8020ST full-range via their binding posts; adjusting the subwoofer level via a volume knob located above and to the right of the binding posts. You can also connect the BP-8020ST's subwoofer to your home theater receiver or AV processor via its LFE input, which means your receiver or AV processor will essentially view the BP-8020ST as two separate loudspeakers. Of course, in order to take advantage of the BP-8020ST's built-in subwoofer you have to plug the slim floorstander into a standard wall outlet.

As far as the BP-8020ST's sound is concerned it retains all of the magic that made its predecessors so great, albeit on a slightly smaller scale. The BP-8020ST possesses an open and mildly warm midrange that manages to seduce as well as captivate. The BP-8020ST's aluminum dome tweeter possessed a surprising amount of air and extension without sounding harsh or brittle, provided I didn't push them too hard. Together the BP-8020ST's midrange and high frequency performance was very coherent, much like you'd expect to hear from a small monitor loudspeaker, only more enveloping thanks to its bi-polar design. The BP-8020ST's bass performance was solid, providing ample depth for small to medium sized rooms. I ran the BP-8020ST's full range and simply adjusted the internal sub's output via the level control on the back. When played too vigorously or asked to fill too large of a room the sub can sound a little bloated and slow. For more low end output or SPL overall, move up the SuperTower line for the BP-8020ST is ideally suited for smaller living rooms, dens or even bedroom systems. Within its limits the BP-8020ST is one hell of a compact, full-range loudspeaker.

Read about the high points and the low points of the BP-8020ST on Page 2.

Definitive_Technology_BP8020_floorstanding_speaker_review_large.gifHigh Points
• The BP-8020ST may not have the fancy finish of some of its rivals but
it's still a sexy looking loudspeaker that takes up virtually zero real
estate.
• The new outrigger feet used to stabilize the BP-8020ST are better than previous generations.
• The BP-8020ST can be connected to your two-channel or home theater
system in a variety of ways, making it more versatile than many
subwoofer/satellite speaker combos. For those of you wanting to add a
powered subwoofer or more low-end punch to your two-channel system it
doesn't get easier than connecting a pair of BP-8020STs.
• The BP-8020ST's sound is slightly warm with a very smooth demeanor
that possesses enough of the high-end flavor that most listeners won't
be left wanting for more.
• The BP-8020ST's soundstage is incredible thanks in part to its narrow baffle and bi-polar design.
• In small to medium sized rooms the BP-8020ST's built-in subwoofer is more than capable.

Low Points
• Since the BP-8020ST is essentially wrapped in a "sock," owners with
pets or children should take special care to avoid unwanted snags or
tears.
• The outrigger feet help stabilize the BP-8020ST but by no means do
they make it impossible for the BP-8020ST to tip if bumped
accidentally.
• The BP-8020ST need to be placed a fair distance out from your front
wall in order for all their various elements to play nice with one
another, so while their footprint may be small (.86 square feet), their
intrusion upon your living space may not be.
• The BP-8020ST must be plugged into a standard wall socket in order
for their internal sub to work, which means two sets of cables, speaker
and power, will be running to the back of the loudspeaker. If you chose
to use the LFE input you'll use three cables.

Competition and Comparison
At just under $1,200 a pair the BP-8020ST are solid performers but do
face some pretty stiff competition. If you like the spaciousness
bi-polar designs provide, then another speaker to consider would have
to be Magnepan's MMG loudspeaker, which sells direct for $599 a pair. While the MMGs lack the
BP-8020ST's low-end authority, you can easily pair a subwoofer or two
with them for about the same cost as the BP-8020STs.

If you like the BP-8020ST's more dynamic properties than you should
also look at Aperion Audio's Intimus 5T floorstanding loudspeaker
at $990 a pair. Also sold direct, the 5Ts check a lot of the same
performance boxes as the BP-8020ST, however they do it in a far more
attractive package clad in various wood grain veneers. Still, the 5Ts
do lack BP-8020ST's low-end capability.

For more information on floorstanding loudspeakers including the
latest floorstanding speaker news and reviews please check out Home
Theater Review's Floorstanding Loudspeaker page
.

Conclusion
For just under $1,200 retail, the Definitive Technology BP-8020ST
bi-polar SuperTowers are phenomenal speakers that excel at both music
and movie reproduction. With their built in subwoofers and bi-polar
design, the BP-8020ST are more than capable of providing a true theater
experience at home provided you don't put them in a room in excess of
say 250 square feet. If you need more oomph there's always the
BP-8020ST's larger stable mates, but for the enthusiast on a budget or
with a small to medium sized room you can't go wrong with the
BP-8020ST. Highly recommended.

Additional Resources
• Read more floorstanding speaker reviews by Home Theater Review's staff.
• Find an amplifier to help drive the BP-8020ST loudspeaker.
• Explore AV receivers in our AV Receiver Review section.

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